Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Demcratic pundit Hilary Rosen accuses Ann Romney of "never working," Opens new front in the "War on Women" debate

Democratic pundit Hilary Rosen tonight opened a new front in the War on Women debate which has been occurring on Twitter and other Social Media sites in the aftermath of the Rush Limbaugh/Sandra Fluke story by declaring on CNN that "Ann Romney has never worked a day in her life." (See Reuters story here).

Unfortunately for the President, while apparently intended to reinforce a recurring theme of both the White House and some conservatives that Mitt Romney is "too wealthy" to be in touch with the needs and concerns of "average" voters, the comments instigated an firestorm of criticism on social media and an immediate and effective response by the Romney camp, (see here).

In a historic first, Mrs. Romney, not known for her social media expertise, (in fact, she didn't even have a Twitter account previously!) took to cyberspace to respond to the criticism, tweeting, "I made a choice to stay home and raise five boys. Believe me, it was hard work." She immediately garnered 6000 followers, and thus began an object lesson in the critical nature to both parties of this key part of the electorate in this year's Presidential elections.

Indeed, in an obvious attempt at damage control and to prevent the GOP from regaining the high ground with this core constituency and keep the momentum going their way from a previous "war on women" narrative which the Whitehouse has been successfully using to target female voters on the heels of Rush Limbaugh/Sandra Fluke controversy, the White House and its surrogates responded swiftly with attempts to distance Obama from Rosen's incendiary comments.

Jim Messina, the President's campaign manager, tweeted the following:

Hilary Rosen, Democratic Strategist Attacks Mitt Romneys Wife

David Axelrod, the President's chief election advisor and strategist, was also quick to respond:

Hilary Rosen, Democratic Strategist Attacks Mitt Romneys Wife

Josh Romney, one of those five children Mrs. Romney raised, also jumped in with his own tweet:
Hilary Rosen, Democratic Strategist Attacks Mitt Romneys Wife

A subsequent "apology" by Ms. Rosen, couched in a defense of her comments, didn't seem to help much, driving home the general point that in this election cycle, women, who President Obama leads vs. Romney, are critically important to his chances for reelection, See here.

While Romney leads the President by about 13 points among men, President Obama bests Romney by an even larger margin among women, a state of affairs the President and his campaign would like to keep.  Unfortunately for them, the recent uproar throws a monkey wrench into their plans, as Romney is all but assured of a boost in support among, in the very least, those women who have also chosen children over career.  We shall have to see if this translates into actual votes in November, but one things for sure.  This is going to one very contentious election that will pit poor against rich, black against white, and apparently, family against family.  Fasten your seatbelts folks. jp

UPDATE:  We have  just learned that sources are reporting that Ms. Rosen has been a regular guest at the White House, leading some to speculate that these were more than just random comments, but perhaps even planned to "test" new campaign themes that the President is interested in using on the stump.  While that is certainly conjecture, there is no doubt from the White House visitor logs, that Ms. Rosen indeed seems especially well connected to the Obama White House, having visited more than union leaders or others with natural ties to the President.  Read the whole story here.  jp

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