Democratic Strategist Attacks Ann Romney, Unites Conservatives Behind Mitt Romney

Picking the wrong target.

Last night on Anderson Cooper 360, Democratic Strategist Hilary Rosen, who may or may not be an informal adviser to the Democratic National Committee depending on who you listen to, made some comments about Ann Romney and the so-called “War on Women” that set off a firestorm:

Hilary Rosen, a Democratic operative with SKD Knickerbocker, touched off a Twitter storm tonight after she went on CNN and said that Ann Romney has “never worked a day in her life.”

The statement was tweeted and retweeted, with a number of people condemning the statement as an attack on the candidate’s wife, who was a stay-at-home mom who also raised the couple’s five boys, and who has suffered from MS and breast cancer.

Ann Romney, who is widely praised as her husband’s most effective surrogate, took to Twitter herself for her first-ever post, saying, “I made a choice to stay home and raise five boys. Believe me, it was hard work.”

Here’s the video of Rosen’s comments:

There’s really no other way to put it. What Rosen said here was incredibly stupid and reminiscent of the culture wars that started with the birth of feminism. Rightly or wrongly, there are many on the right who believe that feminists like Rosen look down upon what are seen as “traditional” gender roles, and specifically that they believe that women who do choose to stay home and raise children rather than entering the work force are less important because they are not really contributing anything to society. That may be a false impression, but it exists largely because people like Rosen say stupid thinks like this, so it wasn’t surprising when the right jumped all over it, nor was it surprising to see the Obama campaign distance itself from her:

The senior adviser to President Barack Obama’s reelection bid also took to Twitter to distance the campaign from the comments.

“Also Disappointed in Hilary Rosen’s comments about Ann Romney,” David Axelrod wrote. “They were inappropriate and offensive.”

Obama deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter posted, “Families must be off limits on campaigns, and I personally believe stay at home moms work harder than most of us do.”

Rosen took to Twitter to attempt to do some damage control, claiming in one post that she meant that Ann Romney had choices that other women didn’t have, a point she repeated in a column at The Huffington Post, but the damage was already done. Rosen could have made her point without demeaning Ann Romney and without making it seem as though she was insinuating that stay-at-home mothers are unimportant. It was probably also a mistaken for Axelrod and  the other Obama campaign officials to react so quickly to Rosen’s comments, because it makes her seem closer to the campaign than she may actually be, and reinforces the idea that this was all part of a coordinated attack.

But there’s one thing that Hillary Rosen did that Mitt Romney ought to be thanking her for. As Michelle Malkin put it on Twitter last night, in one minute she managed to get conservatives united behind Mitt Romney in a way that they had not been before, and that only enures to his benefit. In all likelihood, we’ll see this meme pushed even further in the coming days and Ann Romeny is likely to become an even more public face on the campaign trail. And all because of a stupid comment by someone most people have never heard of.

The whole thing reminds me of a scene from the West Wing episode 20 Hours In America Part I:

C.J.

Yesterday, the First Lady appeared on KCAL, which is a local LA station. She was asked about the suspension of her medical license and she said something like, “I’m just a wife and mother.”

BRUNO
And that has been interpreted in some circles as merely a wife and mother?

C.J.
This is Flint Aldridge, a Southern Baptist radio host. “This is another sign that Abbey Bartlet is a liberal elitist feminist.”

BRUNO
Elitist, feminist– you can’t do that to the English language.

C.J.
And this is from Janet Ritchie.

BRUNO
Janet Ritchie went on the record?

C.J.
“Being a wife and a mother are the most rewarding roles I’ve ever played. I think Abbey Bartlet and I have two different ambitions.”

BRUNO
Ooh, she won $50. Said the secret word right there– ambition. Phyllis Schlafly and Ann Coulter are going to have a sqaure dance.

C.J.
Anyway, it’s waiting for us down on the ground.

BRUNO
Then let’s stay up here and have drinks.

CAPTAIN
Good afternoon, ladies and gentleman.

BRUNO
Janet Ritchie really went on the record?

C.J.
Yeah.

BRUNO
I love it when the women get involved.

And, boy have they become involved.

Photo via Politico

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. Franklin says:

    Yes, very stupid sound bite to provide (I don’t think any amount of context will help). BUT, most people have never heard of Rosen and it’s too far away from the election to matter.

  2. wr says:

    What a ridiculous non-issue — oddly, the kind of thing Doug says demeans politics when it makes a Republican look bad. She didn’t attack Ann Romney. She said quite clearly that Mitt claimed to understand what working women felt by asking his wife, when his wife has no idea what working women actually live through.

    Nice of Doug to carry Mitt’s water on this one. Next up, Doug explains again how he hates both parties equally.

  3. legion says:

    OK, here’s a quote from Rosen:

    “What you have is, Mitt Romney running around the country saying, ‘Well, you know, my wife tells me that what women really care about are economic issues. And when I listen to my wife, that’s what I’m hearing.’ Guess what: his wife has never really worked a day in her life. She’s never really dealt with the kind of economic issues that a majority of the women in this country are facing in terms of how do we feed our kids, how do we send them to school, and why do we worry about their future.”

    Is it disrespectfully framed? Yes. Get over your hurt fee-fees and look at the point – a vast chunk of mothers in this society don’t have the option of being stay-at-home moms because of the economic destruction wrought by Mitt Romney and people exactly like him. Yes, being a full-time parent is a major job, but Ann Romney _never_ had to deal with the kind of issues 99% of other parents do today, and the idea that she’s some sort of valuable font of domestic policy knowledge is itself insulting to those of us who actually have to balance things like going to work, getting our kids to school, feeding our families, and ever having the time to be in the same house with & see them.

  4. Mikey says:

    I wouldn’t discount this so quickly. There’s a reason the Obama campaign jumped in immediately with very prominent condemnations of Rosen’s remarks.

    SImply put, the American right has felt for quite some time that the left looks down on stay-at-home moms, and Rosen has just given them a huge smelly pile of proof.

    That Mrs. Romney is wealthy is irrelevant. As far as conservatives are concerned, Rosen basically said “staying at home and raising five kids isn’t worthwhile enough to be called ‘work.'”

  5. anjin-san says:

    In other news, the Romney campaign basically replied “duh-oh” when asked a few simple follow up questions about it’s claim of an Obama “war on women”.

  6. JBJB says:

    She also said that Democrats weren’t the ones talking about the “War on Women” nonsense (it was evil Repubs!), which s a lie in itself, then a minute later she breaks into an actual War on A Women. Pretty funny stuff. Seeing Axelslime jump on Twitter to immediately throw her under the bus tells you how much she just completely stepped on the Obama campaign culture war.

  7. Rob in CT says:

    Clever turnabout from Ann Romney, I’ll give her that.

    However, I think legion (and wr, but legion provides the full quote) is correct to point out what Rosen was getting at: Mitt getting advice from Ann on the economic struggles of women is… silly. Ann isn’t in the workforce.

    The point that SAHMs do, in fact, work, is a fine one to make. Though I’m not sure how applicable it is to Ann Romney (this isn’t an attack – I really don’t know. IIRC, the Romney’s have always been, at a minimum, well-off).

  8. Tsar Nicholas II says:

    Anderson Cooper 360??

    That aside, this Rosen character obviously is suffering from foot-in-mouth disease and probably needs a refresher course on DNC talking points and their proper “framing,” as leftists often say, but let’s not jump the shark and go into high dudgeon mode over a tiny story that will be forgotten the day after tomorrow if not sooner.

    Virtually nobody watches CNN. Nobody on Main Street ever has heard of Hilary Rosen. People on Twitter are not representative of the voting electorate.

    Regarding conservatives, let’s not pretend that Michelle Malkin has any clue about what conservatives think. Malkin is buried so far inside the media/Internet cocoon it would take the jaws of life to extricate her.

    Sentient Republicans and conservatives didn’t need this kerfuffle to vote for Romney in November. That demographic was going in any event to vote for Romney. Millions of evangelicals will in any event sit out the election, regardless of whether and how DNC operatives attack Ann Romney. Democrats will vote for Obama in lock step. The election will come down to moderates and Independents and, in that respect, to the state of the job market over the summer and in the early fall.

  9. Hey Norm says:

    Oh boy….faux outrage. And Michelle Malkin. It’s the Daily Double.
    Tell me what she said that isn’t true.

    “…Guess what? His wife has actually never worked a day in her life. She’s never really dealt with the kinds of economic issues that a majority of the women in this country are facing…”

    The idea that Ann Romney has any idea what 99 44/100th’s of American women face is utterly ridiculous. She raised kids. With how much domestic help? Her husband wants to slash Medicaid which many single working mothers rely on. Her husband wants to de-fund Planned Parenthood, which many working women rely on. Tell me what she understands about that.

    “…There’s something much more fundamental about Mitt Romney. He seems so old-fashioned when it comes to women, and I think that comes across, and I think that that’s going to hurt him over the long term. He just doesn’t really see us as equal…”

    When Romney was at Bain only 10% of the Executive Staff was female.
    But no doubt…ultimately faux outrage does fuel the stupid vote the base.
    Cue the wingnuts.

  10. Gold Star for Robot Boy says:

    UNITES CONSERVATIVES???

    Oh sure, Doug, like all the evangelicals who don’t trust Mormons – you know, the people who voted for a nutcase like Santorum rather than Mitt – are suddenly taking to the streets in defense of Romney’s wife because someone they had never heard of said something that could be, if you squint, interpreted as an insult.

    Doug, sometimes I don’t know you who hold more in contempt: The Dems or your readers.

  11. Anonne says:

    They are going to unite anyway, as a matter of pure tribalism under the R flag.

  12. wr says:

    @Mikey: “SImply put, the American right has felt for quite some time that the left looks down on stay-at-home moms, and Rosen has just given them a huge smelly pile of proof.”

    Yes, and they tried this same self-pity game in 1992, whirling into a frenzy over Hillary Clinton’s comments about how she didn’t stay home and bake cookies. Astonishingly, the geniuses at the RNC continue to act as if the world hasn’t changed in 20 years.

  13. wr says:

    @Rob in CT: “The point that SAHMs do, in fact, work, is a fine one to make. Though I’m not sure how applicable it is to Ann Romney (this isn’t an attack – I really don’t know. IIRC, the Romney’s have always been, at a minimum, well-off). ”

    The trouble is, once they move past self-pity, where can they go with this? “Ann doesn’t understand why all these women are so worried about health insurance. She’s stayed at home all her life and she’s always had good insurance, so clearly it’s got to be even easier for women in the workforce.” Or: “Ann thinks women don’t need to worry about paying their mortgage. If she could do it as a stay at home mom, obviously women who have that extra pin money from working at their little jobs can do it even more easily!”

    It all comes down to the same Mitt Romney message: “I fully understand and appreciate all Americans, even those whose net worth is only in the tens of millions, instead of the hundreds of millions like me!”

  14. Fiona says:

    Rosen should know better. There are ways to frame the issue that don’t come across as an attack on the sacrosanct American institution of the stay-at-home mom. As Legion and others pointed out, Ann Romney was fortunate in that she had choices that most American women do not. They’re in the workforce because their families need the income to survive.

    I’m sure Fox will gin up the outrage and keep the issue alive until the next such similar outrage pops up (and it will, again and again). Sigh. I hate the 24/7 “news” cycle.

  15. steve says:

    Saw Mrs. Romney on CNBC this morning talking about how she has had to struggle. She sounds just as fake as Mitt on the issue. Yes, she raised five boys. Sure she had to make tough choices like buying their clothes from Brooks Brothers or going the custom route. Vacation in France or italy. Porsche or Mercedes for their 16th birthday. Her struggles were nothing like the struggles of most other people.

    Steve

  16. Vast Variety says:

    @wr: Stay at home moms are some of the hardest working women I know, I have a feeling that they are well versed in what working women live through.

  17. Rob in CT says:

    Seriously, when you think of it… discussing unemployment stats of women means you are talking about – BY DEFINITION – something about which Ann Romney has no first-hand experience.

    Also, the “liberal attacks, so conservatives unite!” meme is absurd. Conservatives were always going to unite behind their nominee, at least to some extent. And some media figure was always going to claim that the cause was a liberal meanie. Meh.

  18. @steve:

    Yea raising five kids and then being diagnosed with MS and cancer. What an easy carefree life she’s had.

  19. Rob in CT says:

    @Vast Variety:

    Hard working, no doubt (though again, the Romney’s wealth is a factor), but wait… how exactly does someone who has (apparently) never been in the workforce have experience relevant to teh struggles of women in the workforce? Work/home balance? Difficulty finding employment? Glass ceiling? Equal pay/equal work?

    Romney has been trying to turn the “war on women” thing around on Dems by claiming that women have been hit particularly hard by the recession. He then tried to use Ann as an example of how he understands what they’re going through.

    THIS DOES NOT COMPUTE.

  20. sam says:

    I understand that when asked about the Lilly Ledbetter Act, the Romney campaign said it’d get back to the questioner on that. Presumably it’s consulting Mrs. Mittens.

    Oh, and VV that’s exactly right. However, I cannot believe there wasn’t a nanny or two or three involved in raising the Romney brood. Nannies with children of their own.

  21. Gold Star for Robot Boy says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Compared to single mom, who also is raising five kids, but without the benefit of a wealthy husband, and then being diagnosed with MS and cancer… yes, she’s had it quite easy.

  22. JKB says:

    @Tsar Nicholas II: Well, pretty much any college kid in America for the last decade knew who Hillary Rosen was as she ran RIAA and killed Napster.

    But the most hilarious irony here is: Hillary Rosen, high-priced DC communications consultant, misspoke.

    Way to advertise your skill set.

    Oh, and they’ve gone after the flag, the are declaring war on moms, we best hide the apple pie.

  23. Septimius says:

    I guess we have to add Hilary Rosen to the ever-growing list of liberals no one has ever heard of.

  24. Rob in CT says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Compared to someone with the same misfortunes but without the wealth, yeah, Doug. Compared to someone w/o the money but also w/o the diseases? No. Which is why we all agree that money ain’t everything.

    What point are you trying to make, exactly? That Ann Romney *is* a go-to person for the struggles of working women during the recession and the sluggish recovery?

  25. anjin-san says:

    Stay at home moms are some of the hardest working women I know

    No doubt. On the other hand, it’s pretty hard to portray Ann Romney as an average soccer mom when the Romney’s are expanding their California vacation home (just one in a portfolio of vacation homes) with features such as a car elevator. They have spent over 20K in legal fees to lobby the city of San Diego for permits. That is more than some hard working women make in a year.

  26. JKB says:

    I want to see this ad playing

    Open with Bill Ayer’s trampling the US flag

    Proceed to Rosen attacking mom

    The simply show an apple pie

    Although, there’s probably an anti-apple pie image out there, perhaps Michele has attacked them.

  27. Rob in CT says:

    It’s funny… candidates pretty much have to at least pretend they “feel your pain” (Dear FSM did I hate that line from Clinton! Still do!), right? The trouble for Romney is that this is not remotely plausible. It’s not terribly plausible in the case of most candidates for POTUS, but Mitt is in an especially difficult spot.

    I don’t know what the “right” choice is for his campaign. Me, I’d try to redirect to my management know-how. Instead of trying to pretend I totally get how it feels to work part-time at Target, I’d keep banging the drum that I’d be a better manager of the ship of state and, therefore, more & better jobs. I’d also probably lose. Whatever.

  28. Rob in CT says:

    @JKB:

    I’d love to see the GOP run that add too!

  29. James in LA says:

    For the next 10 minutes maybe. Ann Romney is not running for President. The actual problem is the video footage of her husband taking every possible policy position, and their dwindling supporters believing somehow the most recent vacuum in his character is the RIGHT one.

    Tempest in a teacup. It also suffers from whiffs of truth: if you didn’t work outside the home while raising kids, you don’t have a lot to say on the matter.

  30. legion says:

    @wr: @Doug Mataconis: There’s a very good reason I put that quote in my initial comment – neither you nor the Politico article you link to did. And not having the actual words in front of you makes it very easy to build a Strawman of Outrage against however you want to interpret what she said, without the hurdle of having to address what she actually said.

  31. anjin-san says:

    I want to see this ad playing

    It’s an appeal to stupidity, so I can see the attraction for you.

  32. mike says:

    open mouth, insert foot. Idiot.

  33. PJ says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Yea raising five kids and then being diagnosed with MS and cancer. What an easy carefree life she’s had.

    Don’t forget that she had to clean all their houses by herself! While raising five kids! All by herself!

    The reason that Romney is putting in a car elevator in their new house, is so that his wife no longer has to drag the cars up the stairs!

  34. legion says:

    @wr: Oops, that last comment was for doug, not you…

    Astonishingly, the geniuses at the RNC continue to act as if the world hasn’t changed in 20 years.

    Actually, they’d clearly prefer it not to have changed since the 50s. Take a look at that group picture of Romney with his Bain Buddies… I honestly don’t think Romney himself was quite so hedonistic, but the only real difference between that general crowd of guys and the cast of Mad Men is that they did coke in their offices instead of whiskey. And today they take oxy. But the attitudes – towards women and everyone else they consider “inferior” – is exactly the same.

  35. sam says:

    @JKB:

    The simply show an apple pie

    The problem there is, a lot of folks would mistake the apple pie for Romney pere.

  36. sam says:

    BTW, I have a personal yardstick for these kinds of things. My wife’s parents raised four children, while each held down a full-time, blue-collar factory job. One worked first shift, the other second shift so that one parent would be with the children all the time.

    That was hard.

  37. Dustin says:

    Greta Van Susteren defends Rosen:

    In making her remark about Mrs. Romney and her choice to raise a family and not work outside the home, I know Hilary knows raising children is hard work, really hard work…the absolute hardest work. Hilary has children. That is the best way to know the challenge of raising children – have them! Hilary is not anti-stay-at-home mom.

    I did not read Hilary’s comments to in anyway take away from hard chore of raising children or staying at home and raising them and not working outside the family. I read it to mean that raising children without financial pressure is easier than having financial pressure. This is not to take away from Mrs. Romney – she has done a spectacular job raising 5 great sons – but to face the reality that financial pressure does make it harder to raise a family. This is also not to say that the Romney family success is anything to be ashamed of…the family should be very proud of its success. I admire success, don’t you?

    Full article

  38. SKI says:

    I loved a comment I saw made on the twitterverse (think it was a Matt Y. tweet) that Mitt should be asked whether, given that Mitt is championing the value of women’s non-market household labor will they be bringing back unconditional welfare for single moms? Heh.

  39. Lit3Bolt says:

    Nice game Doug plays here.

    The Etch-a-Sketch gaffe?

    Doug: A Beltway insider meme with no legs that I’ll do everything in my power to dismiss.

    The boycott against Rush Limbaugh?

    Doug: A total failure, with no lasting consequences whatsoever.

    The working career of Ann Romney?

    Doug: A MAJOR ERROR BY THE DEMOCRATS THAT WILL UNITE CONSERVATIVES AND MAKE THEM PAY HEAVILY.

  40. Nikki says:

    The truth of the matter is neither Ann Romney nor Hillary Rosen, both very wealthy mothers, have any knowledge of the needs and/or experiences of the working mothers/SAHM who comprise the 99%.

    @Doug Mataconis:
    When my parents divorced in 1976, my mother raised her six children on a GS-5 salary while combating the effects of being a paranoid schizophrenic. Though I am sure that Ann Romney’s illnesses make her a profile in courage, her life was and is still a helluva lot better (by orders of magnitude) than my mother’s.

    The bottom line is, if Mitt is seriously taking campaign advice from Ann on the needs of women in the 99%, his “women problem” will only worsen.

  41. labman57 says:

    There is certainly nothing wrong with being a “stay at home” mom.
    But it is disingenuous to suggest that the viewpoints of an extremely wealthy homemaker represent the needs and concerns of women — whether married or single, with or without children — who need to earn a living in the workplace to make ends meet.

    Romney to female voters: “The GOP has your back.

    Meanwhile, the governor of Wisconsin repeals “equal pay for women” legislation, conservative pundits and politicians claim that men deserve higher pay for equal work because “men need the added income more than do women” or because “men know more stuff than do women”, Congressional and state Republican legislators strive to make affordable access to contraception and breast cancer screenings more difficult with their assault on PP and health insurance coverage, and GOP-controlled state legislatures mandate that women seeking an abortion provide social conservative politicians with “a womb with a view“. So much for the tea party/conservative movement’s mantra: “small, non-intrusive government”.

    The 2012 GOP campaign slogan: A chicken in every pot and a spy-cam in every uterus.

    American women to Republican Party: WE will decide whether or not our rights are being assaulted by conservative policies, thank you very much.”

  42. Gustopher says:

    Clearly what we need here is some kind of symbolic resolution passed by the House of Representatives condemning Rosens remarks.

  43. Nikki says:

    @SKI: Please, lord, make someone ask that question! Please also ask how does the Ryan budget square with giving moms the ability to stay home and raise their children?

  44. @Lit3Bolt:

    You’re right this is a stupid meme. And you know who’s to blame for it? Hilary Rosen for opening her mouth and saying something incredibly stupid. My mother stayed at home until I was in 6th grade. Under Ms. Rosen’s analysis, her opinions didn’t matter either. (Of course Rosen is the same idiot who used to work for the RIAA until a few years ago so it’s not surprising she’d make dumb comments).

    As for the other part, it was merely an observation of the fact that Rosen’s comments have succeeded in getting conservatives who have spent the last year or more being critical of Romney to defend him and unite behind him.

  45. wr says:

    @Vast Variety: “Stay at home moms are some of the hardest working women I know, I have a feeling that they are well versed in what working women live through. ”

    Except that many working women — especially lower income ones — have to do everything that stay at home moms do AND work at least one full-time job. I’m sure Ann Romney has struggled in her life — who hasn’t? But I can guarantee she’s never spent a second worrying about whether to pay the rent or the kid’d medical insurance, and she’s never skipped a meal so her kids can eat. Raising five kids can’t be a breeze, but there’s a huge difference between dealing with that kind of challenge when you’ve got a quarter billion bucks in the bank and being one of the women who are trying to raise their own kids after they’ve been fired so that Bain Capital’s execs can pocket a couple more dollars.

  46. Nightrider says:

    These Democratic middle class women just have no idea how hard it is to be the housewife when you have 8 huge houses to keep clean.

  47. Nikki says:

    My mother stayed at home until I was in 6th grade. Under Ms. Rosen’s analysis, her opinions didn’t matter either.

    That isn’t what Rosen said, Doug, and you know it. If you and the Romney campaign are counting on this to rally the troops and capture the crown in November, y’all are looking at a world of butthurt. But then, to add to Lit3bolt’s, you got the OWS fallout wrong as well.

  48. wr says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Oh, Doug. I do hope they approve the Keystone XL pipeline soon — maybe it can carry some of Romney’s water for you, and you’ll be able to rest your arms at last!

  49. @wr:

    Why can’t you just admit that Hilary Rosen said something stupid?

  50. @Nikki:

    I’m not counting on this to do anything, Nikki. I don’t support the Romney campaign and don’t plan on voting for him in November. I am merely making an observation.

    And OWS was, and remains, an epic fail.

  51. steve says:

    @Doug- My patients with breast cancer and kids cope without having millions of dollars. Many of them lose their health insurance as well as their jobs. There is no comparison.

    Steve

  52. Septimius says:

    Rightly or wrongly, there are many on the right who believe that feminists like Rosen look down upon what are seen as “traditional” gender roles, and specifically that they believe that women who do choose to stay home and raise children rather than entering the work force are less important because they are not really contributing anything to society.

    Gee, I wonder where conservatives would get a crazy idea like that.

  53. wr says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Hillary Rosen said something that, when taken out of context, can be made to sound stupid. So has everyone who has ever opened his or her mouth. So why is this being repeated as a damaging meme by a man who spends most of his posts complaining that people are repeating stupid memes?

  54. @wr:

    Then why are her fellow Democrats condemning her words and saying she should apologize?

  55. SKI says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Of course she said something stupid.

    However, it was stupid not because, in context, it wasn’t true but because it was so easily taken out of context.

    Was Rosen correct that Mitt saying that he understands women’s issues because he talks to Ann is ridiculous?. Absolutely.

    Was her wording wrong (or stupid if you prefer)? Also absolutely.

    Can you admit the while thing is a complete faux-outrage-fest?

  56. Hey Norm says:

    I don’t know if Doug has ever been more right about anything…

    “…Rosen’s comments have succeeded in getting conservatives who have spent the last year or more being critical of Romney to defend him and unite behind him…”

    Unfortunately for Conservatives they are uniting behind Romney on an issue with which they are in full-throated disagreement. I fail to see how they fight a battle for Women’s rights when they are completely against Women’s rights…indeed why would they want to? Actions express priorities…and in the case of Republicans they express a commitment to limit the rights of Women.
    The opportunity for Obama is to use this quickening of the faithful to zero in on the actual record. The more his record, and the parties, gets examined the more damage that will be done.

  57. SKI says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Ooh, ooh! I know that!
    Because it is politically simpler to do so than to try to get the media to accurately cover nuance!

    What do I win?

  58. Hey Norm says:

    “…Then why are her fellow Democrats condemning her words and saying she should apologize? “

    Tough sayin’, not knowin’.
    But why is Greta Von Cistern defending Rosen?

  59. Hey Norm says:

    Nice response SKI.

  60. An Interested Party says:

    Doug, once again, reveals himself to be as tone-deaf (and, perhaps, disingenuous) as Romney…what a surprise…

  61. Nikki says:

    “Stay at home moms are some of the hardest working women I know, I have a feeling that they are well versed in what working women live through. ”

    How is that possible? How could SAHMs know what working mothers go through? The hardest working women I know are working mothers. I’ve watched several of my girlfriends raise their children while holding down a job, sometimes more than one, dealing with daycare expenses they could barely afford, making sure their kids are fed and have a rough over their heads. Neither Ann Romney nor Hillary Rosen can identify with my friends’ experiences because neither of those ladies know what it is like for the 99% of us out here (and yes, Doug, we are the 99%). And, unless and until the Republicans decide to represent us rather than corporations and those who make up the 1%, they will continue to be defined by their “War on Women.” Rosen’s comments aren’t going to change that.

  62. Nikki says:

    “rough” should have been “roof”

  63. Rob in CT says:

    Wow, Doug.

    I get it now. This is all about you being upset because you think Rosen insulted your mom. Except she really didn’t, but that’s not important because shut up that’s why.

  64. Rick Almeida says:

    @Rob in CT:

    What point are you trying to make, exactly?

    Doug seems always willing to go to war on behalf of the haves. In that regard, he’s like a cut-rate Tyler Cowen.

  65. wr says:

    @Doug Mataconis: “Then why are her fellow Democrats condemning her words and saying she should apologize? ”

    To get this off the table quickly, I assume, so that they can retake complete control of the message. One wonders why you aren’t talking about what a ridiculous meme this is, and how it makes you hate politics. Oh yes, except that it can be used to support the Republican party you pretend not to be a part of…

  66. Moosebreath says:

    Doug,

    “Then why are her fellow Democrats condemning her words and saying she should apologize?”

    Because unlike Romney and you who seem to have no objection to digging deeper when they realize they are in a hole, the Democrats at issue actually seem to know something about public relations.

  67. JBJB says:

    jeebus, even Whooopi is throwing Rosen under the bus. When you’ve lost the angry black lesbian woman vote, what else is left, i guess only blog commenters.

  68. @Moosebreath:

    Why do you keep trying to tie me to a candidate I have no intention of voting for?

  69. @Rob in CT:

    No, it was about me writing about the story that was all over cable news this morning and at the top of Memeorandum since last night.

    It was, as I said, an immensely stupid comment on Rosen part.

  70. Hey Norm says:

    @ Norm…
    To expand on my comment above:
    Fact: According to Census Bureau statistics the majority of poor people in the US are women. Over half of the poor householders are single women. It’s logical to assume that many of these women are also mothers.
    Fact: The Romney Ryan budget proposes to slash funding for programs upon which, it’s logical to assume, many of these women rely. Romney himself has been clear about the complete de-funding of Planned Parenthood upon which, it’s logical to assume, many of these women rely.
    Fact: Anne Romney has responded to this faux-kerfuffle by saying:

    “…I know what it’s like to struggle…I would love to have people understand that Mitt and I have compassion for people who are struggling…We care about those people that are struggling…”

    Now – there is a major disconnect between what Mrs. Romney is saying, and what her husband is proposing. That disconnect between words and actions is the discussion we should be having. Everything else is a distraction.

  71. Gold Star for Robot Boy says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Why do you keep trying to tie me to a candidate I have no intention of voting for?

    Because YOU tie yourself to the Romney campaign. At every turn, we see you minimizing mistakes by the Right and blowing out of proportion gaffes by the Left.

    Doug, we can read; that’s why we’re called readers. Again, why do you have such contempt for us?

  72. grumpy realist says:

    I don’t think the fact that the Romneys have five children should enter the argument. You chose to have five kids, you don’t get to bitch about how hard it is to take care of them.

    And in general, working mothers end up carrying all the load of a SAHM *and* hold down a 40-hr/week job. We’re getting better, but in a lot of cases it’s still the mother who deals with the housework and the husband “pitches in”, or “babysits his kids” rather than honestly carrying 50% of the load. (Of course, this is aggravated by 1950s standards of housewifeness being assumed. Tell your mother-in-law that if not vacuuming the floor every day is so horrible, she can teach her-son-your-husband how to do it. No one ever died from having dust bunnies under the bed.)

  73. JKB says:
  74. Rick Almeida says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    As for the other part, it was merely an observation of the fact that Rosen’s comments have succeeded in getting conservatives who have spent the last year or more being critical of Romney to defend him and unite behind him.

    Objection. Asserted without evidence.

  75. legion says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Why can’t you just admit that Hilary Rosen said something stupid?

    Because she didn’t Doug. Go back and look at what Rosen said, not what Politico told you she said.
    Ann Romey does not have any idea what working mothers in America have to deal with or consider important. That’s not an insult directed at Ann, or to stay-at-home moms in general, any more than it would be to say that Ann Romney doesn’t know to properly distill vodka or remove an inflamed appendix.

    And some Dems are distancing themselves from her remarks precisely because tools like you are deliberately twisting this into something it’s not to drum up sympathy for her. Again, go look at what she said, not what you’ve been told she said.

  76. James says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    [This is] about me writing about the story that was all over cable news this morning and at the top of Memeorandum since last night.

    Maybe you should find better sources for stories.

    For someone who complains so much about dumb memes, you certainly like to write about them.

  77. Moosebreath says:

    Doug,

    “Why do you keep trying to tie me to a candidate I have no intention of voting for?”

    Because you carry so much water for Romney you should look into a canal builder. Gold Star has it exactly right, you must think we are so dumb we forget what you type ten seconds after we read it.

  78. Moosebreath,

    Apparently the definition of “carrying water” is “not repeating Democratic Party talking points about the Republican nomineee”

    Good to know.

    Want to criticize Romney every moment of the day? That’s your choice, not mine

  79. @James:

    And apparently you read them 🙂

  80. Rob in CT says:

    @JKB:

    Subsidizing healthcare for poor people will cost someone else money? HOLY SH*T!

  81. James says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Only because I’m flabbergasted how intellectually dishonest you can be sometimes. I really wish you’d read the whole quote and try and engage the issues at hand, instead of deteriorating to your usual defensive snarkiness.

  82. Rob in CT says:

    Want to know what (extremely rich) SAHMs go through? Ann Romney is a reasonable source (I’m stretching here).

    Want to know what most “working moms” (which we all know is the term for moms who work outside the home) go through? Ann Romney is not a reasonable source, given that she: a) didn’t work outside the home; and b) is extrememly wealthy and could therefore afford all sorts of help*.

    This is the point. Keep on missing it, Doug.

    * – I don’t know the details of this. I’ve seen a few allegations of “five housekeepers”, but I don’t know and don’t really care. Let me put it this way, though:

    My wife and I make good money, and can afford a nanny for our daughter (so we can both keep working full time). That, right there, makes us pretty rare. If I were running for office, no way in hell would I be trying to claim that our life experience gave us insight into the struggles of the “average American” or whatever. Because it’s absurd. And it’s an order of magnitude more absurd for the Romneys to try it.

    This whole thing started with a really stupid claim by Romney. Rosen called it out, and the reasonse was faux-rage over how Rosen supposedly insulted SAHMs. Except she really didn’t. She may have insulted extremely wealthy SAHMs. But of course this is politics, I know. So it will be spun as an attack on SAHMs, including your mom. Hey, you brought your mom into it (with the claim that “by Rosen’s logic” she’d have no say… which isn’t what Rosen said at all), not me.

  83. @Rob in CT:

    The problem is that Mitt Romney never actually said that Ann Romney was advising him based on her personal experiences, but based on the contact that she’s had one on one with women’s groups and voters as she’s traveled the campaign trail.

  84. An Interested Party says:

    jeebus, even Whooopi is throwing Rosen under the bus. When you’ve lost the angry black lesbian woman vote, what else is left, i guess only blog commenters.

    Oh sweetie, Goldberg isn’t a lesbian nor is she always angry…

    My wife and I make good money, and can afford a nanny for our daughter (so we can both keep working full time). That, right there, makes us pretty rare. If I were running for office, no way in hell would I be trying to claim that our life experience gave us insight into the struggles of the “average American” or whatever. Because it’s absurd. And it’s an order of magnitude more absurd for the Romneys to try it.

    This, of course, is the point…no matter what he does, Romney will not be able to shake the Thurston Howell III vibe that he gives off…it’s one thing to struggle with putting food on the table for your chidren…it’s quite another thing to struggle with moving your cars from one floor of your mansion to another…

  85. @James:

    If you don’t know by know that in politics it is perception that is reality then you really haven’t been paying attention.

  86. Moosebreath says:

    Doug,

    “Apparently the definition of “carrying water” is “not repeating Democratic Party talking points about the Republican nomineee””

    No, my definition of carrying water includes highlighting every poll with Romney favored (in spite of complaining about the horserace coverage of politics) and none with his opponents favored. My definition includes nearly daily posts urging Romney’s primary opponents that it is time for them to leave the race. My definition includes straining to find excuses for what Romney says (including assuming he meant things not said in the full context), while taking the most hostile view (even when unsupported by the full context) of his opponents’ statements, as this thread shows.

    Or to put it another way, as noted in the recent meta-threads, most liberals including myself are here because we want to hear and engage with intelligent conservatives and libertarians. We’re not here to get our intelligence insulted, as there are plenty of places on the internet to do so. And yet, you seem determined to insult our intelligence.

  87. David M says:

    Was it a poorly worded comment? We’re talking about it, so yes. Was there anything wrong with the underlying premise? No.

  88. James says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    If you don’t know by know that in politics it is perception that is reality then you really haven’t been paying attention.

    This is exactly what I’m talking about. You’re just making a self-fulfilling prophecy. To you, since “politics it is perception” you’re completely excused from playing the “politics it is perception”-game. But you then get to turn around and piss-and-moan about how “politics it is perception” when it capriciously displeases you.

    At any rate, the contention that “politics it is perception” is the hobgoblin of simpletons who pass themselves off as political commentators. Politics is about, being among men and women in what we would call “the public sphere”; or as Arendt put it: inter homines esse (or “being among men”). The fact that you’re willing to publicly subscribe to this lame “politics it is perception” defense when confronted with your own dishonesty just impeaches you all the more.

    Once again, the full quote is:

    “What you have is, Mitt Romney running around the country saying, ‘Well, you know, my wife tells me that what women really care about are economic issues. And when I listen to my wife, that’s what I’m hearing.’ Guess what: his wife has never really worked a day in her life. She’s never really dealt with the kind of economic issues that a majority of the women in this country are facing in terms of how do we feed our kids, how do we send them to school, and why do we worry about their future.”

    A perfectly reasonable statement, if you ask me.

    h/t legion

  89. Rob in CT says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Which is also pretty laughable, but yeah that’s slightly better.

  90. @Moosebreath:

    The only polls I’ve been writing about for the past two months are primary polls so I really have no idea what you’re talking about.

  91. JKB says:

    @Rob in CT:

    Well to be more precise it is subsidizing free birth control for elite school law students by taking from poor, young waitresses, fastfood workers, entrepreneurs, recent college grads, trying to establish themselves in the world. Oh, and don’t forget about subsidizing the lingering effects of all that acid the Woodstockers dropped in the summer of love.

    The poor already have subsidized healthcare or haven’t you heard of Medicaid?

  92. Commonist says:

    Ann shouldn’t have pretended she knows what it’s like to work FOR HER OWN MONEY like mortal American women.

    She should have stayed out of the whole idea and she shouldn’t have tried to gussy up her husband’s pro-women bona fides.

    And then she runs to the shrieking animals and to Sensible Centrists like you Doug, sobbing about the dems being mean to her because she is a stay at home mother.

    No, we are mean to her because she is pretending she and her husband care or know anything about the working poor, mortal women of the actual labor class and other real Americans.

  93. Rob in CT says:

    @JKB:

    Laughable.

    Remember: the mandate was part of the deal with the health insurance companies in exchange for covering pre-existing conditions. It was a solution to a free rider problem. The low-wage workers you pretend to care about will be subsidized under the ACA, which is your real beef.

    Keep ranting about Woodstock, though.

  94. Moosebreath says:

    Doug,

    “The only polls I’ve been writing about for the past two months are primary polls so I really have no idea what you’re talking about.”

    First, people running against Romney in a primary are generally called his opponents, as well.

    Second, is there another person named Doug Mataconis with posting priviliges on this site who wrote articles such as “https://www.outsidethebeltway.com/obama-behind-every-republican-except-gingrich-in-iowa/” and “https://www.outsidethebeltway.com/republican-candidates-trailing-obama-among-hispanics-by-wide-margin/” and “https://www.outsidethebeltway.com/the-six-states-that-will-likely-decide-the-2012-election/”?

  95. wr says:

    @Rob in CT: “Keep ranting about Woodstock, though.”

    It’s a constant source of astonishment to me that the basis of so much conservative “philosophy,” once you scrape away the BS, comes down to existential pain over the fact that some hippie somewhere sometime had fun. It kills them — and it blinds them to any true vision of the lives real people live. Whether it’s JKB believing that we shouldn’t have a decent health care system for the poor because anyone who’s ailing and can’t get insurance is clearly suffering from drugs taken 45 years ago or Doug constantly belittling OWS because a couple of hippies didn’t invite him to play hackysack when he was in college, it seems that the only thing that matters to “conservatives” is that these people be punished for living a lifestyle they don’t approve of — or having lived one half a century ago, in JKB’s case.

  96. Funny Moosebreath, those posts disprove your hypothesis but continue to believe what you wish.

  97. al-Ameda says:

    Ann has had to get by on an annual household income of approximately $20M – that is so typical of stay-at-home women.

  98. JKB says:

    @Rob in CT:

    Yes, it was a deal. Obama and Dems promised to force healthy young people to pay far more for health insurance they won’t use to buy the insurance companies’ support for this taking.

    Instead of mandating everyone carry major medical insurance with a high deductible, which would be about $450 a year instead of the Obamacare mandate of $4500 a year for a 35 yr old, which would solve the free rider problem, the went with subsidizing others. And, also provide a nice hard answer to that nasty question of what are the limits, i.e., you must be able to pay for your own actuarial risk.

    But my point in this context is that there is now enough material to create an ad showing Obama against the flag, mom, and apple pie. Add in his whisper deal with Medvedev, you’ve got an old school political ad.

  99. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    If you don’t know by know that in politics it is perception that is reality then you really haven’t been paying attention.

    Indeed it is Doug so one wonders why you are occasionally dismissive of it. However, it does need to be kept in perspective. Some obscure Democratic strategist makes some comment and Doug considers it material. Apart from the Michelle Malkins of this world I can’t see anyone really getting awfully excited about this by contrast say with the attempt deny women access to contraceptives under their health insurance which Doug considered a matter of no importance.

  100. mantis says:

    No one who has been a billionaire for many years has the first clue what it is like to try to work and survive in this country. I don’t care if he/she is a mother, father, or whatever.

    I agree with Rosen, though she should have phrased it differently. The Romneys are so far out of touch with normal Americans they may as well be on Mars.

  101. wr says:

    @JKB: “But my point in this context is that there is now enough material to create an ad showing Obama against the flag, mom, and apple pie”

    And what a darn fine ad you described! Let’s see — someone no one would recognize whom Obama knew 20 years ago stepping on a flag 20 years before Obama met him. Then a “political analyst” who doesn’t work for the Obama administration or campaign saying that Romney’s multi-millionaire wife doesn’t work. And then a pie.

    You know, this will really go far — with the mouth-breathers at Redstate. Aside from that, well, I think you might want to open you eyes and find out what people who don’t think Obama is a secret foreign-born Muslim commie actually care about.

  102. JKB says:

    @al-Ameda:

    Are you saying that somehow have a husband who makes a good living relieves a mother of the hard work of raising kids? That it was somehow wrong for Ann Romney to make a choice to stay home and spend time with her kids? Compared to parents like Rosen, Hillary Clinton or Michelle Obama who chose to work despite having high income husbands? Or are we going to skip over upper middleclass women who choose to work even though supported by a high income husband and go right to the women who are victims of decades of blue state policies that have left them single parents with very limited choices?

  103. Rob in CT says:

    Yes, it was a deal. Obama and Dems promised to force healthy young people to pay far more for health insurance they won’t use to buy the insurance companies’ support for this taking.

    Insurance they *may not use right away* They will, like everyone else, age and eventually get sick or injured.

    Then you had the “pre-existing condition” crapola. You could argue that the PEC thing was ok, because it applied to the free-riders who avoided health insurance until they got sick. Except, of course, that it reality it didn’t just hit those people. It hit people who would’ve bought health insurance if they could have afforded it, and it applied to people who *had* insurance, but upon switching plans (b/c of a change in jobs or whatever) found themselves tagged as someone with a pre-existing condition (even though they had been paying for insurance).

    Instead of mandating everyone carry major medical insurance with a high deductible, which would be about $450 a year instead of the Obamacare mandate of $4500 a year for a 35 yr old, which would solve the free rider problem, the went with subsidizing others.

    They addressed two problems, yes. The affordability of health insurance for people who didn’t quite qualify for medicaid, and the free rider issue.

    But my point in this context is that there is now enough material to create an ad showing Obama against the flag, mom, and apple pie. Add in his whisper deal with Medvedev, you’ve got an old school political ad.

    Again, I’d be happy to see the GOP try and trot that out.

  104. David M says:

    @JKB: “Obama and Dems promised to force healthy young people to pay far more for health insurance they won’t don’t think they will use”

    Fixed it for you, and it’s still only true if they never get sick and die before they get old. Same as people paying into Medicare that pass away before they collect. The same person that paid a little more for insurance in their 20s, is going to get a much better deal in their 50s.

  105. al-Ameda says:

    @JKB: No, I’m saying that Ann Romney has a lot in common with those stay-at-home mothers, who struggle to manage a household on an annual $20M a year.

  106. george says:

    I get the feeling that Ann Romney has had a harder than normal life – MS and cancer guarantee that. I know a number of people who have MS, a few wealthy – I don’t know a single one who wouldn’t happily give up the wealth to be healthy. And cancer is as bad or worse. Health is a major reason people say “money isn’t everything” – if you are very sick (and MS and cancer both qualify), money becomes very secondary.

    But I don’t think that the insights she gains from her illnesses gives her insight into what poor working mothers go through, any more than a healthy working mother will understand what MS and cancer are like. It seems likely that the hardships are different between the two. Poor mothers who have to work and have MS and cancer are probably better placed to compare the two, though I suspect most would say they wouldn’t wish the MS and cancer on anyone.

    I think its clear that the GOP will try to use this is an issue to unite their constiuents behind Romney – the democrats would do the same if it were reversed. Its how politics is played in the US. Not sure it’ll work, but their comment would no doubt be that it can’t hurt to try.

  107. wr says:

    @JKB: “Are you saying that somehow have a husband who makes a good living relieves a mother of the hard work of raising kids? That it was somehow wrong for Ann Romney to make a choice to stay home and spend time with her kids? ”

    Oh, come on. Stop pretending to be stupid — it really doesn’t make your points any more valid. No one is saying it was wrong for Ann Romney to stay home with her kids and her horses and her hobbies and all the other pleasures she gets out of having a hubbie worth a quarter of a billion dollars. Only that it’s stupid to pretend that her experience of raising children on a household budget that comes to four million bucks a year in no way qualifies her to tutor her husband on what it’s like for middle class and poor women, especially when hubbie’s platform includes eliminating the only health care provider they now have just so he can suck up to right wing men.

    Now, if you’re interested in talking about the issues, that’s fine. But if you just want to play dumb to score imaginary points, then I’m done.

  108. Moosebreath says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    No, they do say what I said, especially the first. But it’s good that you admitted you were wrong about only writing about primary polls. Oh wait, you didn’t.

  109. @Moosebreath:

    And except for the post about Iowa, which merely restated the results of a poll, none of them were positive for Republicans.

    So, you’re point is?????

  110. David M says:

    @Doug Mataconis: I’m not sure I’m caught up on the disagreement there, but I am getting a laugh that highlighting polls that showed the eventual winner (Romney) in the lead means something sinister.

    The polls keep showing Romney ahead, and he keeps winning. There has to be something going on there…

  111. Moosebreath says:

    Doug,

    I said, “No, my definition of carrying water includes highlighting every poll with Romney favored (in spite of complaining about the horserace coverage of politics) and none with his opponents favored. My definition includes nearly daily posts urging Romney’s primary opponents that it is time for them to leave the race. My definition includes straining to find excuses for what Romney says (including assuming he meant things not said in the full context), while taking the most hostile view (even when unsupported by the full context) of his opponents’ statements, as this thread shows.”

    You chose to not refute (and thus admit) all but the poll comment, where you said in response “The only polls I’ve been writing about for the past two months are primary polls so I really have no idea what you’re talking about.”

    As I pointed out, your comment was neither true (as you were writing about general election polls), nor much of a rebuttal (as carrying water for Romney includes attacking his primary opponents, not just Obama).

  112. Lit3Bolt says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Our point is your apparent schizophrenia. You’ve uncritically swallowed this Politico and Michelle Malkin driven meme as completely valid and certain to hurt Democrats in the polls. Yet in a recent article about the Etch a Sketch meme, you linked a study saying these campaign staffer gaffes have little relevance.

    So which is it? Why is this gaffe by a campaign staffer certain to hurt Democrats, but the Etch a Sketch meme by a campaign staffer didn’t hurt Repulblicans? Is it because one was done in the primary election, and now the general has started? Is there any evidence? What are we basing our assumptions on? Why is it that conservatives are so completely willing to unite and rally behind Ann Romney, rather than Mitt himself? Why is Michelle Malkin a credible source for saying which memes have impact and not say, John Cole of Balloon Juice? Did you consult him on Twitter? Why not?

    So it would help if you explained your thought process a bit more, because otherwise we’re going to fill the holes with our own assumptions. I personally see no difference between the Etch a Sketch meme and this one. But hey, let’s follow it. If it has legs, what’s the difference? Are conservatives better at pushing fake outrage memes? Will Fox News play it up significantly? All of these are valid questions for a political commentator. Just please no more, “I’m passing along a meme I think is valid yet stupid at the same and while what was said was true it was a gaffe that will have significant impact and here’s a Michelle Malkin tweet as evidence.”

    I expect higher quality here at OTB.

  113. Ebenezer Arvigenius says:

    It’s an appeal to stupidity, so I can see the attraction for you.

    On a different note: one day after all the discussions about comment quality – is this really necessary or helpful?

  114. Rosen could have made her point without demeaning Ann Romney and without making it seem as though she was insinuating that stay-at-home mothers are unimportant.

    Rosen’s point was and is that (1) Mitt Romney has no business saying he relies on his wife for accurate information on how American women feel about issues and about which issues are important to them; and (2) Ann Romney has no business taking on that role, because (3) Ann Romney knows squat about which issues are important to American women, or why. When Rosen said that Ann Romney “has never worked a day in her life,” it’s a very (a) ungenerous, or more pointedly, a very (b) literalistic reading that infers Rosen meant that stay-at-home moms don’t work hard. If I were married to a man who is fabulously wealthy, and was in addition fabulously wealthy on my own, I would not want to rely on an argument that raising five boys is hard, because there are millions of American women raising families of all sizes who (a) don’t have the economic luxury of staying at home; and (b) do not have a thousandth of the help and support that Ann Romney has to make that hard job incredibly, vastly, easier. Ann Romney does not have to clean her home, wash dishes, or do laundry. Ann Romney does not have to worry about her car breaking down. Ann Romney does not have to worry about paying for tutors or psychological counseling if her five sons (when they were young) got bad grades, or if they got into trouble or acted out. She doesn’t, if she doesn’t want to on any given day, even have to read to her kids, help them with their homework, take them to and pick them up from school, or buy them clothes. If she wants to, she has people who can do all of that for her, and before you scoff, let me assure you that MANY wealthy parents define stay-at-home motherhood exactly that way — to mean the mom stays at home and does whatever she wants. I’m not saying Ann Romney is that way, but it is undeniably true that for Ann Romney, raising five sons is not, actually, really all that hard if she doesn’t want it to be. Any time she’s about to tear her hair out, or feels she just can’t deal any more, well you know what? She doesn’t have to. That kind of staying at home to raise your children is Paradise compared to how it is for ordinary mothers who can’t call on someone else to take their kids when they’re losing their minds.

  115. anjin-san says:

    is this really necessary or helpful?

    Sorry, but people who consistently present cartoon level talking points annoy me. There are a number of ways to interpret “comment quality”. If I want Fox News, I will turn on the TV. If I want a narrow, one party perspective, I will go to Kos or Red State.

    I expect higher quality here at OTB.

    There you go. I do too. In comments as well as posts.

  116. An Interested Party says:

    The poor already have subsidized healthcare or haven’t you heard of Medicaid?

    Well, I’ve certainly heard about how Republicans want to severely curtail, if not end Medicaid with their “block grant” nonsense…

    But my point in this context is that there is now enough material to create an ad showing Obama against the flag, mom, and apple pie. Add in his whisper deal with Medvedev, you’ve got an old school political ad.

    Sorry, sweetie, but the anti-American labeling didn’t work against him last time and it won’t work this time either…

  117. anjin-san says:

    Yea raising five kids and then being diagnosed with MS and cancer. What an easy carefree life she’s had.

    That’s not what Steve said. Yes, Ann Romney deals with some very serious health issues. That is part of the human condition, it has nothing to do with wealth, gender, or time in the workforce.

    What does separate Mrs. Romney from 99% of Americans is that she is in a position to buy a Gulf V and commute to the Mayo Clinic for treatment in it should she chooses to do so. She can build a small medical wing in her home(s) and have doctors come to her. She does not have to cook, clean, pay bills, or do anything but concentrate on her health if she chooses not too.

    These options are a fantasy for most of the country, and Mr. Romney is hard at work trying to take away some of the safeguards and options that average people have so that he can get a tax cut.

    Is it really possible that you do not see this?

  118. G.A. says:

    Reading all this neo communism hurts my heart .

    Sorry, sweetie, but the anti-American labeling didn’t work against him last time and it won’t work this time either…

    But its true and it is because the media is run by people like you.

  119. Stay at home moms are some of the hardest working women I know, I have a feeling that they are well versed in what working women live through.

    If they are wealthy enough to have four homes, including one in progress with an elevator just for their cars, no they are not. And it’s not only nonsensical but also profoundly offensive to suggest that they are.

  120. Yea raising five kids and then being diagnosed with MS and cancer. What an easy carefree life she’s had.

    You have got to be kidding. This one answers itself, and I see at least one other person already has. I’m going to save my respect and admiration for the mother of young kids with no health insurance who has just been diagnosed with breast cancer and with no place to go because even the local clinic has closed their doors to patients w/o insurance.

  121. Lit3Bolt says:

    @anjin-san:

    What’s the context for this comment? Sorry I couldn’t make sense of it.

  122. Don’t forget that she had to clean all their houses by herself! While raising five kids! All by herself!

    The reason that Romney is putting in a car elevator in their new house, is so that his wife no longer has to drag the cars up the stairs!

    Doug,no. Tell me you’re not serious. Are you spoofing yourself? I mean, sincerely. Are you being humorous? I mean, that one has to give you the obvious answer to this almost makes me feel like I’m insulting your common sense, except that I’m getting the impression that you’re actually serious.

    Ann Romney didn’t have to clean all their houses by herself, Doug. And there are Americans who have multiple sclerosis and don’t have multimillion dollar mansions with elevators to lift their cars. I guess they still wake up in the morning and have multiple sclerosis, eh?

    Jeez, Don Henley’s wife has multiple sclerosis and he’s certainly got enough money to get her the best medical care available, but I doubt he has the kind of wealth it takes to build a house with a car elevator.

    Trying to justify or explain the car elevator with the reason that Mitt is doing that because his wife has multiple sclerosis is really, really, strange, Doug. Really. It really is.

  123. Okay, I see I read that comment too quickly. That was someone’s sarcastic response to Doug’s earlier comment. I apologize both to the writer of the sarcastic response and to Doug. I *am* truly relieved to know Doug did not really write that.

  124. And you know who’s to blame for it? Hilary Rosen for opening her mouth and saying something incredibly stupid.

    Actually no, Doug. Mitt Romney is to blame for it by telling people his wife is his go-to person for information on what American women think and feel, which issues are important to them, and why. And Ann Romney is to blame for responding to Rosen by saying that raising five kids is hard work — as if that were the point.

  125. Why can’t you just admit that Hilary Rosen said something stupid?

    Maybe because she didn’t.

  126. Then why are her fellow Democrats condemning her words and saying she should apologize?

    Because Democrats would condemn a ham sandwich if Republicans complained about it. That’s what Democrats do.

  127. wr says:

    @Kathy Kattenburg: Well, if they didn’t condemn the ham sandwich, Republicans would accuse them of being anti-Israel.

  128. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Gustopher: Clearly what we need here is some kind of symbolic resolution passed by the House of Representatives condemning Rosens remarks.

    Nah, a White House beer summit. Offer the Mormon cancer/MS sufferer a Sam Adams with Rosen and Sheriff Joe…

  129. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Lit3Bolt:

    Our point is your apparent schizophrenia.

    Alas there few more excruciating moments than watching obviously intelligent men twist themselves into pretzels in order to rationalise away the flaws in their basic ideology. It’s this that lies at the heart of Romney’s Etch a Sketch personna. He like Doug and JJ (perhaps to a somewhat lesser extent) are continually applying double standards or adjusting value judgements and everyone here (and there are quite a lot of fairly bright people posting here) knows it.

  130. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Kathy Kattenburg:

    Why can’t you just admit that Hilary Rosen said something stupid?

    Maybe because she didn’t.

    Actually she did say something fairly stupid even if its half true. I see Mrs Romney has responded with comments about her struggle.

  131. anjin-san says:

    @ Lit3Bolt

    I have made a few comments on this thread – which are you referring to?

  132. @wr:

    Ha!

  133. @Brummagem Joe:

    What Hilary Rosen said is not “half true.” It’s true. She said Ann Romney has never worked a day in her life. She was talking about paid work in the workplace, That was obvious. How could she possibly have been referring to raising children as not being work when she has children herself? It’s fair to say that she should have tried to express herself in a way that would have been impossible for the right to deliberately misinterpret, but that reflects more on the right than on her.

  134. Septimius says:

    Silly Ann Romney, doesn’t she know that women aren’t supposed to care about the economy. They should only concern themselves with abortion and birth control and leave the important stuff to men.

  135. wr says:

    @Kathy Kattenburg: Yes, but the Catholic League has already pointed out that Rosen’s children are inferior to Ann Romney’s because they’re adopted. So there.

  136. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Kathy Kattenburg:

    What Hilary Rosen said is not “half true.” It’s true. She said Ann Romney has never worked a day in her life.

    Kathy…don’t be obtuse, it doesn’t become you. My wife gave up her job when the first of our kids arrived and if you told her (good liberal though she is) that’s she’d never worked a day in her life she’d be rather upset. Leave the obtuseness to the authors of profound comments like this….

    Silly Ann Romney, doesn’t she know that women aren’t supposed to care about the economy. They should only concern themselves with abortion and birth control and leave the important stuff to men.

    (NB. I know this is probably what passes for humor on the right).

  137. anjin-san says:

    but I doubt he has the kind of wealth it takes to build a house with a car elevator.

    You’ve never seen the royalty checks a successful songwriter gets every few months. Henly is a cosmically successful writer.

    Unless he is very, very bad with money, car elevators and the Maseratis to match are well within his reach.

  138. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Wow, this thread still is going on? Yikes.

    Can’t we all just agree that Rosen suffers from foot-in-mouth disease, that raising five sons is hard and commendable work, that the Romneys, however, are about as connected with the working classes as Beverly Hills is connected with the Lower 9th Ward, and that in the final analysis this kerfuffle come November will be meaningless and long since would have been forgotten?

  139. An Interested Party says:

    Reading all this neo communism hurts my heart .

    Yes, but does your complete lack of grasping reality hurt your brain…

    But its true and it is because the media is run by people like you.

    Perhaps I’m being quite charitable in assuming that you have a fully functioning brain…

  140. Repsac3 says:

    The single line, taken out of context was offensive, and those who make decisions about things based on single, out of context, twitter length lines will no doubt be offended.

    For those willing and able to read the whole quote, in context of what was being discussed on the show, it’s crystal clear that Rosen was not attacking stay at home mothers, but was saying that Ann Romney has no particular expertise in the trials and tribulations of most working mothers, and should not be her husband’s go-to expert on such matters.

    There’s not much one can do about folks who make decisions based on sound bytes alone, and Rosen did make an error by making it entirely too easy for folks trying to sell the false meme to their easily-led readers and listeners. But it also shows who is willing to lie for a partisan political cause…

  141. Ebenezer Arvigenius says:

    But it also shows who is willing to lie for a partisan political cause…

    Well. I seem to remember some snide remarks about ‘I’m not concerned with the very poor’ and “I like to fire people” hereabouts.

  142. Nikki says:

    My wife gave up her job

    That is the relevant point. Your wife worked before she quit to be a SAHM. Ann Romney has never worked outside the home. If Rosen had just said those words “never worked outside the home,” this whole topic of discussion would have never come up.

  143. Davebo says:

    You’re right this is a stupid meme.

    And yet the post title is…

    Democratic Strategist Attacks Ann Romney

    So Doug one can only conclude that this “meme” isn’t the only stupid thing.

  144. jukeboxgrad says:

    legion:

    There’s a very good reason I put that quote in my initial comment – neither you nor the Politico article you link to did. And not having the actual words in front of you makes it very easy to build a Strawman of Outrage against however you want to interpret what she said, without the hurdle of having to address what she actually said.

    This is the real story here. Doug didn’t show her statement in context. Likewise for most articles discussing this (including the latest articles in NYT and WP; that darn liberal media). Hotair ran 8 stories about this yesterday. This many of those stories provided her full statement: zero (and I’m pretty sure their commenters didn’t provide it, either). Of course this is just a few days after major outrage against NBC for quoting Zimmerman out of context. How ironic.

    ebenezer:

    I seem to remember some snide remarks about ‘I’m not concerned with the very poor’ and “I like to fire people” hereabouts.

    Show us which major liberal blog did something comparable to what I just cited regarding Hotair. You won’t find it. For example, here’s HuffPo regarding “very poor.” No later than the second paragraph, they provide the full statement.

    Aside from Hotair, try this google to find NR covering this story:

    site:nationalreview.com rosen romney “worked a day in her life”

    I find at least five separate postings at NR, and zero that provide her full comment.

    This is a great case study in how conservative political commentary is superficial and dishonest.

  145. An Interested Party says:

    This is a great case study in how conservative political commentary is superficial and dishonest.

    In other news of the day, the sun rose this morning in the east and set this evening in the west…

  146. jukeboxgrad says:

    Yes, it’s what they do 24/7. But every now and then there’s an example that’s especially glaring, and I think this is one of those.

    I’ve now had the time to do what I didn’t do earlier, which is take a close look at the hotair comments. I think what I found is pretty stunning, even though this sort of thing doesn’t stun me so easily anymore.

    Since about 48 hours ago, hotair has posted 18 items on this subject. Those items have attracted (so far) over 5,000 comments. The total text of those articles and comments is over 300,000 words (for comparison, consider that the Old Testament is about 600,000 words).

    Now let’s take a look at what those comments mention, and what they don’t mention. Recall that Rosen said these words: “worked a day in her life.” That exact string can be found about 70 times in the hotair commentary on this subject (by “commentary,” I mean the articles plus comments).

    Of course that string came from this sentence of Rosen’s: “Guess what: his wife has never really worked a day in her life.” Now let’s consider the sentence she said immediately preceding that sentence: “And when I listen to my wife, that’s what I’m hearing.’ ” And let’s also consider the sentence that came right after: “She’s never really dealt with the kind of economic issues that a majority of the women in this country are facing in terms of how do we feed our kids, how do we send them to school, and why do we worry about their future.”

    Did the hotair commentary mention those two sentences? I searched for this text: “when I listen to my wife.” And I also searched for this text: “the kind of economic issues.” In the entire hotair commentary, those phrases can be found this number of times: zero.

    I have spent years paying close attention to the insanity and insularity of the modern GOP, but I was still surprised to see this extreme result. In this thread, legion posted Rosen’s full statement within the first few minutes, and then James posted it again. So even though Doug neglected to post the full statement, he at least has a comments section where his commenters quickly addressed that problem.

    How is it possible that hotair can have hundreds of commenters posting thousands of comments on this subject, and not a single comment would cite Rosen’s full statement? This is quite amazing (of course this is the same mob that howled just a few days ago when NBC didn’t fully quote Zimmerman). How is it possible to make sense out of this? It means that either Ed and AP have been deleting such comments, or it means that they have a cultivated a community with a profound lack of interest in assessing facts objectively. ‘Echo chamber’ is exactly the right way to describe this phenomenon.

    Yes, I already knew the GOP was quite divorced from reality, but I find this to be a vivid and extreme example.

    On the other hand, although no one cited Rosen’s complete statement, all of the following text strings can be found. The number is how many times:

    56 barry
    31 pelosi
    28 moochelle
    27 socialist (or socialism)
    25 communist (or communism)
    17 hussein
    11 Zero (as a name for Obama)
    9 PBHO
    8 soros
    8 fast and furious
    7 solyndra
    4 affirmative action
    4 jeremiah wright
    3 teleprompter
    2 odumbo
    2 bill ayers
    1 tony rezko
    1 57 states
    1 birth certificate
    1 kenyan
    1 demonrats

    Anyone who would like to check my work can download this file. It’s a zipped text file. At the top it has links to the 18 hotair items. Those links are followed by several hundred thousand words of commentary. The file is about 2mb unzipped and about 600k zipped.