Political Animal


April 12, 2012 11:10 AM Hilaryrosengate

By Ed Kilgore

There are days when I look at news aggregator sites to see “what’s going on,” and wonder if I’ve wandered into an alternate universe, because I have no clue what everyone’s talking about.

Sometimes it’s my own fault, because I have these blind spots, and miss burgeoning controversies or debates by just tuning them out. I have to confess, for example, that energy policy just bores me to death (maybe it’s a product of coming to age during the 1970s Energy Crisis). When suddenly Solyndra became this epochal issue that conservatives considered The Greatest Scandal Since Teapot Dome, I had no idea what it was about, and every effort to “catch up” just made me drowsy.

Today, as you may know, the Morning Controversy is all about some remark that CNN guest and “Democratic Strategist” (that catchy all-purpose term used for people with a partisan perspective but no specific gig) Hilary Rosen made about Ann Romney. Now I know of a fair number of Hilaries and a fair number of Rosens, but “Hilary Rosen” didn’t ring a bell. I do not, as indicated here now and then, watch much political TV chatter (except when I visit my father, who has MSNBC on all day, and I sit there saying “I know him!” and “I know her!” at half the guests, since many of my DC-based blogger buddies are on the tube an awful lot these day). There are only so many hours in the day.

Looking up her bio online, I feel mildly ashamed I didn’t recognize Hilary Rosen’s name, since before playing a “Strategist” on TV, she was pretty much the face of the recording industry during all the battles over Napster and other free download services, and also briefly ran the Human Rights Campaign and played a big role at HuffPost.

Today, it seems, according to Republicans, Hillary Rosen is a “DNC advisor” and more-or-less the Voice of the Obama Campaign or of Liberal Feminists. The offending comment, suggesting that Ann Romney “actually never worked a day in her life,” was Rosen’s irritable comment about Mitt Romney’s habit of touting his wife as his personal ambassador to the real world of real people—particulary real women of late, since he’s struggling with that demographic.

The whole world, or at least the whole TwitterVerse, immediately collapsed on poor Rosen (a working mother herself), led by none other than Ann Romney! It seems Rosen had expressed the underlying contempt of liberals for stay-at-home moms, a famously self-conscious tribe that naturally dislikes any suggestion that they are sitting around eating bonbons instead of “working.” Rosen tried to fight back on Twitter and at Huffpost with arguments that she meant Ann Romney had never had the particular challenge of balancing out-of-home work with child-rearing. But she was immediately thrown under the bus by the Obama Campaign (for which she does not, in fact, work) and mocked by many people who weren’t shrieking at her.

If it had been me, I would have probably mentioned Ann Romney’s unimaginable wealth a little more prominently than Rosen did, since the financial ability to do any damn thing you want separates Ms. Romney from Everywoman pretty decisively. But then if it were up to me neither Mitt Romney nor anyone else would be talking about his spouse, either.

This whole cable-to-Twitter psychodrama is an example of what can happen these days when someone in a political operation notices something said by An Enemy that can be used to address a real weakness of a presidential campaign. I will say that Ann Romney, or whoever runs her Twitter account, has nicely internalized the Rovian jiu jitsu principles of her husband’s campaign. Accused of being insensitive to women? Find a way to say exactly the same thing about the Other Side, as loudly and angrily as possible.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • SecularAnimist on April 12, 2012 11:29 AM:

    Ed Kilgore wrote: "I have to confess, for example, that energy policy just bores me to death"

    That's unfortunate, given that global warming caused by CO2 emissions from fossil fuels is an imminent existential threat to human civilization, and as such, we need an energy policy that phases out ALL fossil fuels and replaces them with solar, wind and other renewable energy sources as rapidly as possible.

    If we don't get that right, then all the other "issues" that consume your attention are just arguments over how to arrange the deck chairs on the Titanic.

    Not to mention, that's a rather shocking admission from a political analyst at the start of a presidential campaign in which the fossil fuel corporations are already spending tens of millions of dollars on attack ads against Obama.

    And your response to that is ... what? "Duh, I don't get it, this energy stuff is boring"?

  • berttheclock on April 12, 2012 11:33 AM:

    Oh, please, Ed. Have you no sympathy for poor Ann Romney trying to raise her five children? Do you not understand the amount of time it took her to make out spread sheets for her various cooks, house keepers and nannies, not to forget the gardeners and landscapers? Why, poor Ann worked her fingers to the bone scheduling her vast crew. All of those 1099s to fill out. All of those SSA cards or Green Cards to check. You really believe it is easy to complete all of those home delivery of groceries forms? Oh, and those moves from House 1 to 2 to 5 to 4 to 1 to 3, as well. Ed, you are ever soooo callous.

  • Sgt. Gym Bunny on April 12, 2012 11:34 AM:

    President Obama‘s top campaign advisor David Axelrod wasn’t pleased. He wrote on Twitter, “Disappointed in Hilary Rosen’s comments about Ann Romney. They were inappropriate and offensive.”

    What the hell? Axelrod couldn't have just used a Romney-esque response like "it's not the language I would have used"?

    Yeah, Team Obama has to be above slick quips like that, but it would have been good for a chuckle. It would be rather tickling if they did adopt Romney's line anytime their surrogates got off the leash, though. Just sayin'...

  • mmm on April 12, 2012 11:35 AM:

    Women out in the working world busting their gut to put food on the table and gas in the tank can see right through Ann's "I'm rubber, you're glue" response. She's no more diplomatic than her husband.

  • berttheclock on April 12, 2012 11:36 AM:

    Stay at home mom, indeed.

  • T2 on April 12, 2012 11:49 AM:

    Rosen made a stupid mistake. Or more to the point, she said something true, but did not have the sense to put it in a better context....tie it to the fact Ms. Romney doesn't work because her husband is a MILLIONAIRE. In this twitter day and age, a pro campaign can't hide this kind of off-hand comment and get away with it. If nothing else, this episode will alert Team Obama that they'd better be sharp all the time.

  • Bokonon on April 12, 2012 11:53 AM:

    Shorter Romney campaign: hey media ... look! Over there! Bright shiny object! Forget about our campaign's inability to say whether it favors equal pay for women, and gets all tonguetied about the Lilly Ledbetter act ... drop that! Doesn't matter any longer! We found someone said something mean about poor beautiful popular Anne Romney! OOOHHHH! Liberals hate women! Victim! Victim!

    This tactic is just Karl Rove all over. It is like a squid squirting ink into the water, as it tries to escape from a pursuer. Bonus for the culture war conservatives-are-victims angle.

    When the media relentlessly focuses on personalities and controversies rather than actual facts and policies ... well, small wonder that the public is bumfuzzled. And that is the whole point.

  • Patango on April 12, 2012 11:54 AM:

    The romney team is sticking mrs romney into the campaign , so that makes her someone dems can address , in a respectful way of course , the gop can win some battles like this by twisting the facts , but trying to sell ms rom as your every day working woman will end up looking like a joke in the end , like romney saying he cares about working people

    It would be interesting to see exactly what % of women ms R represents in america , it would be around 1% I'm thinking

  • AndThenThere'sThat on April 12, 2012 11:55 AM:

    It seems Rosen had expressed the underlying contempt of liberals for stay-at-home moms, a famously self-conscious tribe that naturally dislikes any suggestion that they are sitting around eating bonbons instead of “working.”

    Why with all the instructions Ann has to give to the housekeepers and groundskeepers she barely has time to ride her Austrian "dressage" horse. Surely, all the stay at home moms busy cleaning, cooking, and errand running will relate. We're all millionaire stay-at-home moms now.

  • Hedda Peraz on April 12, 2012 11:58 AM:

    Ann not working? Shirley, you jest!

    Dressage (pronounced /ˈdrɛsɑːʒ/ or /drɨˈsɑːʒ/) (a French term, most commonly translated to mean "training") is a competitive equestrian sport, defined by the International Equestrian Federation as "the highest expression of horse training.

  • g on April 12, 2012 12:03 PM:

    It really IS hard work raising five boys at home. Just ask Ann Romney's nanny.

  • LAC on April 12, 2012 12:04 PM:

    I guess when you are desperate and are burdened with neanderthal base, you will try anything. Unfortunately for Rommney, this only gets the pundit twits like the folks at polit-ho and WAPO all hot and bothered. The rest of us women, the ones who work and take care of our families without being able to delegate things could care less about the ruffled feelings a pampered woman who never had to sweat her choices.

  • berttheclock on April 12, 2012 12:12 PM:

    Mr Axelrod, grow a pair. You and the nervous nellies surrounding the President need to stop apologizing to the Right. Stand up and fight. Rosen spoke the truth. Ann Romney does not represent those mothers in Deseretland who have chosen to stay home and raise their children, while, cleaning their own houses, preparing the meals, driving their children hither and fro. AR had a staff to do those things.

    To Hell with the Right and their hurt feelings. To Hell with "Oh, we must remain above the fray". We need more "Give 'em Hell, Harry" types and far fewer Gentle Janes and Jims of the intellectual Adlai Stevenson set.

  • TCinLA on April 12, 2012 12:12 PM:

    Hillary Rosen was right.

    The one who needs to be hit by a bus is that worthless piece of horse manure, David Axelrod, a Republican's Democrat if there ever was one.

  • T2 on April 12, 2012 12:15 PM:

    maybe it is hard to be a stay-at-home mom when you have FIVE homes like the Romney's do.

  • joanneinDenver on April 12, 2012 12:15 PM:

    @berttheclock, et.al.

    BIG MISTAKE on the part of Rosen. BIG MISTAKE...the sound bite will be that Democrats don't believe that mothers work. It is not enough to back pedal.
    Rosen has apologized, but it is not enough. Rosen is the face of what Limbaugh calls the "femni-nazi" or the professional women who disparage mothers ...one of the "problems" that Santorum identified.

    The statement has to be: Ann Romney has never worked in a paid position.
    So, she has not personally experienced pay equity, gender discrimination, or harassment. PERIOD.

    Do not attack or belittle Ann Romney. Not only is she the mother of five sons;
    but, she is a breast cancer survivor and suffers from MS. Those are powerful demographics, unfortunately. You push buttons and get breast cancer survivors defending her and it can be game over. There are millions of women in that demographic and they can be persuaded to vote for Romney, maybe, on that basis alone.

  • Blue Girl on April 12, 2012 12:19 PM:

    I stuck my nose into this mess last night, so I'll just repeat my Tweet:

    "I can think of about 250 million reasons that @AnnDRomney isn't qualified to address the economic concerns of average women."

  • Gandalf on April 12, 2012 12:26 PM:

    Listen you'd have to be brain dead ,head stuck in the sand to not realize that Ann Romney has as much in common with the rest of the women in this country, be they stay at home or not, as a piece of sea kelp has to a chimpanzee. They're both alive. That being said it's Mitt that's running for president not his wife and it's just in poor taste at best to denigrate her.

  • boatboy_srq on April 12, 2012 12:27 PM:

    It seems Rosen had expressed the underlying contempt of liberals for stay-at-home moms, a famously self-conscious tribe that naturally dislikes any suggestion that they are sitting around eating bonbons instead of “working.”

    If, by that, you mean "underlying contempt of liberals for [wealthy, entitled, private-school-educated] stay-at-[multiple, fully-staffed]-home[s] moms, a famously self-conscious [1%er] tribe that naturally dislikes any suggestion that they are sitting around eating bonbons instead of [overseeing all the probably-illegal-immigrant nannies, housekeepers, cooks, gardeners, drivers, bookkeepers and other staff] 'working.'" - Well, then, yes.

    Ann Romney never has worked a day in her life. Her CV reads like those of classmates most of us have had who went to university, not for their BA/BS, but for their "MRS". She converted to LDS as an undergrad and married Mitt almost immediately after graduating - and she'd been dating him since high school and converted to please her soon-to-be father-in-law. She's only a "real woman" biologically: there's no way she can maintain that lifestyle and pretend to be able to relate to "real people" in any capacity beyond employer.

  • Anonymous on April 12, 2012 12:33 PM:

    During West Virginia's 1960 primary campaign, JFK was asked by a coal miner if it was true that he was the son of a rich man, whose personal wealth had insured that he had never needed to work a day in his life on any job requiring manual labor. Kennedy said yes, to which the miner replied, "You haven't missed a damn thing".

    Explain to me again why the White House demands an apology to Ms. Romney.

  • Steve on April 12, 2012 12:38 PM:

    Axelrod was right to say what he said. I know what Rosen meant, but what she said was a standard button-pushing trope for a lot of stay-at-home moms. So why give this non-story any legs? Politics is about fighting back, but it's also about choosing your battles, and there's no reason why some poorly-phrased comment from Hilary Rosen (who?) should become the hill that every Democrat must die on.

  • Bernard HP Gilroy on April 12, 2012 12:43 PM:

    This kerfluffle annoys me, because I do not like feeling even the temptation for feeling any sympathy for Hilary Rosen. I wish the Obama campaign had just emphatically declared that in no way does Hilary Rosen speak for them.

  • Ron Byers on April 12, 2012 12:48 PM:

    Folks, Steve is right. Bottom line, Rosen didn't do anybody any favors. She played straight into a well known "liberal" stereotype.

    I have championed womens rights my whole life, but among those rights I have championed is the right of a woman to stay home with her family. I want every American woman to have the same choices Ann Romney has. Anything wrong with that?

  • Th on April 12, 2012 12:56 PM:

    The initial WH response was right, and I hope they listen very carefully to what Ann Romney is saying in these interviews. She is very much making the Democratic case of choices and support for women who don't have the wealth to stay at home. Obama should agree with her and ask why doesn't her husband or his party?

    Her problem is that it is really difficult to speak for a campaign extolling the great things your husband did as governor when he is promising he will never do any of that again.

  • SecularAnimist on April 12, 2012 1:07 PM:

    Ron Byers: "I want every American woman to have the same choices Ann Romney has. Anything wrong with that?"

    No, there is nothing wrong with wanting every American woman to have the choice of which of her several Cadillacs to ride in, or which of her several mansions to live in, which expensive private schools to send her kids to, which of her numerous servants to task with her housework and childcare chores, or which Cayman Islands tax-evasion bank account to stash her millions in.

    Don't forget to wish for every American woman to have a unicorn while you're at it.

  • Anonymous on April 12, 2012 1:12 PM:

    BS BS BS. HR said Ann Romney should not be counseling her husband on women's ECONOMIC issues because she has no experience with it. What is belittling about THAT? Yes staying at home and raising kids is HARD. WORKING FULL TIME and raising kids is HARD. This argument is THIRTY YEARS OLD (along with contraception). The Republicans have been whining and sniveling about women for AT LEAST that long. I don't need to be lectured by the likes of Priebus on who works harder and what I CARE about. Give me a BREAK.

  • Th on April 12, 2012 1:16 PM:

    The reason this is the right response from the Obama camp is that it lays down a marker as to how the Romney campaign has to deal with the coming barrage of garbage that will be coming from the crazies about Michelle Obama. Mitt can't just stand there grinning when audience members trash Michelle without being slammed by the Obama campaign after this response.

  • richhousewife on April 12, 2012 1:23 PM:

    this sounds like some bitter people being jealous of wealthy housewives.
    let's be honest, some are very jealous of the rich.
    some housewives might be offended but others probably secretly feel the same way about ann romney.

    i'm a rich housewife of sort, and even i feel a bit of resentment toward the romenys, too.
    their sense of entitlement and lack of sympathy bothers me. they have secret accounts in the keyman islands for tax evasion? now they want to eliminate estate tax while cutting programs for the young and old and weak?
    how much more rich do they want to be?
    i'm rich, i'm astonished of their greed.

    in my opinion, it's not as ugly as rich people telling the disabled or sick to get jobs as we saw during obamacare debate.

    also, this isn't a big deal as republicans lecturing women not to be sluts who use birth control pills, not to be single moms or to avoid abortion while trying to cut social program to help raise children in this country.

  • SYSPROG on April 12, 2012 1:24 PM:

    RonByers...no there is NOTHING wrong with that but then that's NOT what Hilary Rosen said. She said that Ann Romney shouldn't be advising Mitt on women's ECONOMIC issues because she hasn't...the argument is NOT stay at home mothers v. working outside the house mothers...it's BS from the Republicans to deflect the 1100 bills they have put out there to deny women equal rights.

    The 2012 GOP campaign slogan: A chicken in every pot and a spy-cam in every uterus.(stolen from another BLOG)...

  • seniorcit on April 12, 2012 1:30 PM:

    If the Romney campaign injects Ann Romney into the campaign to speak for Romney values and humanize her husband, she is fair game for comments and criticism. We should not disparage Mrs. Romney's choice to be a stay at home mom or her choice to have 5 children, but we should recognize that she did this with obvious domestic help and her husband's millions to take the stress off of balancing the household budget. The Romney campaign must realize that not every woman can afford to stay at home and have 5 children and that balancing the home budget requires many women to find employment outside the home, not relying just on their husband's income. Also, the Republican campaign must respect a woman's choice to limit the size of her family before it reaches a number she cannot afford by supporting access to birth control through health care plans. Choice for the Ann Romneys to stay at home and raise her boys (certainly with help, financial and domestic) should be balanced by allowing the rest of us 99%ers to have the freedom to choose how we want to conduct our family life as we see fit.

    As for Ann Romney's understanding of the economic issues affecting today's women, didn't she once say that she and Mitt once had to sell some stocks to have the money to pay bills? The rest of us 99%ers should be so lucky......to own stocks, I mean. I'm pretty sure that Mitt wasn't still paying off grad school loans well into his 40s like many of today's professionals. I would venture a guess that Daddy Romney paid those tuition bills.

  • nicmacplato on April 12, 2012 1:40 PM:

    Oh no, you don't get off that easy.

    You and those liberal slut feminazi's have no ideal of the hard work it takes getting five boys off to boarding school once a year.

    And what about how hard it is to teach a son who's gonna get $10MILLION just to stretch his wings when he's starting out how to pretend that he's just like everybody else and to know deep inside that he's so so so much better. Now imagine that times five - Ann knows what hard work is. Girls are so much easier.

    Seriously guys, this is the first wedge (NON)issue that Republickers are ready too and have sugcessfully created. They could care less about women's issues ( as you do)- This is just about peeling a few points back on the gap.

    We have 3 choices:
    1) Join the fight and make the (non)issue real

    2) Ingore the fight (litteraly - ignore)and open our arms to all those women who choose to stay at home and raise kids, including the very rich ones. The action here is too educate those who made that choice about how ObamaCare supports that choice with wellness/pre-existing/collegetill26. We then acknowledge what must be true - That Ann openly supported Romneycare in Mass. because of the huge benefit to Mass. women - the poor, the working(oops I mean) 'women employed outside the home' (pc enough), and women who choose to stay home with their kids.

    3) (my personal favortite) We help Ann's emergence as a spokesperson for Republicken woman's world view. I can write much here but simply put, we "game change"/Palin her as quickly as possible. Massive amounts of (nonpersonal) vetting. Ask, plead, beg, cheer her onto laim stream media interviews (Katy Couric style). What does she think about Octomom staying at home, she pushed for romneycare because ....?
    WE quickly make her more popular then Mitt, we make her the spokesperson for the all the lickers until, "Oh!!!you don't agree with Newt on ... why so ..."?
    A day with out Ann explaining Republickers is like a day without sunshine.
    Remember, all the vetting must be non-personal attacks, we're looking for her position on Octomom in a sort of "could you, Ann ever imagine ...?" style. No "don't you know just how rich and out of touch you are bitch" Rosen stuff. I know Rosen didn't say that, but she did go after Ann personally and with politics and perception etal. You know.

    2 or 3 above is good by me but number 1 plays right into lickers game of missinform, divide, misinform, divide.

    BTW - Bravo to Obamans for quickly making a move to not make the issue real. If we support him now, we might make a big clatter to quickly make Ann more popular on explaining all Republicken issues because 'Mitt can't'. Remember they will only want to trot her out on freindly shows to talk about women - it's our job to want to hear her (Republicken women approved, and Mitt agrees) understanding of the economy.

    1) "Why did Mitt support wall street bailout and not the AutoIndustry, George hasn't explained that well and we know you can"
    2) "What's the difference between ObamaCare and Romneycare, George's answer haven't been fully understood by women and we like when you explain ..."
    3) "It must be very hard to raise sons, duaghters are so much easier, tell about the difficulties ... 10mil ... picking right boarding school.... really really hard work "
    4)"Most of the women out there don't understand why you and Mitt need accounts in the Caymans and Bahama and you explain things so simply, so ..."

    A day without Ann explaing Mitt/Republicken economics to America is like a day without sunshine.

  • seniorcit on April 12, 2012 1:41 PM:

    Mrs. Romney, there's a difference between sympathy, empathy and compassion. Compassion includes the desire to alleviate the conditions which are causing distress and suffering and, I would say, action to change those conditions. This is what I see missing in the Republican approach.

  • nicmacplato on April 12, 2012 1:48 PM:

    Everytime I wrote George, I meant Mitt :)

    GO Ann - we Love you when you explain the Paul Ryan Budget to us - ANN ANN Ann Ann ann an

  • esaud on April 12, 2012 2:18 PM:

    I am sick to death of the Republicans and their stupid hissy fits. Any Democrat crosses an imaginary line and they take to their fainting couches.

    Just once, I would like someone like Axelrod, instead of throwing someone under the bus (Shirley Sherrod, anyone?), point out the hypocrisy by responging with a list of the horrible things right wingers have said about Hillary Clinton or Nancy Pelosi, to the tune of crickets in the media.

    Really, this stuff has gotten so old. These phoney controversies take up so much oxygen from real issues.

  • delver on April 12, 2012 2:21 PM:

    Note that Drudge for example is so clearly involved in a spin struggle, that it is sill to refer to him as an "aggregator." Sure, he does that, but his active manipulation belies what the word is supposed to mean.

  • mudwall jackson on April 12, 2012 2:42 PM:

    SecularAnimist on April 12, 2012 11:29 AM:

    "Not to mention, that's a rather shocking admission from a political analyst at the start of a presidential campaign in which the fossil fuel corporations are already spending tens of millions of dollars on attack ads against Obama."

    why secular, you mean to tell us that the fossil fuel companies are turning on one of their wholly owned and operated corporatist democratic stooges? now why would they do that?

    (i do agree with you btw that it was a rather strange statement for ed to make in setting up the piece)

  • Joe Padilla on April 12, 2012 3:08 PM:

    TH got it right. Now, everytime Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, et al say soemthing nasty about Michelle or the kids, Obama's staff should call out Romney. Note that Axelrod's comments were that attacks on family wwere out of bounds.

  • Anonymous on April 12, 2012 3:37 PM:

    nicmacplato is on to something. Now if only interviewers would have the balls to ask her these type of questions.

    Do you agree with the Lily Ledbetter law? Your husband hasn't clarified his position.

    How do you feel about mothers who have no choice of whether to work instead of staying home with the kids? What if their wages were higher, say, the same as men earn?

    How can you be a source of economic information for your husband when you've never experienced the work place? Having your work schedule changed? Not being paid enough? Having to deal with a sick child and missing work, possibly jeopardizing your employment? Experienced work place discrimination or sexual harassment?

    And all should be asking: what about FATHERS who want to spend more time with their kids but are forced to work overtime, two jobs, out of town jobs, etc.

  • Kathryn on April 12, 2012 3:55 PM:

    There is nothing the GOPers like better than an opportunity to pit stay at home mothers against mothers who work outside the home, so Hillary Rosen's statement was a dream come true. Don't think the shelf life should be too long and agree that the next insult tossed at Michele by Limbaugh should be met with outrage and a fainting couch since families are off limits. With Limbaugh, we won't have to wait long.

  • Stetson Kennedy on April 12, 2012 4:28 PM:

    I'll admit, I've heard about this flap all day, and I had no idea who Hilary Rosen is until reading Ed's piece.

    It was certainly clumsily worded, but Rosen's take was spot-on. Ann Romney stayed home to watch the kids, she has nothing to apologize for. However, if Mittster is going to parade Ann out as his XX chromosome advisor, it is certainly fair to point out that Ann has never had the challenge of balancing career and family, and had to worry about ensuring that her childer had coverage in the event hey had a serious illness or injury.

  • zandru on April 12, 2012 5:09 PM:

    There They Go Again...

    Once again, the Republicans have managed to conflate the middle class woman with children who doesn't have an outside job, and is totally dependent upon Hubby with an elite, elitist dressage-riding rich woman with multiple households, each fully-staffed, whose children are raised by nannies, au-paires, and tutors.

    Kind of like they managed to giving the face of old MacDonald on his red tractor to the modern gigantic factory farm and its board of directors.

  • apetra on April 12, 2012 6:56 PM:

    Remarkable that you've never heard of or don't recall Rosen. She's been the talk of the conservative blogosphere since she acknowledged she was the lead PR firm rep running Sandra Fluke.

    You think conservatives seized upon Rosen simply because she made an egregious statement, not be cause she is anyone of significance. Turns out, she's at the center of the White House campaign that charges there's a "war on women".

    Rosen: “We are proud to provide pro-bono support to Sandra Fluke, an incredibly courageous young woman who is standing up for the rights of women everywhere in the face of sustained, personal attacks …. We were first connected to Sandra through one of her personal friends who came to us seeking our assistance.”

  • apetra on April 12, 2012 7:02 PM:

    You also suggest that you are broadly ignorant of happenings in the technology blogosphere, where Rosen was clearly identified and criticized (by both Left and Right, btw) for her role as principal author of the SOPA legislation, which threatened free speech and other liberties online.

  • Rip on April 12, 2012 10:45 PM:

    Rosen stepped all over her own message by clumsily allowing the Republicans to run with the "liberal elites disparage stay at home moms" meme. Unfortunately, in the current media climate, someone from the Obama administration is supposed to express disappoinment at this - while partisans routinely make swipes at candidate spouses, the candidates themselves know to stay clear of any sign they sympathize with such comments - true or not.

    It's not twitter and other social media that will keep this non-story alive for a couple days, but rightwing AM radio, the wingnut blogosphere and Fox's desire to beat a point to death when they think it helps them. The left has a harder time doing this, because they don't have an audience that is interested in hearing ultimately trivial stories yakked about for three hours straight. Even when Republican candidates themselves say something appalling, it's good for a single blog post, and maybe a five minute segment on the MSNBC shows.

  • Sammy on April 13, 2012 1:12 AM:

    Any woman who choose to vote for a republican because they are breast cancer survivors and and suffer from MS are not operating with a full deck.

    One would hope that they are smarter than that. But they probably are not since they have probably been voting republican based on sound bites all of their lives. I would hope that no woman who has had to work, sometimes more than one job, to support themselves and their families, with low wages and no health insurance can think beyound the republican talking points.

    I am almos at the point of saying let Mitt have the WH and elect more teabaggers and what what happens. The problem is that normal thinking people will suffer.

  • Joi Henderson on April 13, 2012 9:33 AM:

    Sadly, most housewives are rather self-conscious and immediately jump on the defensive when someone makes a mention of laziness. I, being a part of that group, am aware of both sides of the spectrum because I have also been a single parent and working parent/spouse. I also consider myself a feminist, subscribing to the true meaning o the word and not the 'phallus envy' ideologies that so many adopt right now, claiming to speak for all women. What it comes down to is, as you stated, whether one can afford to stay at home. There is also the issue of actually doing the work that housewives do rather than, as you stated, having the ability to appoint others to your housework. SAHMs don't have it any easier than WOHMs. Both are balancing acts and require planning, time, and energy. As long as the children are loved and properly cared for, I don't see the problem. Can either truly, honestly, speak on the plight of the other? Because it all sounds like opinion to me. And a person, even the President, has the right to his own opinion. Now, if he starts passing legislation against SAHMs, THAT will be something to talk about. Sounds like more smoke and mirrors to me.

  • scott_m on April 13, 2012 4:54 PM:

    Two thoughts about your observation of "Democratic Strategist" as "that catchy all-purpose term used for people with a partisan perspective but no specific gig"

    1. Cool! I'm a Democratic Strategist!

    2. What does it mean that "Ed Kilgore is ... managing editor for The Democratic Strategist"? Is this publication geared for people with a partisan perspective but no specific gig?

  • Ted Frier on April 13, 2012 9:22 PM:

    You want to talk about a war on stay-at-home moms? How about Republican economic policies that prevent women from ever becoming one -- like the equal-pay-for-equal-work law that embattled Governor Scott Walker just shot down in Wisconsin, thus guaranteeing that when Badger State mothers do go to work to put food on their family's table they'll now have to spend more time away from their kids in order to do it. Three cheers for Republican Family Values!!!

    Social conservatives like nothing more than to assert it's liberals and feminists who are pushing women into the workplace against their will by making those who'd rather be homemakers feel inadequate and unfulfilled for their politically incorrect choice of careers. But the truth is most of these moms couldn't stay home even if they wanted to since working isn't a career choice but a matter of economic necessity.

    That's why the idea of casting millionairesses like Mrs. Romney as self-sacrificing stay-at-home-moms is, when you think of it, laughable if not ludicrous.