It didn’t take long for a Democratic gaffe to hobble Obama’s efforts to defeat a surging Mitt Romney. Just days after the near-certain nominee achieved his status as the GOP standard-bearer, Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen made a huge mistake on national television. Rosen had been trying to follow the Obama campaign’s script for attacking the success of the Romney family by charging that Ann Romney, Mitt’s wife, had “never worked a day in her life.” She also asserted that Romney shouldn’t be so reliant on his wife for advice on economic issues.
Ann Romney has raised five children, battled multiple sclerosis and beaten breast cancer twice.
What is striking about this criticism is that it comes from a Democratic strategist, a member of the supposed “party of women.” Criticizing a woman’s choice to stay at home and raise children as “not working” is uncalled for – and I know for a fact that my mother does far more work that Hilary Rosen does. Being a stay-at-home mom may not fit the feminist definition of a good job for women, but, as Mitt pointed out, “raising [the Romneys’] five boys is tougher than any job [he’s] ever had.”
Rosen’s accusation went viral almost immediately. The fact that I first heard about it from another high school student during class shows how quickly it spread around the world. As the extent of the damage became clear, the Obama campaign released several messages distancing itself from Rosen’s claims. Nevertheless, her careless remark has once again thrust women into the national spotlight as a key constituency in the 2012 campaign. But this time it’s the Republicans, not the Democrats, who have the upper hand.