In the latest example of the Obama camp throwing one of their long-time supporters and strategists under the bus for telling the truth, Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen has learned the hard way that you don’t tell the truth about rich people and their money. Rosen basically pointed out the fact that Mitt Romney’s wife had never worked a day in her life for the purposes of emphasizing that she is no authority on the economic challenges common people face.
Not only did President Obama respond to Rosen’s comments, but so did Obama 2012 Chief Campaign Strategist David Axelrod, First Lady Michelle Obama, Obama 2012 Campaign Manager Jim Messina, and White House Press Secretary Jay Carney. They all wasted absolutely no time distancing themselves from her statement. Nobody gave her the benefit of the doubt or even seemed to acknowledge the merits of her argument. They simply cut her off and left her hanging in the wind.
Watch What Hilary Rosen Actually Said
First, let’s take a look at what Hilary Rose actually said during a conversation about Mitt Romney on an April 11, 2012 discussion on CNN, so that you can decide for yourself (see video below):
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 the economic issues. And, when I listen to my wife, that’s what I’m hearing.’
Guess what? His wife as never actually worked a day in her life. She’s never really dealt with the kinds of economic issues that a majority of 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.
Yes it’s about these positions, and yes there will be a war of words about the positions, but there’s something musch more fundamental about Mitt Romney, because he seems so old fashioned when it comes to women, and I think that comes across. And I think that’s going to hurt him over the long term. He doesn’t really see us as equal.
It’s clear that Rosen’s point is that Mitt Romney’s use of his rich wife Ann as some authority on the economic struggles of American women is a real stretch because she is wealthy. What does a wealthy woman who hasn’t worked outside of the home know about having to struggle financially. She can afford to pay for hired help to lighten her load. This is not a luxury the average woman in the country has, as she struggles to care for children.
This was not a statement that stay-at-home moms don’t work, or that their jobs aren’t difficult. It was about how ridiculous it is for Mitt Romney to try to use his wife–a rich mother, who never worked outside the home, as the poster-woman for the issues facing women in this country.
Of course, everyone chose to twist her words and suggest that Hilary Rosen’s statement meant that stay-at-home moms don’t work.
Campaign Manager Jim Messina Responds
Barack Obama’s Campaign Manager Jim Messina was the first to respond with an objection to Hilary Rosen’s statement. It seems as if he anticipated the worst possible way in which Obama’s critics could respond to her comments, and then responded with a quick admonishment via Twitter while the show was still on air, demanding an apology.
What I find most interesting about Messina’s statement is that he quite possibly could have caused the firestorm that his camp is now trying to put out. Perhaps if he wasn’t so quick to tweet about this, the issue may not have been brought up.
Chief Campaign Strategist David Axelrod
In an apparent game of Follow The Leader, Barack Obama’s Chief Campaign Strategist David Axelrod tweeted his agreement with Jim Messina’s rebuke of Hilary Rosen minutes later, adding that he was disappointed.
Then, on April 12, 2012, David Axelrod went on John King’s show on CNN for more damage control. Despite Hilary Rosen being an Obama insider and strategist, Axelrod tries to make us believe that she is not one of them. Check out the conversation in the video below:
Ann Romney Responds To Hilary Rosen
Ann Romney was so pissed about Rosen’s statement that she fired off her first ever tweet to strike back, saying “I made a choice to stay home and raise five boys. Believe me, it was hard work.” She later took to the airwaves and said the following (see video below):
Look, I know what it’s like to struggle. Maybe I haven’t struggled as much in my life financially as other people have–I can tell you and promise you that I’ve had struggles in my life. I would love to have people understand that Mitt and I have compassion for people that are struggling, and that’s why we’re running.
It would be interesting to know how many household helpers Mrs. Romney had to assist with the tough job of raising her five boys. I’m almost certain that she raised her five boys with plenty of outside help, made possible by her ability to afford to pay them. Did she have to cook and clean in addition to attending to the children? Wash clothes? Do all the grocery shopping? I really doubt it…
President Barack Obama Responds
Of course Barack Obama didn’t bat an eye before taking a few moments to throw Hilary Rosen under the bus, by acting as if her questioning of Mitt Romney presenting his wife as an authority and representative of the average American woman and her concerns was somehow an attack on all stay-at-home moms. Here’s what he had to say (see video):
There’s no tougher job than being a mom. [...] Anybody who would argue otherwise, I think, probably needs to rethink their statement. I don’t have a lot of patience for commentary about the spouses of political candidates. [...] My general view is those of us who are in the public life, we’re fair game. Our families are civilians. I haven’t met Mrs. Romney, but she seems like a very nice woman who is supportive of her family.
Vice President Joe Biden Responds
Verbal loose cannon Vice President kept it simple when first asked by CNN whether Hilary Rosen went too far with her comments about Ann Romney. His one-word reply was, “Absolutely.”
Apparently he’d been briefed with appropriate talking points later in the day, because he elaborated on his official position with the following statement, which had little to do with the topic at hand:
That’s an outrageous assertion. Look, I have fought my whole career. I’m no hero. [...] My entire career as a senator and as vice president is to get to one point. Where my daughter is able to make whatever choice she wants, and no one question it. My daughter happens to have her masters degree, she’s a social worker. She’s getting married. If my daughter wants to be able to say, I’m staying home and raising my kids, no one should question that.
Um… Mr. Vice President, Hilary Rosen never questioned a woman’s right to stay home and care for children. Perhaps he never actually listened to what Rosen actually said.
First Lady Michelle Obama Responds
Of course it wouldn’t be a party if Michelle Obama didn’t co-sign her
boo husband by making a not-so-thinly-veiled tweet. Who said that mothers don’t work hard? The issue at hand is whether this particular mother–Ann Romney–can accurately represent the concerns of women for whom money IS an issue. Furthermore, how is it disrespectful to tell the truth about Ann Romney.
Have you gotten too far away from your working class upbringing Mrs. Obama, or is this all about your husband’s re-election? Or maybe it’s that you just don’t want us reminded that you are also a part of the wealthy elite. Either way, you got this one wrong.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney Responds
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney gets caught playing the nut role when asked about the nature of Hilary Rosen’s relationship to the Obama Administration and how many times’s she’d visited the White House recently. He actually had the nerve to say that he knew three women named Hilary Rosen and he wasn’t sure which one she was talking about, and because of this he couldn’t say how many times she’d visited the White House.
Well it turns out Hilary visited the White House 35 times, yet we’re supposed to believe she is not a significant part of Obama’s strategic team. Yeah, right! Watch Carney shucking and jiving on this issue:
Rosen helped run interference for Obama with issues of high gas prices, don’t ask don’t tell and the tax cuts for the rich, but none of that matters now that she’s been thrown under the bus.
Aside from the fact that Hilary Rosen’s words were completely twisted to suit the desire for political criticism, what annoys me most is the fact that she went back on TV with her tail between her legs and apologized for her truthful statements about Ann Romney. She should have never apologized for the truth. Even though it wasn’t the groveling apology it could have been, it was still unnecessary and detracts from the true issue at hand. She did, however attempt to defend her reasoning for making the statements in the first place.
Of course, if you’ve watched enough political reality thrillers, then you know the apology is standard operating procedure whenever anyone claims an offense. Nevertheless, it’s the message that’s most important. And, in this case, the message is that both Mitt Romney, Barack Obama, and both of their camps want you to believe that their wives are just like you or the women in your lives. They don’t want you to think of them as the wealthy elites they really are.
Instead, they’d have you believe that their wives face the same struggles on the homefront as all other American women, but this is simply not true. We all know that having the money to pay for help and better accommodations eases the struggle. Common feelings of being overwhelmed are significantly reduced when you don’t have the same responsibilities as women who are not wealthy.
They cannot have us viewing them and their wives as fundamentally different from who we are, because if they did, there’s no way we’d entrust them with having the interests of the people at heart.
Since any thinking person understands that Ann Romney and Michelle Obama are not like regular housewives, why then have we let all of these politicians redirect the discussion to a focus that wasn’t the intent of Hilary Rosen’s comments?
The answer is simple.. The collective “we” of this country is overwhelmingly challenged in the logic department, and that’s what makes America so “great”!