Hilary Rosen, Ann Romney and the Credentialists – UPDATES

Although I use it during the day mostly to promote Patheos writers, after hours I consider Twitter to be something of a virtual pub; it’s a place to wind down, engage in some casual conversation, yell about baseball and then say goodnight.

Last evening, I tootled in to find the tweets flying fast and um, furiously. “Wha’d I miss?” I asked someone.

It seems lobbyist and Dem operative Hilary Rosen had gone on CNN last night and spoken unwisely not once, but twice, first declaring that the Democrat party had never, in any way, ever said that the GOP had declared a “war on women”, and that the GOP had just made that up (a statement so patently and demonstrably dishonest that I couldn’t stop myself from asking Rosen, “no, really, you said that? You really did?”).

Then Rosen, noting that Mitt Romney had referred to his wife Ann as someone whose opinion on women and economics he trusted, said:

What you have is Mitt Romney running around the country saying, “Well, my wife tells me 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 actually worked a day in her life. She’s never really dealt with the 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 how do—why we worry about their future.

There is irony in Rosen sneering that Ann Romney knows nothing about working women, while she, Rosen, supports an administration that pays its female employees less than men. But I digress.

Rosen seems to truly not get why people, especially women (both working and at-home) took offense at this. In Rosen’s shallow world, where formal credentials matter to an excessive degree, and “what you do” matters far more than the person you actually are, Rosen’s remarks were seen for the rather elitist, class-warfare cues they were, (those rich Republicans are so out of touch with the struggling proletariat) but more importantly they brought back memories of Hillary Clinton saying she wasn’t “some little woman standing by her man, baking cookies…” and of Teresa Heinz-Kerry’s wondering if Laura Bush had ever worked a “real” job and the understanding that Michelle Obama had a $300,000 a-year job created for her out of whole cloth, and then discontinued when she left for the White House.

One highly doubts that if either Bill Clinton, or John Kerry or Barack Obama had suggested he looked to his wife to get a sense of women’s economic concerns, Rosen would have for a moment thought those women lacked expertise in the realities of raising a family and earning a paycheck. And yet, Hillary Clinton, while she surely worked, had a governor’s mansion and a lot of help; she was never driving kids to soccer in a beat-up car; she probably never had to figure out how to stretch a pound of chopped meat through supper and the next day’s lunch while wondering if she had enough gas — at $4 a gallon — to get to work the next day; Teresa Heinz Kerry, of course, also had the help — the servants, cooks, chauffeurs — and Michelle Obama’s paychecks and circumstances hardly relate to the realities of most working women.

None of these women have lived the “reality” of most working mothers, any more than Mrs. Romney has. None of them.

Defending herself on Twitter, Rosen wrote:

“I’ve nothing against @AnnRomney. I just don’t want Mitt using her as an expert on women struggling $ to support their family. She isn’t.”

Well, excuse me, but I really must ask, how the hell does Rosen know what Ann Romney does or does not know? Does Mrs. Romney staying home mean her curiosity and intellect were drained from her, and she therefore reads nothing, explores nothing, studies nothing?

Ann Romney has at her disposal precisely the same economic records and reports that the privileged Mrs. Clinton, Mrs. Kerry or Mrs. Obama would use to educate themselves on the issue, of “struggling working moms”. For all Rosen knows, Mrs. Romney has, through observation and study, become a freaking genius on the economic realities of working women, because learning is not confined to classrooms (in only the “correct” schools) and human people have the capacity to understand a great deal, and even to become wise on some issues, because they are interested and curious, and because they think.

Of course, I don’t know what Ann Romney knows or doesn’t know, either — but as a woman who preferred to give up a salary in order to stay home with her kids, even though it meant rolling coin for haircuts, I’m willing to give her a benefit of a doubt. I’m willing to actually find out what Romney knows before sneering at her.

Because — unlike Rosen, or her favored women – I’ve actually lived the life of both struggling at-home mother and struggling working mom, I am inclined to take offense at the notion that a woman who finds her first vocation in child-rearing has surrendered her intellect, and therefore has nothing to say to the room. And make no mistake, that is precisely the sentiment that rests at the heart of Rosen’s remarks — an ugly disdain wholly at odds with the standard feminist rhetoric about the dignity of women and their choices.

The truth is, for women like Rosen, increasingly beholden to a utilitarian point of view, a woman’s worth is predicated on her title, her accomplishments and how far she has penetrated what used to be masculine strongholds; there is no real respect, no authentic valuation for women — either the well-off or the struggling, the well-educated or not — who have judged full-time motherhood to be a job equal in importance (and more necessary and socially relevant) than being an attorney or a lobbyist. Rosen betrays the truth of it in a hasty clarification written last night:

I have nothing against Ann Romney. She seems like a nice lady who has raised nice boys, struggled with illness, and handles its long-term effects with grace and dignity.

The breathtaking condescension! “A nice lady who raised nice boys…grace and dignity.” Let’s just pat Ann Romney on the head and then get back to talking about real women, shall we? M’kay?

As President Obama might say, “let me be perfectly clear”: Hilary Rosen may not formally work for the Obama campaign, but last night she was shilling for it. Days after our insecure narcissist-in-chief felt compelled to do he-man pushups on the b-ball court, Rosen tried to verbally emasculate Mitt Romney by suggesting he is “hiding behind his wife’s skirt”. Because, again, empty Ann Romney can’t possibly have anything to offer the world but her baby-maker.

Rosen wants to serve the Obama campaign’s determined efforts at class-warfare. She wants to portray Ann Romney as out-of-touch and elitist — a woman who could luxuriate in staying at home to raise her own children because she’s rich — but in doing so, she completely denigrates those of us who sacrificed in order to raise our kids; she denigrates all the at-home mothers whose names are on file with the school nurse as the “Emergency Contact” for the kids with working/traveling moms. She denigrates the at-home mothers who often — while driving a van full of kids, not all her own, to and from practices and lessons — act almost as part-time wives for the likes of Rosen. What a bunch of “nice ladies” with “nice children” and empty pretty heads. If Rosen were a man, she’d be a chauvinist pig.

Last night on Twitter, it seems the at-home mothers and their husbands, and many working women who are tired of “sisterhood” being revealed as something narrow, provincial and closed, signaled that they’ve had enough of the fakery and disdainful condescension from their elite “betters.” Like Ann Romney, they rejected it.

And the Obama administration noticed.

There is an art to good politics. We’re not seeing much of it, these days.

UPDATE I:
As I noted in the combox, below,
while I was writing this, I kept thinking about Jackie Kennedy — now there is a woman of privilege (and a Democratic heroine) who probably could not relate to the concerns of the working class, but she was appreciated (and is still appreciated) precisely for the qualities of grace, elegance and class that have become so rare in our political folk. Jackie’s qualities were understood as valuable, and Jackie’s example was considered worth imitating. And recall, Jackie Kennedy had this to say about parenthood: “If you bungle raising your children, I don’t think whatever else you do matters very much”

I wonder if, in our harsh, crude times, we don’t need another Jackie Kennedy. Would Mrs. Romney maybe fit the bill? Discuss!

UPDATE II:
It seems Mrs. Romney has, in fact, worked outside the home
, though perhaps not for real money:

As an adult, Mrs. Romney turned her talents as a chef into something of a small business in Massachusetts. She and a friend held cooking classes for local foodies, according to her son Josh, who described the sessions in a 2007 interview with The New York Times.

Beyond that, Mrs. Romney has held a number of posts with Boston-area charities and advocacy groups. She was, for example, a director at Best Friends, an organization focused on inner-city girls, and a volunteer instructor at the Mother Caroline Academy, a multicultural middle school in Boston.

Those stints, however intensive, time-consuming or lucrative, appear to belie the sweeping declaration by the Democratic operative, Hilary Rosen, that Mrs. Romney “never worked a day in her life.”

UPDATE III:
Rosen makes apologetic statement
and writes: “Let’s declare peace in this phony war and go back to focus on the substance.”

If by “substance” you mean the real phony war, which is the Democrat’s utterly fabricated “GOP war on women”, then I have to say is: Dear Ms. Rosen, You guys, first!

Tina Korbe says Rosen still doesn’t get it

Glenn Reynolds links — thanks, kindly!

More:
NY Daily News: Who is Hilary Rosen
Legal Insurrection: Legal Insurrection: Consistency: Rosen on Romney, Sarah Palin and Sandra Fluke
Ann Althouse: Who is more out-of-touch?
Hot Air: More Rosen Consistency
Good analysis from Tina Korbe
Powerline
Breitbart: Rosen Doubles Down
Ed Driscoll: with a roundup!
Instapundit: Dems waging war on everyone?
Obama 2008: “Lay off my wife” (and he was right)
Romney Campaign: Demands correction on women’s job losses

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Bill M.

    I know a young woman (lovely person) who once admitted to me that her self-image was tied to her academic achievement and credentials. When she didn’t make law review, she was devastated; it was as though she’d received dreadful medical news.

  • Pingback: Instapundit » Blog Archive » THE ANCHORESS: Hilary Rosen, Ann Romney and the Credentialists. “There is irony in Rosen sneering …

  • Andy Freeman

    > And make no mistake, that is precisely the sentiment that rests at the heart of Rosen’s remarks — an ugly disdain wholly at odds with the standard feminist rhetoric about the dignity of women and their choices.

    The standard feminist rhetoric has always had an ugly disdain for certain womens’ choices. Yes, they’ll sometimes deny that disdain, such as wrt “stay at home” moms, but in other cases, such as conservative women, they’ll double-down or go to “they’re not really women”.

  • Paul A’Barge

    Rosen seems to truly not get…

    I suspect Rosen “gets it”, completely. She just doesn’t care what you (women) and others (women like you) think.

    Because she is speaking to Feminists. And all the feminine sheeple out there. And Feminism == sociopathology.

    Feminism is War on Women.

    Sadly, women stuck it to America in 2008 and in 2012 they will stick it to America again.

  • Chad Myers

    There are few worse misogynists than female Democratic “Women’s Issues” operatives.

    Andrew “Dice” Clay may say crude things about women, but these Democratic women say truly hateful things that set Women’s lib issues back decades.

  • Max Lindenman

    It was a stupid thing to say, and Elizabeth’s right — Rosen was speaking from a prejudice against stay-at-home-motherhood. Her cavalier tone suggests, at least to me, that she moves in a circle where that prejudice is shared so widely that Rosen never found occasion to examine it critically.

    Gotta love these national conversations, huh?

    At the same time, I have my doubts on whether Ann Romney can relate to the concerns of a working mother, a low-income mother, or anyone, really, who isn’t insanely well off. I don’t resent her for it, and I’m inclined to doubt that Mitt gives her views all that much weight anyway, so the question of whether she’s in touch or out of it isn’t going to cost me much sleep.

    Bill: Pretty much everyone I know looks for validation in postnominals, job titles, or both. Except me. I look for validation in my page views. Now THAT’S neurotic.

    [You know, while I was writing this, I kept thinking about Jackie Kennedy -- now there is a woman of privilege who probably could not relate to the concerns of the working class, but she was appreciated (and is still appreciated) precisely for the qualities of grace, elegance and class that have become so rare in our political folk. Their values were understood and Jackie's example was considered worth imitating. I wonder if, in our harsh, crude times, we don't need another Jackie Kennedy, and if Mrs. Romney might fit the bill? -admin]

  • Axel J.

    Oh the irony!

    It appears that Hilary Rosen took some time off when she and her lesbian lover adopted children back in 2003.

    …but raising children is not working……

    [I'm not sure why Rosen's sexuality matters. It seems completely irrelevant to me -admin]

  • Dad of Six

    You wonder what Ms. Rosen would think of the young woman who gave her commencement address at Harvard in Latin, and then went on to the consecrated life.

    And then there’s the left’s favorite punching bag, Sarah Palin. Up from modest means, marries, five kids, works with husband, becomes mayor, governor…she would have been a poster child of liberal success if it hadn’t been for those pesky social ideals of hers.

    Modern feminism is a club for well-to-do liberal women. No one else need apply.

  • ari

    Good-ness!

    Okay, so Mr Romney’s grandfather was a tool and die man. His father ran a car company. He ran a financial firm and made several million dollars. I am vastly curious what those wives were saying to their husbands each night. Because that sounds exactly like the sort of American dream we’d all like to live.

    And, apparently, all the kids are squeaky-clean, positive, good people. Obviously, they are saying different things than the Kennedy wives- they both have money, but the Romney’s don’t seem to have mistresses, car accidents, rape trials, divorces or shoddy business practices. I’m curious. Ann Romney has obviously done a fabulous job raising her kids. I’d love to know how she did it. Is it copy-able? Is it actionable? Is it repeatable?

    The malicious, snarky woman who ran her down- has small children and a divorce. Who is actually raising her children? Is there a maid, a nanny, a childcare worker? Who is shaping her children?

  • http://paterzplace.blogspot.com DonM

    In America, a working mother usually has servants. They may be shared servants, like the daycare, they may be family, (her mother, a sister, or or even her husband!!!) but if you leave the home and go off to work while your children are young, either you are irresponsible, or you have servants.

    So what Rosen was complaining about is Ann Romney didn’t have a record of using enough servants.

  • drew

    Am sorry, I’ve ended up at the wrong blog. I thought this was a Catholic blog, with charity being a virtue.
    “our insecure narcissist-in-chief”

    Where’s the charity in that? So, quickly Easter is forgotten.

    [Nothing I said was uncharitable but the mildest of snarks; I do not subscribe to the shushing tyranny of "be nice". -admin]

  • waterfowl

    Max Lindeman,

    I have my doubts on whether Ann Romney can relate to the concerns of a working mother, a low-income mother, or anyone, really, who isn’t insanely well off. I don’t resent her for it, and I’m inclined to doubt that Mitt gives her views all that much weight anyway, so the question of whether she’s in touch or out of it isn’t going to cost me much sleep.

    I think a woman who raised five boys, had cancer, and has multiple sclerosis likely has some experience of adversity. I’ve worked a lot of retail, and I’m pretty sure that it was easier than handling five sons would be. I imagine, for that matter, that what Hilary Rosen does for a living is rather easier than raising five sons. But she gets a paycheck, so, well.

    Who does Hilary Rosen’s grocery shopping? Who does Mitt Romney’s? Just curious.

  • Maureen from Canada

    I’m a working woman who is single (never married) and I have always admired families where they make the choice for one parent to stay at home and be there for the children they have. It usually means making lots of sacrifices including not going on expensive vacations every year, not getting the latest technology, eating a home etc. etc.

    I also think this speaks to many things – young women need to pay more attention to the men they let into their lives – they don’t have to be millionaires, but they do need to be responsible husbands and fathers – I’m stunned at the number of bad boys young women are willing to get involved with and expect nothing from them, and then they wonder why their lives are not going well. Duh!!!

    Let’s just accept that if you are going to be a First Lady it is highly unlikely that you will be the typical ‘working mom’ – chances are very high that your husband has significant money behind his campaign (and this applies to both Dems and Republicans – that is the state of Presidential campaigns these days). MO is hardly the ‘career woman’ (what was her career?) and neither Michelle or Barrack has of late had to make ‘hard’ decisions about what to buy or not buy so that the family can go on a vacation once every 2 or 3 years.

    The whole issue is an attack on choices that women have to make or want to make. I suspect most working women would rather be at home with their children rather than slogging it out in the work world, because guess what – most jobs are horrid; few women have the exciting, stimulating work that brings them joy and fulfillment.

  • sarahm

    Actually, one doesn’t need to be a man to be a chauvinist pig. That’s why in its earliest iteration, the phrase was, “male chauvinist pig.” So, yeah, ONE of those people is condescending towards Ann Romney, and one of those people is a chauvinist pig. And it ain’t Mitt Romney.

    Has Mrs. Romney done any grocery shopping or pumped any gas over the past couple years? If so, then she knows quite a lot about what is killing the budgets of American families. Even if the only beef you buy is porterhouse, you still notice that the price has gone through the roof. And the chuck eye & ground are less than two feet away. So even if you are STILL going to buy the porterhouse b/c you can afford to do so, any person with a modicum of curiosity is going to look at the price stickers on the chuck eye and the ground just to confirm that, yes, things is bad all over.

    What I find interesting is that Rosen couldn’t seem to help herself with the gratuitous gender slap when all she really needed to do was stick with the class warfare schtick. You know … she *could* have just said, “I’m pretty sure the Romney family budget doesn’t give Ann Romney the same headaches and worries that most American women have when they look at the checkbooks for *their* households.” That’s all she had to do. Emphasize that the Romneys are rich & do not share the financial stresses that most Americans do.

    But noooooo. Rosen had to attack Ann Romney in terms of Mrs. Romney’s choice to stay home & raise her sons. What’s that, Ms. Rosen? A whiff of bitterness, followed by green-eyed envy? Yup. It’s a girl-on-girl attack because Mrs. Romney has offended the sisters by, shadddup, marrying well. Lazy-@ss Mormon slacker princess.

    Rosen suggests that Mitt Romney stop using his wife as some sort of rhetorical cover for his claims of knowledge of women’s issues & the economy. With, of course, the implication that it is somehow sexist & unmanly for him to do so. But note the overtly sexist attack Rosen makes in return. Instead of going after Romney, she goes after the wife with one of the most personal insults. Mee-owww. It is an insult that only a woman would deliver to another woman. No guy would *ever* have said this. And *had* a guy said it, he would have been out of a job, pronto. As in, within Twitterminutes. Rosen, on the other hand, can no doubt continue making sexist attacks on other women with impunity, so long as those other women are Republicans.

  • http://jscafenette.com Manny

    Liberal women are always condescending toward regular housewives. Feminist don’t like real women it’s in their DNA. It’s what’s spoonfed in college classes. In fact it’s part of their final exit exams. I was not surprised by all this morning when I saw it in the news.

  • SDN

    drew, God’s Mercy and Charity may be infinite. Unlike Obama, I don’t suffer under the delusion that I’m Him. And my feelings of mercy and charity towards liberals like you who espouse a philosophy of slavery to the collective have wrapped around the zero stop.

  • doc

    I wonder if the guys like drew snipe about a Catholic blog lacking charity when liberal hosts comment negatively on conservatives or Republicans. Naaaaahhh.

  • Hugh Colburn

    Hillary Rosen is a perfect example of a Feminist who hates women. Rosen has attacked Romney for raising five boys, becuase Rosen woould have aborte them or strangled them at birth. Not only does Rosen hate women, but she hates children as well.
    Feminists do NOT represent women, but I would agree that they represent abortion, LGBT and others who want to turn society upside down. Rosen wants to enslave conservative women. Rosn is an oppressor.
    Its good that Rosen “came out” with her hatred and her war against mothers.

  • Teri Pittman

    It just dawned on me, while reading this: didn’t the Left fall all over itself, complaining about how Sarah Palin didn’t stay home to take care of her baby with Down’s Syndrome? We know Palin had a job and took care of her kids without servants. Does anyone remember these folks coming out in favor of her???

  • Sarah Rolph

    Great, great column, anchoress. Your writing just seems to get better and better (and it was already great when I started reading you years ago!)

    The thing that has me really scratching my head here is that Rosen is a highly paid PR professional. That means it’s her full-time job not to bungle this stuff!!!

  • Pingback: Ed Driscoll » DNC Flack Rosen: ‘I Apologize to Ann Romney’

  • http://technicalities.mu.nu Teresa

    I find it telling that Ms Rosen immediately leapt to the conclusion that Ann Romney would be advising her husband from “personal experience”. As you say, Ms. Rosen does not seem to hold Democrat wives to the same experience standard.

    Ann is on the campaign trail with her husband. I assume she attends various functions to campaign for him when he isn’t there. Could it be even remotely possible she is gathering information from women she speaks to at these meetings? Could she be…*gasp*… actually talking to constituents about their concerns? Could these constituents be… women? Could she then take her impressions back to her husband and his campaign managers so they address these concerns in future rallies? In which case it is not her personal experience speaking, but her experience in listening and collecting information.

    Except, according to Ms Rosen, Ann Romney is apparently incapable of rational thought or information gathering because she has been a stay at home mom.*** Silly me, what could I have been thinking. Being a stay at home mother makes you completely ineligible to do anything further with your brain at any point in the future!

    *** I have also been a stay at home mom and a working mom. Perhaps I am only capable of semi-rational thought in this case.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Ann Romney isn’t running for public office. Her husband is.

    Therefore, I don’t care if she “relates” to me, or not.

    In fact, I don’t care if her husband “relates” to me, either; I’m voting for someone to run the country, not someone to be my pal.

    One thing I do know: liberal women like Rosen don’t relate to me—monogamous, married female, mother of a special needs child—at all. In fact, they’d probably like nothing better than to force re-eduation on me, and women like me.

    No thanks.

    They can all go relate someplace else.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    I remember what the Left said about Palin neglecting her son—but, c’mon, that was Palin! She got accused of everything—except maybe, being in league in alien invaders, who wanted to come to Earth and steal all our water, and Disneyland, too!

    As I recall, she was never accused of that particular crime—though I could be mistaken. (I don’t think she was accused of wiping out the dinosaurs, either, though if the Left could have made that one stick, they would have.)

    The left does not “relate” to the handicapped, or disabled—and certainly not to their mothers, or their families.

  • theduchessofkitty

    “If Rosen were a man, she’d be a chauvinist pig.”

    That’s gotta leave a mark!

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Of course you have freedom of choice!

    You’re free to choose whatever the elites think best for you!

    If you do not choose this, you are clearly “un-relatable”.

  • Elaine

    This whole Rosen thing was just an attack on Ann Romney and and Mitt and it backfired. Now I know more about Ann Romney and I think she is a fine women. Also seems that Mitt respects her opinions and loves her. I like him more now.

  • Pingback: The Obama Machine Begins Its Attack on Romney | TeeJaw Blog

  • Goat Eggs

    I would like to see some appreciation of the fact that in a well-functioning society, a household is a locus of economic production and the husband and wife are the managing partners of that concern. All the normal economic concepts: efficient division of labor, increased productivity from complementary factors of production, the accumulation of capital for future use — all of these apply to a household just as much as to a factory or farm. Not only did Ann Romney work in the sense of expending effort, she worked in the sense of making her household more prosperous on any meaningful metric. If she “married well” she did so in the sense of choosing as her partner a man in cooperation with whom she could produce all the things that make life worth living. And she almost certainly, in the process, made Mitt not just a happier, but a wealthier, man.

  • Mandy P.

    As a stay-at-home mom to two, I resent the initial insinuation by Rosen that Ann Romney’s raising her five boys apparently doesn’t count as work. Cause let’s face it, even if she didn’t have to worry about the budget raising children by itself is a seriously demanding job. Taking care of kids is extremely demanding of your time, effort, and attention. It requires a heroic amount of love and *patience* and it is hard, hard work.

    And then, in responding to the well-deserved backlash, Ms. Rosen goes into the litany of all the government programs those eeeeeeevil conservatives want to stop funding. Carney did the same thing during his press conference when he was asked about this dust-up. Are handouts really all that they understand? I am seriously insulted at the assumption that women are apparently so incapable of taking care of themselves that we need Uncle Sam to take care of us. And that the only people who care about us are the ones with their hands in someone else’s pockets. I thought the days of the helpless damsels in distress were supposed to be over. Apparently not.

  • Metro

    Ann Romney should retort, with all her charity and advocacy work, that she has been a “Community Organizer”. Don’t tell me that’s not work either – in some places it will get you elected president ;)

  • TXRed

    Mr. Romney was a Stake President for his church. That involves a lot of what would be called pastoral work – assisting those in need. I wager that Mrs. Romney helped, just as any minister or rabbi’s spouse does. So she saw first-hand what needs are out there, even if only in her “neighborhood.”

    I agree that a First Lady who acts as a lady, who can pour oil on troubled waters and who can serve as a more “grace full” role model would be wonderful.

  • http://evilbloggerlady.blogspot.com/ EBL
  • http://www.pathwaystothepast.com Jackie

    Wow, after reading this poisonous list of hate-filled letters, I’ll agree that there is indeed a “War on Women” (regardless of who first coined the term), and the enemy is ourselves.

    Regardless of which choices we make, whether to be a stay-at-home mom or a working mother, there’s too often going to be other women criticizing us. For a good many women it’s an agonizing decision that leaves us feeling guilty or like we’re missing something…whichever we end up choosing. Don’t discount the envy factor, either. When I was a working mother, I envied those women who were able to both stay at home with their children AND be able to afford the time and money for the kindermusic, swimming lessons, preschool storytimes, etc. that I couldn’t afford when I had been a stay-at-home mom.

    It’s hard enough being a woman without having our own peers slice and dice us for our decisions. All you can do is make the best decisions possible at the time with the information you have at the time. And recognize that criticism is pretty much part of the human condition. Somehow, everyone feels they have the right to speak on behalf of women everywhere, when the reality is that the important place to speak our own minds is in the voting booth. Somehow, all these “right-thinking” good “Christian” women commenting above have not managed to change my mind–or my vote–in the least.

  • http://www.theleenmachine.blogspot.com KML

    Excellent post, Elizabeth. Exactly what I was hoping you’d say about this. I am disappointed but not surprised that the Dems decided to throw a big ol’ grenade right into the middle of the Mommy Wars. The whole manufactured War on Women isn’t doing its job, so time to move on to another wedge. I’d like to think that Rosen made a mistake, but she’s been doing this a long time and it’s her job to think about how what she says plays out in the media.

    Your post also brings up another peeve of mine which is the (often liberal) schtick that a family has to be rich to be able to afford to have a parent stay home. I listen to friends tell me that they are so envious that I “get” to stay home with my kids while they pack their suitcases for another vacation to Barbados or roll down the window on their new car. I want to tell them so badly that they CAN stay at home if they are just willing to sacrifice some of those things. But sacrifice isn’t really something we all do very well.

    I understand that Ann Romney probably didn’t have as many sacrifices, at least monetarily, as we have to deal with. However, she does approach women from the perspective of knowing WHY they make the choice to stay at home in spite of the economic disadvantages, and I believe that perspective helps her understand why women want choices and solutions that don’t compromise that choice. I don’t trust that the dems understand or value that priority.

  • Mandy P.

    @KML

    You make a really good point about the financials of staying home. For me personally, one of the reasons I chose to stay home was that I would have had to find a job making almost double what I was making when my son was born in order to break even. When we factored in the cost of day care, after hours care (because neither me or my husband worked a M-F, 9-5 job), the extra gas getting to and from work and day care, etc and so on, I would have actually been paying out more than I was taking in if I’d gone back to work. That’s just crazy.

    So, even though we’re not rich by any means, it made a lot more financial sense for me to stay home with the kids than to go back to work.

  • Freddie Sykes

    As the father of a now grown daughter, I wonder just how many young girls had a dream of being a stay at home mom with horses. The DNC has just pooped all over their youthful fantasies.

    Smart move!

  • Mark in Texas

    The thing I find most amusing about this is it focuses new attention on Michelle Obama’s $300,000 a year makework job at the hospital that was discontinued when she went to the White House.

    Whenever I think of Mrs.Obama at that job I am reminded of that season on the Sopranos when Tony’s crew would sit around in lawn chairs at the Esplanade construction site getting paid.

  • TANSTAAFL

    I always call those reactionary leftist snobs who have no idea what they are talking about “credentialed, but not educated.”

  • Rachel

    Is anyone talking about Rosen’s “many women don’t have the luxury of staying home” line? She got it from Obama, who used it in a speech last Friday, saying he and Michelle didn’t have the luxury of her staying home with Sasha and Malia. Straight from the horse’s mouth.

    The “luxury” line is where these Democrats truly reveal how out of touch they are. At-home parents are common in middle- and working-class families where the second income doesn’t even cover daycare costs. It’s more often a choice made out of economic necessity than economic luxury.

    And when it is driven by other non-economic motives, then it is a choice made by women to shape their lives as they wish. Isn’t that what feminism fought for?

  • MomInLatteland

    Who Am I? I am the person who drove on countless field trips during the day so your child could be exposed to arts, science and history. I am the person who spent hours developing character building activities for groups like Boy and Girl Scouts so your child could benefit. I am the person who spent hours working in the classroom helping your child to read and learn math. I am the person who sewed costumes and baked cookies for a myriad of plays and holiday celebrations in which your child participated. Who Am I? More often than not I am the Stay At Home Mom, working hard in my community as a volunteer, while you were working… for pay.

  • dry valleys

    What is being missed is that it’s only the Ann Romneys of this world, or at least those whose husbands are relatively high earners, who can stay at home and mind the children, with most women being forced into the workplace by economic necessity.

    I am all for a woman being free to do whatever she is able (and willing) to do. If there is a glass ceiling, it should be fought against, by legal means if need be (and there should be things like maternity leave and flexible working to make the workplace more female-friendly). At the same time, those women who want to stay at home should be free to do so, and their calling respected, as feminists too often don’t.

    That’s the real point. When women go and do ill-paid and unpleasant jobs, as my mother has done all her life, it’s because their husbands can’t provide for their family unless they are on relatively high incomes. And this is due, fundamentally, to the demise of industry and other adverse changes that neoliberal economics have wrought since the 1980s.

    It can be good for a woman to stay at home with the children, perhaps homeschooling: much better than relying on impersonal daycare centres for those who can’t use grandparents etc. But we are now in a situation where this choice doesn’t exist for millions of people because men can’t provide for their family according to the traditional model, even if they work, because there aren’t enough good jobs since the work their grandfathers did has been outsourced.

    This will not be welcome to any of the Romney family, nor for that matter to the likes of Hilary Rosen, who are quite wrong in their views.

  • dry valleys

    You have to ask why there are so many more working mothers than there were in past times. Not because they are “liberated”, that’s for sure.

  • Peggy R

    Did you also see Bill Donohue’s tweet today? He notes that Ann’s children were natural but that lesbian Rosen had to adopt. I was uncomfortable with that as an adoptive mother in a heterosexual, sacramental Catholic marriage. I don’t think he did that very well, though I know the point he wanted to get at–the unnaturalness of homosexual relationships and their inability to pro-create on their own.

    I am a stay home mom for a few years now. Wouldn’t trade it for the world. The kids need me here. I am an unemployed professional economist (credentialed ;^D) and family financially struggling lately. I haven’t found work and I really can’t put my kids in an after school care program. They’d hate not being able to come to their own home after a long day of school. I’d hate it for them.

    I like and respect Ann Romney. She’s a great asset to Mitt Romney.

  • A_Nonny_Mouse

    Just sitting here, enjoying a deep-in-the-back-of-my-throat chuckle at the blowback our Community-Organizer-In-Chief has encountered due to his latest foray into Class Warfare.

    “It’s not working!”

    Bwahahahah!

  • Sarge

    As an honest-to-God Ook-Ook he-man former Marine & professional title-bearer and bread-winner, I can tell you this much:

    You COULD NOT PAY ME ENOUGH to stay at home 24/7 with 5 kids for 20+ years.

    Full Stop.

  • http://MultimediaMemoriesIndy.com Diane B.

    ” I am inclined to take offense at the notion that a woman who finds her first vocation in child-rearing has surrendered her intellect, and therefore has nothing to say to the room. And make no mistake, that is precisely the sentiment that rests at the heart of Rosen’s remarks”

    Yes! Yes! Yes! You totally hit the nail on the head with one. I was thinking along those lines myself, but hadn’t seen anyone call out Rosen’s comment as the criticism of a mom’s intellect that it is.

    Bravo!

  • Pingback: Oops , How to Alienate the Women’s Vote in a Split Second « YouViewed/editorial

  • Teresa

    Several years ago I saw Ann Romney interviewed on Fox. She was quite articulate while discussing economic issues. I remember the interview because she was articulate and very impressive with her knowledge of the subject. I’ve seen her briefly since then and she strikes me as someone you would like to know better. I think the democrats will be making a big mistake if they continue their attacks on her. Judging from the news in the last few hours I think they may have realized they blew this gambit big time. It is not playing well. Knowing their tactics I’m sure they will come up with something else. Watch for the attacks on Romney’s religion.

  • MyOpinion

    [Excuse me? I've released everything that was held in moderation; nothing is being held back. I have not yet waded into my over-zealous spam filter for the day, as it is numbering in the hundreds, but regular readers will attest it often hangs up even the most regular of commenters. Frankly, though, if the attitude your betraying here is a hint, I doubt I'll be rushing over there to look for your comment(s). You're entitled to "your opinion" Mr. MyOpinion, but I am under no obligation to hunt it down and post it. - admin]


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