Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen dismissed Mitt Romney’s reliance upon his wife’s advice vis-à-vis women’s issues because, in her words, Ann Romney “…has never worked a day in her life.” Zing!
This very thoughtless complaint caused me much puzzlement, since in my observation those women who choose to stay home and be full-time Moms don’t spend the bulk of their time sitting around the house watching soap operas and eating bon-bons. That’s me, I suppose, but if the stay-at-home Moms that Rosen knows are so relaxed, perhaps she needs to get out more. Assuming that she knows any. It seems that she ought to, since Rosen herself evidently raised two of her own children while in the midst of a career.
After this episode blew up in her face (both Ann Romney and the Obama White House commented on the inappropriateness of her remarks), Ms. Rosen backtracked a bit, but still maintained that Ann Romney could not be a good source of advice on the concerns of working women.
And here is where I get a little perplexed. Does Ms. Rosen imagine that the number of stay-at-home Moms in the country is so negligible that Mitt Romney can afford to ignore their concerns, and only focus on the working mothers? I would hope not, but if his wife had been a working mother, how would he gotten advice on the concerns of the stay-at-homes? I suppose he could have found himself a second wife, one who stayed at home and raised the kids – although to the best of my knowledge that’s illegal – so that would have gotten him the benefit of advice on both sides?
This is the nutty part of it. Romney has a wife who can advise him on issues related to her own experience as a woman, and as a woman who knows other women, he has the benefit of in-house expertise. But who does he rely upon when it comes to the concerns of stay-at-home Dads? Romney himself was a working Dad. And what about the concerns of any other group who might have different perspectives? Well, gee, I guess he has to rely upon people who have those perspectives – does Rosen imagine that Romney doesn’t have any such people in his campaign? So what the HELL is wrong with Romney taking advantage of his own wife’s perspective just because she doesn’t happen to be both a working Mom? Is he then supposed to IGNORE his own wife?
If I, as a Romney supporter, were I to claim that Barack Obama was in error in relying upon his own wife’s advice on women’s issues – because Michelle was a working Mom and could not relate to stay-at-home Moms – I’d bet that Rosen would have been all over me in a heartbeat. And she would have been justified!