Ouch. I'm counting the seconds until CNN commentator Hilary Rosen, who also is a DNC adviser, gets the boot from DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Not that I think Rosen should go, but that lone comment will be an ongoing distraction for weeks if the Democrats don't nip it in the bud.
The comment came as Rosen and others were discussing whether Mitt Romney really understands the economic issues facing women in general, and mothers in particular, in this country. And Rosen was trying to make a point questioning why Romney keeps saying he listens to his wife Ann when it comes to understanding the economic issues faced by women.
If Rosen had left out that one little sentence, the Twittersphere would not be abuzz and Rosen's name would never have been a trending topic. If she had stuck with her other comments -- that because the Romneys have had such a privileged life financially they can't understand the issues faced by millions of mothers who are worried about how they're going to care for their kids, put food on the table and hope they're living near good schools.
The Romneys can't deny they've never had to worry about whether they'd have to eat Ramen noodles for dinner or whether it was safe for their kids to walk to school. If the Romney campaign wants a representative it can rely on to dig deep into how to connect with women voters who are struggling in this economy, Ann Romney isn't that person.
Yes, she can be the secret weapon to make Mitt look more human. Yes, she can complete his political narrative and make him seem more relatable as she shares her personal story and experiences with Mitt. But as a millionaire mom who didn't have to choose between spending time with her kids and holding down a couple of jobs just to put food on the table, she is not the right person to be advising any campaign on what most women -- most moms -- are facing.
This isn't about an inartful comment made by a talking head on a cable news show. The real issue is whether the Romney campaign wants to understand what women want to focus on in this election year. If it does, he'll stop talking about how his wife is acting as the female voter go-between on the economy and start talking to real women himself. Oh, and he might want to brush up on the Lilly Ledbetter Act, too.
And if one more person says this is just an attack on stay-at-home moms, rather than a larger discussion of women voters, I'm going to send them to their room.
Joanne Bamberger is the author of the Amazon.com bestseller, Mothers of intention: How Women and Social Media are Revolutionizing Politics in America (Bright Sky Press). Joanne, a Washington, D.C.-based writer and political/media analyst, is the founder of the political blog, PunditMom, and is the 2012 Election Editor/Contributor for iVillage.
Follow Joanne Bamberger on Twitter: www.twitter.com/JLCBamberger
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