March 12 2012

What Women Care About

Karin Agness

A new poll out today finds that the highest percentage of people in the poll’s history strongly disapprove of President Obama’s economic performance:

A majority of Americans disapprove of the way President Barack Obama is handling the economy -- with a record number who "disapprove strongly" -- amid soaring gas prices and an uncertain fiscal future, a new Washington Post-ABC News survey out Monday found.

The poll found that 50 percent of those surveyed strongly disapprove of Obama's economic performance -- the highest in the poll's history. A total of 59 percent gave the president negative marks on the economy.

The President’s numbers are worse on the issue of the budget deficit:

Sixty-three percent of Americans gave him negative marks on the country's budget deficit, while just 16 percent strongly approved of his work in that area.

Yet this latest poll on the economy could be drowned out.  The last week in domestic political news has largely been consumed by articles, tweets and video clips sparked by Rush Limbaugh’s use of the word slut.  Kirsten Powers wrote an article for the Daily Beast arguing that liberal hosts should be held accountable for how they refer to women as well.  She used Bill Maher as an example:

But the grand pooh-bah of media misogyny is without a doubt Bill Maher—who also happens to be a favorite of liberals—who has given $1 million to President Obama’s super PAC. Maher has called Palin a “dumb twat” and dropped the C-word in describing the former Alaska governor. He called Palin and Congresswoman Bachmann “boobs” and “two bimbos.” He said of the former vice-presidential candidate, “She is not a mean girl. She is a crazy girl with mean ideas.” He recently made a joke about Rick Santorum’s wife using a vibrator. Imagine now the same joke during the 2008 primary with Michelle Obama’s name in it, and tell me that he would still have a job. Maher said of a woman who was harassed while breast-feeding at an Applebee’s, “Don't show me your tits!” as though a woman feeding her child is trying to flash Maher. (Here’s a way to solve his problem: don’t stare at a strangers’ breasts). Then, his coup de grâce: “And by the way, there is a place where breasts and food do go together. It’s called Hooters!”

As a politically active young conservative woman, I find this discussion about the portrayal of women in the media to be fascinating and important.  But this isn’t the main event.  As women, we must be careful not to get distracted by this colorful debate and lose sight of the main issue in this election.  Women care about the economy and the proper role of government in the economy, and we can and should be talking about it.  Ann Romney took the opportunity during her speech on Super Tuesday to try to get Republican women focused again on the economy:

I have something to say about some of the women that I'm hearing from. And we've been all across this country. Do you know what women care about? This is what I love. Women care about jobs.  Women care about the economy. They care about their children. And they care about the debt. And they're angry. And they're furious about the entitlement debt that we're leaving our children. So this is what we're hearing when we're out there. This is our message. It's an economic message. It's about the future for our children. That's what I'm hearing out there.

Ann Romney is wise to try to remind us that women care about the economy.  Talking about sluts is great for headlines, but likely won’t decide the election.

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