April 12 2012
Carrie just posted on the DNC’s war on stay-at-home moms. Carrie mentioned DNC operative Hilary Rosen’s condescending contention that Ann Romney, who stayed at home to raise her five sons, has “never worked a day in her life.”
I second everything Carrie said, but I want to comment further because I think Ann Romney’s response to Rosen marks a kind of mini-turning point in the culture wars: a stay-at-home mom fought back and did so with wit and wisdom.
Ann Romney has entered Twitter world to show that she isn’t going to let the feminist establishment paint her as a Stepford wife, which is what they love to do to Republican women. ABC News had the story on how the dustup started:
Ann’s first tweet came just moments after Democratic strategist and DNC adviser Hilary Rosen lobbed an insult at Ann Romney, suggesting that the 64-year-old mother of five and grandmother of 16 had never held a job.
“Guess what, his wife has actually never worked a day in her life,” said Rosen, who was being interviewed by CNN’s Anderson Cooper about the “war on women.”
Mrs. Romney shot back:
And then, just like that, a familiar name popped up on Twitter: @AnnDRomney.
“I made a choice to stay home and raise five boys. Believe me, it was hard work,” Ann tweeted.
This is great on so many levels: it shows that Mrs. Romney isn’t afraid of the feminist establishment, that she is going to be fun to watch on the campaign trail, and that she is willing to stand up for women who have made a choice to stay home and bring up their children, a noble calling. Rosen’s remark (which Obama campaign strategists David Axelrod and Jim Messina quickly denounced) fits the classic Michael Kinsley definition of a gaffe: a gaffe is when a politician blurts out what he really means. People like Hilary Rosen really do look down on women who aren’t like them.
No, not all women can afford to stay home. We know that (and probably fewer can manage this in the Obama economy; we only hope that women who seek work will be able to find it in this anemic “recovery”). But at IWF we’ve always maintained that women should do what they want to. Do you really think Ann Romney’s choice was less valid than Hilary Rosen’s?
I’ve complained that Mitt Romney has to do more to counter the bogus “war on women” meme than send Ann Romney out on the campaign trail. But that doesn’t mean Mrs. Romney, who despite her wealth is more of an Everywoman than, say, Hilary Rosen, isn’t an incredible asset.
Oh, and Ms. Rosen tweeted back:
Then Rosen offered a welcome message to Ann, tweeting, “oh and @AnnDRomney welcome to Twitter. You will find it a very exhilarating and often unforgiving place!”
Yeah, Hilary, we somehow think that Ann Romney, in a ladylike way, is just as tough as you are.