War on moms?

A Democratic adviser says Ann Romney, who raised five boys, hasn’t worked a day in her life.

To quote Rick Perry, “oops.”

Everybody knows the mom of five kids is working plenty, and the job never seems to end. Have you ever had two kids with croup in the same night? We have, and believe me that is work, a 24-hour-a-day job. I’m sure Ann Romney had more significant challenges.

Unfortunately, it is all too common these days to hear people saying women “don’t work” unless they leave the house to go earn money. It is especially sad to hear a woman trying to make political points by claiming Mitt Romney is out of touch by claiming that a mother of five children never worked.

In fairness, it should be noted that many Obama spokespeople immediately distanced themselves from the comment. Gaffes like this cannot help the campaigner in chief get another four years. Is it possible the backlash to this comment will help bring more respect for stay-at-home moms? Let’s hope so, but I tend to think it will be short-lived.

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About Geoff B.

Geoff B graduated from Stanford University (class of 1985) and worked in journalism for several years until about 1992, when he took up his second career in telecommunications sales. He has held many callings in the Church, but his favorite calling is father and husband. Geoff is active in martial arts and loves hiking and skiing. Geoff has five children and lives in Colorado.

23 thoughts on “War on moms?

  1. Obviously this has awoken the bee in my bonnet this morning….

    I posted this story on my facebook and a friend commented, that Ann Romney can’t relate to work-out-of-the-home-moms….

    Begging to differ with that…

    I think that Ann Romney is trying to show compassion and empathy for people here, which is something that Hilary Rosen clearly does not understand. No two people have the same life and experiences, that does not mean we cannot try to understand someone else and their situation.

    I choose to stay home with my kids, however, I still have the same worries and concerns as my working mom friends…how to pay for everything with inflation, how to teach my kids the right things, how to get it all done in a 24 hour day….etc, etc, etc.

    I’m sure if Hilary Rosen came by to “not work” at my house, she’d be running scraming, or crying in the closet in about 2 hours….whimp.

  2. Joyce, my wife points out that every job she has had ends after eight hours and she gets to go home. Her job as Mom is 24X7. Hilary Rosen would run screaming from our house after about five minutes, and we only have three boys, not five. Just ask some of our babysitters.

  3. The Romney campaign will be too stupid to use this opening as they could to highlight Mrs. Obama’s “work” experience. From Steve Sailer in 2009:

    Many on the left are displeased by both the effectiveness and content of Barack Obama’s leadership on health care finance reform. Where’s the Canadian-style single payer system? Is the public option in or out?

    What’s almost never mentioned is that a large private medical institution, the University of Chicago Hospitals, invested heavily in influencing Obama’s mindset on this issue by employing his wife, back when he was the ranking Democrat on the Illinois Senate Health and Human Services committee, as their diversity outreach coordinator at a six figure salary. When Obama moved up to the U.S. Senate, his wife’s compensation was bumped all the way up to $317k. When she became First Lady and could no longer serve, the U of C Hospitals simply eliminated this previously crucial position.

    Funny how you never hear much about that from the left …

    In the same vein, President Obama called on Romney to release more of his tax records to show that his fortune was honestly amassed. Shouldn’t the Republican answer to that prominently feature the name Tony Rezko, Obama’s old fundraiser, super sweet real estate deal arranger, and incarcerated felon? But it won’t.

  4. Another comment on another blog I frequent this morning said it pefectly:

    Rosen confuses income with work. One does not always equal the other. Furthermore while calling on Ann Romney to recognize that many women have to work and raise a family, Rosen fails to recognize that most women who choose to stay home and raise children make a simultaneous choice and sacrifice and that raising their children on a single income makes them accutely aware of economic issues. They too are feeding, clothing, educating children. Don’t discount an individual’s economic awareness or accumen based on whether or not they earn a pay check. Talk about out of touch……..

    Wrap that up and take it home…

  5. Small detail for those assuming that Rosen would “run screaming” from their homes: she has twins. I don’t know the details of her family life, but making broad assumptions about her are as bad as the broad assumptions she made about Ann Romney.

    Which is in no way a defense of her comments. They were stupid and her defense of them is even more stupid.

  6. Decent point, BrianJ, although I would stack my three boys’ ability to create havoc against any twins out there! When it comes to chaos, the Geoff B boys are second to none.

  7. So, she misspoke. But the flub “never worked a day in her life” should not override the main point that she was trying to make–that Ann Romney might not be the best window into the struggles that most American women face: how to juggle parenting with work, while struggling to pay the bills on less than $10 million (after tax) per year.

    Any experience Ann Romney might have with those challenges is either second-hand–she knows someone in that situation–or else it’s a nearly 40-year-old memory from the days Mitt was in school. But I suspect that the son of the former president of American Motors and a cabinet officer may have had more family money at his disposal than some of the rest of us did when we were young and married and in school.

  8. Mark B: I just think that’s a pointless point. Rosen criticized Mitt for quoting his wife Ann; Ann talks to women around the country and reports to Mitt that they are concerned about the economy; i.e., when you want to talk “women’s issues” in this election, make sure you include the economy. Ann is a perfectly well-qualified “advisor” to Mitt in regards to what women around the country are concerned about.

    Ann’s ability to understand economic constraints on the women she meets with has nothing to do with her own experience—she just has to be smart enough to do the simple math: Ann hears women saying that they are concerned about finances, she does the math in her head, realizes (quite readily) that the women aren’t making things up (i.e., it really is hard to support a family!), and she passes on the info to Mitt. If Ann had reported something incorrect—e.g., that middle-class women are cry babies—then Rosen’s point might explain why Ann could be so insensitive. But Ann isn’t being insensitive. Rosen’s point is a red herring meant to make Ann look wrong even though Ann is right.

  9. Mark B, I think the emphasis on Ann Romney’s income is a complete red herring and only meant to repeat the liberal mantra that the Romneys are “out of touch” with average Americans. It is also shows that modern-day liberals are obsessed with money and how much other people make, which is, ahem, covetousness and a violation of the 10th commandment. The “fairness” canard is about bringing other people down because of their financial success when we should be concentrating on bringing all people up. Life is about more than money, and in this regard Ann Romney has had more than her fair share of struggles (MS, breast cancer, raising five active boys).

    Ann Romney was more comfortable than many people, but Mitt was away doing his job and Church work while she was changing diapers and making food for growing boys. From all available information, she was very aware of family finances and would be able to speak from a deep level of knowledge on the problems that most women face. To claim that she is somehow out of touch is to show how out of touch people who make such comments about the Romneys truly are.

  10. You seem, BrianJ, to have agreed with what I said–that whatever ability Ann Romney had as an advisor to Mitt on women’s concerns comes secondhand–not from her own experience with the struggles that most American women face, but from her experience listening to them tell her about those struggles.

    And that’s fine–I heard Mrs. Romney’s interview this morning, and, frankly, she comes across as more genuine than her husband, and I’m sure that she’s able to listen and understand and share with Mitt the things that she’s told.

    And, Geoff B., my only experience with wealthy people suggests that they indeed forget very quickly what it’s like for those not in their economic class. Have the Romneys escaped that trap? I don’t know–but Mitt’s reference to his $350,000+ of earnings in speaker’s fees as “not very much” suggests that he views money quite a bit differently than I do.

    In 2006, median household income in the U.S. was about $50,000 and fewer than 2% of households had income over $250,000. Which suggests that 98% of Americans would be quite happy with a year of “not very much” by Mitt’s standards.

  11. I wrote a snarky comment, but let me try a different tack. I have know a fair amount of wealthy people. Some of them are horrible people, some very, very good. One of the thing you learn about wealthy people when you are around them is that they can be extremely aware of money in ways that might surprise those of us who earn a fraction of what they do. I have learned that making generalizations like, “they forget what it is like to be poor” are simply not true because the truth is that most wealthy people obsess about being poor, which is one of the reasons they are rich, ie, they care a lot about money.

    I think there is ample evidence to support the contention that Ann Romney can speak knowledgeably about the struggles of middle class and even poor women, regardless of her income. I will leave it at that.

  12. Much ado about nothing. After the way popularity among female voters has shifted away from Romney in the past couple of months, I can see why the GOP would grasp at anything they can to create some controversy among women.

  13. When read in context it seems pretty obvious that Rosen wasn’t criticizing Ann Romney for staying home. She was criticizing the Romney campaign for presenting Ann Romney as an expert on the economic concerns of women in America, when Romney’s own circumstances, including the fact that she could stay home with her sons, make her very much different from most some women in the United States.

    I’m sorry, but having a ten minute chat with a woman on the campaign trail does not make you an expert on the difficulties of a single mother struggling to find a way to pay rent and buy groceries on $12 an hour.

    Gaffes like this cannot help the campaigner in chief get another four years.

    You mean gaffes Ann Romney going on about her many dress horses? Yeah, that’s the woman that knows the economic difficulties of the average woman.

  14. Which is all missing the obvious point, anything said about Ann Romney would apply to Michele Obama, too. The Obamas aren’t exactly working class themselves.

  15. “Much ado about nothing.” True, which is fine and good in its place as part of a political campaign, but another demonstration of how having presidential political campaigns stretch out a couple years makes us a stupider nation. Republicans thought it was important to hold primaries in January and that Santorum close shop now so that Romney and Obama could have a full seven months going at each other? Two or three months wouldn’t be plenty?

  16. I worked and brought up 2 boys and 1 girl
    It was difficult at the time .
    But now I am free (no more pocket money to spend out on )
    life I think is better off working .

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