Via Supplyboys News, it’s hard to tell from the audio but ABC says Ann Romney got a “hero’s welcome” and a “rock-star reception” from the crowd. Team Mitt must have anticipated it: It sounds like her intro here, which is brief and halting in spots, might have been a last-minute addition to capitalize on l’affaire Rosen. They were always planning to use her in their outreach to women, but now I wonder if her profile’s been sufficiently raised that they’re going to expand her role on the trail more generally. Is that good news or bad? On the one hand, she’s warm and sympathetic. On the other hand, per Byron York, it’s a further temptation to playing Obama’s “war on women” game:
The underlying point they’re trying to make, say Romney aides, is that the big issue for women is the economy, and not contraceptives or abortion, as Democrats screaming “war on women” would have voters believe. Of course, those issues that matter most to women — jobs, economic growth, the price of gas — matter just as much to men. None of them involves a “war on women” by anybody.
One of the main themes of the Romney campaign is that in 2009 and 2010, when Americans were desperate for a president to devote his energies to creating jobs and fixing the economy, Obama was instead obsessed with passing an intrusive and vastly expensive national health care plan, as well as with pushing through Congress a pork-laden stimulus, and even hoped to pass a cap-and-trade scheme that would have reordered the parts of the economy that hadn’t already been reordered by the health care scheme.
Yet now Romney calls Obama’s obvious economic failures “the real war on women.” Romney’s motives are pretty transparent: He’s trying to fight back against the Democrats’ latest talking point. But Republicans know the Democratic charge is ridiculous. Why make one of their own?
Feminists are waiting for her too:
“I simply have not seen her in any way as an advocate for women’s empowerment in society,” said Kim Gandy, the former head of the National Organization for Women, of Ann Romney before Rosen’s comments. “And since Gov. Romney looks to her to find out what women care about, that does not bode well. I haven’t heard her speaking out about increasing women’s opportunity for higher paid employment, for women in non-traditional occupations, specifically for increasing pay equity for women, closing the pay gap, certainly not on women’s reproductive rights.”
Privately, senior Democrats are even more candid — predicting that the relitigating of the Mommy Wars against the backdrop of a larger Retro Mitt campaign is not a battle that any Republican, and especially not this one, can win.
“She doesn’t connect in any ways with the women that he has a problem with,” a Democratic strategist aligned with Obama said of Ann Romney, alluding to the GOP hopeful’s polling deficit with younger, college-educated women. “She’s as foreign to them as he is. That’s not to disparage anybody who stays home and raises kids. But she’s just not like them.”
A second Democratic strategist acknowledged that the Rosen flap was “messy today,” but added: “They’re not going to win on this issue.”
That’s from Politico’s piece on the Don Draper-ization of Romney, but even without having watched a single episode of “Mad Men” I know Mitt’s a starkly different character from DD. What’s really going on with Democrats, it seems, is the Ward Cleaver-ization of Romney, with Ann soon to be cast as June. Can sniping at the Romneys for being a wholesome nuclear family in the mold of 1950s America distract enough voters from protracted unemployment and crushing deficits to earn The One four more years of protracted unemployment and crushing deficits? Stay tuned.