Democratic pundit and strategist Hilary Rosen has issued a statement apologizing to Ann Romney for saying Mrs. Romney "never worked a day in her life" on CNN Wednesday, but, political strategist that she is, she's not exactly ceding all her points. The statement reads in part:
As a partner in a firm full of women who work outside of the home as well as stay-at-home mothers, all with plenty of children, gender equality is not a talking point for me. It is an issue I live every day. I apologize to Ann Romney and anyone else who was offended. Let’s declare peace in this phony war and go back to focus on the substance
Rest assured that the "I apologize if you were offended" approach rarely, if ever, quells the offended parties, and it certainly doesn't when you characterize their offense as a "phony war." So this spat is far from over. Still, it's definitely more penitent than her tweet from last night: "@AnnDRomney Please know, I admire you. But your husband shouldn't say you are his expert on women and the economy. #HeNeedsMore." You get a sense that she's changed her tone quite a bit in the intervening hours.
Rosen argued last night on Anderson Cooper 360 that Mitt Romney shouldn't turn to his wife for advice on women in the economy, but her indelicate phrasing gave the Romney campaign a big old opening to point out that raising six boys is hard and -- hey while they're on the subject and you're all paying attention -- to hammer home their talking points on how their policies will do more to help women than President Obama's will. It's an offensive that Rosen's not particularly pleased about. From the statement:
Let’s put the faux ‘war against stay at home moms’ to rest once and for all. As a mom, I know that raising children is the hardest job there is. As a pundit, I know my words on CNN last night were poorly chosen. In response to Mitt Romney on the campaign trail referring to his wife as a better person to answer questions about women than he is, I was discussing his poor record on the plight of women’s financial struggles
It appears the strategist in Rosen has realized this isn't an issue that will play well for her or the candidate she supports. But as we say, the debate is likely to rage on, especially as the media is very much enjoying the return to a familiar conversation on the merits of stay-at-home moms. A very, very familiar conversation in fact ... Famous non-cookie-baking Secretary of State Hillary Clinton must be quite happy to be in the non-political State Department right about now.