Mitt Romney's campaign has launched an all-out war against President Obama to win the ladies back. Unfortunately, the weapons at its disposal are quite limited.
Romney's difficult situation is neatly illustrated in a story by The New York Times' Ashley Parker and Trip Gabriel about the moment during a press call when Romney's aides were unable to answer whether their candidate supported the Lilly Ledbetter Act, which makes it easier for women to sue if their employers pay them less because they're female. The campaign eventually put out a statement saying Romney supports equal pay. But that did not please everyone. The Times spoke to the Cato Institute's Daniel Mitchell, who said of Romney's statement, "It depends on if he was being Clintonian and saying something that can be interpreted in multiple ways, because every free market person will say they’re in favor of equal pay… But the suspicion among free market people is that Romney won’t contest the left’s framing and narrative on this issue." Get that? His best-case scenario is that Romney is being weasely. Sure, women will be paid exactly what their work is worth in a perfect free market, but a perfect free market is a libertarian fantasy that has never existed in real life. But if Romney can't say he backs equal pay, he doesn't have much left in his arsenal.
Here's all the things Romney wants to do for women:
Gas prices. "In the coming days, the Romney campaign plans to lay out more details about the 'real' war on women, especially as it relates to Mr. Romney’s favorite topic — jobs and the economy," The Times says. "The issue of energy, for instance, could be used to talk about how rising gas prices will affect soccer moms who need to drop their children at practice, or commute to work." But of course, in a wholesome two-parent home, everyone feels the pain of high gas prices, unless dad doesn't drive. It's ridiculous to argue that high oil prices hurt women more than men. Most of our beauty products aren't even made from petroleum anymore.
Twitter Spats. On CNN Wednesday night, Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen said Ann Romney "never worked a day in her life." The Romney campaign immediately responded by getting Ann her own Twitter account. She tweeted, "I made a choice to stay home and raise five boys. Believe me, it was hard work." Politico's James Hohmann says the incident is getting skeptical conservatives to unite around Romney. "Obama campaign manager Jim Messina and top strategist David Axelrod condemned Rosen’s statement last night, and importantly Rosen does NOT work for the campaign (this should mitigate the damage)," Hohmann writes "BUT watch for this to gets TONS of cable play, especially if Ann has a good zinger at 10:40 (she will)."
Ann Romney seems like a very nice lady with a nice marriage and a nice family, but she is an unlikely symbol for the hardworking everymom. Many women who stayed home after having kids at least had a job in college or after. In fact, Ann has had the kind of life lots of ladies envy: She spent a semester of college in France at the University of Grenoble (For example, in 2008, Sarah Palin mocked well-traveled youngsters like Ann was, saying, "I'm not one of those who maybe come from a background of, you know, kids who perhaps graduated college and their parents get them a passport and a backpack and say, 'Go off and travel the world.' Noooo. I worked all my life.") Ann has multiple Cadillacs. She jokes she has a "horse in every port." But even if she was a Mom of the People, zingers on Twitter won't do much to help the women of America. But it is playing well on Drudge today: