Has Ann Romney actually worked a day in her life or not?

This dust-up over “Ann Romney has never worked a day in her life” is just everything that’s wrong with political coverage.  The Romney campaign takes false umbrage at what an adviser to an adviser to Obama and largely unknown CNN political pundit says (which was entirely accurate) and we get breathless front-page coverage:

The so-called war on women escalated Thursday onto a new front, after a Democratic strategist and cable-television pundit declared that Ann Romney, the stay-at-home, mother-of-five wife of the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, had “never worked a day in her life.” This time, however, Republicans were on the offensive. And after weeks of hammering Romney and the Republicans on gender-related issues, including contraception coverage and equal pay for women, President Obama’s forces were thrown on defense. Taking to the social media Web site Twitter, where the gaffe had grown into a firestorm, top Obama campaign officials scrambled to distance themselves from the comments on CNN by Hilary Rosen, a political and public relations consultant who is a business associate of former White House communications director Anita Dunn.

Weiglel’s post basically points out how absurd this all is.  Now, was this a stupid thing (or at least a stupid way to put it) for Rosen?  Of course.  Unfortunately, the Post article doesn’t even give the full context of her remarks, but I find Rosen’s own defense to be entirely legitimate:

Rosen made several attempts to defend her comments on Twitter, saying that she admired Ann Romney but was trying to point out that the candidate’s wife — often cited by Mitt Romney as his sounding board on women’s concerns — has not experienced the economic struggles that many working mothers face.

I think that’s very true.  I totally support stay-at-home moms if that’s their choice.  Kim was one for years and now she’s a work-at-home mom.  But insofar as Ann Romney is supposedly a liaison to women (because Mitt can’t handle it), she simply has not faced the difficulties that working moms face and that certainly shape their experience of the economy and how politics impacts their lives.

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About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

One Response to Has Ann Romney actually worked a day in her life or not?

  1. itchy says:

    Nothing against Ann Romney, but she probably hasn’t even worked as a stay-at-home mom. She probably hires people to stay-at-home-mom for her. There’s nothing wrong with that if you can pull it off, but Rosen probably should not even have backed down on that.

    But, beyond that, what if the Romneys didn’t have children? Then Ann Romney would be a “wife,” which, of course, is a lot of hard work. Basically, you can play off this second meaning of “work” for just about anything. This counterargument is a logical fallacy known as equivocation. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equivocation) “Never worked a day in her life” clearly means to be employed, not to endeavor toward a goal.

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