Posts Tagged Rosen

Free Wood Post – Ann Romney: It’s Hard Work Micromanaging A Full Staff In Multiple Homes

Ann Romney: It’s Hard Work Micromanaging A Full Staff In Multiple Homes

April 12, 2012

By Sarah Wood

"Ann Romney" "Stay at home mom" "managing house staff"

Recently, Ann Romney has been on the defense about remarks made by CNN Political Contributor, Hilary Rosen. Rosen said that Ann “has actually never worked a day in her life … she’s never really dealt with the kinds of economic issues that a majority of the women in this country are facing.” Ann Romney responded on Fox News saying, “my career choice was to be a mother, and I think all of us need to know that we need to respect the choices women make.”

Later in the day on CNN Ann Romney said that “it’s hard work micromanaging a full staff in multiple homes. There were several nannies to oversee, as well as a number of maids, butlers, chauffeurs, gardeners, tutors and private coaches. My struggles were not easy, but neither are the struggles of other stay-at-home moms all across the nation. We need to stick together and not have other women put us down for the choices we make. Not all of us are cut out to work and tend to our children, and some of us prioritize family over a fantasy that we could one day be as successful as a man. I stand by my decision to be a stay-at-home mom.”

Catching up with Mitt Romney on the campaign trail he said, “My wife is someone other ladies can look up to. She is strong, and a good mom. My boys are lucky to have her, and I’m lucky to have her. She was a great supervisor to our house staff, and always made sure things were running smoothly. Ms. Rosen has no right to criticize my wife’s decisions.”

Hilary Rosen was reached at her home and asked what she thought of the Romneys’ responses to her original comments. She said, “that family is so out of touch, you couldn’t even begin to get near them with a 100-foot-pole.”

Free Wood Post will keep you updated as this debate advances.

 Free Wood Post.

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Hilary Rosen was right. Ann Romney doesn’t speak for women in the workforce. – The Washington Post

Hilary Rosen was right: Ann Romney doesn’t speak for women in the workforce.

By Linda HirshmanPublished: April 13

Beltway pundit Hilary Rosen committed a mortal sin of American politics: She spoke the truth with a microphone on.

“What you have,” she told Anderson Cooper on Wednesday night, “is Mitt Romney running around the country saying: ‘Well, you know, my wife tells me that what women really care about are economic issues. And when I listen to my wife, that’s what I’m hearing.’

 “Guess what?” Rosen observed. “His wife has actually never worked a day in her life.”

With that, the storm erupted.

Of course stay-at-home moms “work,” women from Barbara Bush to Michelle Obama quickly asserted. All that housekeeping and child care is a lot of work. President Obama, apparently needing more distance from Rosen’s comments, suggested Thursday that candidates’ spouses should be “off limits” altogether.

And surely, taking care of a family is hard work. In Ann Romney’s case, managing the very elaborate Romney establishment — five children,three or four houses and two Cadillacs — probably takes as much labor as most jobs in the market economy. Within 24 hours, Rosen was apologizing to all those women laboring in their homes for implying that they don’t work.

In the furor, everyone seemed to forget that unpaid mothers and household work are not what the discussion is about. Republicans are not talking about how jobs for stay-at-home moms have decreased under Obama.

They are talking about how paid work for women has suffered. Mitt Romney said this past week that 92 percent of the jobs lost under Obama were lost by women. Erick Erickson, a Republican commentator who joined Rosen on Cooper’s CNN show, argued that the president is responsible for the decline of women’s jobs in the paid workplace.

And work as she may, that’s one place Ann Romney has never been. She has spent her life in the private precincts of the marital workplace, where emotional ties replace the financial norms of the factory or office.

Now, she has emerged to campaign for her husband and to explain to him what women want. “I’ve had the fun of being out with my wife the last several days on the campaign trail,” Mitt Romney told Fox Newsthis month. “And she points out that as she talks to women, they tell her that their number one concern is the economy.”

At a recent campaign event, Romney said he wished his wife were there to help answer a question about female voters. “She says that she’s going across the country and talking with women, and what they’re talking about is the debt that we’re leaving the next generation and the failure of this economy to put people back to work.”

When Ann Romney’s husband, who faces a gender gap in some polls, uses her experience and insight as a megaphone for women’s concern over fewer paid jobs, he mistakenly assumes that all women are fungible. Which was, I take it, Rosen’s original point.

Although Ann Romney may be a fine spokesperson on some issues, the dirty little secret of angling for female votes is that while all women’s work, inside or outside the home, has the same worth, as Michelle Obama and Barbara Bush sweetly expressed, all women do not have the same interests. Women who work in the home do not have the same interest in the recovery of the formal job market as women who have to work for pay. Indeed, wage-earning women probably have more in common with their paycheck-dependent male co-workers on the subject of economic recovery than with household laborers such as Ann Romney.

Unemployment is not the only issue on which women in the formal workplace split from their informally occupied sisters. Equal pay is another. And that is more complicated for Mitt Romney, given his support of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R), who led the charge to repeal his state’s Equal Pay Enforcement Act, which protected women against pay discrimination. Recently, a Romney aide was unable to say whether the candidate supported the latest addition to federal equal-pay law, the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which guarantees equal pay for equal work.

Women whose work consists of caring for their households and children don’t need to worry about being paid less than their male counterparts. First, they aren’t paid at all, in any formal sense, and second, unless their husbands take a male spouse alongside them — an unlikely social development — they won’t confront sex discrimination at their workplace. Actually, Romney himself, a proud member of the capitalist economy and of a religious minority with a history of discrimination, has more in common with female workers than his wife does in discouraging arbitrary workplace discrimination. Ann Romney huffily reminded her husband’s detractors that some of his best employees have been women. But they were his employees; why is he using his wife to get that message out?

Ann Romney could of course speak for some interests common to all women (and not common to men). All women, for example, have an interest in controlling their reproduction. They may choose to put the issue in the hands of some god, or they may choose to control it themselves, but it is an issue on which women as a group differ from men as a group. What might Ann Romney say about the interest of women in birth control?

Or in breast cancer detection and research, an area where women have an interest different from all but a tiny handful of men? When the Susan G. Komen foundation announced cuts to breast-cancer-related funding for Planned Parenthood, Mitt Romney might have had his wife address that issue, in which, as a breast cancer survivor, she happens to have a real personal stake.

Many women in the market economy share with women at home a desire for a more forgiving workplace, one where they could both work for pay and have better family lives. Maybe Ann Romney would like to address the relentless Republican opposition to the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Although Democrats, who are especially dependent on female voters in swing states, probably don’t think so, Rosen’s gaffe may be a blessing. It’s time to stop treating women as if we were one monolithic interest group. In the highly contested demographic of white female voters, married women such as Ann Romney who derive their livelihoods from the success of their husbands vote overwhelmingly for the GOP. And Republicans such as Wisconsin’s Walker tend to look after the interests of men, in, say, being paid more than women with the same job. Maybe Democrats ought to concentrate on those voters — single women, wage-earning women — who do have an interest in equal pay.

After a whirlwind few days, Rosen on Friday canceled a scheduled appearance on “Meet the Press.” In a statement, she explained that she had said everything she wanted to on the matter. “I apologized to Mrs. Romney and work-in-home moms for mistakenly giving the impression that I do not think their work is valuable. Of course it is. I will instead spend the weekend trying to explain to my kids the value of admitting a mistake and moving on.”

But what if Rosen could teach her kids something more valuable: what it means to say something true and difficult, and stand by it. Her comments were uncharacteristically tone-deaf. But her call to focus on those women who are really hurt by job losses was pitch-perfect.

 Hilary Rosen was right. Ann Romney doesn’t speak for women in the workforce. – The Washington Post.

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What Hilary Rosen Wishes She Had Said – 2012 Decoded

What Hilary Rosen Wishes She Had Said

By Jackie Koszczuk

April 12, 2012

Step on board the 2012 time machine. First, we’re debating whether women should have combat roles, next, whether they should have unfettered access to birth control and now, whether they really “work” if they shun the traditional workforce to stay at home to raise children. But, as I was reaching into the back of my closet to see if I could my locate my old white bell-bottoms and the jacket with the Indian fringe on the sleeves, it dawned that this newest political hot button – touched off by Democratic operative Hilary Rosen’s comment that Ann Romney “hasn’t worked a day in her life” – is not the 1970s throwback that it appears to be at first blush.

During the daylong fallout from Rosen’s remark, Salon’s Joan Walsh was among the commentators wondering aloud why we are once again this election season debating a question that has been asked and answered decisively since the feminist movement radically altered working lives for both sexes. But, on reflection, the quandary of work-versus-home touches a nerve for women that is still quite raw in some ways, despite three bygone decades of well-intentioned government actions intended to guarantee a level playing field of choice.

How many women who have chosen careers, while also having families, have not experienced the anguish of the unknowable emotional deprivations they fear they’ve inflicted on their kids?  And how many women who have chosen to stay home have not experienced pangs of remorse for the under-utilized graduate degree or the unrequited dream of becoming a cop. And how many more women would just kill to have the choice? How many are dropping off kids at day care on their way to punch a clock at Walmart because it’s a job, not a career, and they didn’t choose it, they just need it.

It’s the latter problem for working women today that Rosen was hoping to illuminate this week, before getting sidetracked with an ill considered swipe at Ann Romney about whether she “works” or not. She wrote in her blog today, “I admire women who can stay home and raise their kids full time. I even envy them sometimes. It is a wonderful luxury to have the choice. But let’s stipulate that it is not a choice that most women have in America today.”

Romney is a wealthy woman, and she in fact enjoys the luxury of choosing between the workplace and raising her five kids. For that matter, Rosen is a sought-after and well-compensated political communications strategist who gets to make the same choice. Chances are, if cooler heads prevailed, neither would deny the other those very personal decisions. It’s just a lot tougher to know what to do about the Walmart women, who want choice too, but can’t afford it. That’s where the debate ceases to be about an old social issue and becomes a very relevant and current economic one.


There would be nothing at all anachronistic about the Rosen flap if it succeeds in prompting a debate in 2012 about ways to more evenly distribute the wealth of having the ability to choose.

What Hilary Rosen Wishes She Had Said – 2012 Decoded.

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Rosen gives Romney a chance to close the presidential gender gap – The Hill’s Blog Briefing Room


Rosen gives Romney a chance to close the presidential gender gap

By Alicia M. Cohn  04/12/12


Hilary Rosen’s comments that Ann Romney had “never” worked outside the home triggered a new round in the culture wars and provided an opening for Republicans to close a gender gap between Mitt Romney and President Obama.

Both parties seemed to sense that the veteran Democratic strategist’s criticism of the stay-at-home mom could be a game-changer in the fight for female voters.

Obama’s campaign sought to distance itself from Rosen, an adviser to the Democratic National Committee, and Romney’s campaign put the candidate’s wife on television, where she urged Rosen to “respect” the choices of other women.

“Look, I know what it’s like to struggle,” Ann Romney said on Fox News.

“Maybe I haven’t struggled as much financially as much as some people have,” said Ann Romney, who has battled breast cancer and multiple sclerosis. “I can tell you and promise you that I have had struggles in my life.”

Ann Romney, who has emerged as a strength of her husband’s campaign, then defended the presumptive GOP presidential nominee.

“I would love to have people understand that Mitt and I have compassion for people who are struggling, and that’s why we’re running,” she continued.

She also defended her husband’s respect for women and his record of female advisers.

“You should see how many women he listens to. And that’s what I love about Mitt. He has so many women in his circles,” she said.

Obama has opened up a 19 percentage point lead over Romney among female voters, according to some polls, and Romney’s campaign this week has been doing everything it can to try to close the gap.

Rosen’s remarks on CNN Wednesday night, in that context, were a gift.

The strategist said Romney should not cite his wife as an influence on his economic policies toward women because Ann Romney — a mother of five — has “never worked a day in her life.”

Rosen initially showed few signs of backing down on Thursday. On Twitter, Rosen responded to becoming part of the latest campaign controversy by tweeting, “Bring it on!” But under heavy fire from her own party, Rosen issued a statement of apology to Ann Romney later in the day.

“I apologize to Ann Romney and anyone else who was offended,” Rosen said in the statement. “Let’s declare peace in this phony war and go back to focus on the substance.”

Earlier on Thursday, Rosen had sought to distance her argument from Ann Romney as a person. Instead, she blamed Mitt Romney for bringing his wife into the political debate as “his economic surrogate.”

According to Rosen, Romney has avoided questions on the campaign trail about his support among women by referring to his wife, saying Ann’s interaction with female voters indicates their top concerns are the same economic issues he has consistently prioritized in his campaign strategy.

“This isn’t about whether Ann Romney or I or other women of means can afford to make a choice to stay home and raise kids,” she told CNN. “Most women in America, let’s face it, don’t have that choice.”

In a column for the Huffington Post, Rosen said Ann Romney is the wrong adviser for Mitt Romney on the economy.

“Nothing in Ann Romney’s history as we have heard it — hardworking mom she may have been — leads me to believe that Mitt has chosen the right expert to get feedback on this problem he professes to be so concerned about,” she wrote.

Rosen also reached out to Ann Romney directly, welcoming the GOP presidential candidate’s wife to Twitter and tweeting: “Please know, I admire you. But your husband shouldn’t say you are his expert on women and the economy.”

Obama’s campaign manager Jim Messina called on Rosen to apologize for her Wednesday remarks, but Rosen dismissed his criticism early in the day.

“Republicans are making a very effective strategic decision today to attack me instead of talking about the issues that have been raised over the past few days,” she said on CNN Thursday.

Much of the week’s political chatter was a back and forth between Obama and Romney over whose policies are the best for women. Romney’s campaign initially appeared to misstep in its approach, taking criticism from Democrats over aides’ initial inability to confirm Romney’s position on the 2009 Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, a significant piece of equal-pay legislation.

But Rosen’s remarks looked likely to change the narrative, something Obama’s top campaign advisers appeared to realize.

Romney’s campaign moved to seize its opportunity, as Ann Romney opened a Twitter account and tweeted: “I made a choice to stay home and raise five boys. Believe me, it was hard work,” she wrote.

Her tweet, a rallying cry for stay-at-home moms, was quickly taken up by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), a Romney supporter and the only female member of the House Republican leadership.

“Wrong. Being a mom is a full-time job,” she shot back at Rosen in a tweet.

Josh Romney, one of the Romneys’ five sons, also defended his mother on Twitter, tweeting that Ann “is one of the smartest, hardest working woman I know. Could have done anything with her life, chose to raise me.”

Ann Romney said on Fox News that she and her husband both “listen” to women on the campaign trail, and that they share as motivation being “compassionate for those who are suffering.”

Rosen, whose own Twitter profile describes her as “a mom with opinions,” described the ability to choose to stay at home as a “wonderful luxury” in her op-ed for the Huffington Post.

 Rosen gives Romney a chance to close the presidential gender gap – The Hill’s Blog Briefing Room.

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