Will I live long enough to see a world where the mommy wars are over and we can all hold hands and sing a song of harmony and peace? Yeah, I guess that’s too much to hope for because the mommy wars generate buzz, especially in campaign seasons.
Just as the media engaged in skirmishes over whether Sarah Palin was a good mother or a bad one for going out on the vice presidential campaign trail with young kids still at home in 2008, and as many took Hillary Clinton to task in 1992 for her remarks about staying home and baking cookies, now we’re at it again with. CNN commentator and adviser to the Democratic National Committee Hilary Rosen stepped in it when, as she was trying to make a point about using Mitt Romney’s campaign relying on his wife as a surrogate on the economy:
“Ann Romney’s never worked a day in her life.”
Rosen has since apologized, but did she have something of a point? Can a woman of privilege who’s never had to worry about whether she could afford to put food on the table or make a car payment really help Mitt relate to the women voters he desperately needs? Rosen is a mom herself, so I can only imagine that as the words were coming out of her mouth, she wished she could take them back and just nod her head as someone else did the talking. The last thing we need in this election year is a side journey down the well worn path of the mommy wars narrative. That doesn’t help anyone.
Every mother is a working mother. But the larger issue here isn’t about fanning the flames of mom vs. mom attacks. This is political warfare — take the slip ups of your opponents and use them to your advantage. Romney’s campaign focus on Rosen’s comments — and the support his campaign has been getting in the Twittersphere — should buy him some time to come up with a real plan to connect with women voters and convince them that he really does feel their economic pain.
But the GOP hopeful should be careful about which Twitter pals he associates with, because one organization started attacking Rosen on Twitter for being a lesbian mom whose kids are adopted, not “real” kids like Ann Romney’s.
It’s never pretty when political and parenting issues intersect like this. I just want to know how we can get them to stop.
Read more from me at my blog PunditMom and in my Amazon best-selling book, Mothers of Intention: How Women and Social Media are Revolutionizing Politics in America.
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