Hilary Rosen Was Right: Ann Romney Is Not the Average Woman

Most people have little trouble identifying or relating with a culture, socioeconomic group or religion because of shared experiences and beliefs that are endemic to the group. It is amusing to witness a wealthy politician make an effort to relate to a blue-collar construction worker when everyone knows the closest the politician probably ever came to construction work was phoning a contractor to solicit bids to build their mansion’s gymnasium, or car elevator. Throughout the long Republican presidential primary, Willard Romney has attempted to identify himself as a regular guy who understands the working class, but regardless taking his tie off and donning denim pants, there is the iconic photo of him sitting next to a private jet while he receives private security screening and avoids  an average Americans’ wait to go through airport security. Romney’s problem identifying with any group other than the ultra-elite of the top 1% of income earners must run in the family because his spouse, Anne, displays the same failing in attempting to identify with the majority of women in America.

The faux outrage over Democratic National Committee advisor Hilary Rosen’s out-of-context statement that Mrs. Romney “has actually never worked a day in her life” is typical electoral pandering by the Romney camp, and is probably an attempt to make up for some of the damage Willard’s positions have caused to his support among women. Admittedly, taken in and of itself, that phrase may be offensive to women who are fortunate enough to stay home and raise children. However, Rosen’s comment was not an indictment or criticism of women who are stay-at-home moms, but it does indict Mrs. Romney’s assertion that she can relate to average American women.  She, like her elitist husband, has no idea of the struggles the average American experiences every day and she is a pandering elitist just like her husband, and Hilary Rosen called it correctly.

What you have 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? His wife 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, in terms of how do we feed our kids, how do we send them to school, and why do we worry about their future.”

Rosen was not demeaning women who stay at home, and she was not reviving the working versus stay-at-home mom controversy that is itself ridiculous. There are few people who think staying home spending every waking (and often sleeping) minute caring for, cleaning up after, and raising children is anything but a grueling, but rewarding, experience. However, Mrs. Romney’s stay-at-home experience is nothing like the average American woman, and although she may worry about her 5 sons’ futures, her concern is how they avoid paying taxes on the multi-million dollar inheritances after their parents die.

There are tens-of-millions of women in America who would love to be in Mrs. Romney’s position whether they stay at home or work. For most women, though, staying home is an economic as well as physical and mental struggle to make ends meet from paycheck to paycheck if she,her husband, or both are fortunate enough to have a decent-paying job. With most families requiring two-incomes to survive, the choice of staying home is not a choice at all. Mrs. Romney cannot possibly comprehend a woman with young children having to take on a part-time job to buy groceries, clothing, and if they’re really fortunate, an occasional visit to the dentist for their children. The other day Willard was unaware cameras were rolling and said his wife was taking a couple of days to ride her horse as a break from the campaign. The average woman with children at home may take a couple of hours’ break to shop for groceries at the local Wall Mart, and if they saved their tip money from their waitress job, maybe buy clothes for the baby.

The Romney’s will never relate to the average American’s economic struggles and regardless how often they talk about it or talk to average Americans about it, their world is as far removed from working-class America as the Earth is from Saturn. They are not even in the same universe as the working poor or poverty level Americans. Most Americans live from paycheck to paycheck, and for women, whether they stay at home or work, the struggle to make ends meet before the next payday is as stressful as caring for young children. The challenge for many women who stay home but want to supplement the family income is earning enough from a part or full-time job to cover child-care, and how to coordinate a work schedule with a school-age child’s schedule. The true economic struggle for millions of women is her children’s day-to-day survival, not her children’s trust fund.

Millions of women would love to stay home and maybe take a few days’ off for horseback-riding therapy, but they are not in the position to ever make that choice and they never will be. Mrs. Romney certainly has worked one day in her life, probably hundreds, but making cookies for the kids or scolding the maid for mixing colors with whites in the laundry is not the same as stretching last week’s groceries to make it to next week’s payday. Hilary Rosen simply highlighted that Mrs. Willard is unaware of the financial hardships women face as their family income falls, they lose a job, or struggle to pay for her children’s yearly medical checkup, and that is the point. How can out-of-touch Mrs. Romney counsel out-of-touch Willard on women’s economic problems if neither of them knows what an economic problem is? They cannot and that was Ms. Rosen’s point.

Mrs. Romney may have been insulted by Rosen’s remark, but the insult to most American women is she has the temerity to think her definition of “work” is remotely like an average woman struggling to feed her children on a limited income. Rosen made a good point and if her critics had taken the time to read her entire comment, they may have withheld criticism in spite of the Romney campaign’s phony outrage, and it certainly is phony. If any American thinks Mrs. Romney really believes she understands what it means to be an average American woman, they are deluded as much as the Romneys.

Instead of condemning Hilary Rosen, Democrats should commend her for bringing an important point to the issue of whether or not Willard understands women’s economic concerns. Just because Romney’s wife tells him that “what women really care about are economic issues,” it does not mean that either of the wealthy elitists understands women’s economic issues any more than a fish understands the theory of relativity. What Willard and Ann Romney understand is how to conceal their enormous wealth to avoid paying taxes, horses, and car elevators that must be hard work to operate.

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30 Replies to “Hilary Rosen Was Right: Ann Romney Is Not the Average Woman”

  1. it’s not hard to figure out exactly what Rosen was saying. And it’s true.

    The Republicans grabbed the first part of the statement and paid absolutely no attention to the meat of the matter that followed.

    “She’s never really dealt with the kinds of economic issues that a majority of the women in this country are facing, in terms of how do we feed our kids, how do we send them to school, and why do we worry about their future.””

    while I do not believe in attacking Mrs. Romney under any circumstances, the statement above is absolutely correct. And it’s no surprise to me that the GOP skipped over that right away

  2. Thank you, Rmuse!

    Every single one of us has difficulties we have to face but for Ann Romney, the economic impact to her family has never had to factor into any decision she’s had to make. For most of us, that’s the #1 issue.

    I’m sorry about her MS, but at least she was free to focus on treatment and recovery without having to worry about bankrupting her family. Ditto on the breast cancer. I am glad she has an outlet for her stress with her dressage-thingy horses. The only affordable outlet for my stress when I was a single working mother was soaking in a hot bath for half an hour.

    Once again, the Romney’s have clearly demonstrated that have no clue, no clue whatsoever, about the lives of the majority of the people in this country.

  3. Well said! I am awaiting the post-Rosen stats on ‘favoribility among women’ to see that this meant nothing to the support for Obama among women. We are not stupid. We read then entire article; we know who Ann Romney is and what her life has been. We also know which party has spent the past year demeaning, lying about, and taking rights from women. And it is not the party of Obama.

  4. Mitt Romney himself put his wife in issue, when he cited her as his “expert” on women’s economic needs. Has she ever had to choose between paying her insurance premiums and putting food on the table? No. Has she ever had to choose between getting medical care and keeping a roof over the family’s heads? No. Has she had to keep working a grooty job, though in worsening health, just to have some kind of insurance, only to be both fired and kicked off her plan when her illness became critical? Never!! And this is Romney’s go-to person about real women’s needs? That is a genuine issue, and one that deserves addressing.

  5. Good lord, how did you people not get the memo that Romney is not getting a shoeshine in that picture? You people are like 2 months behind every single issue. You were still reporting about how it was weird that Santorum brought his dead child home a week after even major news organizations were admitting that this was actually the recommended practice, last week you were still referring to the truncated Zimmerman 911 transcript days after NBC had fired an editor for deceptive editing, and now you are running a photo of Romney getting a security check and calling it a shoe shine literally months after that lie had been debunked. Read the news, learn the facts, and then you will naturally start voting Republican. Anyway, good luck

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics/2012/01/12/145126797/photo-of-romneys-shoe-shine-actually-shows-security-check

  6. Speaking of strawmen, Winston, let me see if I have this straight. Your argument is that because Romney gets a security check in a chair outside of his private jet, Rmuse is not telling the truth about Romney being out of touch?

    What does it matter if he is getting his shoes shined as it appears or getting a private security check? The point is, the author wouldn’t know what a private security check looks like because most of us do not have private jets.

    When he saw a man sitting in a chair on a runway with another man bending over his shoe with an instrument, he assumed it was the shoe shine scenario you see in airports.

    But you are correct. It is not the normal shoe shine scenario. It is apparently the very privileged version of a security check.

  7. Do you know the rules for going on the flight line of any major airport? You have to go through the wringer first, unless you’re a carded employee (and they have to have a thorough background check and all that). If anything, that picture shows how much of an elite he is… chair on the tarmac, sitting near the plane with a single person checking him out (if that is really what it is) – personal service AND I suspect a bending of the rules. That picture literally screams “PRIVILEGED!” to anyone who knows more than the usual traveler.

    Personal, first-class service that none of us would get – we wouldn’t even be allowed on the tarmac in many airports.

  8. Again, that is not the argument Rmuse made. Rmuse decided to lie and say it was a shoeshine. Also, I’m pretty sure that most politicians fly in private jets on a regular basis and I find this annoying as well, but you can’t say that Romney is more out of touch for doing exactly what many politicians do.

  9. FYI, I have flown chartered jet before from a midsized private airport and private plane from small private airport and no one sat us down in a chair on the runway for security.

  10. “hroughout the long Republican presidential primary, Willard Romney has attempted to identify himself as a regular guy who understands the working class, but regardless taking his tie off and donning denim pants, there is the iconic photo of him sitting next to a private jet while he receives private security screening and avoids an average Americans’ wait to go through airport security. “

  11. Rmuse decided to LIE? First I would say that at the very most, there was a misunderstanding of what was going on, not lying. Second, it’s pretty much a proven fact that Republicans are the liars… and if they’re not lying they’re using the truth to support a lie.

    I used to be one and bought the lies. Never again. I just hope for your sake that they are stopped before they betray your trust and belief, and harm you on a personal level – as they did me. I do hope that your eyes are opened to their real nature (once they are, you’ll soon realize just how deeply they’ve betrayed the American people in general).

    Finally, I would point to Romney’s own words as evidence that he doesn’t have a clue about how rough life is for many Americans. He’s as out of touch as any rich gold-spoon-in-mouth pampered elite could be.

  12. I dare one RW woman to show me what exactly the GOP has done for women recently and or the past 12 years? Show me exactly what they have done on a positive note for women recently? Did any of them sign the Lily LedBetter Act? NO. Fair pay act? NO. Show me again how its not the GOP with a war against women when they alone have TRIED/PASSED 91 PIECES OF LEGISLATION AGAINST A WOMAN’S BASIC HEALTH RIGHTS. from breast exams, cervical cancer exams..birth control..abortion. Health care that Planned Prenthood would provide and which Romney/GOP plans to do away with once in office. The GOP truly is at war with women and yet blame Pres Obama while they do it!! They really think we’re as dumb as their constituency. We know whose doing what!! What Hilary Rosen clearly meant is that..Ann never had to work a day in her life and yet seems to know womens’ concern today is the economy?? NOT THEIR FINANCIAL SITUATION (mostly dire at this point by no fault of their own but by the GOP destroying as many govt jobs possible –again while they blame Obama!) HER PARTY LEFT ALL THESE WOMEN IN THE STATE THEY ARE IN. I doubt very much this WEALTHY Ann ever sat down for lunch with women in the $30,000-$80,000 a year incomes, let alone $100,000 per yr and discussed how short money would be that month. I doubt she balances her checkbook ever day like we do watching every penny. I doubt very much her friends had to make the choice between which bill to pay one month without affecting the roof over their head, food for the week, the car they need to get the kids to school, work, etc. (definintely not horseS/HORSE lessons) I doubt very much that Ann has ever exerienced that nitemare of an unexpected situation that pops and you have no idea where you’ll get the money from. Sorry, Ann. We didn’t mean to hurt your feelings. But just think how many starving children and poor women even middle class women you offended with your absurd show of being offended. Over what? You should be ashamed. YOU HAVE MILLIONS! YOU DON’T KNOW THE MEANING OF A WOMAN’S SWEAT! You have no idea how we suffer finnancially every day just making ends meet and making the best of what we have so our kids won’t see our fear ..our despair all because of your husand’s party who insists on NOT EVER TAXING THE RICH BUT ARE READY TO INCUR 4TRILION AGAIN FOR THEIR TAX BREAKS THAT YOU PLAN TO PAY OFF THE BACKS OF THE POOR AND MIDDLE CLASS. And you know you don’t give a hoot about the poor or minorities. And you never will. Thank you but this incident will surely NOT MAKE ME VOTE FOR YOUR PLASTIC HEARTLESS MONEY HUNNGRY DAILY LYING RELY ON MY WIFE’S OPINIONS HUSBAND…I will stay with the Gentleman who treats all peoples..especially women with respect and dignity. Pres Obama will get us women what we rightly deserve. He’s the only one trying at this point. BECAUSE WE WILL VOTE HIM IN OFFICE AGAIN AND THE GOP WILL NEVER EVER SEE THE WH EVER AGAIN. PEOPLE KNOW YOUR PARTY IS ALL ABOUT SUFFERING..makng the people suffer and you don’t believe in helping. No offense to the handicapped..but you have to be deaf dumb and blind if you can vote for a party who has yet to say 1 thing they will do for YOU the people. ANY OF US ALL OF US. All I hear is tax breaks for the rich..trickle down economics and maybe the rich will create a job. Because they haven’t yet. Didn’t work for 8 years under Bush..IT WILL NOT WORK NOW. PLEASE VOTE DEMOCRATIC. ONLY CHANCE FOR ANY OF US TO HAVE ANOTHER CHANCE AT A DECENT LIFE AGAIN. Rebups are an awful party for the United States.

  13. I don’t see how anyone can be a republian and hold their head up high today…they are insane and mean the GOP. No shame..so blatant about their hate and conniving politics. Its as if he devil is runnin rampid inside them all…I’m not kidding. Its pretty vicious what that party is trying to do to this country and worse..its people. They are barbaric!

  14. Of course she isn’t the average woman. After all, she made the comment that despite the Romney’s pulling in around $21 million last year, she doesn’t consider her family wealthy.

  15. Green Tiger you are on fire today. I have been thinking the exact same thing. It’s as if they are infected or something with hatred for all things that are not white christian men. I feel that if the election was between satan and President Obama the right wingers would vote for Satan. They espouse their bible but preach hate go figure.

  16. …”I feel that if the election was between satan and President Obama the right wingers would vote for Satan…”

    But, the real question is, would the right-wing fundamentalist vote for Satan if they were told “Satan is gay”.

    Oh my and clutch the pearls, girl! Good on you,Kim!

  17. Go get ’em! It makes me want to spit now whenever they show some housewife who bought into this joke of an outrage backing Ann Romney, when obviously they weren’t paying attention to what was really said. Even today on MSNBC the female anchor, can’t remember her name – chris?) and two women from upper middle income jobs were saying how offensive this was to stay at home Moms. I wanted to jump in there and give them a piece of my mind. Fortunately, they did at least read ONE comment from a viewer like us, who was saying the same things you said.

  18. Did you read the article? S/he said “while getting a private security screening.” Open your eyes before you open your mouth.

  19. It’s easy to raise children when all you have to worry about is what color Cadillac to get every year. Putting food on the table, and keeping the children in shoes and clothes, is something Ann Romney has never had to worry about.

  20. I’m so glad that someone has come to the support and understanding of Hilary Rosen and her comments. I felt so bad for her while she was being interviewed by Anderson Cooper on CNN as the GOP female strategist played coy and complimentary by realizing how badly Rosen had been attacked and then the GOP strategist went in for the kill trying to tie her directly to Obama and his administration. I had to turn it off at that point. These GOP pundits, government officials, and candidates are liars; they are heartless; they attack 24/7; they are desperate for an angle to use; and they are about as unpatriotic as you can get. They have ruined this country and they’re coming back strong to try to finish the job. Anyone that can vote GOP at this stage of our democracy has to be ill advised, undereducated, misinformed, desperate, emotionally or intellectually devastated, vile, bigoted, racist, greedy or just plain ignorant.
    Romney didn’t even know what the Lily Ledbetter law for equal pay was. He needs to be challenged by the real journalists to give his view on the Obama policy. Romney also supports GOP Gov Scott Walker. Well Wisconsin’s Gov Walker just repealed equal pay for women in that state. Romney has supported all the legislation that has been controlling women’s rights introduced and passed by the GOP in the last year. I agree with the President that families of candidates are off limits but don’t parade your wife out there to spread the lies of the GOP please. She claims she represents women having choice because she chose to be a stay at home mom. No one has issue with that. I’m sure it was difficult especially with the illnesses she overcame. But today’s average woman does not have that choice as an option and as this article so perfectly states, that was Rosen’s point. As a matter of fact, the GOP claims that President Obama has overreach and is making government too big. Well the facts support something different. Check the policies that the GOP has put through especially under the Obama administration; and women and children have been hurt badly and their rights have been removed and reduced. These contraception arguments anti abortion and anti women’s health issues are as over reaching as you can get. We could go on and on. Thank you Rmuse for a great post and thanks again for supporting the truth. Rosen told the truth. The distraction is bad for the administration but she needs our support and women need to understand the facts and reject the GOP’s constant lies. Most of the MSM just goes for the sensation. Real journalism is dying on the airwaves except for our trusted MSNBC hosts. You know the ones who are not afraid of the truth!!!! Thank you PoliticUsa for helping my sanity!

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