The political “war on women” turned personal on Thursday as Democratic consultant Hilary Rosen and Ann Romney took their dispute over stay-at-home moms to the airwaves in dueling TV appearances that only added more fuel to the fire over women’s career choices.
In the wake of Rosen’s jab Wednesday night that Ann Romney had “never worked a day in her life,” the candidate’s wife said on Fox News that she made a “career choice” to be a stay-at-home mother and joked that Rosen “should’ve come to my house when those five boys were causing so much trouble. It wasn’t so easy.”
The choices all women make must be respected, Romney said, and she also gave a “shout-out” to all the stay-at-home dads.
“My career choice was to be a mother and I think all of us need to know we need to respect choices that women make."
Obviously, Rosen's comments about stay-at-home moms are unfortunate and wrong, and the Obama campaign swiftly distanced themselves from those comments. But that last bolded bit in the quote above, I think, is the most important line that's not getting traction in all this, and Democrats should use it to pivot back to what matters: Republicans don't respect choices that women make. Instead, they call women sluts and allow male-dominated religions to decide what kind of health care women get. They take away family planning options, and try to ensure that women don't get paid as much as men. Hell, I think even Ann Romney knows this: She used to be a supporter of Planned Parenthood (and so did her husband, before he claimed that he wanted to defund it entirely).
Still, this is a tiny sample of what the rest of this campaign is going to be like. Republicans have spent their evening and morning counting the number of times Rosen has visited the White House, tearing CNN's coverage of this whole thing to pieces, and keeping the story alive for hours in order to cover up the Democratic attempt to remind folks that this is the sixth anniversary of the passage of Romneycare. The scary part is, it's worked. My Twitter stream has been dominated with this Rosen story for sixteen hours now. The Republicans are going to try to bury the press in minutia, and so far, it seems to be working. Why wouldn't it? If there's one thing the 24-hour TV-driven news cycle adores, it's minutia.