Dear Hilary Rosen: What the hell were you thinking?

To: Hilary Rosen
From: Lucy Lloyd
Re: Ann Romney


What the hell were you thinking? You’re supposed to be some sort of political strategist, and you blew it. The Democratic party’s carefully built base of women voters has grown every time a Republican presidential candidate opened his (and briefly, her) mouth. All they’ve had to do was stand on the side and watch gleefully as the Republicans presidential hopes fall apart under their self-created deluge of antiquated and restrictive remarks about women’s rights.

If your enemy wants to jump off the cliff, the smartest thing to do is step aside and wave as they fall.

But nooooooooo, you had to get all smarty pants. You sneered and sniped at Ann Romney for “never working a day in her life.”

Nice job, dumbass. Now you’ve pissed off every mom who has ever stayed home with her children. In case you’re a complete idiot, let me remind you that includes Democratic women.

And if you haven’t been paying attention to the polls, let me spell it out for you: there are plenty of Democratics who are deeply unhappy with our current economic policies and continue to punch the Democratic ticket only because the idea of a right-wing, conservative, religious nut job in the White House who CAMPAIGNS on reversing the hard fought, tentatively won gains in women rights completely freaks us out.

So why didn’t you stick to that? How could you screw it up? But nooooo….you had to go to the one part of the swamp with quicksand. Couldn’t stay on the path. Did I mention the word dumbass yet?

It’s been easy for you to paint the picture of the Romneys as out-of-touch with the economic difficulties of a lot of moms. They are.

If you haven’t worried- and I mean truly worried- about how to pay your electric and gas bill when your kid has outgrown his shoes and you have to pony up for school registration fees and your car has 110,000 miles on it and desperately needs an oil change and at least two new tires, then you don’t get it.

For almost all Americans, it’s not the choice of whether or not you buy your kid a new or two-year old car for his sixteenth birthday or make him work in one of the family businesses during summer and have to pay for his own gas. Most of us aren’t teaching our sons to shop at Jos A Banks or Brooks Brothers during a sale. We’re not trying to figure out how much spending money to give our daughters when they go away to Dartmouth.

What’s our reality? What choices are we making? What are our daily lives like? Let me help you out with a few, better talking points about what too many moms- working or not– are facing.

It’s having to tell your sixteen year old that he’s got to get a job to help pay for his own clothes because otherwise he’s going to have to make do with two pairs of jeans and slightly too short khakis.

It’s giving up your allergy meds for a month so your son can go to the movies with his friends. It’s telling your mother that what you really want for your birthday is some new underwear, because yours is pretty close to indecent.

It’s stripping every luxury out of your life so your children can have the school supplies they need. It’s wearing the same pair of shoes every day to be able to pay for dress shoes your kids need for choir.

That’s what Ann Romney doesn’t understand. She doesn’t understand not being able to get a job after a divorce because a mom gave up all those career years because it was important- her choice– to be a stay-at-home mom. Fortune 500 companies don’t seem to recognize PTA and carpool mom as job titles. Ann Romney’s lived a sheltered life, and the financial realities of the real world are beyond her world.


Ann Romney doesn’t understand deprivation, but she sure as hell understands work.

Not only did she raise five boys- from all accounts, doing a very good job- but she’s also been the wife of a politician. She’s scheduled and juggled priorities, cheered at ball games while trying to figure out how long she could stay before having to attend yet another stupid tea for congressional spouses and managed to keep a marriage together through it all. That’s work, and that’s something to be proud of.

And that’s what Democrats- you know, the party you’re supposed to be strategizing for- are all about. Remember? You’re the party of choice. Of options. Of women’s rights and compassion and inclusiveness.

Here’s where you screwed the pooch, Hilary: You don’t get to choose who to include. If you’re going to be about women, you have to be about ALL women, in all walks of life, who make all sorts of decisions you don’t necessary agree with. You have to be for the poor women, the rich women, and everyone in between- and all of the choices they make as individuals.

Sneering at Ann Romney for having the option to stay at home and work for her family isn’t just stupid, it’s a slap in the face to every woman who’s ever given up personal ambition to be able to be the room mom for her kindergartener. It reignites the guilt and defensiveness mothers have when they work- or don’t- regardless of whether they have to work to put food on the table or because they love their job- and their children.

It’s bad enough women are suddenly having to refight the issues of equality that seemed settled without having to revisit the issues of working moms.

So not only have you pissed off a whole group of your party base, but you’ve forced Democrats to put aside partisanship in an important presidential election to rightly stand up for the wife of the Republican candidate.

So…..could you please just shut the hell up? Or else you’re going to be the one falling off the cliff while Ann Romney waves goodbye.

Filed under: Elections, News, Opinion, politics


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  • I LOVED this. Yes, I did. I wrote about it myself today, but took a completely different tact focusing on the Mommy Wars aspect. What Rosen did is asinine from a political strategy point of view. Her words were neither political nor strategic, leaving her message in the dust. You know it's bad when David Freaking Axelrod is defending Ann Romney.

    Thanks for this. I loved it. MTM.

  • fb_avatar

    I just read your post, and you hit it exactly. The grass is always greener...

  • Amen, absolutely. It literally hurts my skin that my home dog on the issue of my life choices is the Republican nominee.

  • I do want to add that Rosen's point was that Ann Romney is "economically sheltered". I would agree with that, but not because she's a SAHM, but because of her wealth. She certainly doesn't strike me as a coupon cutter!

  • I like most of what you've written; however, a quick google search will reveal that the Romney's didn't start out wealthy. Their first apt. was a $64 a month shack that they struggled to afford. I don't understand why we have no respect/admiration for people who, on their own, rise above such a situation to become successful. What is wrong with that? And why does staying home with your kids disqualify you in terms of being able to advise your husband? She's suffered through breast cancer and MS, and yet she's not in touch with the real world????

  • I'll tell you what Rosen was "thinking." She was disgorging the typical, left-wing, Democrat, feminist party line. They hate motherhood because it has the potential of both putting a person under private care and out of government care (the kid being taken care of by a stay at home mother) and it takes a woman into a traditional lifestyle and out of the workforce (that would be motherhood). Liberals hate motherhood with a passion because it runs counter to their every political desire. So, Rosen was being wholly true to Obamaism, left-wingery and anti-traditional American ideals.

  • In reply to publiusforum:

    I shouldn't take the bait, but you are an idiot.

    So liberals hate mothers. Who knew? I'm sure that all stay-at-home-moms are absolutely "traditional", right-wing conservatives. In fact, Liberal women don't even HAVE children.


  • Rosen was either hung out to dry in more rope-a-dope from Axlerod and the Prez, or she just let lose without thinking. I believe the former. Two steps forward, one step backward. Rosen was the step backward, so the campaign can take two steps forward.

    The real thing is, the Democrat Party is hardly inclusive and its member spokespeople hardly tolerant. Your own words give you away: "right-wing, conservative, religious nut job" Uh-huh.

    Here is the fault with the Democrat Party, progressives and liberals in general: they speak in group think. There is no room for individuality i n the party of donkey. All women. All blacks. All Latinos. All Seniors. They corner the marked on "All", and people mindlessly pull the lever for the donkey.

    This was more Rope-a-Dope for the Rope-A-Dope Nation and its media to screech about, while the real issues, such as the economy and the wars are ignored.

    Well done, Mr. Prez. Well done. And this from a man who was born out of touch, lived out of touch and now is leading out of touch, who was coddled and favored his entire life, never holding a real job. Same with Michelle Obama. Make believe jobs that were never filled after she left.

    But... the deed was walked out by Rosen and walked back by The One. Perfect.

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    Lucy Lloyd

    Writer, reporter, researcher, hockey mom. I'm an inveterate reader, relentlessly curious, and rarely without an opinion. I want to know the rest of the story and then I have to write it down. So I do.

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