Politico calls out the odd Dem tactic of “Draperizing” Mitt Romney, part of their even odder strategy of painting the universal healthcare-passing, formerly pro-choice Massachusetts governor as some sort of right-wing extremist.
Mitt Romney. You know, this guy:
So far, that’s consisted of President Obama obliquely criticizing Romney’s use of the word “marvelous,” David Axelrod quipping that he must think Mad Men is the evening news, and Hilary Rosen going after Ann Romney for being (gasp!) a stay-at-home mom:
Yet while the Rosen comments may cause Democrats short-term discomfort, some in the party are happy to have a longer conversation on the topic. While none would say so publicly, a number are glad to have such an explosive subject introduced, believing that Romney’s views on reproductive rights and pay equity can be reinforced by reminding female voters where the GOP hopeful is getting his counsel.
Even before the Rosen flap, some prominent activists argued that there are limits to Ann Romney’s ability to appeal to women — despite her acknowledged strengths as a surrogate — based on a potential lack of common experiences.
Privately, senior Democrats are even more candid — predicting that the relitigating of the Mommy Wars against the backdrop of a larger Retro Mitt campaign is not a battle that any Republican, and especially not this one, can win.
“She doesn’t connect in any ways with the women that he has a problem with,” a Democratic strategist aligned with Obama said of Ann Romney, alluding to the GOP hopeful’s polling deficit with younger, college-educated women. “She’s as foreign to them as he is. That’s not to disparage anybody who stays home and raises kids. But she’s just not like them.”
Even giving Rosen the benefit of the doubt that her comment that Ann Romney hadn’t worked “a day in her life” were spontaneous (she’s apologized anyway), there’s something so incredibly tone-deaf about attacking what’s arguably the most relatable part of Romney’s campaign. And while Rosen is not a paid consultant, as certain well-heeled liberals are quick to point out, she has visited the White House at least 35 times. If it walks like a duck…
Democrats are desperate to tie Romney to the broader “war on women” narrative, which Joe Biden assured Ed Schultz viewers was “real” yesterday during a campaign trip hawking tax hikes on the rich. Yesterday an Obama campaign email blast signed with the president’s name mentioned Romney’s “social agenda from the 1950s,” and apparently even Paul Ryan called Romney a “throwback to the 1950s.”
Will voters actually buy the idea that Mitt “Etch-a-Sketch” Romney wants to return the country to the days of Bakelite, Fats Domino, and misogyny? Women aren’t as stupid as David Axelrod – and apparently Obama too – thinks they are. But since Obama has adopted the Republican Party’s militarism, continued the Bush-era attack on civil liberties, and instantiated the national version of Romney’s universal healthcare, where else can they draw contrasts? The culture war is all that’s left.
Update: Matt Lewis with seven good reasons why we should reject “Rosengate.” He’s right about all of that of course, but to my mind any effort to discredit a former CEO of the RIAA is groovy. No quarter for copyright protectionists.