Both Obama and Mitt Face “Friendly Fire”

When you’re running for president, you focus on winning each day by getting your message out and trying to knock your opponent off his message.  If you win enough days, you win the election.  Every distraction is a day (or days) lost.

It’s one thing to take hits from your opponent, that’s going to happen, but it’s inexcusable to take hits from your own side, and we’re seeing that with both candidates.

President Obama has had to waste valuable time dealing with pundit Hilary Rosen’s reigniting of the “mommy wars” when she said Ann Romney hadn’t worked a day in her life.  Rosen is an obnoxious  loudmouth, a slightly more refined version of Rosie O’Donnell.  Obama has had to waste valuable time dealing with Newark Mayor Corey Booker’s defense of Bain and private equity, Booker’s effort to feather his own nest for a statewide run with Wall Street money.

Now Mitt is going through the same thing with Donald Trump and his birtherism, which takes the spotlight off of Mitt and puts it on the Donald, which is all Trump really cares about.  Every day wasted talking about where Obama was born is a day Mitt loses lying talking about how Obama is handling the economy.  Like Booker, Trump is out for himself, he is not a team player.

If you lose control of your message, you lose control of your campaign.  If you lose control of your campaign, you lose the election.

If they hope to win, both Obama and Mitt need to lose the surrogates who are sabotaging them.

When Is an Insult Not an Insult?

When is an insult not an insult?  When it’s a “gift.”  That’s what Mitt Romney called Hilary Rosen’s remark that Ann Romney had never actually worked a day in her life.  Mitt said this at a $50,000 a person Palm Beach fundraiser at a private estate.  NBC reporter Garrett Haake heard Mitt because he was sitting on the sidewalk outside the event, which was held outdoors in a tent.

Ann Romney didn’t seem offended either.  She called it “my early birthday present” and said, “I loved it.”

So I think the Romney campaign needs to shut down the faux outrage machine.  Among their own (other very rich people), both Romneys felt comfortable saying how they really felt and high-fiving the crowd over their lucky break.

You think the Romneys would have learned from President Obama’s “clinging to their guns and religion” comment at a California fundraiser in 2008, that there is no such thing as a true private event any more.

If the Romneys revealed how cynical they are, the White House/Obama campaign revealed how craven they are when they fell all over themselves condemning Hilary Rosen.  Pretty pathetic all around.

Let’s get back to forced vaginal probes, people.

More on Hilary Rosen

From “Hilary and Hillary:  Political Mommy Wars,” Jane Mayer, The New Yorker:

“But when unemployment statistics are compiled, they don’t include unpaid labor.  Volunteer work and full-time parenting are laudable and socially essential, but they aren’t the same thing as a paid job.  Employment, or the lack of it, is the burning issue in America’s economy at the moment.  It was in that context — a discussion of the unemployment numbers on a television talk show, and Romney’s comments that Ann was his source for women’s opinions on the issue — that Rosen spoke.

“Any time the issue can be ignited in politics, those who want to divide women gain.  The resentments and suspicions and insecurities of women on both sides are so deep that it is a surefire way to undermine any chance of women uniting into something resembling a solid voter bloc.  If you want to distract women from issues on which the government actually has a policy role, such as the availability and legality of health-care services (including abortion), childcare, and equal pay, it’s perfect.”  Emphasis added.

Cooler Heads Starting to Prevail on Hilary Rosen

From Linda Hirshman, “Hilary Rosen was right,” WaPo:

“Beltway pundit Hilary Rosen committed a mortal sin of American politics.  She spoke the truth with a microphone on.

“In the furor, everyone seemed to forget that unpaid mothers and household work are not what the discussion is about.  Republicans are not talking about how jobs for stay-at-home moms have decreased under Obama.

“They are talking about how paid work for women has suffered.

“Although Ann Romney may be a fine spokesperson on some issues, the dirty little secret of angling for female votes is that while all women’s work, inside or outside the home, has the same worth, as Michelle Obama and Barbara Bush sweetly expressed, all women do not have the same interests.  Women who work in the home do not have the same interest in the recovery of the formal job market as women who have to work for pay.  Indeed, wage-earning women probably have more in common with their paycheck-dependent male co-workers on the subject of economic recovery than with household laborers such as Ann Romney.”

Ann Romney may have skipped a meal so she could fit into an evening dress, but she’s never skipped a meal so her children could eat instead.  Mitt’s relying on Ann about women’s economic issues just keeps him inside the closed loop of their charmed life together.  He doesn’t have a clue, and neither does she.

They both are picture perfect for the bubble of La Jolla.  The White House, not so much.