Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Romney's ongoing problem with women voters

Michelle Goldberg does a great job of pointing out that Romney has always had a problem with women voters.

In 1994, he ran for Senate against Ted Kennedy and lost. Even though there was no daylight between the two candidates on the issue of abortion (ie, Romney's flip-flopped since then) and Kennedy had a pretty severe problem with he and his family's reputation for womanizing, Romney lost the women's vote by more than 2-1. Its interesting how that happened.

“We made a case against [Romney] focused first of all on his record on business,” says Devine. Kennedy’s staff zeroed in on two aspects of that record—layoffs, particularly of women, at companies taken over by Bain, and the absence of women in senior management positions at Bain itself.

But even in his successful campaign for Governor six years later, Romney lost the women's vote by 9%. Its true that he was running against a woman - Massachusetts state treasurer Shannon O’Brien. But he chose a woman - Kerry Murphy Healey - as his running mate. Even then, he was incredibly clumsy.

In a radio interview, he explained that he and Healy appealed to different constituencies, adding, “That is what has drawn me to Kerry.” Later, he infuriated feminists when, during a debate, he said that O’Brien’s attempts to challenge him on abortion rights was “unbecoming.”

In the end, this about sums it all up.

“I don’t think he would know women’s issues from an Evinrude motor,” says Elizabeth Sherman, an American University professor who founded the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy at the University of Massachusetts Boston. “You get the feeling from this guy that he just doesn’t get it.” He never has. That’s unlikely to change in the next seven months.

1 comment:

  1. “You get the feeling from this guy that he just doesn’t get it.”

    That's about the size of it. Very rich people simply have a lot of money, and that's why they are important. Their money insulates them from actually having to solve problems most people deal with. Same is true for the Koch Bros. They are not only despicable, but very clueless about what life is actually like for most people.

    Romney does not seem to have the personal qualities to shake this. Obama could lose the election, but only if he drops the ball, which is not something he does. A Black man in US politics knows he has to always be on his game, and Obama is.

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