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The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Romney’s Lucky the Left Is Focusing on ‘Binders Full of Women’



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If you were on the Obama campaign, and you had to pick one moment to focus upon in last night’s debate, which one would you choose? If you had to pick one comment by Romney, one utterance by the Republican standard-bearer to spotlight, mock, deride, and make the centerpiece of your argument today, which one would you choose?

The exchange on Libya? Obama’s jab about pensions, “I don’t look at my pension, it’s not as big as yours”? Romney’s effort to distance himself from George W. Bush?

For some reason, the Obama campaign and their lefty allies have selected . . . “binders full of women.”

Here’s the comment in context. Decide for yourself if the anecdote makes Romney look bad. My sense is that just about every working mom welcomed a presidential candidate discussing the difficulty of juggling a career and family.

CROWLEY: Governor Romney, pay equity for women?

ROMNEY: Thank you. And important topic, and one which I learned a great deal about, particularly as I was serving as governor of my state, because I had the chance to pull together a cabinet and all the applicants seemed to be men.

And I — and I went to my staff, and I said, “How come all the people for these jobs are — are all men.” They said, “Well, these are the people that have the qualifications.” And I said, “Well, gosh, can’t we — can’t we find some — some women that are also qualified?”

ROMNEY: And — and so we — we took a concerted effort to go out and find women who had backgrounds that could be qualified to become members of our cabinet.

I went to a number of women’s groups and said, “Can you help us find folks,” and they brought us whole binders full of women.

I was proud of the fact that after I staffed my Cabinet and my senior staff, that the University of New York in Albany did a survey of all 50 states, and concluded that mine had more women in senior leadership positions than any other state in America.

Now one of the reasons I was able to get so many good women to be part of that team was because of our recruiting effort. But number two, because I recognized that if you’re going to have women in the workforce that sometimes you need to be more flexible. My chief of staff, for instance, had two kids that were still in school.

Sure, taken literally, the phrase “binders full of women” might make your mind come up with the awkward, funny image of women literally stuffed into binders, but . . . eh, really? This is where the Obama campaign, and most liberals online, want to focus their energies this morning?

How many women are going to hear the “binders full of women” anecdote and feel worse about Romney? How many will feel better and wish their boss had the same attitudes?

(Particularly if that boss ran a “hostile workplace,” as Obama’s former communications director, Anita Dunn, described the White House.)

Romney’s lucky. The only way the Democrats post-game focus could go better for him is if they try “Big Bird” again.


Tags: Barack Obama , Mitt Romney


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