In the hours after the debate, Democrats began making fun of Romney for saying that as governor he had gotten “binders full of women” to find qualified appointees — a comment they would never have criticized, or even noticed, had it been said by one of their own. Almost nobody objects to making a special effort to find qualified women to apply for important positions, and Romney’s phrasing was not even especially awkward. The attempt to manufacture an example of Romney’s condescension or cluelessness is evidence of how much more deeply invested the Obama campaign is in its “war” than in America’s actual wars.
One way for Romney to respond to Obama’s strategy would be to emphasize that he is not anti-women, that Obama’s economy has hurt women, and so forth. He has tried this tack at various times in the campaign, and on some occasions it is appropriate: for example, when responding to a question specifically about women, women’s pay, and the like. Not for the first time, though, we would caution Romney against joining the media and Democrats in their obsession with the gender gap. Most women do not vote based on their sex, any more than most men do; and while women are more likely to vote for Democrats than men are, it is an error to assume they do so because of “women’s issues” (as opposed to because women tend to be a bit more liberal than men on economic, welfare, and military issues).