Sunday, April 15, 2012

Over Their Heads

It seems everything that could be said about the Hilary Rosen/Ann Romney kerfuffle has been said.    But the dustup regarding Rosen's remark that Ann Romney "has never had to work a day in her life" suggests also: Barack Obama will be re-elected.

He will be re-elected because, notwithstanding the furious denials of conservatives such as Rush Limbaugh, Barack Obama is the smartest guy in the room.    And the smartest person of either sex in national politics.

David Axelrod, President Obama's chief political strategist had it exactly right when by twitter he called the remark "offensive and inappropriate," thus demonstrating that it is possible to use twitter to say something which isn't inane.     Campaign manager Jim Messina and First Lady Michelle Obama joined the chorus of protest.

But there is no one as slick as Barack Obama.   No one.      The Christian Science Monitor explains

In an interview with Cedar Rapids, Iowa TV station KCRG, the president said "there's no tougher job than being a mom" and cited the efforts of his wife, Michelle, and his own mother, a single woman with two children.

"That's work," he said. "So, anybody who would argue otherwise probably needs to rethink their statement."

A candidate for re-election, recognizing the controversial nature of comments made by Democratic strategist Rosen, put himself squarely on the side of "being a mom."     No one ever lost a vote defending motherhood, cherry pie, or the flag (a pin of which Obama always wore as a candidate).       And he did so in a characteristically patronizing manner.

It was hard work for Mrs. Romney to raise a family, particularly with five children and a husband who was probably working long hours making millions by laying people off.       But probably there is even more difficult work, such as being a teacher in an inner-city school; being the lone pastor of a large Protestant congregation, composing a sermon weekly amidst numerous other duties; perhaps being an engineer, anywhere.     Or it could be some work in the service sector, depending on the circumstances of the particular job.     You no doubt can offer your own nominations; your mileage will vary.

In some instances, being a stay-at-home mother can be unusually trying, stressful, and tiring work.    One thing it is not, however, is a job which, according to, is

1.  a
piece of work, especially a specific task done as part of the routine of one's occupation or for an agreed price:
She gave him the job of  mowing the lawn.

2.  a post of employment; full-time or part-time position: She was seeking a job as an editor.

The President, however, knew nobody would call him on the reference to a "job" or even to there being "no tougher" endeavor.          Though Obama has been slammed for at least four years by Rush Limbaugh and other conservatives for allegedly being "elitist," here the President's remarks were little understood.   

Political Editor Guy Benson at the right-wing slammed generous Obama supporter Bill Maher for his critical remark about Ann Romney and the President for an "unrelenting campaign of demagoguery and false statements."      Nonetheless, Benson didn't notice the latter's condescension in the trite reference to motherhood being the 'toughest' job of them all.      Quoting Obama arguing "the spouses of elected officials" are "off-limits," Benson apparently failed to comprehend also that, given criticism of the controversial Michelle Obama, the President's thought was less precept than wish.     

So Barack Obama has laid down the marker:   criticism of a candidate's wife is out-of-bounds.    If he could score a few political points with the oldest and safest claim of them all, that "there is no tougher job than being a mom," all the better.   And if he can do both without criticism from Republicans- who criticize him for practically anything- he has, once again, demonstrated that he is the smartest individual in the room.

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