Well folks, the campaign has fully begun, launched by female drama; one woman publicly attacking another. However, it didn’t turn out quite the way Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen apparently hoped. Some say she got her talking orders directly from the White House when she attacked Ann Romney Wednesday night on CNN. But my guess is she didn’t need directions, she seemed comfortable in her strident remarks.
In case you’ve been on an island, Rosen proclaimed that Ann Romney “hasn’t worked a day in her life,” thus, Rosen claimed, Ann had no business telling Mitt Romney anything about the economy (see Ann’s bio at citizensforromney.org). Ann, who has traveled with her husband this past year on the campaign trail, reports women everywhere say their number one concern is the economy.
For some reason that riled Rosen and though she eventually apologized to Ann -- well, sort of -- she continued to insist that Mitt should not listen to his wife.
Oh, dear. Can we bear the next six months?
Rosen may have done all women a favor with that gut punch. It’s an opportunity to determine if we pile on or stay in the professional, political mode of assessing both candidates’ qualifications, while leaving the families out of it. When the Rosen-types show up, on either side, women have the choice to insist on legitimate debate. Taking it to the higher road is where our strengths are, anyway.
We stay-at-home moms and we working-moms all have experience in demanding fair play. It’s what moms do. It’s who we are. Further, something to think about when a woman attacks another woman:
Some of the most powerful parts of a woman’s world are her girlfriends, her mother and daughters, and her ability to nurture and contribute to a strong community. Women notably pull together in crisis, we stabilize and comfort.
Thus, women who understand and use their power to promote peace will eventually build a world- family we all yearn for. When we ignore our power and go with a primal response, when we allow ourselves to be controlled by the political edge, we produce poison. You’d think that by the century 2000, women would have mastered their amazing strengths.
Why would we choose to fail? There are more ways to prevail than through attack. Women have always known how.
Mothers negotiate good behavior every day in their homes, yet in the public arena, some choose to act like a bully.
It’s a child’s game, in this case, to second guess another woman’s life, her choices and her wisdom. And how does one determine what a person knows, whether there’s money in the bank or she’s living on food stamps?
There is no need to denigrate Ann in order to elevate Michelle or Barack. Nothing, not one bit of good will come from such tactics. I’m absolutely certain about this: Every woman, no matter which economic level she lives on, loves her family and suffers sorrows. When she cries herself to sleep at night, it doesn’t matter what the thread count is in her sheets. In so many ways, we are all the same.
Women can take the lead by refusing to pile on. Those who demand fair play will pull winners into their circle.
In that circle will be the strength we need to create healthy families, communities and especially heal a troubled nation.
But, right now, there are two candidates who need to focus on truth. Women’s rational input in that process can make all the difference.
East Valley resident Linda Turley-Hansen (email@example.com) is a syndicated columnist and former Phoenix veteran TV anchor.