The week began with a shake-up in the GOP primary, when Rick Santorum announced that he was suspending his campaign. That left Mitt Romney with a lock on the nomination. The Obama White House/campaign signaled going into the holiday weekend that it intended to make Mitt Romney’s wealth a centerpiece of its messaging, and on Monday the president made good on that and started a major push to support the Buffett Rule. That rule is essentially a surtax on millionaires, and the point of highlighting it was to point out that Romney is rich and to drive up resentment against him. The Buffett Rule serves no other purpose; by Democrats’ own admission it will not meaningfully reduce the deficit. It punishes success and sound investment.
The president and vice president hit the trail to promote the Buffett Rule and needle Mitt Romney for being rich. Obama adviser, Democrat strategist and frequent White House visitor Hilary Rosen (35 visits in three years) did her part, taking to CNN to quip that Ann Romney, mother of five and survivor of cancer and MS, “never worked a day in her life.” It was a blatant attack on stay-at-home mothers and the families who are blessed to have them. When she faced criticism, Rosen doubled down on Twitter and in a column for the left-wing Huffington Post. Ann Romney took to Twitter to defend herself. Democrats who were not in on the attack got nervous. The White House/campaign stood silent. Criticism mounted. Rosen apologized. But let’s take a second look at that apology and note the highlighted parts.
Let’s put the faux “war against stay at home moms” to rest once and for all. As a mom I know that raising children is the hardest job there is. As a pundit, I know my words on CNN last night were poorly chosen. In response to Mitt Romney on the campaign trail referring to his wife as a better person to answer questions about women than he is, I was discussing his lack of a record on the plight of women’s financial struggles. Here is my more fulsome view of the issues. As a partner in a firm full of women who work outside of the home as well as stay at home mothers, all with plenty of children, gender equality is not a talking point for me. It is an issue I live every day. I apologize to Ann Romney and anyone else who was offended. Let’s declare peace in this phony war and go back to focus on the substance.
Whom is this apology really about? How many sincere apologies have you ever heard that began and ended with attacks, and were filled with me and I and me and I? Is such an apology intended to heal, or to justify?