Thursday, April 12, 2012

'Frame-Fail' for the New York Times: Democrats Taking Steps to Narrow Romney's Gender Gap

There's some brutal political irony in this front-page New York Times report out today, "Romney Taking Steps to Narrow His Gender Gap."
Mitt Romney moved Wednesday to confront one of his most vexing general election problems — how to narrow the gender gap he faces against President Obama — but his campaign immediately found itself squeezed between its intensifying efforts to appeal to women and its need to avoid alienating conservatives.

Female voters have emerged as one of Mr. Romney’s largest vulnerabilities. A Washington Post/ABC News poll this week showed that women preferred Mr. Obama to Mr. Romney by 19 percentage points, and an earlier Gallup/USA Today poll of voters in 12 key swing states showed Mr. Obama leading over all, buoyed by independents and women — two critical voting blocs.

Now, in the face of mounting attacks from Democrats and the Obama campaign, Mr. Romney is taking steps to address that gender gap head on. In the past week, his campaign has devised a three-pronged strategy, which it finalized Tuesday night, advisers familiar with the internal discussions said. They will try to debunk the notion that Mr. Romney’s policies have hurt women, turn the criticism back on Mr. Obama and outline how they believe women have suffered under his administration, and brand those issues in a memorable way.
The article then goes on to suggest that Romney "stumbled" with his comments on the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, but then continues:
As the Romney campaign shifts to the general election, his aides will reintroduce him to voters, warming up his image by emphasizing his role as a devoted father and husband. Mr. Romney’s wife, Ann, has already made several Web videos that feature her reminiscences, along with gauzy family photos; voters are likely to see more of these. Mrs. Romney will also increase her campaign appearances; she has already begun to talk about how women tell her they care deeply about the economy, where the campaign wants to keep its focus. Polls showed that as the Republican primary campaign dragged on, Mr. Romney began losing support with women, who may have been put off by the contest’s focus on social issues like Planned Parenthood, immigration and contraception.

“Women voters are pocketbook voters, and the highest casualties of President Obama’s failures on the economy have been among women,” said Eric Fehrnstrom, a senior adviser to Mr. Romney, a former governor of Massachusetts. “Governor Romney has a good record on women’s issues. When he was in office, he was judged to have the best record of all governors in hiring women into senior positions.”
Well, no doubt Ann Romney is the Romney campaign's secret weapon! And she's taking off like lightning! Althouse notes the left's "frame-fail" in the Hilary Rosen backlash:
This is creating so much interest in Ann Romney now, shining a sudden bright light on her, and she is so ready. She's a great persona, better than Mitt at talking to people and generating warmth.
And here's Alana Goodman at Commentary, "Dems Retrench in the “War on Women”?":
From the staggering statistic released by the Republican National Committee that found women have lost 92.3 percent of all jobs lost since Obama took office, to yesterday’s scathing story on the gender pay gap in the Obama White House by the Washington Free Beacon, the GOP has started throwing the “war on women” rhetoric back into the faces of the Democrats who coined it.

And that was before the Hilary Rosen controversy erupted last night. Rosen has since apologized, and her statement appears to be more of a plea for a truce than a mea culpa...
There's more from Goodman at the link, but here's the icing on this beautiful "frame-fail" cake, at National Journal, "Obama Defends Ann Romney":
President Obama defended Ann Romney on Thursday, weighing in on a controversial comment made by Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen that the Republican presidential front-runner's wife “hadn’t worked a day in her life.”

“There’s no tougher job than being a mom," Obama told KCRG-TV9, an ABC affiliate in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, according to the network’s website. “Anybody who would argue otherwise, I think, probably needs to rethink their statement.”

Obama added that the families of presidential candidates shouldn’t be the targets of negative attacks. “I don’t have a lot of patience for commentary about the spouses of political candidates,” the president said.
Man, that's harsh.

And that's after Rosen has met Obama at least five times in person, among the at least 35 of her visits tracked at the White House visitors' logs.

As Tammy Bruce snarks on Twitter: "I wonder how Rosen likes the view from under the bus..."

And that gender gap the Times is talking about isn't quite so extreme, and is likely to close completely if the Democrats keep up the good work. See Fox News, "Fox News Poll: Romney Edges Obama as Approval of President Drops":
The poll shows the gender gap may not solely be a problem for the Republican candidate. Women are more likely to back Obama (by 49-41 percent), while men are even more likely to give their support to Romney (by 52-38 percent). The 2008 Fox News national exit poll showed women voted for Obama over Republican John McCain by 13 percentage points (56-43 percent). Historically, exit poll results show women have consistently backed the Democrat over the Republican in presidential elections.
So there you go, your Democrat Media Complex frame-fail for the day!

(And more really good news for Romney at that poll.)

Great job progs!

UPDATE: Linked at The Rhetorican! Thanks!

Also, linked at An Ex-Con's Views.