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Obama campaign quick to condemn a loyal supporter

By Mary Matalin, CNN Contributor
April 13, 2012 -- Updated 1838 GMT (0238 HKT)
Hilary Rosen's comments about Ann Romney to Anderson Cooper on CNN's
Hilary Rosen's comments about Ann Romney to Anderson Cooper on CNN's "AC360° touched off a political controversy.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen said Ann Romney had never worked a day in her life
  • Rosen apologized, and Obama campaign quickly dissociated itself from her remarks
  • Mary Matalin: Rosen right to apologize, but ferocity of campaign response excessive
  • She says White House should have given Rosen time to apologize on her own

Editor's note: Mary Matalin, a Republican strategist, is a CNN political contributor. She has worked for Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush and was counselor to Vice President Dick Cheney.

(CNN) -- Every syllable that could have possibly been uttered on Rosen v. Romney, the latest offshoot of the demonstrably dopey Democrat-fabricated "War on Women" has already been said.

So this post is not a reiteration of what every common-sense person knows, regardless of their party affiliation:

First and foremost: Ann Romney is a quiet hero, a woman of indomitable fortitude and the epitome of a proud and productive modern woman; (2) President Barack Obama's policies hurt women equally, if not worse than, all Americans. (3) Whether they work in or out of the home, women have more contact with the real-world everyday problems the president's policies have made worse -- from the rising cost of daily staples -- including but not limited to, energy, groceries and health care premiums -- to the plummeting value of their homes and retirement, to a job-stifling recovery with the velocity of a belly crawl.

Mary Matalin
Mary Matalin

Rosen: Ann Romney and working moms

And the liberal Potemkin Village philosophy has long been exposed: Liberal feminism is not -- and never has been about -- promoting and effectuating policies that provide options and opportunity for all American women; it has always been about divisive identity politics and mindless, spineless group think.

What has been less explored is how Obama Democrats and apparatchiks lack a fundamental ethic of good campaigns, (not to mention, good people): loyalty and dare I say it ... fairness.

There are plenty of vicious, hateful, vacuous liberals who regularly vomit venomous, vile diatribes against anyone remotely associated with a conservative thought. Hilary Rosen is not one of those liberals.

Romney: Mom did hardest work possible
Rosen: This is not an attack on moms
Hilary Rosen: Ann Romney 'never worked'
Ann Romney a not-so-secret weapon

High ranking among those kind of loudmouth liberals are some of her "Kumbaya" comrades who drop-kicked her under an 18-wheeler for uncharacteristically using poorly chosen punditry one-tenth of 1% as egregious as their putrid hourly utterances.

Opinion: Not another Mommy War

Rosen is a liberal to be sure, but in my work with her on CNN and when she is a substitute host for Arianna Huffington on our radio show, "Both Sides Now," she is consistently a civil and articulate advocate of her philosophy. She has even been known to concede a capitalist point now and then!

Rosen is a big girl and knows politics ain't beanbag, but she deserved some face-saving space and time to come to the only right conclusion -- to apologize to Mrs. Romney for saying she "had never worked a day in her life" -- which were she her own client, she would have demanded immediately, as she is one smart cookie.

Yet before the commercial break, the Obama high command was in high dudgeon. Let's do a little exercise in decoding Obama-world: Have you ever seen them horsewhip a blundering man with the ferocity they laid into Rosen? A bit of irony in the War on Women world, no?

Just for comparison's sake to make my point about the character of an operation, when I made a notoriously stupid blunder (one of too many to count) in the Bush 41 campaign, and the chattering classes' hairs were ablaze demanding my immediate tar-and-feathering, President Bush himself called me and told me to keep fighting, and to make just a tad fewer wild throws; he put out the word that our own staff was to lay off.

This is all insider stuff, and likely of little interest to the wider CNN audience, but here is the point, which every political veteran will recognize: The character of a campaign flows from the top; it is a reflection of the values of the leadership. While relentlessly extolling how caring and fair it is about every last citizen, when it came to its own foxhole sister, the Obama team showed its true character.

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The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Mary Matalin.

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