Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on
 

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.

Follow us on Twitter: @CNNOpinion.

Join us at Facebook/CNNOpinion.

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

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
August 29, 2014 -- Updated 1611 GMT (0011 HKT)
Leon Aron says the U.S. and Europe can help get Russia out of Ukraine by helping Ukraine win its just war, sharing defense technologies and intelligence
August 29, 2014 -- Updated 1724 GMT (0124 HKT)
Timothy Stanley the report on widespread child abuse in a British town reveals an institutional betrayal by police, social services and politicians. Negligent officials must face justice
August 30, 2014 -- Updated 0106 GMT (0906 HKT)
Peter Bergen and David Sterman say a new video of an American suicide bomber shows how Turkey's militant networks are key to jihadists' movement into Syria and Iraq. Turkey must stem the flow
August 28, 2014 -- Updated 1516 GMT (2316 HKT)
Whitney Barkley says many for-profit colleges deceive students, charge exorbitant tuitions and make false promises
August 29, 2014 -- Updated 1434 GMT (2234 HKT)
Mark O'Mara says the time has come to decide whether we really want police empowered to shoot those they believe are 'fleeing felons'
August 28, 2014 -- Updated 1432 GMT (2232 HKT)
Bill Frelick says a tool of rights workers is 'naming and shaming,' ensuring accountability for human rights crimes in conflicts. But what if wrongdoers know no shame?
August 29, 2014 -- Updated 0243 GMT (1043 HKT)
Jay Parini says, no, a little girl shouldn't fire an Uzi, but none of should have easy access to guns: The Second Amendment was not written to give us such a 'right,' no matter what the NRA says
August 28, 2014 -- Updated 1340 GMT (2140 HKT)
Terra Ziporyn Snider says many adolescents suffer chronic sleep deprivation, which can indeed lead to safety problems. Would starting school an hour later be so wrong?
August 29, 2014 -- Updated 1330 GMT (2130 HKT)
Peggy Drexler says after all the celebrity divorces, it's tempting to ask the question. But there are still considerable benefits to getting hitched
August 29, 2014 -- Updated 1849 GMT (0249 HKT)
The death of Douglas McAuthur McCain, the first American killed fighting for ISIS, highlights the pull of Syria's war for Western jihadists, writes Peter Bergen.
August 26, 2014 -- Updated 2242 GMT (0642 HKT)
Former ambassador to Syria Robert Ford says the West should be helping moderates in the Syrian armed opposition end the al-Assad regime and form a government to focus on driving ISIS out
August 27, 2014 -- Updated 1321 GMT (2121 HKT)
Ruben Navarrette says a great country does not deport thousands of vulnerable, unaccompanied minors who fled in fear for their lives
August 27, 2014 -- Updated 1319 GMT (2119 HKT)
Robert McIntyre says Congress is the culprit for letting Burger King pay lower taxes after merging with Tim Hortons.
August 26, 2014 -- Updated 2335 GMT (0735 HKT)
Wesley Clark says the U.S. can offer support to its Islamic friends in the region most threatened by ISIS, but it can't fight their war
August 27, 2014 -- Updated 1126 GMT (1926 HKT)
Jeff Yang says the tech sector's diversity numbers are embarrassing and the big players need to do more.
August 26, 2014 -- Updated 2053 GMT (0453 HKT)
America's painful struggle with racism has often brought great satisfaction to the country's rivals, critics, and foes. The killing of Michael Brown and its tumultuous aftermath has been a bonanza.
August 26, 2014 -- Updated 2019 GMT (0419 HKT)
Ed Bark says in this Emmy year, broadcasters CBS, ABC and PBS can all say they matched or exceeded HBO. These days that's no small feat
August 26, 2014 -- Updated 1919 GMT (0319 HKT)
Rick Martin says the death of Robin Williams brought back memories of his own battle facing down depression as a young man
August 26, 2014 -- Updated 1558 GMT (2358 HKT)
David Perry asks: What's the best way for police officers to handle people with psychiatric disabilities?
August 25, 2014 -- Updated 1950 GMT (0350 HKT)
Julian Zelizer says it's not crazy to think Mitt Romney would be able to end up at the top of the GOP ticket in 2016
August 25, 2014 -- Updated 2052 GMT (0452 HKT)
Roxanne Jones and her girlfriends would cheer from the sidelines for the boys playing Little League. But they really wanted to play. Now Mo'ne Davis shows the world that girls really can throw.
August 25, 2014 -- Updated 1629 GMT (0029 HKT)
Peter Bergen and Emily Schneider say a YouTube video apparently posted by ISIS seems to show that the group has a surveillance drone, highlighting a new reality: Terrorist groups have technology once only used by states
August 25, 2014 -- Updated 2104 GMT (0504 HKT)
Kimberly Norwood is a black mom who lives in an affluent neighborhood not far from Ferguson, but she has the same fears for her children as people in that troubled town do
August 22, 2014 -- Updated 2145 GMT (0545 HKT)
It apparently has worked for France, say Peter Bergen and Emily Schneider, but carries uncomfortable risks. When it comes to kidnappings, nations face grim options.
August 26, 2014 -- Updated 1727 GMT (0127 HKT)
John Bare says the Ice Bucket Challenge signals a new kind of activism and peer-to-peer fund-raising.
August 22, 2014 -- Updated 1231 GMT (2031 HKT)
James Dawes says calling ISIS evil over and over again could very well make it harder to stop them.
August 24, 2014 -- Updated 0105 GMT (0905 HKT)
As the inquiry into the shooting of Michael Brown continues, critics question the prosecutor's impartiality.
August 22, 2014 -- Updated 2247 GMT (0647 HKT)
Newt Gingrich says it's troubling that a vicious group like ISIS can recruit so many young men from Britain.
August 21, 2014 -- Updated 1450 GMT (2250 HKT)
David Weinberger says Twitter and other social networks have been vested with a responsibility, and a trust, they did not ask for.
August 22, 2014 -- Updated 1103 GMT (1903 HKT)
John Inazu says the slogan "We are Ferguson" is meant to express empathy and solidarity. It's not true: Not all of us live in those circumstances. But we all made them.
August 22, 2014 -- Updated 1223 GMT (2023 HKT)
Retired Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling says he learned that the territory ISIS wants to control is amazingly complex.
August 20, 2014 -- Updated 1951 GMT (0351 HKT)
Cerue Garlo says Liberia is desperate for help amid a Ebola outbreak that has touched every aspect of life.
August 21, 2014 -- Updated 1742 GMT (0142 HKT)
Eric Liu says Republicans who want to restrict voting may win now, but the party will suffer in the long term.
August 21, 2014 -- Updated 1538 GMT (2338 HKT)
Jay Parini: Jesus, Pope and now researchers agree: Wealth decreases our ability to sympathize with the poor.
August 21, 2014 -- Updated 1200 GMT (2000 HKT)
Judy Melinek offers a medical examiner's perspective on what happens when police kill people like Michael Brown.
August 19, 2014 -- Updated 2203 GMT (0603 HKT)
It used to be billy clubs, fire hoses and snarling German shepherds. Now it's armored personnel carriers and flash-bang grenades, writes Kara Dansky.
August 20, 2014 -- Updated 1727 GMT (0127 HKT)
Maria Haberfeld: People who are unfamiliar with police work can reasonably ask, why was an unarmed man shot so many times, and why was deadly force used at all?
ADVERTISEMENT