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
October 1, 2014 -- Updated 1947 GMT (0347 HKT)
Julian Zelizer says Jimmy Carter's message about the need to restore trust in public officials is a vital one, decades after the now 90-year-old he first voiced it
October 1, 2014 -- Updated 2156 GMT (0556 HKT)
Ford Vox says mistakes and missed opportunities along the line to a diagnosis of Ebola in a Liberian man have put Dallas residents at risk of fatal infection
October 1, 2014 -- Updated 2221 GMT (0621 HKT)
Pepper Schwartz says California is trying, but its law requiring step-by-step consent is just not the way hot and heavy sex proceeds on college campuses
October 2, 2014 -- Updated 0217 GMT (1017 HKT)
Mike Downey says long-suffering fans, waiting for good playoff news since 1985, finally get something to cheer about
October 1, 2014 -- Updated 2139 GMT (0539 HKT)
Steve Israel saysJohn Boehner's Congress and the tea party will be remembered for shutting down government one year ago
October 1, 2014 -- Updated 1856 GMT (0256 HKT)
Yep. You read the headline right, says Peter Bergen, writing on the new government that stresses national unity
October 1, 2014 -- Updated 2312 GMT (0712 HKT)
Hong Kong's pro-democracy demonstrators are but the latest freedom group to be abandoned by the Obama administration, says Mike Gonzalez
September 30, 2014 -- Updated 1653 GMT (0053 HKT)
Jeff Yang calls Ello a wakeup call to Facebook and Twitter, and a sign of hope for fast-rising upstarts Pinterest and Snapchat.
October 1, 2014 -- Updated 1423 GMT (2223 HKT)
Paul Waldman says the Secret Service should examine its procedures to make sure there are no threats to the White House--but without losing the openness so valuable to democracy
October 1, 2014 -- Updated 1455 GMT (2255 HKT)
Jesse Williams says the videotape and 911 call that resulted in police gunning down John Crawford at a Walmart reveals the fatal injustice of racial assumptions
September 30, 2014 -- Updated 2303 GMT (0703 HKT)
Mel Robbins says officials should drop the P.C. pose: The beheading in Oklahoma was not workplace violence. Plenty of evidence shows Alton Nolen was an admirer of ISIS.
September 30, 2014 -- Updated 1911 GMT (0311 HKT)
The Occupy Central movement has already achieved much by bringing greater attention to Hong Kong's struggle for democracy, William Piekos says..
September 30, 2014 -- Updated 1911 GMT (0311 HKT)
The Occupy Central movement has already achieved much by bringing greater attention to Hong Kong's struggle for democracy, writes William Piekos.
September 30, 2014 -- Updated 1413 GMT (2213 HKT)
As Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits America, Madeleine Albright says a world roiled by conflict needs these two great democracies to commit to moving their partnership forward
September 30, 2014 -- Updated 1404 GMT (2204 HKT)
John Sutter: Lake Providence, Louisiana, is the parish seat of the "most unequal place in America." And until somewhat recently, the poor side of town was invisible on Google Street View.
September 29, 2014 -- Updated 1311 GMT (2111 HKT)
Julian Zelizer says in the run up to the 2016 election the party faces divisions on its approach to the U.S.'s place in the world
September 29, 2014 -- Updated 1419 GMT (2219 HKT)
Ruben Navarrette says Common Core supporters can't devise a new set of standards and then fail to effectively sell it.
September 30, 2014 -- Updated 1329 GMT (2129 HKT)
Earlier this month, Kenyans commemorated the heinous attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi.
September 30, 2014 -- Updated 1859 GMT (0259 HKT)
David Wheeler says Colorado students are right to protest curriculum changes that downplays civil disobedience.
September 27, 2014 -- Updated 0158 GMT (0958 HKT)
Sally Kohn says when people click on hacked celebrity photos or ISIS videos, they are encouraging the bad guys.
September 26, 2014 -- Updated 1155 GMT (1955 HKT)
Loren Bunche says she walked by a homeless man every day and felt bad about it -- until one day she paused to get to know him
September 30, 2014 -- Updated 1332 GMT (2132 HKT)
ISIS grabs headlines on social media, but hateful speech is no match for moderate voices, says Nadia Oweidat.
September 29, 2014 -- Updated 1233 GMT (2033 HKT)
A new report counts jihadists fighting globally. The verdict? The threat isn't that big, says Peter Bergen.
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 2137 GMT (0537 HKT)
Ebola could become the biggest humanitarian disaster in a generation, writes former British Prime Minister Tony Blair
September 26, 2014 -- Updated 1658 GMT (0058 HKT)
ISIS has shocked the world. But will releasing videos of executions backfire? Four experts give their take.
September 26, 2014 -- Updated 1439 GMT (2239 HKT)
Eric Holder kicked off his stormy tenure as attorney general with a challenge to the public that set tone for six turbulent years as top law-enforcement officer.
September 26, 2014 -- Updated 1309 GMT (2109 HKT)
LZ Granderson says Obama was elected as a war-ending change agent, not a leader who would leave behind for his successor new engagement in Iraq and Syria. Is he as disappointed as the rest of us?
September 24, 2014 -- Updated 0910 GMT (1710 HKT)
Gayle Lemmon says the question now is how to translate all the high-profile feminizing into real gains for women
ADVERTISEMENT