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
December 26, 2014 -- Updated 1617 GMT (0017 HKT)
Today's politicians should follow Ronald Reagan's advice and invest in science, research and development, Fareed Zakaria says.
December 26, 2014 -- Updated 1319 GMT (2119 HKT)
Artificial intelligence does not need to be malevolent to be catastrophically dangerous to humanity, writes Greg Scoblete.
December 26, 2014 -- Updated 1505 GMT (2305 HKT)
Historian Douglas Brinkley says a showing of Sony's film in Austin helped keep the city weird -- and spotlighted the heroes who stood up for free expression
December 26, 2014 -- Updated 1303 GMT (2103 HKT)
Tanya Odom that by calling only on women at his press conference, the President made clear why women and people of color should be more visible in boardrooms and conferences
December 26, 2014 -- Updated 1312 GMT (2112 HKT)
When oil spills happen, researchers are faced with the difficult choice of whether to use chemical dispersants, authors say
December 25, 2014 -- Updated 0633 GMT (1433 HKT)
Danny Cevallos says the legislature didn't have to get involved in regulating how people greet each other
December 23, 2014 -- Updated 2312 GMT (0712 HKT)
Marc Harrold suggests a way to move forward after the deaths of NYPD officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos.
December 24, 2014 -- Updated 1336 GMT (2136 HKT)
Simon Moya-Smith says Mah-hi-vist Goodblanket, who was killed by law enforcement officers, deserves justice.
December 24, 2014 -- Updated 1914 GMT (0314 HKT)
Val Lauder says that for 1,700 years, people have been debating when, and how, to celebrate Christmas
December 23, 2014 -- Updated 2027 GMT (0427 HKT)
Raphael Sperry says architects should change their ethics code to ban involvement in designing torture chambers
December 24, 2014 -- Updated 0335 GMT (1135 HKT)
Paul Callan says Sony is right to call for blocking the tweeting of private emails stolen by hackers
December 23, 2014 -- Updated 1257 GMT (2057 HKT)
As Christmas arrives, eyes turn naturally toward Bethlehem. But have we got our history of Christmas right? Jay Parini explores.
December 23, 2014 -- Updated 0429 GMT (1229 HKT)
The late Joe Cocker somehow found himself among the rock 'n' roll aristocracy who showed up in Woodstock to help administer a collective blessing upon a generation.
December 23, 2014 -- Updated 2115 GMT (0515 HKT)
History may not judge Obama kindly on Syria or even Iraq. But for a lame duck president, he seems to have quacking left to do, says Aaron Miller.
December 23, 2014 -- Updated 1811 GMT (0211 HKT)
Terrorism and WMD -- it's easy to understand why these consistently make the headlines. But small arms can be devastating too, says Rachel Stohl.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 1808 GMT (0208 HKT)
Ever since "Bridge-gate" threatened to derail Chris Christie's chances for 2016, Jeb Bush has been hinting he might run. Julian Zelizer looks at why he could win.
December 20, 2014 -- Updated 1853 GMT (0253 HKT)
New York's decision to ban hydraulic fracturing was more about politics than good environmental policy, argues Jeremy Carl.
December 20, 2014 -- Updated 2019 GMT (0419 HKT)
On perhaps this year's most compelling drama, the credits have yet to roll. But we still need to learn some cyber lessons to protect America, suggest John McCain.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 2239 GMT (0639 HKT)
Conservatives know easing the trade embargo with Cuba is good for America. They should just admit it, says Fareed Zakaria.
December 20, 2014 -- Updated 0112 GMT (0912 HKT)
We're a world away from Pakistan in geography, but not in sentiment, writes Donna Brazile.
December 19, 2014 -- Updated 1709 GMT (0109 HKT)
How about a world where we have murderers but no murders? The police still chase down criminals who commit murder, we have trials and justice is handed out...but no one dies.
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 2345 GMT (0745 HKT)
The U.S. must respond to North Korea's alleged hacking of Sony, says Christian Whiton. Failing to do so will only embolden it.
December 19, 2014 -- Updated 2134 GMT (0534 HKT)
President Obama has been flexing his executive muscles lately despite Democrat's losses, writes Gloria Borger
ADVERTISEMENT