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An elderly woman listens to Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney speaking during meeting with voters at the Music Man Square in Mason City, Iowa on December 29, 2011.
Over the next six months, the battle for The White House will be fought on many fronts, and this week’s political football was the so-called ‘war on women’ - with the Obama camp attempting to paint Republican presumptive nominee Mitt Romney as out of touch on numerous levels, especially with women.
Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen upped the ante Wednesday with disparaging comments on CNN about Mitt’s wife, Ann Romney – saying that she had "never worked a day in her life."
Rosen’s comment sparked a small firestorm that found resonance within both camps, with Obama defending the work ethic of stay-at-home moms and Romney painting the President as the candidate who truly was out of touch with women. Rosen apologized, but the battle rages on and the issues are manifold: birth control, equal pay, child care, abortion rights and many others.
But can soccer moms, hockey moms, working moms, career women and every other conceivable subset of women be lumped into a single voting bloc? Is the war on women real, or is it a war waged by campaigns in the court of public opinion in order to garner votes? Or could it be both?
Ruth B. Mandel, director, Eagleton Institute of Politics; senior scholar, Center for American Women and Politics, Rutgers University
Mary Kate Cary, columnist, U.S. News and World Report; former speechwriter, George H.W. Bush