Ben Romney, the snarl-smile son of Mitt and Ann Romney, has insisted that, despite what professional noise-maker Hilary Rosen said about Ann having "never worked a day in her life," his mom did too work — she raised five little Romneys all by herself while Mittens feasted on jobs and money at Bain Capital.
In a Facebook note that's actually pretty sweet, Ben, who is currently a med student at the University of Utah, insists that his mom had her hands full raising him and his rampaging Romney brothers. He writes,
Growing up, we never had a nanny or a ‘mommy's helper.' Never went to daycare. I was just one out of five, but always felt like I was the most important thing in her life. For my Mom to raise us 5 boys, the way she did, was, in my mind, the most demanding – and hopefully rewarding – work she could have done.
Rosen, who clumsily tried to explain that, because Ann Romney didn't have to work AND raise kids, she couldn't truly understand the economic challenges facing many American mothers, was responding to the Romney campaign's effort to characterize Ann as a woman in touch with her fellow female citizens in a pretty transparent bid to make up some ground between between presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney and Barack Obama among female voters. Republicans have hoped to harness some of the talk-show outrage that followed Rosen's comments to attract suburban stay-at-home mothers who would be annoyed that the general public thought that protecting the small, squishy people trundling through the house with dirty stuffed animals in tow and trying actively to physically harm themselves while making the biggest possible messes doesn't constitute as work.
Ben added as anecdotal proof of his mom's child-rearing labors that, as the father of a 3-year-old daughter, he feels "overwhelmed" most of the time making sure that the little one doesn't stick her arm in the garbage disposal before she gets admitted to an elite preschool. He explained that, even with five kids, his mother made time for just him, which he most definitely does not attribute to the possibility that he could just be Ann Romney's favorite and that his brothers (none of who have written such thoughtful little notes, by the way) are all smoldering from a childhood marked by maternal neglect. His point, however, that Ann Romney wasn't just reclining on a fainting chair while a Mormon eunuch fed grapes to her and gave her the daily report on the five sons she never bothered with is well-taken — moms have a lot of shit to do.
Many American moms, though, have to work, especially with the economy being as bad as everyone keeps saying. Tara McGuinness makes the point on Politico that 73 percent of American moms are now working, and that many of those households rely women as "breadwinners." Even if Ann Romney chose not to enlist an army of servants (though she certainly might have) to help her raise her kids, she still had the luxury of her husband's significant income in making the choice to be a stay-at-home mom, which, by the way, seems like a hard, largely thankless thing to do. Rosen's point, however muddled, was that Ann Romney didn't have to work and raise kids simultaneously, which is what a lot of mothers have to do right now, even if they'd rather devote themselves entirely to their kids. The Romney campaign is only trying to give Mittens a boost among female voters by exploiting Rosen's poor choice of words, and though what might have blossomed into a thoughtful discussion about the changing nature of modern motherhood has devolved into the exchange of vote-pandering pronouncements, Ann Romney must have been pretty happy to get such a nice note from a son whose diaper she used to wash shit out of when he was too inarticulate to properly thank her.
Mitt Romney's Son Defends His Stay-At-Home Mom [Politicker]