Contrast Obama’s approach to that of Mitt Romney and Republican-affiliated groups. The Romney campaign’s most recent ad aimed at women features a female small business owner citing the 450,000 additional unemployed women under Obama as her reasoning for switching her vote in this election. A new television ad released today by Super PAC American Crossroads addresses the stimulus and the national debt from a woman’s perspective. Which approach shows greater respect for women: a serious and substantive discussion about the economy, or Eva Longoria talking about birth control?
Barack Obama and his campaign have made the fatal mistake of assuming that because women have historically responded to emotional appeals they don’t care about substance. They have assumed that because likability matters to women, its all they care about. Its that mentality that leads a President of the United States to snub foreign leaders but chat up Joy Behar on The View, to blow off debate prep but brush up on Nicki Minaj vs. Mariah Carey.
When one looks at the advisors and confidantes that Obama surrounds himself with, this one-dimensional view of women makes more sense. The women closest to the President – with the possible exception of the strangely under-utilized Michelle Obama – are shallow Hollywood types and colorless yes-men (or rather, yes-women) like Valerie Jarrett. The Obama campaign’s only paid female spokesperson is the unlikable and incompetent Stephanie Cutter.
Team Obama knows they have to win women by a substantial margin in order to secure victory on November. Given the Gallup numbers, it seems certain that Barack Obama will enter tonight’s debate looking to appeal directly to female voters. No one can empathize quite like Bill ‘I feel your pain’ Clinton, but Obama will surely try. But I predict that Obama will once again fail to realize that women struggling in a tough economy may appreciate both substance and style, but when push comes to shove, most will choose substance.