Salena Zito

BEDFORD, Pa. – Judy’s Motel is a cheery gem, a classic motor lodge just off the Pennsylvania Turnpike in the Bedford Village historic district.

Its red-brick exterior with bright red, green and yellow Pennsylvania Dutch hex signs is a welcome sight for budget travelers.

Delores Beideman prides herself on running a clean, friendly motel, something she said takes a lot of work: “I am up every morning at 6 a.m., and the day doesn't end until 10:30 p.m.”

She and husband Bill do it all – laundry, housekeeping, repairs, warmly greeting guests.

“Owning your own business is remarkable,” she said. “I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

“This is the American dream.”

The Beidemans moved here from near Philadelphia 24 years ago to raise their girls in a safe small town and to fulfill a dream of running a mom-and-pop business.

Delores said she cannot help but pay attention to national politics; Washington’s policies affect her bottom line. “The gas prices have already affected us,” she explained, and she is very worried about this summer’s impact.

She and her husband contribute to this town’s economy: Their motel offers skiers an affordable place to stay and discounted lift tickets; they direct visitors to local restaurants and antique shops; when weddings or reunions come to town, families reserve a string of rooms and enjoy the long front porch facing the mountains.

Beideman is amused by President Obama’s sudden interest in women voters; an independent voter, she thinks his new “war on women” and class-warfare rhetoric is unappealing.

“That certainly doesn’t make me consider voting for him,” she said, adding that she wishes he would speak seriously to voters instead of staging events. “The problems are serious out here.”

Despite leading among women voters in recent polls after championing a Mitt-Romney-hates-women story line, Obama has cracks in his campaign foundation – and Beideman is a perfect example.

For one thing, Romney’s loss of female support may be just the temporary fallout from Rick Santorum’s rhetoric.

Obama’s Chicago machine readily pounces on such polling numbers, yet its response lacks a genuine feel. A Wednesday event with millionaires who appeared with female assistants to promote the “Buffet Rule” not only was awkward but also demeaning.

Before that, the White House announced that Obama called for Augusta National Golf Club to include women. You could sort of hear the crickets chirping over that bold move towards solidarity with women.

Honestly, how many rounds of golf has he played where a woman was part of his foursome?

Salena Zito

Salena Zito is a political analyst, reporter and columnist.