Mitt Romney's Woman Problem

Mitt Romney is gaining momentum as the Republican frontrunner for the 2012 presidential race. But as Sarah Palin's political operation shapes up, many observers are wondering if she'll present a legitimate challenge. Salon's Steve Kornacki suggests that Palin could prove a tricky rival for Romney, who's never had a way with women candidates:

Three times in his relatively limited political career Romney has found a woman standing between him and his political goal. In each case, he ended up getting what he wanted -- but it was always awkward, ugly and downright nasty, with cries of chauvinism and sexism along the way. The man just does not know how to look good while competing with a woman.

Kornacki recalls Romney's notorious debate with state Treasurer Shannon O'Brien when the two were running for governor of Massachusetts in 2002. When O'Brien tried to pin him down on his abortion views, Romney "ducked and dodged for a few minutes and then bore in, pointing his finger and telling his female opponent that 'your effort to continue to try to create fear and deception here is unbecoming.'" The comment did not go over well with women voters, but then again, Romney won the election.

Read the full story at Salon.



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Nicole Allan is a former senior editor at The Atlantic.

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