Her defense of her choice to stay home with her kids was compelling, but Mitt Romney's struggle with women voters isn't over.
Watching Ann Romney somberly defend herself against grave and terrible attacks on her maternal nature Thursday, it was easy to forget that not 24 hours prior, Mitt Romney was losing badly in the political battle for women's votes.
"My career choice was to be a mother," Ann Romney said on Fox News. "And I think all of us need to know that we need to respect choices that women make. Other women make other choices to have a career and raise family, which I think Hilary Rosen has actually done herself. I respect that. It's wonderful."
Rosen, a Democratic strategist, had contended on CNN Wednesday night that Romney had "never actually worked a day in her life" and thus was poorly qualified to understand what most American women go through. Republicans immediately began fainting in horror at this failure to appreciate the hard labor Romney put in as a stay-at-home mom; "I made a choice to stay home and raise five boys," Romney herself tweeted. "Believe me, it was hard work."
The underlying, legitimate, and not-at-all-novel point Rosen was making -- that the wealth of the Romney family has insulated them from many ordinary people's struggles -- was immediately lost in the cacophony of criticism. If there's one thing we can all agree on, it's that motherhood is divine and noble and saintly. (As a mother myself, I would know just what perfect human specimens all moms automatically are.) In a classy, modern touch, Ann Romney, in her Fox interview, also praised "all the dads home raising kids," thereby elevating the discussion, if only momentarily, from the retrograde notion that only women can or should raise children.