Commentary Politics

I Was Going To Write About The Presidential Election But Got Distracted By Something Shiny

Robin Marty

This may be one of the most important elections that women will...oops...sparkly!

There’s an old saying that you can judge a man by the company he keeps. If that’s true, the women of America may be in some serious trouble if former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney becomes president, because his advisers? They don’t seem to think much of women.

Both Romney and President Barack Obama’s campaigns are vying for the women’s vote in 2012, but Romney appears to be taking an ingenious approach to wooing women — insulting them. His senior campaign adviser Eric Fehrnstrom spent the weekend explaining that women are incapable of understanding real issues in an election, and are instead being distracted by “shiny objects” that take their focus off of more important concerns.

Raw Story reports Fehrnstrom on “This Week” during the “Wooing Women Voters” segment stated:

“Mitt Romney is pro-life,” the senior adviser admitted to ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. “He’ll govern as a pro-life president, but you’re going to see the Democrats use all sorts of shiny objects to distract people’s attention from the Obama performance on the economy. This is not a social issue election.”

Appreciate our work?

Rewire is a non-profit independent media publication. Your tax-deductible contribution helps support our research, reporting, and analysis.


Deputy Obama Campaign Manager Stephanie Cutter noted that the “shiny objects” that Fehrnstrom derided were not just the so-called “social” issues, but economic ones like the Lilly Ledbetter Equal Pay Act, which Romney said he would have to “get back” to voters on whether or not he supported.

Is it a “shiny object” distraction when a leading Repubilcan Congressman suggests women should be jailed for terminating pregnancies, such as Rep. Cliff Stearns did? Or to worry about whether or not you can afford health care or get paid a living wage?  Perhaps it is to Fehrnstrom, a man referred to as “Romney’s balls” by a former Romney campaign manager.

Romney himself has been bemoaning the “shiny objects” of the Obama campaign for weeks now, ever since the president came out in support of gay marriage.  In a Fox News interview that week, Romney said:

Well, I think you’re going to find throughout this campaign season that the president’s team will be doing everything in their power to try and hold up various shiny objects. Many of them will be in regard to me, some will be with regards the president’s policies or promises of some new major giveaway.

All these things designed to take people’s eyes off the ball, which is the massive deficit this president has put in place, his inability to develop our energy resources in this country, his ObamaCare, which is not attractive at all to the American people. And an economy which is stumbling along, which should have recovered a long time ago, and as a result a lot of people are out of work.

Essentially, “shiny objects” has become the GOP code for “get the conversation away from anything we don’t want to talk about.” The question is, does it work? Obviously, Romney thinks so. After all, what is his latest video regarding Ann and her illness but an emotional overture that ignores policy issues in the hopes that a good story is really all it takes to win over the audience?

Romney believes he knows what women want, because his wife has told him. His campaign thinks that all policy issues besides job creation are being used to distract fickle ladies who can’t concentrate on the hard issues.

When it comes to “shiny objects,” which campaign is really doing the dangling?

Load More

Reproductive rights are a public health issue. That's a fact.

Thank you for reading Rewire!