Ann Romney was in Ohio this morning, sounding a little desperate about the gender gap undermining her husband's campaign.
Her husband, Mitt Romney, is attuned to women's struggles, especially their economic struggles, and, Ann Romney said, "I know that Mitt will be there for you."
"Women, you need to wake up," she told the largely female audience at a "Women For Mitt" rally in Findlay, Ohio. "Women have to ask themselves who is going to ... be there for you. I can promise you, I know that Mitt will be there for you, he will stand up for you, he will hear your voices, he knows how to fix an economy, he's a can do kind of guy, he's a turnaround guy."
I can appreciate why Ann Romney comes across as overeager on the issue -- a recent CNN poll asked voters nationally which candidate is more in touch with the issues facing women, and President Obama led by 20 points. With the election less than nine weeks away, that's a problem.
But what Ann Romney may not fully appreciate is why her husband is struggling so badly with women voters. If her remarks today are any indication, Romney seems to think her husband will create jobs, women will get many of those jobs, ergo, women should vote for Romney. Never mind what Obama has done, or how progressive he is on gender equality; Romney's economic plans should be enough to win women over, notwithstanding the failures of those plans during his one term as governor.
There are a couple of key flaws to the pitch. For one thing, Mitt Romney's jobs plan doesn't really exist beyond vague platitudes and promises of tax cuts for the wealthy.
For another, Romney's difficulties with women voters extends far beyond just a conservative economic agenda.
Indeed, Romney's platform is a disaster for women's health; Romney doesn't have the spine to endorse the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act; Romney won't endorse the pending Violence Against Women Act; Romney took the coward's way out when Limbaugh targeted Sandra Fluke; Romney has offered support for a "Personhood" measure that's so extreme it would ban some forms of birth control; Romney intends to destroy the Affordable Care Act, which would be a huge setback millions of women; and Romney's running mate has one of the worst voting records on women's issues in Congress.
"Mitt will be there for you, he will stand up for you"? That's nice rhetoric, I suppose, but what does it mean, exactly, in the real world?
Ann Romney desperately wants women to "wake up." But what if women are already wide awake, and they're just not impressed with what their open eyes are seeing?