Had Mr. Romney uttered a more respectful phrase,... say, "binders of resumes from highly qualified women"... he would have reflected a more thoughtful mindset of seriously seeking out and giving voice to a group woefully underrepresented in his inner circle.
I find it disturbing enough that at age 56, after three decades in the highest echelons of American life, Mitt Romney knew of absolutely no qualified women with political aspirations.
That Mr. Romney's surrogates would select a handful of potential women candidates out of fat beauty-contest-like binders "full of women" based on God-only-knows-what criteria... well, it's condescending. Superficial. Treats women like a commodity to be acquired, not like important leaders who represent more than 50% of U.S. citizens.
Mr. Romney's quaint, 1950's-style callousness towards issues uniquely affecting women contrasts starkly with President Obama's innate understanding and support of women in 2012.
As a result, Mr. Romney's presidential chances should be hurt in certain battleground states, including:
- Pennsylvania and North Carolina, both where women comprise a whopping 51.3% of state populations
- Ohio, where women are 51.2% of the population
- New Mexico, where women are 50.6% of the population
- Iowa, where women are 50.5% of the population
- Wisconsin, where women are 50.4% of the population
Hearing of Gov. Romney resorting to "binders full of women" to identify potential cabinet and judicial candidates from among more than 50% of the population causes me to wonder...
- Did he also use binders to identify qualified Hispanics?
- Qualified African-Americans? Asians?
- Qualified gay Americans?
- Were those binders also "full"?
- Did he ignore those binders, concluding that their respective portions of the population were too small to warrant token representation?
There's nothing inherently wrong with a presidential candidate being surrounded with advisers of his or her choice, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, or sexual orientation.
It's wrong and disrespectful, though, when a presidential candidate regards those unlike him as mere tokens, appointed to appease an "other" quota.
It's also wrong for the United States to elect as president a person who has no understanding of, curiosity about, or compassion for the majority of our country's richly diverse population. Who, instead, blithely stereotypes 47% of U.S. citizens as takers and moochers who are "unwilling to take responsibility for their lives."
Indeed, Mr. Romney's use of the phrase "binders full of women" was revealing for the American electorate. It revealed, once again, a presidential candidate with a dangerous blind spot of gigantic sinkhole proportions for the importance of anyone other than wealthy, white men, who are but a tiny minority sliver of the U.S. population in 2012.