Democratic Strategist Hilary Rosen (@hilaryr) Steps Into a Twitter Fight That She Won’t Win

Apr 12, 2012
4:48 pm

First off, hear what Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen said last night on CNN.

Next, Twitter explodes and Rosen felt the social media heat. After the firestorm, Rosen tweeted the following out to Ann Romney (and that was a GOOD THING):


Then today, instead of taking the humble pie and just letting the social media reaction take control of her comments, Rosen dug in her heels a bit more as she wrote on a CNN blog:

Oh my, you should read the tweets and the hate mail I got after that. The accusations were flying. I don't know what it means to be a mom (I have 2 children). I obviously don't value the work that a mother does and how hard it is (the hardest job I have ever had); and I absolutely hate anyone who doesn't have the same views as I do (hate is a strong word).

Spare me the faux anger from the right who view the issue of women's rights and advancement as a way to score political points. When it comes to supporting policies that would actually help women, their silence has been deafening. I don't need lectures from the Republican National Committee on supporting women and fighting to increase opportunities for women; I've been doing it my whole career. Sound off: What do you think about Rosen's comments?

If they want to attack me and distract the public's attention away from their nominee's woeful record, it just demonstrates how much they just don't get it.

My favorite tweet was from someone who said that Republicans like Ann Romney so much more than Mitt that by attacking her (which I didn't), I got people to defend him in a way they never would. That last one, I can actually understand. Now let's be clear on one thing. I have no judgments about women who work outside the home versus women who work in the home raising a family. I admire women who can stay home and raise their kids full time. I even envy them sometimes. It is a wonderful luxury to have the choice. But let's stipulate that it is not a choice that most women have in America today.

Eventually, Rosen offered an apology to all this mess, with a little editorializing:

"I apologize to Ann Romney and anyone else who was offended," Rosen said in a statement. "As a pundit, I know my words on CNN last night were poorly chosen."

It was a change from hours earlier, when Rosen went on Twitter to say she admires the wife of GOP presumptive nominee Mitt Romney, but then added, “But your husband shouldn't say you are his expert on women and the economy.”

Is it that hard to just saw you screwed up? Do you still have to dig in your heels and still jab at Romney? When Rosen appeared again on CNN this afternoon, it took her a long time to just say, "Hey, i messed up and I am sorry."

No wonder the White House is trying to distance themselves from Rosen and now Jay Carney has to defend himself. Thanks for the grief, Hilary.


And this afternoon, President Obama weighed in:

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Fact is, yes, Mitt Romney is a tool and he is not the best the GOP has to offer, but Rosen can't have it both ways. Ann Romney has MS. She is a mom. She is a grandmother. Yes, she is wealthy, but she is still a mom. Being a mom is the world's toughest job. When the right attacks Michelle Obama and the left screams for blood, why should Rosen now be surprised that the GOP pounces back when the same thing happens? And they WILL come at you hard and quick through the weapon that is now 140 characters. Also, why why why did Rosen try to defend her comments and tweets? She is only making it worse. Granted, this won't be an election changer, just a fact of the 24/7 social media news cycle.

Also, the pundits have to know by now that yes, social media is a dangerous place. It can eat you alive if you fight it. A simple "damn, what was I thinking?" tweet early in the game would have diffused a lot of this hype.

Humility, Hilary, it goes a long way. By now, you might have learned how to practice it more. Lesson learned. File this one under the Geraldo Rivera-Spike Lee-Ozzie Guillen-Roland S. Martin-ChimichnagaGate-Anthony Weiner-Twitter-Fail-#NoMames-and-You-Get-a-Chancla file.

Social media is immediate and if you don't know how to handle it, it can swallow you whole.