Please Don't Forget White Women, Obama

Let's face it: The president's first 2012 debate performance shows that he forgot a key voting bloc.

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The downer in Denver changed all that. Romney waged a full-frontal attack on the president with zingers and what comedian Stephen Colbert describes as "truthiness."

Romney's performance was studied and confident. You could see it in his body language. You could see it in his face. You could hear it in his voice.

Obama's was not. The president appeared to be wishing he were out celebrating his 20th-wedding anniversary with Michelle rather than wasting time with Mitt. Obama gave a weak and meek defense of the Dodd-Frank Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. He fumbled as he feebly called out Romney on his claim that he wasn't going to raise taxes on the middle class. He let Romney get away with other flip-flops and distortions. He could have taken the discussion over to contraception and abortion, concerns of particular concern to the women in his base. He didn't.

He failed to speak directly to the one voting bloc that can single-handedly assure his re-election: white women.

With 94 percent of African Americans in the president's camp and less than 1 percent for Mitt, and with Hispanics favoring Obama 70 percent to 20 percent for Romney, the Republican's path to victory is short and narrow.

White men, the majority of whom have been voting in favor of Republicans since the Nixon era, weren't loving Romney but have been hating Obama.

And thanks to the Republican Party's ongoing war on women, there has been a steady erosion of support. Romney has pledged to get rid of Planned Parenthood. The Republican-led House in Virginia passed a bill to invade women's vaginas. The Republican push for a constitutional amendment in Mississippi would have made an egg a person as soon as it is fertilized.

Then there is Republican senatorial candidate Todd Akins' "legitimate rape" position and the Republican House hearing during which Sandra Fluke wasn't allowed to speak, followed up with Rush Limbaugh, the Republican's mouthpiece, calling the law-school student a slut.

The list goes on and on. There have been 916 anti-women bills introduced by Republicans since March. Republicans have been on the wrong side of women's issues, including the right to choose, access to health care, equal pay and domestic violence.