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.

President Obama shakes hands in Pittsburgh. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
President Obama shakes hands in Pittsburgh. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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.

The president could have taken these issues to Romney during the debate. He should have mentioned his signing of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and the Violence Against Women Act. He could have reminded the 50 million or so viewers that his two Supreme Court appointments were both women.

Obama allowed himself to get caught flat-footed and passionless. But have no fear: The president is competitive by nature. To paraphrase that clichéd sports defense for the losing team: “Wait till the next debate.”

Round 2 is scheduled for Oct. 16. It’s a town hall setting, and yes, Candy Crowley is moderating.

Cyber columnist Monroe Anderson is a veteran Chicago journalist who has written signed op-ed-page columns for both the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times and executive-produced and hosted his own local CBS TV show. He was also the editor of Savoy Magazine. Follow him on Twitter.

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