Romney’s empty “binders full of women”
Mitt Romney showed up Tuesday night talking about “binders full of women” being brought to him when he was governor. Sounds kind of kinky and certainly not something you want to be touting.
The phrase was part of Romney’s answer to a question from an audience member at the second presidential debate about how he would “rectify the inequalities in the workplace.” Referring to when he took over as Massachusetts governor, he said, “I had the chance to pull together a Cabinet, and all the applicants seemed to be men,” he said. “I went to a number of women’s groups and said, ‘Can you help us find folks?’ and they brought us whole binders full of women.”
The “binders” moment went viral immediately on Twitter, spawning @RomneysBinders and @womaninabinder Twitter handles. As of Wednesday morning, almost 300,000 people had supported a Facebook page about what a politically dumb statement it was. Romney may soon say it was “inelegant” phrasing or he didn’t finish his statement or some other excuse, but the comment shows why voters, especially women, don’t trust him and don’t believe he has their back…
In fairness, “binders” was most likely a slip of the tongue. But Romney said it in an effort to obfuscate and pivot from the issue at hand: equality for women. He avoided the real question, and that, and his remark, spoke volumes.
Even as a slip of the tongue, this odd phrase betrays Romney’s true lack of understanding, knowledge and comfort level on women’s equality.
I’m hard-pressed to understand why anyone trusts Romney. The man is a soft plastic-politician, ready to change his form and substance depending not only according to the crowd he’s talking down to; but, the year, season, and wind direction seem to have substantive effect, too.
As the Republican Party moved further and further to the Right, so did he. That is – in the primaries needed to get him the nomination. Then, he pirouettes to the center and expects the most gullible electorate in the Western world to accept his word — pressing trust beyond belief.
I hope I’m not wrong. I hope I’m not overestimating American voters.