Is Romney really the life of the party? And do women care?

Updated

As we noted Monday, the Morning Joe crew was none too impressed by Mitt Romney’s effort to delegate to his wife the job of wooing women voters.

The team picked up on the same theme again Tuesday, noting a recent interview in which Ann Romney told a radio host that, though her husband is commonly seen as stiff, he’s actually “the life of the party.”

Mika Brzezinski didn’t seem won over. “If you have to say someone is [the life of the party], he’s probably not,” she said.

And New York magazine’s John Heilemann voiced a larger problem with the “character witness” approach to winning over women.

“Mitt Romney’s saying: I want Ann Romney to speak for me because she’s out campaigning trying to make a connection with female voters,” said Heilemann.

But the issue, Heilemann continued, isn’t whether Romney is the life of the party. “The problem that Mitt Romney has with female voters right now is on the economy,” he said. “Does he understand the struggles of real people, real lives in America? This is the thing that Joe Biden’s hammering Mitt Romney on, that he doesn’t understand what it is that average working Americans – suburban Americans, working-class families – what they’re going through.”

There’s undoubtedly something to that. But as we wrote yesterday, Romney’s numbers among women voters dropped sharply over the last month, just as the GOP – led by Rick Santorum and Rush Limbaugh – ramped up an ill-advised effort to make an issue out of access to birth control and contraception. As Heilemann said, telling voters that Romney’s the life of the party won’t do much for women worried about unemployment or their underwater mortgage. But it also isn’t likely to win over female voters who fear that Romney hasn’t done enough to distance himself from his party’s unpopular views on women’s health.

 

Is Romney really the life of the party? And do women care?

Updated