A painfully long candidacy-selection season has left the Republican Party in a dire state.
The past few months have been dominated by would-be Republican presidential candidates attempting to shoot down their opponents at every turn, with drawn out attacks and character assassinations becoming a feature of nightly news broadcasts.
The result was an implosion not seen since the Death Star’s untimely demise in Star Wars: A New Hope.
The party needed a rallying point, an event that could be the driving force in the reuniting of a splinted party.
Enter the Democratic, liberal strategist Hilary Rosen.
Rosen, when answering a question about the rising importance of economic issues amongst American women, declared that soon-to-be Republican candidate Mitt Romney was ill-informed on the matter, due to the fact that his information was coming from his wife who had ‘never worked a day in her life.’
And just like that, Republicans across the country had their platform.
Ann Romney quickly returned fire at Rosen, and a national agenda was born.
Romney subsequently took to her newly created Twitter account to attack Rosen.
‘I made a choice to stay home and raise five boys,’ Romney first tweet read.
‘Believe me, it was hard work.’
Just like that, Romney had turned Rosen’s somewhat out-of-place personal comment into a scathing attack on mothers all across the country.
Romney continued to attack Rosen, taking to Fox News and stating: ‘She should have come to my house when those five boys were causing so much trouble.’
Rosen – and as a result, the Democratic party – was under attack from all sides of the media, with the siege spearheaded by the Republican-leaning Fox News.
The Republican Party – never one to shy away from a war – fired off what they hope to be an election-changing torpedo at Obama and Co., catch phrase and all.
The Democrats were embarking on a ‘War Against Women’.
Mitt Romney was quick to pounce on the opening created by Rosen’s gaff.
‘The …war on women has been waged by the Obama administration’s failure on the economy,’ he said, stating ‘92.3 percent of the job losses during the Obama years has been women who’ve lost those jobs.’
The Washington Times quickly followed suit, claiming Rosen’s remarks ‘reflect the old-school liberal contempt for women who choose to raise families rather than enter the workforce.’
‘Twenty-first-century Americans are comfortable with the idea that there are many paths available to women, many routes to success and personal fulfillment,’ continued the editorial piece.
‘Some women work full careers, with or without children. Others take time off from their professions to raise children. Any of these paths is a valid personal choice, but to liberals, the stay-at-home mom is somehow less of a woman. To them, the word “housewife” is synonymous with “loser”.’
The Republican comments and criticism of the Left’s approach to women have created the perfect opportunity to disarm one of the strongest weapons in the Obama campaign’s arsenal.
By presenting themselves as the champions of mothers across the US, the Republican Party has created a smokescreen to cover its own, incredibly aggressive attack on women’s rights.
It shouldn’t be forgotten that, the same party that is defending women’s nobility, has waged its own would-be war on contraception.
Incredibly, Republicans have even opposed the Violence Against Woman Act, claiming it would ‘help’ non-citizens and people in same-sex relationships.
By aligning the term ‘War on Women’ with Rosen’s slip of the tongue, they’ve changed the narrative of one of the potentially prominent issues in the election race.
No longer can Obama scold Romney and his fellow Republicans for their approach towards women’s rights, without bringing up the highly publicised misstep of one of their own.
The bell may not have officially sounded, but the Republicans seem to have landed the first punch.
Liam Quinn is a second-year Bachelor of Journalism student at La Trobe University. He is currently on exchange at Michigan State University, and is covering the 2012 US presidential elections for upstart. You can follow him on Twitter: @liamquinn23