Romney recruits qualified women, gets slammed

Washington, D.C.’s professional point-missers are hard at work spinning Mitt Romney’s “binder of women” comment in an attempt to make him look bad. Fortunately, 50 million Americans saw the answer live, reducing the strange “binder” movement into nothing more than a funny sidebar.

Romney did what the people of America expect of a leader when faced with the challenge that he did not have enough female applicants for high-level positions when he was forming his administration in Massachusetts. He reached out to people to make recommendations.

The resulting binder full of the resumes of women allowed Gov. Romney to select from a diverse group of people to help him lead the commonwealth.

However, Romney’s slip of the tongue, wherein he referred to the notebook as a “binder of women,” has spawned all sorts of crazy and funny satirical responses. The jokes are fun, bringing a little needed humor to an otherwise dismal campaign of negativity.

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What is in danger of being lost, though, is that Romney had the awareness to see that he was initially presented with a binder full of men, and that he had the instincts and management IQ to demand to see a more diverse portfolio of choices.

This action speaks volumes about how Romney will approach running the federal government as president. Not relying solely on the good-ol’-boy network but seeking to access the skills of those outside with an eye toward gender equity.

The great news for the country is that political appointees in a Romney administration would compete for positions based upon their skills regardless of gender. The more qualified applicants, the more likely that a President Romney will have diverse approaches explored and argued as he strives to meet the challenges of the nation. America benefits through an administration pursuing better policy.

The other good news for women in the Romney “binder” is his personal story about providing flexible work scheduling to his female chief of staff, who needed to leave at a consistent time to perform childcare responsibilities. 

When the leader of the free world sets this type of example, it sends shockwaves through the entire business community creating opportunities that had been dismissed in the past.

Romney’s commitment to getting the best people into the jobs regardless of gender has been proven.

On the flip side, Obama’s White House was characterized as a “hostile work environment” for women by Anita Dunn (Obama’s debate coach), and Obama pays his female staff 18 percent less than the males.

A review of the binder reveals a stark choice: either a hostile work environment for women or flexible scheduling for high-level female staff. This just might be one issue binder Team Obama wished they’d never opened.


Rick Manning (@rmanning957) is the communications director of Americans for Limited Government.