Thursday, April 12, 2012

Manufactured Gotcha: Mormon loving Hilary Rosen transformed into 'Obama Spokesperson'

Today the airwaves were all agog about the first general election "gotcha" moment.  Hilary Rosen "victimized" poor Ann Romney by saying she "never worked a day in her life."  Ann tartly responded that she raised five kids (or managed the help in raising five kids, which she probably thinks is even harder), and Hilary Rosen was portrayed as a "Democratic strategist" and Obama intimate and "frequent White House visitor" and then "Obama spokesperson" and "Obama's lesbian adviser" according to some conservative blogs.

Rosen is an infrequent contributor to CNN and the Huffington Post. Her resume indicates she is an operative hired by democrats but usually for specific issues.  She was not representing either the Democratic Party or Obama campaign on AC360 when she made her remarks.  She was previously presented as "CNN Political Contributor" but this time as "Democratic strategist" even though she actually agrees with Mitt Romney in the clip.  They also showed her opposite a Republican commentator above a line saying "Romney, Obama camps" implying she is a member of  the Obama camp.   The p.r. firm that employs her has worked for both the DNC and Obama campaign, and she has visited the White House, but she was for Hillary Clinton against Obama in 2008.  When the issue was Rick Warren's privileged treatment by Obama in 2008, she was angry with Obama and they called her "CNN Political Contributor," not "Democratic Strategist."  It appears as though CNN is setting this up to run in a Romney ad. This should have been more a "gotcha" moment on the lines of Rush Limbaugh speaking out for Romney, but the right is falling all over themselves to try to tie Rosen to Obama.

Faux pas:

Rick Warren era:

Hilary Rosen

Some of us have long memories, and we remember Hilary Rosen.  When her then partner Elizabeth Birch was head of the Human Rights Campaign Fund, Hilary Rosen was a donor and fast friend of right wing Republican Mormon Senator Orrin Hatch.  In 2000, for example, she gave $1,000 to his presidential exploratory committee.  How can someone who supported Orrin Hatch for president be tarred as an intimate of Obama?  Only in the corporate controlled, right-wing media could such a thing be possible.

She has become more Democratic since then, giving $6,900 to Hillary Clinton in 2008 against $500 to Obama.  Rosen infuriated the Democratic base by her anti-piracy career and her lobbying for British petroleum.

She also had Greta Van Susteren (whose father was Senator Joe McCarthy's campaign manager and architect of many conservative smears of that era) at her fiftieth birthday party.

 Rosen, in short, is a Washington insider of long standing. It is highly unlikely she tossed off this unfortunate phrasing without realizing what it could do.

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