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EDITORIAL: Obama’s last time

Tawdry advertising tactics underscore lack of policy direction

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In case it wasn't clear enough that Barack Obama doesn't take women seriously, an ad his campaign released Thursday should lay to rest all doubts. In a minute-long monologue that plays on a tacky double entendre, HBO actress Lena Dunham tells young women that their "first time" (voting) should "be with a really great guy." Beneath the breezy talking points about birth control, the war in Iraq and homosexual "marriage" lies a presupposition that should give every intelligent 21st-century woman pause. Apparently, in Mr. Obama's worldview, a woman never could be president.

The ad's wording overlooks the possibility that a woman could be on the ballot when young women go to cast their first vote. You would think the party that champions feminist causes would be careful to use inclusive language. Why not say, "Your first time voting should be for a really great person"? Nor, for that matter, does the ad encourage women to develop any presidential ambitions for themselves. Instead, the ad makes a cynical play for college-age women's votes with a "hip" young woman gushing about Mr. Obama's accomplishments and her own first vote. Born in 1986, Miss Dunham actually was old enough to vote in the 2004 election. Apparently she just "wasn't ready" to cast her first vote for John F. Kerry.

The ad is yet another example of the demeaning views of the fairer sex embodied in the president's campaign and policies. Mr. Obama has made it clear he thinks women's concerns are not the same as the rest of the country's. In his view, women only want birth control and federally funded abortions. Of course, women never would aspire to positions of leadership in their country -- they only want to be taken care of.

The Obama campaign laid out precisely what it sees as acceptable concerns for women in its infamous "Life of Julia" slide show from May. Julia lives a full, happy life under the care of government: fed, housed, educated and, of course, provided with birth control. Does she have any aspirations to something greater? All we know is that government quells all her potential discomforts, enabling her to float through life and into retirement -- as if no woman could ask for more than comfort, safety and a benevolent caretaker. As far as Mr. Obama is concerned, American women are all Julia.

Under Mr. Obama's economic policies, Julia isn't the only woman to have become more dependent on government. According to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics data, 451,000 women have been thrown into the unemployment lines since the inauguration. The poverty rate for women increased from 15.6 percent to 16.3 percent on Mr. Obama's watch, according to the latest census data.

Patronizing ad campaigns aren't going to be enough to distract from this record of impoverishment and unemployment. That's why major polls show Mr. Obama's lead among women is vanishing in this, his last time campaigning.

The Washington Times

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