The XX Factor

Ladies, Obamas Are Begging

You can feel the desperation in the Obama’s latest outreach effort for women , and also a whiff of plagiarism. From Michelle Obama’s insistence that her children are the center of her world to Barack Obama’s claim yesterday that Michelle knows more about the family budget than he does, the Obamas are the latest in a string of Democrats stealing lines from the Mama Grizzlies .

The stories about this outreach tour echo what past analysis of women and this election have said: Women still vote Democratic, and if women fail to vote in this election, it will not be because of some shift in party alliance but out of apathy. But I have my doubts. What these stories leave out is that Republicans have made a parallel systematic and intense effort to court women voters and run women candidates and have succeeded spectacularly, running more women by dozens than they ever have before. In this election it’s the Republican women who are tapping into this simultaneous feeling among American women that everything is falling apart, and only women are man enough to fix it.

Photograph of Obama by Jemal Countess for Getty Images.