Each Monday we will feature several important stories in the political world — ones that either just occurred, are defining moments, or are key markers on the horizon. Our blog is UW Election Eye, and we call these Monday Eye Openers.
Santorum Quits, but Bella Joins
Rick Santorum called it quits last week on his bid for the Republican presidential nomination. Santorum’s national Communications Director Hogan Gidley said Santorum ultimately decided that “if there’s no path, if there aren’t the delegates, then there’s no reason to keep going.”
Santorum has not gone quietly into hiding, though. He gave a speech to the National Rifle Association at the Celebration of American Values Leadership Forum in St. Louis, Missouri over the weekend, where he told attendees that in addition to him and his wife Karen being lifetime members, that 3-year-old daughter Bella is now a lifetime NRA member too, adding, “I hope it is a long life.”
Ann Romney Gets the Job Done
Tempers, and tweets, flared last week when liberal political commentator Hilary Rosen criticized Mitt Romney for saying he listens to his wife about the economy and the struggles of women, saying, “Guess what, his wife has actually never worked a day in her life.” Ann Romney took to Twitter for the first time to defend stay-at-home moms, and the next 24 hours was awash with people both defending and damning Rosen. Ultimately Rosen issued an apology, but many pundits believe the timing of the snafu perfectly disarmed the rising chorus about Republicans and Mitt Romney waging a “war on women.”
“It was my early birthday present for someone to be critical of me as a mother… a defining moment, and I loved it,” Mrs. Romney said.
— Sam Stein (@samsteinhp) April 16, 2012
Obama v. North Carolina
Amendment One in North Carolina is on the ballot for May 8. Some see it simply as an effort to ban same-sex marriage, but others argue it has much more far reaching effects. According to Tom Kludt of Talking Points Memo, if it passes, it would “establish marriage between a man and a woman as the only legally recognized union in the state…[which] could ultimately deny both benefits and domestic violence protections to thousands of unmarried North Carolina couples.”
President Barack Obama has officially come out against the amendment. The Obama campaign did not address the potential effects to domestic partners, and instead focused on its effects on same-sex marriage, stating, “The record is clear that the President has long opposed divisive and discriminatory efforts to deny rights and benefits to same sex couples. That’s what the Minnesota ballot initiative would do — it would single out and discriminate against committed gay and lesbian couples — and that’s why the President does not support it.”