A remark made the other day by liberal CNN contributor Hillary Rosen (HERE) was pretty stupid, but it comported almost perfectly with how the federal government officially sees stay-at-home moms.
As far as Uncle Sam is concerned, if you’re poor, deciding to stay at home and rear your children is not an option. Thanks to welfare reform, recipients of federal benefits must prove to a caseworker that they have performed, over the course of a week, a certain number of hours of “work activity.” That number changes from state to state, and each state has discretion as to how narrowly work is defined, but federal law lists 12 broad categories that are covered.
Raising children is not among them.
The nation — or at the political observers and journalists who obsessively use Twitter — was momentarily fixated on the question of what defines work when Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen said Ann Romney had “never worked a day in her life.” Rosen has since said that she believes staying at home with children counts as work, but that most women must both raise their children and earn money.
Politicians across the spectrum slammed Hilary Rosen for taking the same standard as the federal government. “Disappointed in @hilaryr ‘s comments. As a mother of 3 there’s no doubt that raising children is work,” tweeted Democratic National Committee Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.).
Many in President Barack Obama’s inner circle expressed similar sentiments on Twitter, including Chief Strategist David Axelrod, Campaign Manager Jim Messina, Deputy Campaign Manager Stephanie Cutter and First Lady Michelle Obama.
The Romney campaign did not return a request for comment about whether it believes the federal definition of work should change to reflect the effort put in by stay-at-home mothers.