Regarding Romney’s binders full of women

One of the most curious of Mitt Romney’s falsehoods in last night’s debate arose in his account of how he dealt with the dearth of women in Massachusetts state government.

“We took a concerted effort to go out and find women who had backgrounds that could be qualified to become members of our cabinet,” Romney said.

“I went to a number of women’s groups and said, ‘Can you help us find folks,’ and they brought us whole binders full of women.”

David S. Bernstein of the Boston Phoenix BEGS TO DIFFER:

Not a true story.

What actually happened was that in 2002 — prior to the election, not even knowing yet whether it would be a Republican or Democratic administration — a bipartisan group of women in Massachusetts formed MassGAP to address the problem of few women in senior leadership positions in state government. There were more than 40 organizations involved with the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus (also bipartisan) as the lead sponsor.

They did the research and put together the binder full of women qualified for all the different cabinet positions, agency heads, and authorities and commissions. They presented this binder to Governor Romney when he was elected.


Romney did appoint 14 women out of his first 33 senior-level appointments, which is a reasonably impressive 42 percent. However, as I have reported before, those were almost all to head departments and agencies that he didn’t care about — and in some cases, that he quite specifically wanted to not really do anything. None of the senior positions Romney cared about — budget, business development, etc. — went to women.

Secondly, a UMass-Boston study found that the percentage of senior-level appointed positions held by women actually declined throughout the Romney administration, from 30.0% prior to his taking office, to 29.7% in July 2004, to 27.6% near the end of his term in November 2006. (It then began rapidly rising when Deval Patrick took office.)

Third, note that in Romney’s story as he tells it, this man who had led and consulted for businesses for 25 years didn’t know any qualified women, or know where to find any qualified women. So what does that say?


Garance Franke-Ruta of The Atlantic adds THIS:

Romney did a good job appointing women to high office in the context of a bipartisan statewide push to get him to do so as a new governor, but a terrible job in finding and promoting women to senior roles in the context of the high-paying private-sector business he built himself. That may be why, by his own admission, his social power network when he came into office led to an all-male pool of job applicants. And as any woman with a job knows, getting the job is not the same a being paid the same amount as male colleagues for it — the question on the table before Romney Tuesday night, and one he ultimately punted on.




  1. http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/295875/stop-obama-s-war-women-staffers-deroy-murdock

    Stiles’s article on Wednesday, in turn, was based on an analysis of the “2011 Annual Report to Congress on White House Staff.” This document provides the names, titles, and salaries of 454 of Obama’s workers. While women at the Obama White House earned median annual salaries of $60,000 last year, the equivalent remuneration for their male colleagues was some $71,000 — roughly 18 percent higher.

    This gender inequality is slightly worse than the sex-based income gap at Obama’s former Senate outposts on Capitol Hill and in Illinois. Disclosure filings show that men who worked for Obama’s legislative offices earned 17 percent more than women on his staff. If anything, the pay disparity between men and women on Team Obama has widened marginally as his power has grown, along with his pay.

    Why so many women left behind?

    One explanation for Obama’s pay inequity is that he apparently is just not that into women in high places. Since his Senate days, top salaries have tended to benefit predominantly male senior staffers, while the lower-paid junior ranks have been the likelier places to find women.

  2. Willard’s binder blunder is typical of someone who doesn’t understand the inequality women face on the job. He never really answered the question only made a statement about his collection of binders like his collection of equity funds. When caught by Crowley on the Libya response he started to turn pale and sweat like Nixon. Someone on his staff is going to pay for that misinformation.

  3. Steverino, Crowley recanted her fact check on Libya. What ever fits your narrative, huh?

  4. Crowley did not “backtrack” or as you say recant her statement. That’s a Republicon interpretation for the low information voters.

  5. Crowley, as the moderator, had no business “fact checking” during the debate.

  6. Steverino, So you are disregarding the video since it doesn’t fit your bias. Truth only be heard in your favor.
    Also, let’s no forget that Rice, through the direction of the administration, made several press appearances disregarding it as an act of terrorism.

  7. shawnnews

    She says herself she didn’t backtrack.
    So here’s Obama calling saying no acts of terror will shake the national resolve.
    “The United States condemns in the strongest terms this outrageous and shocking attack. We’re working with the government of Libya to secure our diplomats. I’ve also directed my administration to increase our security at diplomatic posts around the world. And make no mistake, we will work with the Libyan government to bring to justice the killers who attacked our people.

    “Since our founding, the United States has been a nation that respects all faiths. We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. But there is absolutely no justification to this type of senseless violence. None. The world must stand together to unequivocally reject these brutal acts…No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for.”

    — President Obama, Rose Garden statement, Sept. 12
    That’s from a link within the article I posted.

  8. 65 million viewers got to watch Willard’s “gotcha” moment make a 180 and smack him in the face. Now his followers want to take revenge on Candy because she clarified what the President said in the Rose Garden. Let’s blame someone else for everything we do wrong.

  9. Shawnnews, Sourcing the Washington Compost for their biased interpretation will then be returned by a Breitbart article… Oh and by the way check the links to Politico and Glenn Kessler remarks…

  10. The “binder” issue is a squirrel.

    It’s the economy stupid.

  11. No Doc, we can’t focus on the economy! How can Obama be re-elected if we concern ourselves with those silly problems like economy, deficit, jobs and energy?

  12. Considering where we were and where we are now Obama has had a positive impact on the economy. Just think of the posibilities if the Republicans would do their job instead of their obstructionism and filibustering to make him look bad.

  13. He has my vote, Obama has turned the economy around, he took charge the first two years, but the obstructionism by the right forced him to focus on health care instead of jobs. They even prevented him from getting his budgets passed.
    Our GDP has been increasing and we have his word he will cut the deficit.


  14. Wilson, How can you say that he has turned the economy around?Unemployment isn’t better. And that stimulus didn’t pan out either.
    Obstructionism by the right? Who bypassed congress? And remind me how Obamacare was passed. Not being able to meet in the middle or work with others does not give precedence to break laws.
    He has no working plan for the deficit.
    Bottom line, he has under performed to his own fault, when you don’t get the results promised (i.e. Read my lips, no new taxes.) you need a real Change not Hope.

  15. Expdoc: just caught up to this discussion and my mouth dropped on your comment that the “moderator had no business fact checking?” Are you serious or were you being sarcastic?
    If you are serious, go back and read that and maybe you’ll realize how absolutely stupid that comment is. Of course it is the moderator’s job to “fact check.” If more of them did a better job of that, we’d have more effective and informative debates. By your inane reasoning, Romney could say “Obama has personally stolen money from the Treasury” or Obama could say “I know that Romney killed someone when he was 20,” and your position would be that the moderator should just let that go? Wow. Maybe you should just stick to your usual practice of cutting and pasting links and copy from other articles.

  16. Nope, I will stick with my original opinion.

    “Fact-checking” is fraught with bias and error, even when it is done in a considered fashion. To do it on the fly,during a debate, just turns the debate into a 3 person exchange.

    The moderator’s only job should be to pose the questions and reasonably enforce the rules and time limits. It is not a court of law and the moderator is not a judge.

    If the debate opponent wants to fact-check in real time, that’s fine, because often it is just that person offering another opinion.

    There is plenty of time to do actual fact-checking or to contrary opinons on various statements after the debate.

  17. Doc is right Monkey, Candy was wrong in her assumption too.

  18. shawnnews

    ObamaCare got passed like every other law in the country — it went through congress, had the majority of votes and it passed. Obama hasn’t passed any more executive orders than his predecessors.
    It’s not us sticking to a party line.

  19. shawnnews: Well said.

  20. So that fits the “clear and transparent” presidency that he campaigned on?

  21. As for Obamacare, refer to Pelosi’s famous line.

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