Binders full of women is the new Big Bird, a closing gender gap and more [AM Briefing]

October 18, 2012

“’Binders Full of Women’” is this week’s Big Bird. The minute Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said the phrase, social media exploded. And women’s issues, which were absent in the first debate on Oct. 3, were front and center Tuesday night as the first woman in 20 years – CNN’s Candy Crowley – moderated the town hall forum.” (Washington Post)

Debate anecdote prompts closer look inside Romney’s binder: “But Jesse Mermell, former director of the caucus’s hiring initiative, known as MassGAP, blasted Romney for relying on the women’s group to find qualified women for top-level positions. “It’s shocking to me that after 25 years, a professional from the very highest levels of corporate America needed help with this,” she said.” (Washington Post)

Politico’s Arena asks: Since Tuesday night’s spirited presidential debate, Democrats have had a field day with comments Mitt Romney made during the debate, including a statement that he had collected “binders full of women” when he was governor of Massachusetts, looking for “qualified” women to fill positions in his administration, the New York Times reports. Did Romney’s “binders” comment do irreparable damage with this key demographic?  Or have the comments been taken out of context by Democrats? Manhattan Institute’s Diana Furchtgott-Roth says Romney is in better standing with women.

AEI’s Michael Barone: Is Romney a safer choice for women? (National Review

From Etch a Sketch to sketchy: “For Obama’s supporters, the fact that the president played offense, had a strategy and seemed happy in his work was reason enough for elation. But the most electorally significant performance was Romney’s. Under pressure this time, the former Massachusetts governor displayed his least attractive sides. He engaged in pointless on-stage litigation of the debate rules. He repeatedly demonstrated his disrespect for both the president and Candy Crowley, the moderator. And Romney was just plain querulous when anyone dared question him about the gaping holes in his tax and budget plans,” writes Brookings’ E.J. Dionne. (Washington Post)

Room for Debate asks: Is the threat of cyber attacks on crucial industries as serious as Secretary Panetta has said? If so, are businesses investing enough to protect themselves, or should they be required to do more? (New York Times)

Dan Glickman and John Fortier: 1876, 2000 and can it happen again?

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Read more from Post Politics:

Fact Checker: The Obama-Romney clash over Libya
What Mitt Romney learned from his 1994 run
Obama to wield his leverage on ‘fiscal cliff’

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Allen McDuffee · October 18, 2012