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May 30, 2012

Mama Winger Explains Romney's Improving Favorability With Women, and Obama's Falling Favorability With Women

I like successful men. Most women do. Obama is increasingly showing himself to be not that.

I was going to post something like this, then decided I didn't feel like it, then Mama Winger wrote this so I guess I should.

I think 80% of real-life thinking isn't precisely thinking. It's a sort of muscle memory/reflex. I call it "pre-rational." It's not irrational or illogical, because it's based on experience and intuition and not delusion, but neither is it strictly, formally logical.

It's your gut and your instincts, and a whole mess of other stuff, like foundational assumptions about what you value more and what you value less (or not at all).

Lefties rally to Chris Hayes because the pre-rational bits of their brains tell them that Intellectuals and Writers are Inherently Good (Joan Vollmer is unavailable for comment), and men who actually do things, like protect them from harm, are sort of dirty and bad.

You can't argue them out of such things -- you can't argue someone out of something they were never argued into in the first place. They will always claim that the military is unnecessary, largely out of ego (if this virtue called physical courage is good, and yet I am deficient in it, then I am not perfect; therefore, this virtue called physical courage must not be good, because I'm pretty darned sure I'm perfect, or at least as near to perfect as a non-Obama human is capable).

Now while I'm picking on liberals' more irrational thought patterns, we all have this sort of pre-rational system operating in our brains, making decisions before we're even aware that our brains have made a decision at all.

During the primaries, I kept stressing Romney's devotion to his wife and his five apparently outstanding children.

My reason for that was my idea of the pre-rational. On a rational level, you might object to this and say, correctly enough as a matter of strict logic, "Romney's personal values and family life do not say a great deal about his hypothetical performance as president."

As a formal matter of strict syllogistic logic, I'd agree with you, but then I'd point out: People make decisions on a pre-rational basis, most of the time, anyway.

Does Romney hold any appeal for women? (Note that I insist that men have their own series of pre-rational notions, but I'm concentrating on women's simply because this is the part I want to write about.)

Well, let's see. He's handsome. Not in a sexually-charged way, of course, but that's a plus for some (but not all) women.

He was fantastically successful in business and seems competent at whatever he sets his mind to. He's a hard worker who makes sure all the boxes are checked and doesn't leave much to chance and whim.

He's not, then, some kind of shiftless dreamer who thinks about doing big things but never gets around to doing any of them. He actually does them.

He's devoted to his one wife of, what, 40 years? Whatever the number is. During that time he's been, apparently, faithful as a saint, and has sired five children who appear to be devoted to him (which in turn suggests he was devoted to them).

Now, we're choosing a president, here, and not a potential spouse, but such things probably don't escape women's notice. Even if some women don't notice they notice.

Hey, they don't escape my notice, and I'm a dude. If I had to marry a dude....

Selecting a president is not just about ideology. It's about personal characteristics, too. It's about the sort of person we'd like to call our president -- and that sort of evaluation is very much like the process of choosing who we'd like to have as friends, or a spouse, or, if we could choose such things, a family member.

Mitt Romney has been astonishingly successful in his career.

Barack Obama has, too, but it's a curious sort of success: A constant "social promotion" based only on his purported potential, never upon anything he actually achieved.

Mitt Romney has achieved, and he's received the natural fruits of achievement -- money, fame, influence.

Barack Obama has received the natural fruits of achievement, without bothering with that difficult "achievement" business in the first instance.

Mitt Romney seems like a Man.

Obama seems like a Boy who's been spoiled since birth.

Mitt Romney seems like a Man who got everything he wanted because he had talent and dedication and focus and worked for everything he wanted.

Barack Obama seems like a Boy who got everything the way many (myself included) secretly wish they could get them -- by having them mostly just given to him.

Some of us might pine for that sort of Charmed Life of Reilly, but comparing the two pathways to success, I don't think there's much doubt about which road we find more evincing of character and competence.

Obama seems weak and out of his depth, while Romney appears strong and in command.

Yes, I think women will notice these things, and so will men. I have trouble imagining how anyone could miss them.

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posted by Ace at 03:33 PM

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