Is Mitt Romney a Real Life Don Draper?

Betsy and Sal discuss the Presidential debates -- focusing on Republican candidate Mitt Romney's "binders full of women" remark -- in this week's column.

If so much weren’t at stake, we could watch these presidential debates the same way we watch football: we’d root for our favorite team, get psyched when there’s a sack, and jump up and down every time we put one through the uprights. And we’d be ordering deep-dish pizza each time the candidates faced off.

But the spectacles we’ve witnessed these past few weeks have broad consequences in the real world. What’s at stake matters to every citizen in this country, or at least it should. Like football this season, it was unfortunate that the first debate had a third-rate ref. Note to Jim Lehrer: buh-bye.

Yet what strikes us are the same things that seem to capture the attention of everyone - not the candidates stating their views on specific topics and platforms. No. What gets the spin over and over again are the sound bites, the gaffes, the fumbles. All of us watching have turned into Monday morning quarterbacks, kvelling and kvetching over the way our teams performed.

No one contests that the first debate resulted in a win for Romney. Of course, that was due to the fact that Obama was a no-show, a default, a withdrawal, an absentee. Not a good game plan.

The second debate, or what we like to think of as the vice-presidential half-time show, was a lively exchange between Joe Biden’s dentures and Paul Ryan’s water bottle. Depending on whom you were rooting for, it was a draw.

Last Tuesday’s presidential debate was a game changer. For starters, both men showed up, and both came ready to compete. Candy Crowley did her part keeping the fighting clean, and short of throwing a flag on the play, pretty much kept each man to his time limit.

None of this matters, however, because all anyone is talking about is that “binders of women.”

The question, from debate attendee Katherine Fenton, was “In what new ways do you intend to rectify the inequalities in the workplace, specifically regarding females making only 72 percent of what their male counterparts earn?”

President Obama answered by citing his support for the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, pointing out specifically that it was the first piece of legislation he signed as President.

Governor Romney’s response never mentioned a word about pay equity. Instead he shared the story of how during his administration he had trouble finding qualified women for his cabinet and so was given “binders full of women.” Furthermore, he took pride in the fact that he had provided flexibility in the workplace, allowing women on his staff the ability to get home in time to make dinner.

No matter how you spin it, this was an offensive play by Romney.

As you may have heard, Mitt Romney is now being compared to Don Draper. You know, the 1950’s ad exec from Mad Men. He’s good looking, and smooth, and you kind of want to work with him.  And sure, he’ll allow women in the workplace. Why not? They look nice. Someone has to make the coffee, right? Or, in Romney’s case, someone has to make caffeine-free, alcohol-free, nicotine-free refreshments. Skim latte, anyone, hold the espresso?

Anyone of those smart, qualified women housed in those binders can go fetch lunch. Gals in the workplace are a swell idea. Especially if the company doesn’t have to pay for their contraception.

At this point, we feel compelled to go back to watching the final debate the same way college kids watch football… and maybe even the same way some college kids watch the debates. They play drinking games. From now on, every time Governor Romney says, “I care about women,” chug. Maybe it will make it easier to believe him.

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loyal american October 20, 2012 at 12:08 PM
Sure, he's a lot like Don Draper. A successful businessman with dark hair. Of course, he doesn't drink, smoke or sleep around and he loves his children, so there is a minor difference.
Jim Harrington October 20, 2012 at 12:16 PM
Article is not news, So why is it under Google News? Article cynically equates use of word binder to sexism but ignores the fact that matters. Romney was a star at appointing women to major cabinet positions and as Chief of Staff and signed more pro-women legislation than any other governor.
Natalie Iaguessa October 20, 2012 at 12:18 PM
To the extent of attitudes toward working women, perhaps that would be the only comparison that comes close to Don Draper. Everything else about Don Draper -- his creativity, poetic nature, compassion and his constant self-analysis -- is as far away from Romney's character as anyone can go. I think a better comparison, and one most certainly accurate, is "Wall Street"'s Gekko.
James Dixon October 20, 2012 at 12:18 PM
Deerfield Patch should be called Dogpatch, another backwoods one way news outhouse.
Airborne120mph October 20, 2012 at 12:22 PM
Uh, Don Draper grew up in a troubled home / poor and served in the military. He also displays a sort of empathy, and looks out for those that want to work their way up from the bottom. Willard doesn't have anything close to a "common man's" experience, and he never had to work to move up the social ladder. However, he's misogynist, greedy, and out of touch like a stereotypical 60's businessman in today's world. So, in that regard, YES. He's dead ringer.
Airborne120mph October 20, 2012 at 12:24 PM
Depends on how you describe success.
Richard L Engel October 20, 2012 at 12:25 PM
unbelievablt biased article - The author makes assumptions about Romney that are not true regarding women making coffee and fetching lunch. Never mentioned that women in the Obama White House make less than the men
phil October 20, 2012 at 12:26 PM
"yet what strikes us are the same things that seem to capture the attention of everyone - not the candidates stating their views on specific topics and platforms. No. What gets the spin over and over again are the sound bites, the gaffes, the fumbles. All of us watching have turned into Monday morning quarterbacks, kvelling and kvetching over the way our teams performed...." i thought after reading that this article was going to be serious and newsworthy...not just more crap ignoring real issuesand focused on the fumbles and soundbites....total garbage and biased shit.
Airborne120mph October 20, 2012 at 12:29 PM
Some positions are higher ranking and therefore pay more. Pretty standard. There are no equal positions that pay higher than another due to sex. Thanks for your stupid comment though Glenn Beck. Check your facts.
Texan Hunstman October 20, 2012 at 12:39 PM
It's a good thougt proving article when compared to other blog posts. Romney represents Republicans who have not supported equal pay. Please also note that Romney was not completely honest about how and when he got the binder. It makes us wonder if he really cares about women's rights and all the flexibility that they should get.
McCloud October 20, 2012 at 01:28 PM
I can't wait until Romney wins, and we end this smarmy division of Americans based on sex, race, orientation, union membership, ect. There are 26 million Americans out of work, record numbers on food stamps, poverty, welfare, foreclosed homes, and we get a smarmy article filled with cheap nonsense. I'm still attempting to get the strange point about binders, but when left with no points on substance, divide and create a point.
Travis Cody October 20, 2012 at 01:45 PM
So airborne your intelligent comment is that it's not that the potus pays women less,it's that he gives the higher ranking higher pay positions to men. Now I understand.
Texan Hunstman October 20, 2012 at 03:35 PM
McCloud forgot to mention about death panels and planned parenthood. Morman Romney is going to create only 12 million jobs in 4 years and we are going have (26 minus 12) 14 million witjout jobs. He may not be able to solve the problem of poverty either. Morman Romney has promised a lot of things on his first day. McCloud and others have come out of the bubble. Extremist Tea Party idealogues funded by Koch Brothers are going be more divisive than people like Morman Hunstman. We need people who are willing to compromise for common good not Morman Romney who will say anything to become a President and fool people like McCloud.
McCloud October 20, 2012 at 04:49 PM
Sounds like you dislike Mormons. Who else is on your list of tolerance?
Texan Hunstman October 20, 2012 at 07:10 PM
McCloud has confirmed that McCloud can be easily fooled by people like Morman Romney and Lying Ryan. McCloud also can easily miss the point. People like McCloud need to understand that Republican party needs people like Morman Jon Huntsman. He was the ambassdor to China, can speak Mandarin and could have worked with China to resolve problems. I would have gladly voted for Morman Hunstman. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mobileweb/2012/04/22/jon-huntsman-gop_n_1444529.html
Carol Kraines October 20, 2012 at 07:41 PM
It's true that the media tends to focus on gaffes and stage craft. But the debates have not focused on calling the candidates to account for their truthfulness. I prefer a moderator (like Raddatz) who will ask a follow up question and not take a talking point for an answer. During the first debate, Mitt Romney did a total 180 on many of the views and policies he had espoused for the last year. I prefer the moderators to call them on it, so it doesn't devolve into each candidate confronting the other - as in the 2nd debate. We need to know where the candidates stand. We know Obama's views. Romney seems to be purposefully vague about his tax plans, et.al.
McCloud October 20, 2012 at 08:02 PM
I prefer a moderator who doesn't attempt to insert themself into the debate. Responding to, "check the transcript", as if the scenario was preprared prior to the debate, and reinforcing the strange revision of history that the President now holds dearly. Sorry, after 2 weeks of The View, David Letterman, and the UN where Barack deemed the act as a demonstration that went out of control over a you tube video to now ?, is very much dishonest. Do you want a dishonest President with a record like his reelected?
Notgonnalie.... October 20, 2012 at 09:42 PM
Writer suggestion. "Kveching and kvelling"??? An insider reference...consider your broader audience. You'll be taken more seriously.
Just Sayin October 20, 2012 at 10:47 PM
McClown...You will be waiting a hell of a long time...Romney will NEVER be the President. Not this election...not any. You have backed a loser...and that makes you a loser too.
McCloud October 20, 2012 at 11:24 PM
Depends what a hell of a long time is. 18 days doesn't seem that long to me.
Steven Janiszewski October 21, 2012 at 03:06 AM
Blue collar moms used to be Democrats.  If Romney wins them over, he might win the election, which would be tragic. If he were elected, there would be no separation between Church and State. The USA would become a Mormon Nation. To gain an existential understanding of the cult that produced Mitt Romney, and to get your socks scared off, read The Assassination of Spiro Agnew, available in paperback and e-book on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=...search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=The+Assassination+of+Spiro+Agnew Its unwilling, part-Mexican Mormon assassin dramatizes the Mormon superiority complex, manifesting it as racism, sexism, jingoism and an anti-federal government temperament. His research in the new library reveals ominous similarities between Islam and Mormonism. The spiritual power behind the cult, which is not the Holy Ghost, acts out. "With a clarity of language and vision unsurpassed in contemporary American prose, Steven Janiszewski's Assassination of Spiro Agnew takes us into a U.S. mazed with madness and Mormonism and all things Utah, a U.S. that was then and still is. Do we need a novel, even as brilliant as this one, about a young man on a divine mission to assassinate the Vice President because he is too liberal? Yes, now more than ever. Readers, welcome to a masterpiece." Tom Whalen www.tomwhalen.com Read The Assassination of Spiro Agnew.
Just Sayin October 21, 2012 at 12:06 PM
McClown... Seventeen more days of delusion on your part...revel in it Bozo.
McCloud October 21, 2012 at 03:01 PM
You sound a bit hostile, perhaps you should not read Gallup and stick with the +11 Dem polls taken by MSLSD.
GlennBeck October 21, 2012 at 03:51 PM
Are you out of your mind?


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