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We're probably almost done with the life cycle of the Ann Romney vs. Hilary Rosen episode of Mommy Wars 2012. Most major news outlets have pulled in just about as many experts as possible to parse how the presidential campaign was temporarily rocked by Rosen, a Democratic adviser, who said, in the context of Mitt Romney using his wife as an economic adviser, that Ann Romney had "never worked a day in her life."
Never mind that those few words had nothing to do with the larger point Rosen was trying to make about who was advising her husband on the concerns of women voters. That one little sentence set off a firestorm, especially with conservative media outlets, about whether this was a new, left wing attack on the sanctity of motherhood, or, more precisely, "traditional," conservative motherhood.
Ann Romney herself went on Fox News to express her moral outrage and indignation about supposedly being maligned for her years as a stay-at-home mom. But now we know that the outcry from the Romney campaign was just another political tactic to garner support and sympathy from right wing voters who still are not convinced that Romney is their man.
As news shows were calling on moms all across America to weigh in on whether they'd been personally offended by this latest mom vs. mom skirmish, Ann Romney was busy gloating at a fundraiser for her husband:
"It was my early birthday present for someone to be critical of me as a mother, and that was really a defining moment, and I loved it."
As a woman who was wealthy enough not to have to struggle with the financial implications that many stay-at-home moms face, you can't play the victim card and then tell a room full of rich supporters on the sly that you're happy it happened because it will help your husband's campaign.
Ann Romney's 15 minutes of victimhood are up and if her husband's campaign is smart, they'll turn to something a little more substantive and leave this tired mommy wars narrative behind because it's a losing proposition. Romney's advisers knew exactly what they were doing when they pounced on the non-existent attack on Ann for their political benefit. But even the traditional, conservative moms they hope to win with this tactic know there are more important things to focus on in 2012.
It's time to put the whole "who's a better mom" meme to bed. For good.
You can read more from iVillage iVote Editor and Correspondent Joanne Bamberger at her blog, PunditMom. Joanne is also the author of the Amazon bestseller Mothers of Intention: How Women and Social Media are Revolutionizing Politics in America. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook!