Photo Credit: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/GettyImages
Mitt Romney came away as the winner of five GOP primary contests this week, pretty much sealing the deal on being the Republican presidential candidate. But those elections weren't the only stories we were following this week that you need to know about. So as always, iVillage presents the six things you need to know right now about the 2012 campaign seasons in The Week That Was:
1. Hey millenials, President Obama and Mitt Romney want you!
A new survey says that President Obama leads GOP challenger Romney in the 18- to 29-year-old voter demographic, otherwise known as Millenials. That's a group that the president pretty much controlled four years ago when he ran against John McCain. Even though the president has a whopping 17 point lead over Romney with that group, there could be an opening for the Republicans. A study from the Harvard Institute of Politics shows that the college-aged crowd that was mad for candidate Barack Obama four years ago is a bit more skeptical now, leaving some wiggle room for Romney to sway that demographic. President Obama was making the rounds of major college campuses in important swing states this week (coincidence?) to solidify his hold on those voters by touting student loan reform. Romney, seeing a possible opening, is also advocating for lower interest rates on student loans, even though many in his party are unhappy with his stance.
2. Wrangling over the Violence Against Women Act
The Violence Against Women Act, a law that provides federal money to states to help combat domestic and sexual violence, has always had bipartisan support since its inception in 1994. At least it did until it came up for reauthorization this year. Republicans on Capitol Hill have been fighting against providing more money for the program because of language added that would expand protection to gay spouses and abused spouses who are in the country illegally. And while the Senate seems to have come up with a compromise to ensure funding will continue, some Republican women in the House of Representatives have introduced their own version of the VAWA, that would exclude expanding protection to what some in the GOP are calling those "controversial issues."
3. Obama and Fallon do the slow jam thing
While on his whirlwind tour of college campuses this week, the president sat down with Jimmy Fallon on his late night show to discuss his re-election campaign, his desire to help college students control their school loan debt, and what he likes to do in his White House "man cave." The president, or should we say "the Preezy of the United Steezy," as Fallon referred to him in his best Barry White voice, stayed on message during the slow jam, leaving the humor to Fallon, who also referred to him as the "Barackness Monster." Those writers were working overtime to come up with some presidential puns!
4. Romney advisor uses Twitter to attack women
Former George W. Bush staffer Richard Grennell probably thought it was going to be a great week as he started his new gig as a Romney advisor. Sadly for Grennell, his online media past took the spotlight, as it was discovered that he had a habit of using his Twitter account to channel his inner middle-school boy. That wasn't good news for the Romney campaign after claiming there was a war on moms when a Democratic advisor inadvertently insulted Ann Romney's motherhood experience. Grennel's Twitter account has since been scrubbed of his offending comments, and his personal site has been completely removed from the web, but accounts written before his Twitter stream was altered state that, among other things, he insulted MSNBC's Rachel Maddow for looking like Justin Bieber, attacked Hillary Clinton for looking like Madeleine Albright, and mocked Callista Gingrich's "snap on hair," among other things. All of which leads me to wonder why there are still men who need to enhance their sense of power by making fun of the appearances of women? Someone needs to send Grennell back to a social media 101 course. He claims his Twitter remarks were merely "tongue-in-cheek," but the last time I checked there wasn't a lot of good-natured humor in attacking the looks of women you disagree with politically.
5. GOP says school lunches for kids are too expensive
It's no secret that Republicans are looking to slash the federal budget, and I've got no problem with reasonable cost cutting. But the latest program under attack is the one that funds school lunches for low-income children. The progressive site Think Progress is reporting that in order to protect a tax cut for millionaires, GOP budget cutters are willing to take money from the school lunch program, which would mean almost 300,000 fewer low-income children would receive free breakfasts and lunches at school. Maybe those who voted to cut back on school lunches should invite some kids to grab lunch with them in the Senate dining room. The menu looks pretty good. They even had some kids' specials for Take Your Child to Work Day. At least the should back off that whole "pizza is a vegetable" meme!
6. North Carolina Governor asks voters to protect same-sex marriage
On May 8, North Carolina voters will go to the polls to decide whether their state constitution should be amended to ban same-sex marriage. Amendment One is being supported by high profile conservatives, includng Newt Gingrich, who announced this week that he'll no longer be a candidate for president. North Carolina Governor Bev Purdue isn't sitting on the sidelines on this one. This week she asked those going to the polls to vote it down, saying it would "create a path to discrimination" against many of the state's mothers and children, and that it will also harm businesses by limiting the pool of employees who would consider moving to their state. North Carolina Senator Kay Hagan is also speaking out, trying to convince voters it's not in their state's best interest to institutionalize discrimination in their constitution.
Check back next Friday to see what makes our list of the six things you need to know right now for The Week That Was!
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!