In a Bind

By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  October 23, 2012

And that might be the real lesson some see in the binder story. Romney told it — and twisted it to take the credit — not because he in fact sees the importance of having women in powerful positions, but because, for political reasons, he wanted to convince women that he does. In almost the same breath, Romney cited his concern that businesses have flexible hours for women who need to get home to cook dinner for their children.

That reveals a lot, Romney's 2002 opponent, Shannon O'Brien, says. "His comments in the debate indicate that qualified female candidates were window dressing, rather than part of his thinking," she says. "He's painting an image of himself as a knight in shining armor, who is going to pluck women out of obscurity and let them work for him — and get home to cook dinner."

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