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What Moms Want in a President

By Sarah Mahoney

Politicians and pundits may call 2012 the year of the woman, but it’s really the year of the mom. Mothers aren’t settling for catchy bumper stickers or vague promises in this presidential election. How do we know? With the help of an all-star moderator, Soledad O’Brien, anchor of CNN’s Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien,Parents recently hosted a luncheon roundtable with 21 moms from across the political spectrum. We admit we were a little nervous when we saw a Barack Obama supporter sitting between a Mitt Romney backer and a Ron Paul fan, a social conservative next to a gay mom, and an environmentalist hoping the government will do more across from a pregnant mom of four who wants it to do less.

We heard dramatically different opinions about solutions, but there was a remarkable consensus about the problems facing families right now. Together, the women helped us hammer out a bipartisan mandate for the candidate who wins in November:

The Parents Platform

Our moms have spoken: These are the five issues they care most about?and expect the candidates to address before Election Day.

  1. Moms Want a president who can fix our broken educational system.
  2. Moms Want a president who can protect families from environmental hazards.
  3. Moms Want a president who can help hardworking families out of their financial rut.
  4. Moms Want a president who finds smart ways to make government more efficient and less polarized.
  5. Moms Want a president who will minimize the role of government in their personal life, financial life, or both.

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Parents and The Center for the Next Generation conducted a survey of more than 2,100 parents of children up to age 18 to find out how you feel about your kids lives. Unemployment is the top worry. See more survey results. 

Parents and The Center for the Next Generation conducted a survey of more than 2,100 parents of children up to age 18 to find out how you feel about your kids lives. Unemployment is the top worry. See more survey results

Where are the Moms in the White House? (OPINION)

Over the next few months, the editors of Parents.com will report on hot-button election issues that American families face today, from healthcare to education. In the spirit of offering diverse perspectives on the election, we’ve chosen three moms from across the political spectrum to be guest bloggers on Parents News Now. Each one of them will offer a unique take on the topics that they–and you!–are most passionate about. (Read the entire blog series.)

By Amy Julia Becker


The political conventions of 2012 made one thing clear–both parties want to woo the moms of America. As Lisa Belkin pointed out in the midst of the Republican convention, in his convention speech, “Mitt Romney used some version of the word ‘mom’ 14 times.” Romney’s mom-laced speech came after both Paul Ryan and Ann Romney had courted the moms of our nation as well.Ann Romney explained that the moms “always work a little harder” than anyone else, and she said there are some things the men just can’t understand. The Democrats followed with Michelle Obama’s powerful words about what it means to be an American, which ended with a proud declaration that her most important title is still “Mom in Chief.”

Both Ann Romney and Michelle Obama praised their husbands, and they painted similar portraits offamily life. They described marriages that began with some degree of financial duress–the Romney’s dining room table was an ironing board, Barack Obama’s most prized possession a coffee table he had found in a dumpster. They both called upon memories of their husbands years ago to help us imagine these men without the trappings of fame and power and fortune. They extolled their husbands as fathers, and then they returned to their appeal to the mothers of this nation. There was something in those speeches for everyone, but it was the moms who were praised, and the moms who were being courted.

Moreover, both women implied that there is wisdom in being a mom, that moms know something about leadership, about values, about what matters to this nation, and about how to work hard to achieve goals.

Of the 15 members of Obama’s cabinet, four are women, and two are mothers. Hillary Clinton, one of the moms, has already announced her intention to end her tenure as Secretary of State after the election. And both she and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius have grown children. The dads on the cabinet include at least four who have school-aged children. Romney hasbegun preparations to form a cabinet, although he has not named his choices yet. But his transition team and circle of close advisors rarely include moms.

So why are there so few moms on Obama’s cabinet? And why so few advising Romney? If moms are so great, and so valuable, to both parties, why aren’t more of them in official positions of influence?

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