John Avlon (@JohnAvlon)
Work – the gender gap is likely to persist in 2012, in large part because of the social conservative agenda playing out in state legislatures. That said, Romney will close the gap as we get closer to Election Day.
Alexander Burns (@aburnspolitico)
If Obama’s overplaying his hand with women, there’s not much sign of it yet. There’s a risk that by being so explicit about courting women voters, the president ends up looking too transparently political. But that doesn’t mean the strategy will backfire and hurt him.
These events are just part of the president’s attempt to enlarge the gender gap, so they have to be seen as part of an entire effort to promote ‘women's issues'—like the Lilly Ledbetter act for pay equity, for example. So yes, they will work—but as part of a larger thematic effort.
This won't be just a week-long appeal to women, it will be a constant effort up until Election Day by Obama and his allies to keep and expand the double-digit gap between Obama and Romney when it comes to women voters. The danger with any politician is to actually appear to be doing exactly what they are doing, which in this case is making an overt appeal to a certain segment of the population. In some ways the "Life of Julia" narrative that the Democrats rolled out was probably a bit too far, as it allowed Republicans to caricature Democrats way too much.
Kenneth P. Vogel (@kenvogel)
Democrats have long benefited from a gender gap. It may expand or shrink slightly as a result of the campaign debate, but probably not by much.
Sasha Issenberg (@sissenberg)
Paul Steinhauser (@psteinhauserCNN)
It can be effective...Thanks to the media attention both the commencement address and the guest appearance on the view received.
Maegan Carberry (@maegancarberry)
The President is one of the most delightful public figures in recent memory when he's out in the country talking to people, so reaching out to these large female audiences will likely bolster his credibility with them. Of course, it will be obvious to women that this is a coordinated campaign effort, so he'll have to defend his policies as much as charm the crowd.
Mark Preston (@PrestonCNN)
Just about every decision and every statement President Obama and Mitt Romney make over the next six months should be viewed with a wary eye, knowing full well that politics greatly influenced it. I can’t imagine politics did not play a role in the president’s decision to appear on The View and speak at Barnard. It was a smart play on Obama’s part, just like it was brilliant for Romney to deliver the commencement at Liberty University this past weekend.
Marin Cogan (@marincogan)
Not sure how it could backfire. Both the commencement speech and The View were great, positive stories for the president in front of crowds that adored him. Anytime he's celebrating the achievements of women, it's a good reminder to all of the women who supported him in '08.
Maya MacGuineas (@MayaMacGuineas)
It will work well.
Andy Serwer (@serwer)
It certainly won't NOT work! I don't think the POTUS has lost a disproportionate amount of support amongst women. It seems like a very natural thing for him to do.
Peter Hamby (@PeterHambyCNN)
There’s absolutely no downside to the president appearing before every friendly female audience that will take him, no matter how shameless it may seem. It’s campaign season, and in the wake of the Republican contraception battles of this past winter, women are keeping Obama afloat.
Linda Killan (@lindajkillian)
There are more women than men in the U.S. and they vote in a higher percentage than men do so winning their votes is crucial. The Democratic presidential candidate has carried women's votes in every election since 1992. Obviously, women like it when candidates care about them, talk to them and pay attention to the issues that matter to them.
Candy Crowley (@crowleyCNN)
The president doesn’t have to work at the female vote, so much as maintain it. It will be a major post-election story if President Obama does not win the majority of the female vote, as he did in 2009 - (56%) tying President Reagan in ‘84. And–wait for it—Richard Nixon got 60 percent of the female vote in ‘72.