. . . Wednesday September 15, 2004

The Soccer (and everything else) Moms

A recent survey by the Department of Labor confirms that the average working woman spends twice as much time on household and childcare-related duties as the average working man. She also gets about an hour less sleep.

The modern working woman is, in a word, busy. So busy that she rarely has time for leisure activities. Often these working mothers don’t even have more than a few minutes a day to relax and collect their thoughts.

So how does this relate to politics? Neither presidential candidate can promise to take a load off mom by driving Junior to his soccer game. But either candidate can go a long way towards earning the votes of these working women by letting them know that he understands just how stressed out and pushed to the limit she feels.

Remember how big a story it was when voters realized that Bush 41 had never seen a supermarket checkout scanner? We want polticians who understand our lives and can empathize even if they don’t walk in our shoes. Even if they don’t feel our pain, we want them to understand it.

When it comes to connecting with working mothers, the candidates have two challenges. First, they need to come up with the right message (Bush has, for better or worse, already grabbed his message: I will protect you). Second, they have to figure out a way to get that message through to the group of Americans least likely to have time to follow the ins and outs of an especially dirty national election.

Concentration is important!