Campaign 2012 was supposed to be all about taxes, as far as the Obama Campaign was concerned, but it exploded this week into a battle for women voters. Within minutes of Hillary Rosen, a political strategist who supports the president, telling CNN's Anderson Cooper that Ann Romney had "never worked a day in her life," Democrats responded. Everyone from the President to the Vice President, even First Lady Michelle Obama disagreed with Rosen's comments. White House and Campaign officials said the statement was outrageous and offensive and every bad thing you can say about a statement. And that was just the Democrats! Obama's team jumped faster even than the Romney campaign on this issue, showing just how important the women's vote is to them. A recent poll shows Obama has a double-digit lead over Romney among women voters - stronger even than his 2008 win against John McCain when he got 56 percent of the women's vote. I don't think Rosen's comments will last long in this campaign, but I think it's safe to say that any time there's even the suggestion that the President is against women or doesn't consider them equals or important, the campaign will respond strongly and swiftly. They'll do everything they can to keep their lead among women voters.
I also think we're going to see more of Mrs. Romney in this campaign. A big problem Mitt Romney has is connecting with regular folks, but Ann Romney has proven herself a very effective weapon at connecting with those regular folks.
We'll talk about all of this with Sen. John McCain, a top Romney supporter. We'll also look at some big foreign policy issues with McCain, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee. He just returned from a trip to Turkey where he met with Syrian refugees and leaders of the opposition force, Free Syrian Army. McCain has made it pretty clear that a resolution in Syria is going to take more than what the U.S. - or the world - is currently doing. He's talked about boots on the ground - does he mean American boots? Also, what does he know about the failed missile launch in North Korea? In February, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton cut a deal with North Korea in which the U.S. promised 240,000 tons of food aid in exchange for a moratorium on long-range missile and nuclear weapons testing. That's off the table - but what more will the the U.S. do?
We've also got Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner in the studio to talk about everyone's least favorite day, Tax Day, on Monday. Monday's also a big day for the Buffett Rule, a White House proposal that households making over $1 million annually should pay 30 percent of their income in taxes. The Senate takes up the Buffett Rule on Monday. We'll probably try to talk a little politics with the Secretary, too. What does he have to say about Romney's claims that 92% of jobs lost recently have been women's jobs?
This week George Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder in the killing of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed teenager in Florida on February 26. Zimmerman wasn't initially charged thanks to Florida's Stand-Your-Ground laws, but since February the case has made its way to the national stage and brought up questions of race and racism. We'll look at these issues with Georgetown University's Michael Eric Dyson, TIME Magazine Columnist Toure, CBS News Legal Analyst Jack Ford and CBS News Correspondent Mark Strassman. Toure wrote a fascinating book titled, "Who's afraid of Post-Blackness: What It Means to be Black Now." We'll hear from him about what it means, and how that affects this case. Strassmann actually broke the Trayvon Martin story nationally on March 8 with an interview with Trayvon's father, and he's closely followed the case and Trayvon's family since then. We'll talk to Mark about that and get his thoughts on the case going forward.
Our politics roundtable with Democratic strategist Maria Cardona, Washington Post editorial writer Ruth Marcus, and our own Norah O'Donnell and John Dickerson will look at all of these topics, too, particularly these "Mommy Wars."