On Thursday Jackie Calmes (pictured) and Trip Gabriel, two of the New York Times's more slanted campaign reporters, teamed up to cover Obama's campaign trip to Colorado and Romney's trip to Iowa: "Obama Assails Romney on Women’s Health Care." Covering Obama in Denver, the Times credited the president's popularity among women, while the Romney coverage from Iowa emphasized a controversy in that state, underlined by an accompanying photo caption: "Mitt Romney, visiting Iowa, kept quiet about his opposition to tax credits for wind power."
President Obama made one of his strongest pitches to date for the women’s vote, which is crucial to his re-election, telling a mostly female crowd of 4,000 here on Wednesday that Republicans led by Mitt Romney would take them back to the era of the 1950s.
Mr. Romney, who was in Colorado last week, on Wednesday was in another swing state, Iowa, which Mr. Obama will tour by bus next week. Their itineraries underscored the push to mobilize supporters and win over the few undecided voters in the relatively few battleground states that will decide the election.
In Des Moines, Mr. Romney called for developing a range of energy resources including wind power, but he pointedly did not mention his opposition to an administration-supported tax credit for the wind industry that Republican leaders in both Iowa and Colorado strongly favor. Iowa Republicans, including Gov. Terry E. Branstad, have publicly criticized Mr. Romney for his stance. And in Colorado, Mr. Obama is stoking the controversy during his two-day, four-stop visit.
And the Times is giving him plenty of real estate to stoke it.
But at his first stop at a Denver campus shared by three colleges, Mr. Obama’s emphasis was on women’s health and reproductive issues. He was introduced by Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown Law School graduate who this year became a hero to women’s groups, and the target of conservatives like Rush Limbaugh, who called her “a prostitute,” after Republicans blocked her from testifying in Congress for insurance coverage of contraception.
Mr. Obama departed from his usual, broader stump speech to focus on his health insurance law, and to reopen a debate over contraception that roiled the Republican presidential nomination contest this year and helped solidify his support among women.
“The decisions that affect a woman’s health, they’re not up to politicians. They’re not up to insurance companies. They’re up to you,” he said. “And you deserve a president that will fight to keep it that way.”
Generally, about 6 in 10 female voters support the president, nationally and in many swing states, helping to offset a gender gap that has white male voters opposing him by roughly the same margin.
Even when delivering a bit of bad news for the president, the Times gave the Obama campaign the last word:
In Colorado, however, Mr. Obama’s lead among women is not so wide, according to a new poll for Quinnipiac University/The New York Times/CBS News. And that helped account for Mr. Romney’s narrow five percentage point edge among Colorado voters over all. Obama advisers disputed the poll’s methodology and said their own surveys showed the president with a slight lead.
Calmes and Gabriel allowed Obama to run down the long list of "benefits that would be lost without the law: coverage for people with pre-existing medical conditions and for young adults under 26 years old on their parents’ policies; savings for older Americans with large prescription drug bills; mandated coverage of preventive services like contraception; and insurance company rebates."
Meanwhile, the Times left Romney twisting in the "wind" in Iowa, dwelling on the topic of subsidies for wind power for several paragraphs while letting the Obama campaign and random columnists bash him.
As in Iowa, another leader in harnessing wind, news coverage of the issue has not been kind to Mr. Romney, noting that he supports oil subsidies even as he attacks the wind credits and other parts of what he calls Mr. Obama’s costly obsession with “green jobs.” A column this week in The Denver Post began, “Is Romney trying to blow it?”