Masters 2012 Debate: Should Augusta National Admit Women to Golf Tournament? Mitt Romney and President Obama Weigh in


Likely Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney must have seen the poll that shows him trailing President Obama among female voters in swing states because as soon as the president asked all-male Augusta National Golf Club, which annually hosts The Masters Tournament, to admit women, the former Massachusetts governor jumped on the bandwagon.

Augusta National Golf Club, located in Augusta, Georgia, is a famous golf club that since 1934 hosts the legendary Masters golf tournament without ever admitting a woman as a member. In 2002, the club defended accusations of sexism by then chair of the National Council of Women’s Organizations Martha Burk by claiming that Augusta is no different than other private clubs such as fraternities, sororities, and Boys and Girls Scouts which have the “moral and legal right” to organize their clubs as they wish.   

The club traditionally offers memberships to the CEO of IBM, one of the tournament's main sponsors, but controversy has reemerged now that the club awkwardly overlooked Virginia “Ginni” Rometty, the IBM's new CEO.

And now it seems President Obama and Mitt Romney are capitalizing on it to officially cast the general election and appeal to female voters on the heels of the reproductive rights/religious freedom debate and the Rush Limbaugh/Sandra Fluke debacle.

Besides taking time to phone Georgetown student Sandra Fluke (sorry Bristol Palin) over conservative talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh’s sexist attacks, and now demanding change in the membership policies of a private club in Georgia, President Obama is also hosting the “National Women’s Issues Conference” in Washington, D.C., featuring policy panels “I Am Not a Preexisting Condition: Women’s Health and What’s at Stake” and “American Women, American Values & 2012 Election: The Vital Role of Women in this Election."

Romney better figure something out (and soon) because Ann Romney’s Pinterest account alone will not help him close the widening gender gap that now looms as one of the biggest threats to his now certain general election run against a president armed with a $1 billion war chest and a masterful use and knowledge of social media.