“I had to be available when my kids came home, in those ‘bewitching hours’ [late afternoon].” She discussed it with Romney, who told her simply to be flexible. She would come in early and work through lunch. Then after her kids had gone to sleep at night, she recounted, “I cleared my virtual desk.” She said simply, “We made it work.”
As for the binders, she laughs at the notion, propounded by some media figures, that they didn’t exist. “In 2002, there was no monster.com,” she related. Romney was new to government and made clear he didn’t want to recycle the same faces. “Mitt wanted to reach out beyond state government in every way,” she said. They created an Internet portal (from a 2012 vantage point, she acknowledged that this sounds “quaint”) to solicit resumes and went around the commonwealth to search for candidates. One part of that hiring search came in the form of “thick three-ring binders, with tabs” filled with information on potential candidates, which had been compiled by an outside nonprofit group called the Massachusetts Government Appointments Project (MassGAP). In the debate this week, Myers said, “Mitt remembered that.”
Myers said that since Obama’s campaign has made an issue of the remark, “I have an inbox that has been flooded from women who say, ‘I think it’s great he reached out and understood you have to be flexible.’ Not a single one has been anything but positive.” She scoffed at the Obama campaign’s suggestion that this was somehow insulting to women. “That’s not the reaction of normal men and women,” she told me.