It turns out Mitt Romney's "binders full of women" are actual binders after all - filled with the resumes of women who hoped to land jobs in his administration as governor.
The Boston Globe reports Tuesday that it was shown the binders by a former Romney aide. The two white three-ring binders contain about 200 cover letters and resumes with some handwritten notes.
The former Republican presidential nominee made the awkward reference during a 2012 debate in response to a question about workplace inequality. The women in question were seeking work in Romney's administration when he was governor of Massachusetts.
"I went to a number of women's groups and said, 'Can you help us find folks?' and they brought us whole binders full of women," Romney said during the debate.
The binders - and the resumes - were the result of an effort to get more women into state government in Massachusetts after Romney defeated Democratic nominee and then-state Treasurer Shannon O'Brien for governor in 2002.
The comment - which sounded tin-eared to some - became a punchline among Romney foes and late night comics.
Ultimately Romney did get credit in Massachusetts for naming women to high positions in his administration and the state courts.
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Although the "binders full of women" comment quickly became a metaphor of sorts, the actual binders had remained out of sight until now.
Romney's name has been floated as a possible candidate for U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch's seat if the seven-term Utah Republican decides against seeking re-election next year. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Friday he'd reached out to Romney about possibly running if there is a vacancy. Romney owns a home in Park City, Utah.