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.
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.