Obama Chided for Praising Attorney General's Looks

Once again, critics call White House a 'boys' club'

By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 5, 2013 6:54 AM CDT | Updated Apr 5, 2013 9:24 AM CDT

(Newser) – President Obama has been criticized for making his second-term Cabinet too much of a boys' club, and a comment he made yesterday only served to resurrect the debate, reports the Washington Post. After praising the legal abilities of California Attorney General Kamala Harris while at a fundraiser in the state, he added that she "also happens to be, by far, the best looking attorney general in the country." To laughs, he continued, "It’s true! C'mon." The Post notes that social media immediately hopped on the comment, with reactions running the gamut from "appalled to leave-the-guy-alone." What the press had to say:

  • Robin Abcarian for the Los Angeles Times: "Does merely stating the obvious make the president sexist? More wolfish than sexist, I’d say. And this may be a little problem he needs to work on."
  • Jonathan Chait for New York Mag, in a piece titled "Obama in Need of Gender-Sensitivity Training": "Women have a hard time being judged purely on their merits. Discussing their appearance in the context of evaluating their job performance makes it worse. ... For a president who has become a cultural model for many of his supporters in so many other ways, the example he's setting here is disgraceful."
  • Jonathan Allen for Politico: "Without a doubt, Obama’s subject matter seemed more suited to the pages of Maxim magazine—which has actually published a list of the world’s hottest female politicians—than a political event."

California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris addresses the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC, on Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012.
California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris addresses the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC, on Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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