Ladies First in Shaping Obama
Obama's "modern masculinity" won over Hillary supporters
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Nov 6, 2008 10:09 AM CST
Women supported Obama because his "calm, consensual, and gracious" qualities are desirable not just in a husband and father, but in a president, too, writes Janice Turner in the 'Times' of London.   (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
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(Newser) – If behind every strong man is a strong woman, then Barack Obama has a veritable female army at his back, Janice Turner writes in the Times of London. But despite the powerful feminine influence in his life, one of his primary challenges was to win Hillary supporters, who saw him as “another slick young guy” who stole the promotion “from the better-qualified woman.” It was his “modern masculinity”—shaped by the women who raised him—that won them over.

From Obama’s “freethinking,” “fearless” mother to sexism-battling grandma Toot, Obama’s female role models were “resourceful” and “unsinkable” while the men were “flaky” and “absent.” Michelle—who softens Obama’s image by joking about his morning breath—demands to be an equal partner, not just a blind, adoring wife. That example is what “echoed” with American women, says Turner.