By Robin Abcarian (LA Times) – I’d like to think that’s what President Obama was getting at today when, according to a transcript provided by the White House, he referred to Harris’ good looks when he introduced her at an Atherton fundraiser at the home of philanthropist John Goldman, a Levi Strauss heir, and his wife Marcia:
“You have to be careful to, first of all, say she is brilliant and she is dedicated and she is tough, and she is exactly what you’d want in anybody who is administering the law, and making sure that everybody is getting a fair shake,” said Obama. “She also happens to be by far the best-looking attorney general in the country — Kamala Harris is here. (Applause.) It’s true. Come on. (Laughter.) And she is a great friend and has just been a great supporter for many, many years.”
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.
As Arlette Saenz of ABC News pointed out, Obama got into some hot water a while back when he addressed a reporter as “sweetie.” That was obnoxious, and demeaning, and Obama rightfully apologized. In 2008, he told Hillary Clinton she was “likeable enough” during one of the primary debates, which turned off God knows how many women, who heard the smug judgment of an arrogant upstart.