Oh dear. Reminds me of the time Harry Reid called Kirsten Gillibrand “the hottest member” of the Senate at a fundraiser attended by, among others, the mayor of New York — with Gillibrand sitting right there. Is truth an absolute defense to gratuitous comments aimed at a woman colleague’s appearance? If so, he and Obama are probably both off the hook.
At the very least, this’ll make for a nifty blue-on-blue food fight between hardcore O-bots and progressives who take their feminism a bit more seriously. Next up on “Hot or Not: Attorney General Edition”? Eric Holder. Easy thumbs down because of the ‘stache, right?
“She’s brilliant and she’s dedicated,” Obama said at a luncheon fundraiser benefitting the DNC, according to the pool report. “She’s tough… She also happens to be, by far, the best looking attorney general.”
“It’s true! C’mon,” he said as the crowd laughed, according to a report provided by a print reporter at the home of John Goldman, an heir to the Levi-Strauss fortune.
Harris has served as California’s attorney general since 2011 and is a rising star for Democrats. She is often mentioned as a potential candidate for governor.
Maybe this explains why O’s White House is so “hostile” to women. It’s easier to get away with hot-or-not chitchat when they’re not around. Seriously, though, there’s research out there that claims even mildly sexist talk aimed at a female politician can do disproportionate damage to her public image. Obama’s comment is so mild and so tempered by praise for her intelligence that it might not even count — the audience laughed, didn’t they? — but now that the most famous man in the world has made an issue of how she looks, so will everyone else who stumbles across this story. She’ll be objectified by millions of people in the next day or two as they find out what he said and then Google her to render their own hot-or-not verdict. Who knows if that’ll hurt her politically or no? Kind of amazing that he was willing to chance it given the static he’s taken in the past for this sort of thing.
Exit quotation via Dan Foster:
How many women has Joe Biden made uncomfortable in the time it has taken me to write this? Soft bigotry &etc.
— Daniel Foster (@DanFosterNRO) April 4, 2013