Actual quote: “I know that my wife is not just my equal but my superior.” Partly he’s nodding at Michelle’s popularity with that line, but it doubles as a nice patronizing pander to women generally coming from the most powerful man in the world.
This is the Democratic closing argument, huh?
This reminds me of Trump’s outreach to black voters in September insofar as the apparent audience and the intended audience aren’t the same. Trump spoke to a few black crowds hoping, sure, that it might move the needle a bit for him among that group, but Republican expectations about making inroads with black voters are always modest, to put it mildly. The “real” audience for Trump’s outreach to minorities was white college grads who normally tilt Republican in presidential elections but who have been leery about Trump this year because of his demagogic impulses. There are big, game-changing numbers in that group if he can claw back their votes from Hillary. His appeals to minority groups were aimed at showing upscale whites that they could trust him to behave responsibly in office.
By the same token, Obama’s pitch here is ostensibly aimed at men — a reliably pro-Trump group — but, lord knows, politely scolding them for their sexism towards poor, crooked Hillary Clinton isn’t going to do much to encourage them to take a second look at her. The real audience is women, of course. They’re Hillary’s base. Democrats wanted the election to be a referendum on Trump, but now it’s suddenly become a referendum on Clinton. Obama’s trying to reframe it yet again as a referendum on sexism, with men supposedly poised to hand the presidency to a thoughtless boor because of their own sexist blind spot toward Hillary — unless, of course, women voters turn out in droves to stop them, nudge nudge. If you doubt that this is the liberal message for the campaign’s final week, read Byron York’s account of Clinton’s own rally today. She brought Alicia Machado back to introduce her. They’re going all-in on one last “war on women” push before Tuesday.
The key bit runs from 23:30 of the clip below to 27:10. Obama also called Trump “uniquely unqualified” and “temperamentally unfit” to be president at this same rally, which is going to make that joint photo op in the Oval Office between the two of them two weeks from now awwwwk-ward.