President Barack Obama, who won re- election with majority support from women, singled out one of his female supporters for her brilliance and dedication.
“She also happens to be by far the best-looking attorney general in the country,” the president said of California Attorney General Kamala Harris during a fundraiser today in Atherton, California. “It’s true, come on.”
The crowd laughed, and the comments prompted a flurry of reaction on social media sites such as Twitter.
Speaking to donors at the home of Levi Strauss heir John Goldman, Obama’s remarks about Harris’s appearance were preceded by praise for her qualifications.
“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,” Obama said, adding that she “is a great friend and has just been a great supporter for many, many years.”
Harris, 48, worked on Obama’s re-election campaign and has been mentioned by Democratic Party officials as a possible nominee to the Supreme Court should a vacancy open. She’s been attorney general of the most populous U.S. state since 2011. Before that, she was elected to two terms as the district attorney in San Francisco.
She is the first woman to hold the job in California and is among eight female attorneys general in the nation.
Obama’s opponent in the 2012 presidential campaign, Republican Mitt Romney, drew ridicule from Democrats when he said during a debate that his staff brought him “binders full of women” when he was looking to fill top state jobs as governor of Massachusetts.
Republicans suggested that Obama benefits from a double standard. A Twitter account of the Republican National Committee sent out the message: “Not awkward and perfectly fine for him to say, right?”
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