Wash Post Columnist: Obama 'Pandering' to Women

Tuesday, 15 May 2012 09:45 AM

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Barack Obama isn’t the nation’s first gay president; he’s the first female president, Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank writes.

“Consider his activities on Monday: He sat down to tape a session with the ladies of ABC’s ‘The View’ — his fourth appearance on the talk show by women and for [mostly] women. He accepted an award from Barnard College and gave the commencement speech to graduates of the women’s school. Heck, he even appeared in public wearing a gown.”

Milbank wrote that Obama’s re-election campaign has been working for months to exploit the considerable gender gap found in polls that puts him ahead of Mitt Romney among women, “but Monday’s activities veered into pandering, as Obama brazenly flaunted his feminine mystique.”

“He speculated that ‘Congress would get a lot more done’ if more women were there. He speculated that, although no women signed the Constitution, ‘we can assume that there were founding mothers whispering smarter things in the ears of the founding fathers.’

“He announced that ‘more and more women are out-earning their husbands. You’re more than half of our college graduates and master’s graduates and PhDs.’ He told them that they are ‘poised to make this the century where women shape not only their own destiny but the destiny of this nation and of this world.’ ”

Milbank noted there “were some ironies” in Obama’s appearance, most notably the school “dumped its original speaker, Jill Abramson” so Obama could speak.

“In addition to being an actual woman, Abramson is the first of her sex to become executive editor of the New York Times. Obama made no mention of Abramson, but he did mention that he knows the past three Barnard commencement speakers, including Hillary Rodham Clinton, whose presidential aspirations Obama dashed.”

Milbank concluded that “Obama made a fair and at times inspirational argument, but the tone seemed more suited to campaign than campus, particularly when he, toward the end, lifted lines from his stump speech.”


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