ONTD Political

Obama apologizes for distraction created by his sexual harassment of Ca Attorney General

5:08 pm - 04/06/2013
President Obama called California Attorney General Kamala Harris Thursday night to apologize for commenting favorably on her looks, a White House spokesman said.

"He called her last night and spoke to her," White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters on Friday. "He apologized for the distraction this has created."

Obama caused controversy and a debate about treatment of women in politics, and his male-dominated senior staff when he said during a San Francisco fundraising trip that Harris, "happens to be, by far, the best-looking attorney general."

"It's true," he added as the crowd nervously tittered. "C'mon."

Carney said Obama and Harris are "old friends."

"He believes and fully recognizes that there are challenges women continue to face in the workplace and that they should not be judged on appearance," Carney said his daily news conference, reading from a prepared statement. "He apologized for creating this distraction and believes very strongly that Attorney General Harris is an excellent attorney general and that she has done great work and is dedicated and tough and brilliant."

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sophiaserpentia About the only response I can think of is7th-Apr-2013 12:37 am (UTC)
outoftime 7th-Apr-2013 12:42 am (UTC)
Inappropriate, yes. Sexual harrassment, I don't think so.
angelofdeath275 7th-Apr-2013 12:56 am (UTC)
basically. if he made crude jokes then yeah.
shortsweetcynic 7th-Apr-2013 12:09 pm (UTC)
i was hoping. i was really, really hoping.
zinnia_rose 7th-Apr-2013 01:08 am (UTC)
WTF, Obama? Fail. I mean, it could have been worse, but it was still pretty crappy.

I guess you can have a few points for apologizing.
thewhowhatwhats 7th-Apr-2013 01:15 am (UTC)
He only apologized for the distraction, not for his comments.
underlankers 7th-Apr-2013 01:14 am (UTC)
At least Obama apologized and didn't dig a deeper hole and keep on digging until he got to China.
ginger_maya 7th-Apr-2013 01:20 am (UTC)
TBH calling this otherwise inappropriate and tacky comment sexual harassment is deeply disrespectful towards actual sexual harassment victims who have enough problems being taken seriously to begin with.
outoftime 7th-Apr-2013 01:21 am (UTC)
maynardsong 7th-Apr-2013 01:28 am (UTC)
This isn't sexual harassment, it's just garden variety sexism, and he apologized for it. Am I supposed to get outraged by this?
thewhowhatwhats 7th-Apr-2013 02:42 am (UTC)
Does garden variety sexism from the President bother you?
spiritoftherain 7th-Apr-2013 01:31 am (UTC)
Sounds like an attempted compliment made with the best of intentions and the worst of results.

He also said that she was "brilliant, dedicated and tough," before making mention of her looks.

This seems like a non-issue to me!
angelofdeath275 7th-Apr-2013 01:58 am (UTC)
tiddlywinks103 7th-Apr-2013 01:38 am (UTC)
Dumb as fuck, sexist, and inappropriate, yes, but does she think it was sexual harassment? If not, then it's good he apologized to her, but I don't like how he called it a 'distraction'.

*Sigh* Even the seemingly best of men, it seems...
ladypolitik 7th-Apr-2013 01:44 am (UTC)
I really dont understand how anyone can even confuse sexism with actual sexual harassment.
thewhowhatwhats 7th-Apr-2013 02:01 am (UTC)
Those aren't mutually exclusive things.

It's a sexist compliment coming from a boss. Compliments will always be debatable when it comes to sexual harassment unless it's totally overt.

Regardless, he said something sexist and apologized for the distraction it caused, but not the actual comment.
redstar826 7th-Apr-2013 01:59 am (UTC)
hmmm, is apologizing for the distraction the new "I'm sorry you were offended"?
jupiter_third 7th-Apr-2013 05:21 pm (UTC)
haha seriously.
benjersthefish 7th-Apr-2013 02:23 am (UTC)
ontd-p is a fucking nightmare now, christ.
hey_spectrum 7th-Apr-2013 02:49 am (UTC)
Hahah yep. I feel like I'm reading a Jezebel article more of the time
thedorkygirl 7th-Apr-2013 02:45 am (UTC)
Highly inappropriate comment. If a woman in the workplace publicly made that sort of comment about a male coworker, it would be assumed that she was after his cock. I get all sorts of stuff as a woman in the workplace, and it bothers the hell out of me. Some of the guys are just nice fellows like Obama, but a good deal are people who have to be told in no uncertain terms that it is inappropriate - or they will continue on and on. I've tried arched eyebrows and a stern look; it doesn't work. The worse are the ones who know they've made a mistake and try to press the issue. Sir, you will not raise my ire and turn the tables on this. It was inappropriate, and learn from that.

Ugh. Sorry. Rant. Male-dominated workplace. Nice guys can't make those comments simply because not only is it disrespectful but they're opening a door for idiots and pervs.
wordnerd98 7th-Apr-2013 03:25 am (UTC)
That comment made me side-eye Obama. Yeah he has to put up with a lot of shit, but his male privilege is showing here.
martydressler 7th-Apr-2013 03:40 am (UTC)
My icon isn't having it with this terrible comment.
koshkabegemot 8th-Apr-2013 12:22 am (UTC)
*Not sure if real fox or badly taxidermied fox.*
dissident 7th-Apr-2013 05:58 am (UTC)
Let's impeach him for sure
maynardsong 7th-Apr-2013 08:17 am (UTC)
Would you have been in favour of impeaching Clinton too?
oceandezignz 7th-Apr-2013 07:28 am (UTC)
Obummer y u do this...
labelleizzy 7th-Apr-2013 08:01 am (UTC)
Hokay I just wanna remind folks of GW actually Putting His Hands on Angela Merkel (sp?) among other ham-fisted moves, because in comparison, I still feel (yes it probably was sexist teasing between friends) that there is good intention there, as well as good follow-through with the apology (as a decent, aware human being tries to do, and even more so as he is a political animal).

did GW ever apologize for his stupid move? or any of his stupid moves?
I ... just... *head asplode*
elialshadowpine 7th-Apr-2013 08:47 am (UTC)
... and then there's Clinton...
imnotasquirrel 7th-Apr-2013 10:02 pm (UTC)
What's with all the people bringing up GWB and Clinton? It's not like anyone is saying, "OMG THIS IS THE WORST THING EVERRRR." Just stop, it sounds stupid.

When people bring up human rights abuses in the US, can we start shouting, "BUT WHAT ABOUT NORTH KOREA???"

Edited at 2013-04-07 10:05 pm (UTC)
girly123 7th-Apr-2013 10:32 pm (UTC)
It's just rationalizing away legitimately douchey behavior because its coming from someone that they like, tbh.
myrrhmade 7th-Apr-2013 10:22 pm (UTC)
Ugh, yuck. He was pretty fail on plan B too. Damn, I am disappoint.
maynardsong 8th-Apr-2013 02:27 pm (UTC)
I feel like that particular fail was a move to try to soften up the GOP before he went ahead with the policy that health insurance needs to start covering birth control at 100%.
girly123 7th-Apr-2013 10:31 pm (UTC)
If you wouldn't minimize how fucked up that comment was if it came from a republican, don't minimize how fucked up it is just because it came from Obama. Sexism knows no political affiliation, jfc.
shineebambi 7th-Apr-2013 11:27 pm (UTC)
This if it was a republican that said it this post would be going a totally different way. I like Obama as much as the next democrat but that comment was really messed up and he still never really apologized for it
not_emily 7th-Apr-2013 11:28 pm (UTC)
It would have been nice if he actually apologized for the comment itself, and not just the "distraction" it caused... :/
shineebambi 7th-Apr-2013 11:29 pm (UTC)
_p is so predictable sometimes if this was anyone but Obama y'all would be calling for his head. No one is asking you to be anti Obama cause of these sexist remarks but don't try and sugar coat what he did just cause you like him it helps nobody.
bellichka 8th-Apr-2013 12:07 am (UTC)
Uh, no. Believe it or not, some of us actually have the mental capacity to separate our personal feelings for the individual and our reaction to what he said/did.
crossfire 8th-Apr-2013 05:36 pm (UTC)
Meh. He made a douchey sexist remark and he should feel douchey and sexist. I wish he'd apologize properly for it (and not just for the "distraction it caused").

I don't know it was sexual harassment though.
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