After the remarks began to surface on Twitter, Politico media reporter Dylan Byers decided to chime in, defending Obama.
How did it become so difficult to call a woman good looking in public?— Dylan Byers (@DylanByers) April 4, 2013
That prompted New York magazine's Jonathan Chait to take Byers to task for suggesting that comments about women's looks are harmless.
"For those who don't see the problem here, the degree to which women are judged by their appearance remains an important hurdle to gender equality in the workforce," Chait wrote. "Women have a hard time being judged purely on their merits. Discussing their appearance in the context of evaluating their job performance makes it worse."
Chait continued, taking on the president for setting a bad example. "It's not a compliment. And for a president who has become a cultural model for many of his supporters in so many other ways, the example he's setting here is disgraceful."
This isn't the first time Obama has taken flack for a comment describing a woman. In 2008, he ultimately apologized after calling a female reporter "sweetie."
Political analyst Zerlina Maxwell also responded to Byers:
when we became full humans and not objects RT @dylanbyers: How did it become so difficult to call a woman good looking in public?— Zerlina Maxwell (@ZerlinaMaxwell) April 4, 2013
In order to understand, you have to view it WITHOUT your male privilege. Walking around as a woman is very difficult. @dylanbyers— Zerlina Maxwell (@ZerlinaMaxwell) April 4, 2013
Which prompted this:
Update 7:30 p.m.: The conservative Independent Women's Forum didn't take issue with President Obama's remarks. "President Obama prefaced his comments with she is smart and dedicated," IWF Communications Director Victoria Coley told TPM in an email. "If we cant enjoy a compliment once in awhile then we really have a problem!"