Obama Causes Stir After Calling CA AG ‘Best Looking Attorney General’


President Obama caused a stir Thursday when he commented on the appearance of California Attorney General Kamala Harris.

“She’s brilliant and she’s dedicated, she’s tough,” Obama said at a DNC fundraiser in Atherton, Calif., according to a White House pool report. “She also happens to be, by far, the best looking attorney general….It’s true! C’mon.”After the remarks began to surface on Twitter, Politico media reporter Dylan Byers decided to chime in, defending Obama.

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:

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!”

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