Obama apologizes to Kamala Harris

The White House says he called her to apologize for his "best looking" comments

By Alex Seitz-Wald

Published April 5, 2013 7:00PM (EDT)

After a rough 24 hours for President Obama in which he took heat from his own political allies on two big fronts, he called California Attorney General Kamala Harris to apologize for calling her "the best-looking attorney general in the country" at a fundraiser in Northern California yesterday.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said today that Obama called Harris and apologized for the comment and the distraction that it caused, saying he "did not want in any way to diminish the attorney general's professional accomplishments and her capabilities."

"He fully recognizes the challenges women continue to face in the workplace and that they should not be judged based on appearance," Carney said.

As Irin Carmon wrote this morning, even though Obama calls plenty of men good looking, it will never be the same because, "There is simply no comparison between how women’s looks and men’s looks count toward how society values them as humans."

The furor may actually be a good wakeup call for Obama, who has been disturbingly cavalier about tossing out casually chauvinistic "compliments" in the past, whether it's to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a New York legislator, or a Michigan reporter.

Alex Seitz-Wald

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Barack Obama Kamala Harris Sexism Women