CNN’s Randi Kaye on the 'Obama-Clinton Power Duo:' 'Today Was a Good Day to Be a Woman'

Randi Kaye, CNN Correspondent | NewsBusters.orgCNN correspondent Randi Kaye gushed over the “dynamic duo” of Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton, whom she heralded as “a powerful duo -- a duo women want on their side.” The two first ladies had made a joint appearance at President Obama’s announcement of the new White House Council for Women and Girls, and Kaye’s report, which aired on Wednesday’s Anderson Cooper 360, made it seem like it was the best thing since sliced bread. Kaye saved her most laudatory language for the two at the conclusion of her report: “Today was a good day to be a woman.”

Host Anderson Cooper introduced Kaye’s segment by labeling the two first ladies as “two of the most visible champions, perhaps, of women’s rights in the country.” A graphic accompanying Cooper on-screen proclaimed the “dynamic duo” of Obama and Clinton. During the rest of the report, another graphic applauded the “Obama-Clinton power duo.”

Kaye’s report consisted largely of Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton sound bites, and the correspondent’s gooey voice-overs. After playing the initial clips from the first ladies, Kaye underscored the apparent qualifications of the two to speak on behalf of women: “Both grew up working class. Both carved out successful law careers and raised children. But it wasn’t always easy. They know the challenges women face, which made this event so fitting. Together, they honored women from around the globe for their courage and their strength.”

In addition to sound bites from Mrs. Obama and Mrs. Clinton, Kaye played two clips from Faye Wattleton, current president of the Center for the Advancement for Women and former president of Planned Parenthood.  During the first bite, Wattleton gushed that “the coming together of these two women creates a very powerful image that’s going to be positive for women all over the globe.”

Later in the report, the correspondent highlighted Mrs. Clinton’s record on several issues: “She has long worked to improve health care, education, and equality for women. She’s fought against sex trafficking and for more comprehensive sex education.” Kaye’s inclusion of “comprehensive sex education” in this list of issues makes it clear that she is lauding Clinton (and Mrs. Obama, for that matter) for her liberal viewpoints. She also gushed over President Obama’s move to start the White House Council: “And it’s not just Mrs. Clinton and Mrs. Obama looking to better women’s lives. This afternoon, the president announced the newly-formed White House Council for Women and Girls. Mr. Obama promises that all federal agencies, when drafting policies, will take into account the needs of women and girls.”

The full transcript of the segment, which began 42 minutes into the 10 pm Eastern hour of Wednesday’s Anderson Cooper 360:

Anderson Cooper, CNN Anchor | NewsBusters.orgANDERSON COOPER: Raised by a single mom, President Obama today reflected on his own childhood as he pledged to provide others with opportunities his mom never dreamed of. Listen.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: That’s why so many of us are here today, because of the women who came before us, who were determined to see us sit in the high seats -- women who reached for the ballot, and raised families and traveled long, lonely roads to be the first in the boardroom, or in the courtroom, or on the battlefield, or on the factory floor. Women who cracked and shattered those glass ceilings so that my daughters, and all of our sons and daughters, could dream a little bigger and reach a little higher.

COOPER: With that, the president signed an executive order creating the White House Council on Women and Girls. The mission: to help women of all ages face challenges at home, work, and to improve their economic security and status. Now, two of the most visible champions, perhaps, of women’s rights in the country are, of course, Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton. Today, they were talking together about their roles and their reach. ‘Up Close’ tonight, here’s Randi Kaye.

RANDI KAYE (voice-over): They are a powerful duo -- a duo women want on their side.

FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA: I am so proud to be a woman today and every single day.

KAYE: First Lady Michelle Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

HILLARY CLINTON: The status of women and girls is a key indicator of whether or not progress is possible.

KAYE: Both grew up working class. Both carved out successful law careers and raised children. But it wasn’t always easy. They know the challenges women face, which made this event so fitting. Together, they honored women from around the globe for their courage and their strength.

FAYE WATTLETON, CENTER FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF WOMEN: Just simply, the coming together of these two women creates a very powerful image that’s going to be positive for women all over the globe.

KAYE: The first lady’s focus has been on working mothers and military wives.

M. OBAMA: The president and I share the belief that communities are only as strong as the health of their women.

KAYE: Mrs. Clinton’s focus is a bit more global, especially with her new role as secretary of state.

CLINTON: The rights of women -- really of all people -- are at the core of these challenges, and human rights will always be central to our foreign policy.

CLINTON (from 1995 speech at the U.N. 4th World Conference on Women):  It is time to break the silence.

KAYE: She has long worked to improve health care, education, and equality for women. She’s fought against sex trafficking and for more comprehensive sex education.

KAYE (on-camera) And it’s not just Mrs. Clinton and Mrs. Obama looking to better women’s lives. This afternoon, the president announced the newly-formed White House Council for Women and Girls. Mr. Obama promises that all federal agencies, when drafting policies, will take into account the needs of women and girls.

B. OBAMA: Women still earn just 78 cents for every dollar men make. Women are more than half of our population, but just 17 percent of our Congress.

KAYE (voice-over): In making that announcement, Obama recalled how his mother put herself through school while she struggled to raise him and his sister. He spoke of his grandmother, too.

B. OBAMA: ...One of the first women bank vice presidents in the state of Hawaii, but I also saw how she hit a glass ceiling.

WATTLETON: Recently, it has been assumed that women in this country have it made, but today is a very symbolic message that the work in this country is not done.

KAYE: Today was a good day to be a woman. Randi Kaye, CNN, New York. 

Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center