Looks like that much ballyhooed GOP-led "war on women" has jumped parties.
Remember how liberals barked at the moon after Mitt Romney said during one of the presidential debates that he requested "binders full of women" while governor of Massachusetts to bring more women into state government? (audio clip after page break)
Turns out it's President Obama in need of those binders or at least something comparable. Here's what left-wing radio host Bill Press has to say on the subject (h/t for audio, Brian Maloney at mrctv.org) --
PRESS: Does the president have a white-male problem? That question is compounded by the fact that in the last three or four days we have seen evidence of the fact that three of the president's top advisers, all women, are leaving -- Hillary Clinton leaving as Secretary of State, Lisa Jackson resigning as the head of the Environmental Protection Agency and our good friend Hilda Solis leaving as Secretary of Labor.
So now people are saying, you know those binders full of women? (laughs) Remember that from Mitt Romney ...?
PETER OGBURN, PRESS'S PRODUCER: Oh yeah.
PRESS: ... you know, when he was governor of Massachusetts and I realized (Press speaking as if Romney) we needed more diversity and I said, bring me binders full of women. Well, now some people are saying maybe President Obama, we all made fun of Mitt Romney when he said that, maybe President Obama needs somebody to bring him ...
OGBURN: Borrow some of those ...
PRESS: ... binders full of women
The perception of the Obama White House as unfriendly to women was exacerbated by a front-page photo in the New York Times last week showing Obama in the Oval Office during the fiscal cliff negotiations with 11 of his senior advisers -- 10 of them male. Moreover, the sole female, Valerie Jarrett, a longtime confidante to the Obamas, was barely visible, all but obscured behind one of the men.
"She's so hard to find, CNN used a special shading to identify her leg," writes Slate's John Dickerson in a piece titled "All the President's Men."
That Obama has also nominated Chuck Hagel for defense secretary (while passing over Michele Flournoy) and John Kerry for secretary of state (ditto, Susan Rice) and Jack Lew for Treasury secretary (you get the idea) has not gone unobserved.
The photo in the Times appeared with a story on Jan. 8 headlined, "Obama's Remade Inner Circle Has an All-Male Look, So Far." As if on cue, an "official White House photo" was taken that same day of Obama again meeting with senior advisers in the Oval Office, this time numbering eight, three of them women, including Jarrett.
Lest anyone miss the rationale for the photo, Jarrett is its focal point, just off center and directly in front of Obama's desk while Obama, fittingly enough, is at far left, his back to the camera. Seated to Obama's immediate right is Kathryn Ruemmler, identified in the cutline as "Counselor to the President" and wearing knee-high black stiletto-heeled leather boots that match her blouse. I thought it a bit much but that's just me.
Could it be that Jarrett deliberately hid when the first photo was taken -- by a White House photographer, not media, as NBC's Andrea Mitchell pointed out yesterday on "Meet the Press" -- to justify the second photo showing Jarrett back in command of the Lilliputians around her?