Regarding the Clinton Campaign, Obama Thinks America Still Struggles with Women in Power
While President Obama is hopeful about Hillary Clinton's election, he told her fundraiser in New York that he doesn't believe the polls between candidates should be this close — unless the nation is really as polarized as the polls indicate.
Or unless, the thought remains, that powerful women make people uncomfortable.
"There's a reason why we haven't had a woman president," Obama said. "We as a society still grapple with what it means to see powerful women. And it still troubles us in a lot of ways, unfairly. And that expresses itself in all sorts of ways."
A Harvard study found that "when participants saw female politicians as power-seeking, they also saw them as having less communality (i.e., being unsupportive and uncaring), while this was not true for their perceptions of power-seeking male politicians." Power-seeking women were greeted by both sexes with "moral outrage," according to the study.
In this vein, the polls remain tight between the two candidates, and President Obama doesn't think it has much to do with Clinton's track record.
"This should not be a close election, but it will be," Obama said. "And the reason it will be is not because of Clinton's flaws, but rather because, structurally, we've become a very polarized society," he said.
Journalist Ann Friedman thinks only time will tell how gender affects front runners, as Clinton is the only case study so far.
"When you get to the level Hillary is at now … there's no data. It’s just her."
• Let Obama's Female Staffers Teach You How to Be Heard
• Obama Endorses Hillary
Photo Credit: Getty Images