Obama tells Clinton fundraiser U.S. still
grapples with powerful women
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[September 19, 2016]
By Jeff Mason
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. society is
uncomfortable with powerful women and that is why the United States has
not yet elected a woman president, President Barack Obama said on
Obama, who is eager to see fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton succeed him
in office, told a fundraiser for her in New York that the election
between his former secretary of state and Republican businessman Donald
Trump should not be close.
However, political polarization in the country would make it tight, he
The first African-American U.S. president then told the group of donors
why he thought a woman had never held the office.
"There's a reason why we haven't had a woman president," he 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."
Obama has often spoken about the role of strong women in his life,
including his mother, grandmother, wife and daughters.
Polls have tightened between Clinton, a former U.S. senator and first
lady, and Trump, a real-estate tycoon.
"This should not be a close election, but it will be," Obama said. "And
the reason it will be is not because of Hillary's flaws, but rather
because, structurally, we've become a very polarized society," he said.
The president has not hidden his disdain for Trump, who was one of the
leaders of the movement that questioned whether Obama was born in the
United States. Trump conceded on Friday that Obama was U.S. born.
[to top of second column]
President Barack Obama
addresses the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's 46th annual
Legislative Conference Phoenix Awards Dinner in Washington,
September 17, 2016. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
Obama told the donors that Trump was unlike the two candidates he
faced in the 2008 and 2012 general elections.
"When I ran against John McCain, we had deep differences, but I
couldn't say that he was not qualified to be president of the United
States," Obama said of his 2008 opponent.
"I couldn't say that electing Mitt Romney would be an unmitigated
disaster. This guy (Trump) is not qualified to be president."
(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Paul Tait)
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