Wednesday, October 28, 2009
The White House’s Grass Ceiling
First profiled by ESPN this summer, Obama’s penchant for all-male basketball games at the White House finally found some legs with a NYTimes profile on Sunday of Obama’s “guy’s guy” “frat house” culture at the White House. Mark Leibovich pushes the point past just the regular games of hoops, and notices an uncomfortable trend: Obama not only enjoys more traditional macho pastimes, he also prefers an inner circle of macho men.
Dee Dee Myers, a former press secretary in the Clinton administration whose sister, Betsy, served as the Obama campaign’s chief operating officer said in the NYT piece: “Women are Obama’s base, and they don’t seem to have enough people who look like the base inside of their own inner circle.”
This weekend in a clear damage control move, White House advisor Melody Barnes broke the “grass ceiling” and became the first woman to play a round of golf with President Obama.
As Maureen Dowd points out in today’s column: the point isn’t if Obama is inherently sexist. The real cause for concern is women being barred from another access point to the President. Access = influence.
(Above - Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, who made her college basketball team at Trinity College in D.C., enjoys poking fun at Obama’s court skills on Jay Leno, October 7th.)