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Obama apologizes for noting Calif. attorney general's good looks

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 02:48 p.m. HST, Apr 05, 2013

WASHINGTON >> President Barack Obama has apologized to California Attorney General Kamala Harris for causing a stir when he called her "the best-looking attorney general" at a Democratic fundraiser they attended together this week. 

A spokesman for Harris said she had a great conversation with Obama and strongly supports him but would not say whether she had accepted the president's apology.

Obama apologized to Harris by telephone Thursday night after returning from two days of fundraising in California, White House press secretary Jay Carney said.

At a fundraiser in Silicon Valley earlier that day, Obama raised eyebrows when he said Harris "happens to be, by far, the best-looking attorney general in the country. It's true! C'mon." He prefaced the remark by saying she is "brilliant and she is dedicated and she is tough, and she is exactly what you'd want in anybody who is administering the law."

Harris was present and had addressed the crowd before the president spoke.

The "best-looking" comment instantly lit up news blogs and websites, with some highlighting it as an example of the hurdles working women still face. 

Carney and Harris' spokesman, Gil Duran, both noted that Obama and Harris are longtime friends. 

"He called her to apologize for the distraction created by his comments," Carney told reporters Friday. "He did not want in any way to diminish the attorney general's professional accomplishments and her capabilities." 

He noted that Obama also commented on Harris' smarts.

Carney went on to say that Obama "fully recognizes the challenge women continue to face in the workplace and that they should not be judged based on appearance." 

In an emailed statement, Duran noted the longstanding ties between Obama and Harris. 

"They had a great conversation yesterday, and she strongly supports him," he said. 

Duran later said he would not comment beyond the statement. He declined to say whether Harris had accepted the president's apology or whether she was offended by his comment. 

Harris had scheduled no public appearances today and was not expected to comment herself.

Harris and Obama have campaigned for each other in prior elections. Some pundits also have described her as a female version of Obama because of her stage presence and because, like the president, she is of mixed race.

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st1d wrote:
and . . . ?
on April 5,2013 | 03:49PM
1local wrote:
Sexual harassment - many have been fired for comments like this.
on April 6,2013 | 09:25AM
atilter wrote:
deteriorated social values
on April 6,2013 | 09:39AM
hanalei395 wrote:
A dumb remark by Obama. He must know that the GOP and Fox "News" hates his guts and will try anything to make him look like another Clinton.
on April 6,2013 | 10:20AM
CEI wrote:
Only in a crazy upside down world does someone have to apologize for a flattering comment. I don't remember Slick Willie apologizing for any of the women he sexually assaulted.
on April 5,2013 | 04:16PM
DowntownGreen wrote:
False equivalency is so unattractive.
on April 5,2013 | 04:30PM
Oahuan wrote:
LOL! She's a dog.
on April 5,2013 | 04:35PM
SteveToo wrote:
Well for once he didn't tell a lie. and then he gets in trouble for telling the truth. LOL
on April 5,2013 | 06:24PM
roadsterred wrote:
Only in the United States do you get criticized for commenting on a female's good looks. This is what happens when political correctness supersedes common sense. Illegal immigrants can no longer be called as such. They now have to be called undocumented aliens. Islamists can no longer be called by that name, they are people of the Islamiic faith. No dodge ball in schools, no pledge of allegiance in schools, no prayer in schools, no mention of God or Jesus in graduation speeches, and no ten commandments in a courtroom. What is this country coming too?
on April 5,2013 | 06:44PM
thepartyfirst wrote:
the bias state run media has become the yardstick.
on April 5,2013 | 10:30PM
Paulh808 wrote:
Can you blaming him after sleeping with his unattractive wife all these years.
on April 5,2013 | 11:15PM
AmbienDaze wrote:
not only unattractive, but angry, too.
on April 6,2013 | 05:10AM
dlum003 wrote:
women need to get all the way over themselves. this is silly beyond belief, and she's loving the exposure c'mon
on April 6,2013 | 06:15AM
kahuku01 wrote:
Oh such drama over nothing because I don't think it bothered her for that flattering comment especially when they personally knew each other. It affected those women that are so sensitive and it provided them something to talk about especially when they don't get those attention because they're either fat, unattractive or a flattering comment is out of the question. Obama should have just moved on and not be concerned about how sensitive other people digested his comment because she didn't think it was a sexual remark. Remarks like that happens everyday but because he is the president and highly exposed, people tend to make it an issue and drama takes place....gossip, gossip, gossip like a bunch of ole ladies that have nothing else to talk about.
on April 6,2013 | 06:38AM
atilter wrote:
on April 6,2013 | 09:15AM
NuuanuMama wrote:
Yep, when did saying something flattering become unPC. Frankly, we don't say enough nice things about other people and beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I tell my men they are gorgeous all the time.
on April 6,2013 | 10:40AM
AmbienDaze wrote:
do i know you? i've been told that ten times today, by ten different women.
on April 6,2013 | 06:42PM
livinginhawaii wrote:
Sounds like he may have ruffled some Feinstein grey feathers...
on April 6,2013 | 06:49AM
awahana wrote:
America! What a (stupid) country!
We have to blank out audio and video of copyrighted material (sports, music, news, etc.). So why not just blank out comments in the news by the president? Pretty soon, we'll just have white noise 24x7. LOL.
on April 6,2013 | 07:26AM
pandadaddy wrote:
Poor judgment on his part. I wonder what Michelle has to say about it.
on April 6,2013 | 08:19AM
atilter wrote:
this entire flap is none of our business and has no business being even considered news-worthy.
on April 6,2013 | 09:17AM
ross13moon wrote:
let us not forget the Bush - Merkel incident at the G8
on April 6,2013 | 08:51AM
atilter wrote:
a non-story about over-the-top-sensitivity on political "correctness" is pure crapola perpetuated by people with nothing better to do than highlight such trivia. the operative word here is "correct"-ness. the definition has evolved so much that no one can comment about anything one appreciates. why would/how can that compliment be considered offensive? the usa media and its published views on social life has deteriorated to new depths by accenting un-balanced news reporting merely to make money !!!
on April 6,2013 | 09:12AM
anakemo wrote:
I Agree....AMEN....
on April 6,2013 | 10:59AM
atilter wrote:
the point is - was she truly offended? if she was and expressed her feeling PUBLICLY, then the POTUS should apologize to her directly and IN KIND. why should there be an apology for no offense - intentional or otherwise!
on April 6,2013 | 09:26AM
atilter wrote:
"Comment has been sent for approval" i rest my case!!!
on April 6,2013 | 09:29AM
atilter wrote:
the s/a would prefer to regurgitate "news" items like this that would naturally elicit hot responses - and then choose to "send for approval" some of the comments received....go figure!!!
on April 6,2013 | 09:36AM
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