Obama’s War on Women?

Hat tip to Glenn Reynolds for flagging this revealing tidbit from the Daily Beast/Newsweek feature story on women CIA analysts:

Just before the White House announcement of a new Afghanistan-Pakistan strategy, Obama asked Riedel and his team to come to see him in the Oval -Office so he could thank them. Riedel’s team consisted of an Afghan specialist from the State Department and a Pakistan expert from the CIA. Riedel introduced the CIA analyst to Obama as “the best Pakistan expert I’ve ever seen.” Obama looked at the CIA officer, who was sporting stiletto heels, and said with clear amusement, “You don’t look like a Pakistan expert.”

Yuck, yuck, that Obama is so funny.  Except that we have had considerable evidence before now (especially the Ron Suskind book Confidence Men) of Obama’s disdain for women (except perhaps Valerie Jarrett), including the well reported stories of Christina Romer being treated shabbily in White House staff meetings, and her economic advice ignored or rejected, but subsequently embraced when a man made the same point.

It is worth noting that when Suskind published his book critical of George W. Bush (The Price of Loyalty), the media and the Left made a big deal of Suskind’s revelations.  So how has the Left greeted Confidence Men, which was published in June?  Justas you’d expect: challenging Suskind’s accounts and sources.  My former colleague from my AEI days, Kevin Hassett, reviews the hypocrisy:

When The New York Times and the New York Review of Books reviewed “Confidence Men,” assertions of inaccuracy were prominently featured. However, when the same outlets reviewed “The Price of Loyalty,” not a single factual error was cited. Apparently, some would have us believe that the supposedly fastidious journalist who damned George Bush was above reproach, while the same fellow became a propagandist when he turned to the study of President Obama. This view especially strains credulity given that Suskind himself is clearly sympathetic to Obama and hostile to Bush.

Hassett goes on to summarize the case that Obama’s White House may well be guilty of being a “hostile work environment” for women:

Indeed, Suskind writes that Summers and Emanuel were “notoriously brusque, but even more abrupt and dismissive of women.”  Geithner states that Romer was “of ‘no value on policy issues’ of ‘financial rescue.’”  Romer herself said on one occasion, “Tim and Larry will handle that, always Larry and Tim, and I sort of wondered, aren’t I supposed to be the third leg of the stool.”   As many other women in the Obama administration received similar treatment, Suskind goes on to treat this as a case of sexism. . .

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