This is definitely not the way for Obama to broaden his appeal with female voters:
Obama has subsequently apologized to WXYZ reporter Peggy Agar, but his explanation mainly serves to dig himself further into a hole:
“Hi Peggy. This is Barack Obama. I’m calling to apologize on two fronts. One was you didn’t get your question answered and I apologize. I thought that we had set up interviews with all the local stations. I guess we got it with your station but you weren’t the reporter that got the interview. And so, I broke my word. I apologize for that and I will make up for it.
“Second apology is for using the word ‘sweetie.’ That’s a bad habit of mine. I do it sometimes with all kinds of people [yes, he certainly does – mb]. I mean no disrespect and so I am duly chastened on that front.”
No, dig up, stupid!
Jesus tapdancing Christ. You wanna know how to better help make the case that you deserve the support of women? Step 1: DON’T BE A SEXIST ASSHAT.
Look, intent is irrelevant–habitually using reductive terms like “sweetie’ is both disrespectful and indicative that Obama may have a bigger problem with women than simply not getting their votes, regardless of whether his actions are conscious or otherwise. Not to say that this sort of thing is unique (gee, a man says something misogynistic and dismissive to a woman–film at 11!), nor is it definitive proof that Obama actively perpetuates misogyny (does anyone seriously think that Geraldine Ferraro burns crosses in her free time?) But a good ally is duty bound to call out the people on his or her team when someone fucks up (to be clear: my team is the ‘not John McSame’ team).
I’m very glad that Obama did apologize; however, I hope he takes the opportunity to reflect on exactly why he’s still having a tough go at making inroads with women.