One of the more delicious claims in Ron Suskind's Confidence Men: Wall Street, Washington, and the Education of a President is that the avowedly feminist Obama White House had a women problem. Well, now there is a new wrinkle:
When White House Chief of Staff William Daley was asked yesterday how women are currently faring in the White House, he responded by "dumping" (as Daniel Halper put it) on his predecessor, Rahm Emanuel.
Here is the exchange:
"How do women get along in the White House? … How is it in the White House for women?" the questioner asks.
"Since I'm not a woman, it's hard for me to answer that," Daley says. "I read this in the book," Daley continues, referencing the latest Ron Suskind book that alleges poor treatment of women in the Obama White House, "but that was during my predecessor's era. I have not sensed any problem…we have a great relationship in the senior staff and, I think, throughout the administration. And that comes from the top down. The president, through his campaigns and through the issues he's fought for, obviously has fought and been on the edge of women's issues. So I don't see it as, um, I didn't even read the book, but I did hear that there were some issues early on under a predecessor of mine, so I can dump on him about it."
Daley doesn't seem to grasp that the reason this issue is so interesting is that the president has espoused policies that he believes will attract women voters (though most of them are merely big government policies that will ultimately harm the economy, including the women who make up half of it) but that women in his orbit felt they were not being heard. Daley was also sort of unmanly dumping on Rahm, no?
But what really worries me is that Mr. Daley doesn't seem to know whether he's read the book or not. Not good.