Dunn now rejects the term "hostile workplace,” and adds the typical PR bullshit evidence: “The president is someone who when he goes home at night he goes home to house full of very strong women... He values having strong women around him.”
In my experience, women who are vigilant about workplaces that are hostile to women hate that argument: A man has a strong wife at home, so he must not be opposed to the success of women in the workplace.
And, by the way, specifically, I'd say that Barack Obama has kept his wife in a distinctly subordinate role. Michelle Obama went to Princeton and Harvard Law School, and now she works on encouraging children to eat vegetables and get some exercise.
But... whatever... Anita Dunn... I always thought she was a bit of an idiot. She shouldn't have gotten the job in the first place. If she was initially overpromoted, it was a good thing that she got excluded. She shouldn't have been included.
But Suskind talked to other disincluded women. According to the Washington Post account of the book:
[W]omen occupied many of the West Wing’s senior positions, but felt outgunned and outmaneuvered by male colleagues such as former Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and Summers.So... is there something sexist about the Obama administration? Seems like Suskind came up with a great angle for his book, but I'm skeptical. I think Obama may have been overenthusiastic about giving a lot of positions to women, and perhaps those women really weren't as good as the men he surrounded himself with and really does need to rely on. In that case, he deserves credit for good judgment. But it is funny that he's not more concerned about the optics. Perhaps he assumes that he is especially appealing to women constituents and he doesn't need to do much to maintain that favor. It's the men he's in danger of losing. Time for another round of all-male, manly golf.
Obama, according to the book... failed to call on Romer after asking her male colleagues for their opinions. The snub prompted Romer to pass a note to Summers where she threatened to walk out of the dinner, according to the book....
The Obama White House has long been dogged by similar claims of exclusivity — his golf outings have been typically all-male affairs...