Barack Obama is trying to woo women who vigorously supported Senator Hillary Clinton during the Democratic primaries and caucuses, but the road to reconciliation has so far been a bumpy one for the presumptive Democratic nominee.
Meeting with members of the Congressional Black Caucus last week, Obama reportedly got testy during remarks to an audience comprised of many former Hillary Clinton supporters, telling them that “there’s healing on both sides” to be done.
That statement, however did not ruffle the still sensitive feathers of some former Clinton supporters as much as an earlier statement the Presidential hopeful made during his remarks.
In an attempt to address concerns that women who had backed his Democratic rival might support Senator John McCain over him in the general election, Obama’s blunt tone garnered criticism.
“If women take a moment to realise that on every issue important to women, John McCain is not in their corner, that would help them get over it,” Obama said, according to Congresswoman Yvette Clark.
California Congresswoman Diane Watson bristled at the comment echoing a sentiment reportedly shared by many in the room who found the phrase “get over it” to be dismissive.
“Don’t use that terminology,” the Congresswoman told the Illinois senator according to a Telegraph report.
Speaking to Neil Cavuto on Fox News on Monday, Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia’s Centre for Politics, validated Representative Watson’s reaction.
Sabato described Obama’s comment as appearing to be “arrogant” and the kind of mis-step the presumptive Democratic nominee will have to avoid in order to be successful as the general election campaign ramps up.
“Obama is the favourite because of the conditions that are prevailing, but he’s not a heavy favourite because of his personal liabilities,” Sabato told USA Today.
Obama and Senator Clinton are expected to make their first public appearance together on Friday in Unity, New Hampshire, where each received 107 votes in the state’s primary contest back in January.
The two former rivals will also hold a joint fundraising event at Washington’s Mayflower Hotel the previous evening.
In a video message emailed to supporters on Monday, Hillary Clinton thanked those who had supported her and expressed regret that they had not broken through the highest ceiling “this time.”
Senator Clinton also solicited donations to help retire her campaign debt in the message and said she looked forward to campaigning with Barack Obama.
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