September 14th, 2007
04:11 PM ET
15 years ago

Michelle Obama: It's not about 'whose turn it is'

Michelle Obama with daughter Malia at the Iowa State Fair last month.

(CNN) - Michelle Obama has a message for women voters: Don't cast your vote in 2008 based on "whose turn it is."

“We are working hard to ensure to the women of America that Barack Obama is who we need," Ms. Obama said of her husband on CBS's "The Early Show" Friday.

"You know, some women just feel like, that it's a woman's turn," she added, regarding Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton." And people have said….that they just feel like, you know, it's Hillary's turn. That, I reject because democracy isn't supposed to be about whose turn it is."

Her comment is the latest from the spouse of a Democratic candidate directed at Clinton and other top rivals. In a Salon interview in July, Elizabeth Edwards said her husband John Edwards would be a better choice for women voters.

“[Clinton] is just not as vocal a women’s advocate as I want to see. John is,” she said.

Mrs. Edwards, in an interview with Ziff Davis Media published last month, also said, “We can't make John black, we can't make him a woman. Those things get you a certain amount of fundraising dollars."

- CNN Political Desk Managing Editor Steve Brusk

soundoff (219 Responses)
  1. Atlanta, Georgia

    Michelle, shut up, it's not Obama's turn either... we need a Senior Leader in the "White House" not a Jr. Senator.

    September 14, 2007 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  2. Joshua, Miami, Florida

    whats the difference between saying that its time for a black president?

    September 14, 2007 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  3. Brenda, Los Angeles CA

    The less Michelle Obama has to say, the better. It may also be a surprise to her that America isn't ready for a black president OR a woman president. Take care of your children, have lunch with Oprah and keep quiet Michelle.

    September 14, 2007 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  4. Kat

    So, what she is saying is that as a women I don't think about the issues and what's at stake and vote accordingly? I only think as far as "whose turn it is"? Frankly, I don't want someone with that opinon to be first lady...

    September 14, 2007 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  5. T Smiley, Warner Robins, Ga.

    Well, I've finally found someone in the Democratic party that I can agree with on an issue.

    September 14, 2007 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  6. T. Woods, New York, NY

    It's definitely not Obama's time...if Obama should happen to win the primary that only helps the Republicans...America is too racist to elect a half African man for president. However, I admire Michelle and Barack's audacity in thinking he can be president in 2008. But this is another example of how Democrats could potentially screw up an even considering somebody as liberal as Obama. Although Republicans try to paint Hillary as Liberal, she is quite Moderate and I believe has the best chance among Democrats.

    September 14, 2007 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  7. a

    both should not be elected.

    September 14, 2007 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  8. Bob, Vienna, VA

    Ladies and gentlemen – Hypocrysy at its height.

    September 14, 2007 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  9. Brenda, Annapolis

    Who's running for president here: Michelle or Barack? Barack has done nothing to ensure he is the choice for me, as a woman, as of yet. If anything, Michelle has done a decent job of attempting to relate to women–although, I'd like to see her try harder at relating to all women instead of just black women (which it's obvious why she's doing so–to knock two birds with one stone in an effort to get the female and black vote).

    September 14, 2007 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  10. Sharon, Baltimore, MD

    Thank you Michelle! Your husband represents all that is good in a political candidate for all Americans. He is honest, hardworking, intelligent, insightful and visionary. We thank you and him for the work being done during this campaign to bring his wonderful message to the people. Obama 2008!

    September 14, 2007 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  11. Eva M, Orlando, FL

    I think that Michelle Obama is right in saying that people shouldn't cast a vote based on just " a change of presidential scenery".... I think that such a knee jerk reaction really doesn't show an appreciation for the priviledge of free and open elections held in our country. You owe it to yourself to look at these candidates, and go over whatever information is out there on them with a fine tooth comb. Make as educated a decision as you possibly can, so that you can vote with confidence. I am a Republican by name, but when it comes to the election process, I vote for who I feel is the best person for the job, not just robotically checking the party line. I feel that doing so would be unethical, and rash. I don't agree with either party's philosophy hook, line, and sinker, so I try to look at issues that are of importance to me, and then choose the person I think can best make a positive impact in those key areas. Let's face it, none of them are going to do everything exactly the way we'd want them too, anyway.

    September 14, 2007 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  12. Michael James -- Illinois

    Michelle Obama makes a great point. Supporting Hillary because she’s a woman and/or out of a nostalgia for the 90’s are not good enough reasons.

    If you look at the facts, you should find that Barack Obama is a superior candidate to Hillary in every way and without all the baggage.

    Barack has the experience, judgment, temperament and character needed to make a great president.

    September 14, 2007 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  13. William - Decatur,Ga.

    I must say that these comments by Sen. John Edwards wife are of grave concern for me for her to say such things as "We cannot make John black , we can't make him a woman.Those things get you certain amount of fundraising dollars." It appears that she has some underlying issues that certain ethnic and genders should be excluded as formidable challenges towards her husband's run for presidential office.

    September 14, 2007 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  14. Emily, Wichita, KS

    Barack Obama doesn't have enough experience to be president. That's the end of the story. Hillary is a great choice not only for women, but also for the nation.

    September 14, 2007 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  15. Cary - Lowell, IN

    I can't believe this inexperienced, foolish woman is making this election about race and about gender. She should be campaigning on her husband's record, not mudslinging and making inane statements. Who wants 'more of the same' in Washington?

    September 14, 2007 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  16. Nichole Binghamton NY

    Yes and some people feel its a black persons turn too so stop telling people not to vote on "who's turn it is" because Obama gets just as many votes just because he's black. Vote on the real issues.

    September 14, 2007 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  17. d.j. springfield, il

    reply to Michael James please inform us about what experience Barack has that produced results his supporters are proud of...

    he voted AGAINST instating a flag-burning amendement. Do you think that's good "experience" and good leadership? So it's OK to burnthe flag, Barack?

    September 14, 2007 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  18. Richard Pugh, Los Angeles CA

    Why do CNN consistently use "Ms." instead of "Mrs." when referring to Mrs. Michelle Obama. I find this odd since the article refers to "Obama's" wife.

    Please advise.

    September 14, 2007 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  19. Erik

    CNN can you please do a piece about the report that American troops have donated more money to the Obama and Ron Paul campaigns. It was reported on another network which is great news for people to hear.

    September 14, 2007 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  20. Paul Tampa, FL

    Actually, with advances in medicine, it is possible to make John a woman.

    September 14, 2007 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  21. Ann, New Rochelle, New York

    Times ostensibly have changed in the USA, if being an African-American or woman, "gets you a certain amount of fundraising dollars", according to the excerpt from an Elizabeth Edwards interview. As a millionaire white male, a former US senator and malpractice attorney, who made a fortune in a lawsuit friendly environment, that in turn, help shape the practice of medicine today, Mr. Edwards must feel shut out from those deep pockets, running the political show.

    September 14, 2007 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  22. b-rocks New York, NY

    Don't read too much into Michelle's comments- obviously she is not impartial (just like Bill Clinton is not impartial) and she is doing what any spouse would do.

    I can just imagine the hateful comments from Republicans and Hillary Clinton supporters who are angry that someone new has proven to be a force to be reckoned with.

    September 14, 2007 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  23. Kim, Mpls.MN



    Barack has more ELECTED experience than both Hillary and Edwards, so your arguement is false. This marriage certificate has sure brought her a long way in the race, but it will end in defeat. Michelle Obama is classy and makes you think, unlike most comments here.


    September 14, 2007 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  24. Steve, New York

    I have a message for Michelle Obama. GET OVER IT! STOP burning bridges. Your husband has NO chance of being the next president. If you play your cards right he may be the next vice president. But not of you keep burning his bridges.

    September 14, 2007 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  25. Nick Mann, Miami, FL

    Comical that Democratic voters have to be reminded to vote for the best candidate and not only base decision on gender. Problem is that neither one of them have led anything or have any relevant experience to be President.

    September 14, 2007 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
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