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. Karen Springdale, Arkansas

    I agree – It's not based on anyone's turn – We need to make an educated choice for our next president. Listening, researching all the information available to us about who is running for office. We have the freedom to be able tomake the right choice – we owe it to ourselves and we owe it to our children who are the future of our country.

    September 14, 2007 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  2. Dan, TX

    Here is a sampling of some CENTRISTS polled on the candidates

    A sample of 2,931 members of Unity08, surveyed by Linescale in August 2007. (The survey was conducted via email to those signed up at Unity08.com. Margin of error is plus or minus 2%.

    The sample of respondents was upscale (average income $74,000), slightly older than anticipated (average age of 51), well-educated (61% were college graduates), and disproportionately male (73%). Asked with whom they were most aligned politically, they responded as follows:

    Republican 15%
    Leaning Republican 10%
    Independent 27%
    Leaning Democratic 13%
    Democratic 19%
    Other party or no party 13%

    Respondents were asked to name two leaders from the past whom they admired. Many, for example, named Lincoln, FDR or Reagan. On a 0-6 scale (where 0 represented poor and 6 excellent), they were asked to rate those two leaders for leadership skills. On an average they ranked the first leader they named at 4.93 on the 0-6 scale — and the second at 4.54.

    On that 6 point scale respondents were asked to rank the three announced frontrunners for each of the two party nominations as follows:

    Barrack Obama 2.91
    Rudy Giuliani 2.52
    John Edwards 2.51
    Mitt Romney 2.48
    John McCain 2.45
    Hillary Clinton 2.30

    September 14, 2007 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  3. KCR, New Jersey

    Some people on this comment board should read Michelle's comments again. She never said that it was Barack's turn. She said that we should not cast our votes based on who's turn it is. We should be casting our votes based on the record and which direction we want this country to go. One post said it correctly... this country is too racist to even interpret the woman's comments without bias.

    September 14, 2007 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  4. 2blueflgirl

    To Brenda from LA,
    You need a time machine to transport you back to 1920, you know when women and colored folks knew their place. I weep for the America that you portray us living in. I would never vote for a candidate simply on the basis of their gender or race but I would also not vote against someone for those same reasons.
    Now, isn't is about time you got diner on the table for your husband?

    September 14, 2007 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  5. Zina, Utah

    I like Michelle Obama a lot and she is right. Electing President is not chosen based on affirmative action for black people or for woman.

    September 14, 2007 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    Michelle is right. There are many women (and men) out there (including some I've heard personally) who say America is right for a woman president. She is also right when she says that democracy isn't about who's turn it is. So we should equally also not say 'it's a black man's turn to be president'

    How about it's just a qualified person's turn to be president? That is clearly not Clinton. What has she done for NY as Junior Senator? Not much as I can recall. Oh ok so maybe she HELPED Schumer secure money for lower Manhattan rebuilding. But she is nowhere near Schumer in likeability and diligence.

    Did people forget Clinton voted for the war but just loves to change the topic when asked about it. What about all those scandals they were investigating during the Clinton years. Don't tell me she didn't know anything about it just like Mrs. McGreevey had no clue her husband was gay.

    Clinton is so phony. Anybody with a good education can see it. Oh wait, didn't one of the recent polls say she attracted many non-educated people?

    Go figure. Gravel was right. America is dumb. What a disgrace.

    September 14, 2007 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  7. Zack, Jersey City, NJ

    Michelle is right. There are many women (and men) out there (including some I've heard personally) who say America is right for a woman president. She is also right when she says that democracy isn't about who's turn it is. So we should equally also not say 'it's a black man's turn to be president'

    How about it's just a qualified person's turn to be president? That is clearly not Clinton. What has she done for NY as Junior Senator? Not much as I can recall. Oh ok so maybe she HELPED Schumer secure money for lower Manhattan rebuilding. But she is nowhere near Schumer in likeability and diligence.

    Did people forget Clinton voted for the war but just loves to change the topic when asked about it. What about all those scandals they were investigating during the Clinton years. Don't tell me she didn't know anything about it just like Mrs. McGreevey had no clue her husband was gay.

    Clinton is so phony. Anybody with a good education can see it. Oh wait, didn't one of the recent polls say she attracted many non-educated people?

    Go figure. Gravel was right. America is dumb. What a disgrace.

    September 14, 2007 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  8. Alan St Louis Mo

    Wow I must went into the KKK web site political ticker with all the hate posted here.
    "IT,S NOT ABOUT WHOSE TURN IT IS." what is wrong with that saying??? For you people that have a IQ lower then the freezer in your house it means "GO VOTE FOR THE BEST PERSON FOR THE JOB NOT ON COLOR OR GENDER"
    WOW with IQ that low how did your turn on your computer?

    September 14, 2007 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  9. Xerox, Tampa FL

    Dear lord some of the people making these comments are either ignorant, racist, or just plain partisan stupid. I don't support any candidate right now, but at least I have the sense to know that Mrs Obama was saying that this election is about more than race and gender. Shes arguing that people should examine the issues and decide on an informed opinion…get a clue already….

    September 14, 2007 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  10. K Kelley Indianapolis, IN

    Edwards or Obama would make excellent choices for our country. We need a breath of fresh air for this country. Clinton is an embarrassment to women. She needs to go home and go away!! And I am an open minded woman. Enough of the Clintons!!!

    September 14, 2007 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  11. EUNICE, MARYLAND, U.S.A.

    I have noticed that Michelle Obama does not know how to talk in the public. She shows a lot of arrogance everytime she speaks. She should do her husband a big favor by not speaking in the public any longer. Obama will not win. He is too junior to be President. I am black but I don't believe Obama has the experience. Michelle, don't worry, may be next election.

    September 14, 2007 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  12. Ciara, Paris France

    I am so sick and tired of , first the media taking quotes out of context with Mrs. Obama and then this giving the "go ahead" for every hate filled zealots to write stupid things on posts like on this site. It is as if, it is used to say what some people REALLY think of the Obama's...Like the audacity to believe that some American's are ready for a Black President. This campaign will be long and hard fought , I pray it shows the BEST of America not the worst. It is in our hands !

    September 14, 2007 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  13. Michael, San Diego, CA

    Fine Michelle Obama, i really don't think its the african-american's turn for presidency. SO ALL african-american please understand just because you're black, you don't need to vote for OBAMA. Because afterall don't feel that you're african american you have to vote for OBAMA.

    September 14, 2007 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  14. Connie, Tn.

    To all of those who don't think Elizabeth or Michelle should be speaking their minds, you probably wouldn't vote for a woman or a Black. You just think it's only a white, rich, male who can lead the country. How narrow-minded. Edwards/Obama would be a great ticket!

    September 14, 2007 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  15. Ciara, Paris France

    Another thing, EUNICE.... The ancestors are spinning in their grave. If you don't appreciate your past you can not have a future...I pray for you.

    September 14, 2007 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  16. Patti Robison, Enola, PA

    This country needs to really look at an individual for who they are and ask themselves the question "is that person the right person to lead this Country," not "it's their turn." This country needs a leader with backgone that will be aggressive in protecting our country and who understands what it takes to be a soldier and put your life on the line everyday. George Bush has done that. The war in Iraq cost American lives but then war usually does. I do believe that our priority should have been Benladen but Sadam needed to be taken down as well. I'm still not convinced that they weren't working together in some respect. I believe that Sadam's weapons of mass destruction are still around. There is no way they would have just disappared in thin air. I don't trust Benladen and wouldn't be surprised if Benladen has them in his possession. Everyone wants to down Bush for going to war in Iraq but I don't feel he had a choice. Congress and the people of this Country need to start praising our men and women who are putting their lives on the line for us everyday so that we can continue to enjoy our freedom instead of rebelling against the issue of having gone to war. We have gone to war so get over it. Let's begin working on ways to now bring our troops home safely without having any further major problems developing. Dealing with terrorists is going to be an on-going problem, but I do pray that we can one day enjoy peace in this world.

    This country also lacks family values, and the schools need to be allowed to discipline our children without having parents suing when their child deserves a spanking. Health care in this country is horrible and we have never recovered from it since Clinton was in office. The care that is received in our hospitals is also a tragedy. This Country was the best during the Reagan/Bush years. What happened? It's time the Democrats and Republicans begin to work together instead of fighting like children. I am a Republican but that doesn't mean that I haven't voted Democrat. I don't look at the person as to what party they are from. I look at the person who I want to lead this Country. From what I have heard among my friends, and I totally agree, is that if Hillary Clinton make President, we are all moving to Canada.

    September 14, 2007 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  17. Brian, Dallas

    Has someone noticed that Obama, was going to run the clean campaign, but most of the negative comments about Hillary comes from Obama and Edwards?
    Everyone, inlcuding the republicans are pouncing on Hillary, however she is the only one who has kept her stature and maintained a high ground.
    I think the only candidate who is running the clean campaign is Hillary, of all the republican and democratic canddiates. She is the true change we need in WH...

    Go Hillary....

    September 14, 2007 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  18. Cable King Pittsburgh Pa

    I'm still perplexed (nothing new)that so many Americans still hate women – even women hate women for being women.

    Although, I do have a specific question about the campaign – which one of Rudy G's wives will be speaking for him?

    September 14, 2007 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  19. Virginia San Francisco, California

    Ms. Obama is correct in stating "it's not about whose turn it is" though it is about who is more "experience and has the expertise".
    Senator Obama lacks that experience and expertise on a national and world wide level. He is well qualified on a local level.
    For example: No one becomes a CEO with less than 2 years because one must gain experience and expertise in that field. Senator Obama lacks in both these fields though he does have lots of charisma and is good speaker. Unfortunately that isn't enough for me during these times which the current president has put us into with the rest of the world.
    I've been undecided between Senator Clinton & Senator Obama after listening to the last CNN debate was when I saw/heard the lack of world wide experience by Senator Obama with his responses.
    I must admit that I do feel offended that both Ms. Edward and Ms. Obama feel that men can represent women better with them in office. My statement to them "please give an example when this has occurred".

    September 14, 2007 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  20. Mel, Pocahontas AR

    What is the difference in thinking it's a woman turn or a black turn in the white house. If he was not black she would have a better leg to stand for who's turn it is to be president.

    September 14, 2007 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  21. Angela Lee, Eldersburg, MD

    Its not just about any women who might feel its a woman's turn; in fact, I suspect precious few women decide upon that basis. However, political parties defintely, at many levels of elections (federal, state, and lower) have a tendency to follow that mindset. "Its so-and-so's turn now and you get to have a turn later." Ridiculous, I know, but I have seen it happen.

    September 14, 2007 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  22. Antonio, Atlanta, Ga

    I learn something new today about Clinton's vote for the war resolution. She actually failed to support an amendment by Carl Levin that would have required Bush to exhaust all diplomatic efforts and come back to Congress before engaging in any military exercise. No one can question that such an approach was rationale and would have been appropriate. For those touting Clinton's experience, please explain how she could have not favored such an amendment? I suspect she was thinking about her presidential campaign, but I admit I have no proof. But it is beyond reason why she with so much experience would have given Bush such a blank check. The war resolution was a life and death decision (life and death for the soldiers). It is inexcusable for anyone to make life and death decisions based on politics. Knowledge/experience without wisdom/judgment means little. Please keep that in mind with discussing the virtues of Clinton. Also, please everyone do your own research about the candidates. This election is too important for anyone to rely on the MSM for all their information.

    By the way, get posts from Michael in Miami and Michael in Texas.

    September 14, 2007 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  23. lavelle Rochester,ny

    Why do you people who know nothing attack Michelle when you should be attacking your own party. You should be attacking them for there lack of judgment and lack of intelligence on humanity. You can tell just by reading your post on a very dignified respected and successful MOTHER, AND WIFE! You people really need to smarten up. I pray that I can teach my children to be respectful to others and also teach them to research before they speak.

    September 14, 2007 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  24. PAT, Brockton, MA

    I think Michelle Obama should let women decide who's turn it is!

    September 14, 2007 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  25. Maria, Houston

    In response to a comment that Hillary's spouse does not make a fool of himself like Michelle or Elizabeth,
    well – Bill Clinton made a fool of himself many times while he was a U.S. President... talking lack of class, both of them!
    I voted for Clintons twice and I was emarrassed for them... their two terms were more than enough.

    September 14, 2007 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9