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. dan

    Nail on head. Go Barack!

    September 14, 2007 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |

    She should send a message to black voters and tell them not to cast their vote in 2008 based on the fact that he is "black"

    Posted By Esmer, Dallas, Texas : September 14, 2007 2:06 pm

    Actually she doesn't have to do that. Senator Obama has always said to vote for him because he's the best candidate. What you said was really stupid. If all black people were expected to vote for Senator Obama...Hillary Clinton's people wouldn't have a job. If you're gonna try to make knuckle-dragging, racist comments...try to be more original. You're annoying the adults trying to have a conversation.

    September 14, 2007 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  3. Chilly, Dallas Tx.

    Nikk Mann, what is really comical is the present president.

    And I'm a black man and Obama isn't ready like somone else stated he could be vice president if he play his cards right, and I will say this too, Black Amercia, don't believe the hype, he's our complexion but he know nothing of our struggles.

    September 14, 2007 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  4. Susan, Houston, Texas

    Just when I think Michelle Obama and Elizabeth Edwards can't possibly go any lower, they do.

    I've read comments here such as "nonsense," "shut up Michelle" and "ridiculous." I agree with all of them. Wouldn't it be great if just once we could have an election on issues without all the mudslinging? When are these people going to realize the American people are sick of it?

    September 14, 2007 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  5. JimmieFromDayton

    Speak the truth Michelle. Fear not, the American people are with you and the Senator. We will prevail! The hatred and racism that is live in a few Americans can not douse that fire and hunger of those who wants to see America healed so we can again lead the world to justice and democracy. There have been many great generations in our history, now is the time for our generation to be great. I have no doubt we will answer the call.

    September 14, 2007 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  6. Ronda Clough,Concord,NH

    It's not a question of "whose turn it is" but who would be the best.
    The best would be Hillary !!!!

    September 14, 2007 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  7. slinkymalinky

    Its your turn Michelle.

    Here's the door, don't let it hit your bum on the way out..

    September 14, 2007 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  8. Vince, Los Angeles

    When I read the anti Obama comments here is makes me sad to see how truly IGNORANT people in our nation really are....Everyone I have seen rooting for Hilary have no real incentive or rationale in voting for her..outside of the dubious "experience" line they have been fed by the media and the Clinton campaign. It has been shown online here repeatedly that Hilary has no more credible experience than Obama and if anything, Obama has MORE experience than she does..yet there are Americans that have the nerve to post comments against Obama claiming he's "not ready" or that Michelle needs to "shut up"....What a sad, sad comment it is to read such ignorance. No wonder Bush was elected....twice..

    September 14, 2007 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  9. RightyTighty

    don't believe the hype, he's our complexion but he know nothing of our struggles. Chilly, Dallas Tx.

    Oh I see... And Hillary does??

    September 14, 2007 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  10. Taylor, Santa Cruz CA

    Right On Michelle. Hillary is not going to help women more than Barack – probably less as she's a woman of privilege. Go Obama!

    September 14, 2007 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  11. pl. at the UN for a while.

    I am not American. I cannot vote. But I have to report what happens to my governmet.

    Every time Ms Obama opens her mouth–and shows her face–she does irreparable damage to her husband bid. The lies are just too obvious for the public not to notice. The BIG question now is about who is going to be the "spouse" for Mr Obama: his evanescent wife, or the titular "spouse" Oprah? Either ways is a disaster. In the last 2 weeks there has been nothing but a "testing of the waters" in Mr Obama's campaign. The way I assess it: not only Mr Obama is not flying anymore, he is actually sinking.

    September 14, 2007 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |

    All you sad, scared, pitiful little-minded morons out here saying Michelle Obama should "stay in her place"...IT'S A NEW DAY!
    Blach, brown , blind, cripple or crazy America needs people in the White House that are capable of criticle thinking. The Obamas fit the bill 100%. Don't be afraid because they're going to raise the level of discourse about America and the future of it's citizens. There will be a place for all the "good ole boys" and "Ms. Annes".
    A vote for Barack Obama is a vote for the future of America.

    September 14, 2007 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  13. Christian, Tampa FL

    I am disgusted at many, many people posting comments on here. Why should a candidate's wife "shut up?" What makes her "inexperienced" or "foolish?"

    I guarantee that she and her husband are both infinitely more experienced, intelligent, and qualified for leadership than any of the people commenting here, including myself obviously.

    If some of the words expressed here are any indication of the true spirit of the American people, then this country deserves a corrupt, stubborn, and selfish leader for President. Why should there be any change in 2009 if the citizens are as cynical and filthy mouthed as ever?

    September 14, 2007 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  14. RAH

    Ahhh CNN is at it again. Making a controversy between the obamas and Clintons where there is none. And the foolish public takes the only portion of an interveiw CNN chose to misrepresent, to whip up the crazies.. and they fell for it. guys who are bashing Michelle Obama for the twist CNN posted is easy to manipulate. No wonder you get the government you deserve.

    September 14, 2007 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  15. Jessica, Wisconsin

    I really wish the MSM would stop using quotes out of context. Michelle was answering a direct question.

    CNN fails to mention that Michelle Obama was directly asked why she feels Obama is not doing as well as Hillary among women voters. She didn’t just volunteer a comment about Hillary Clinton.

    Hannah Storm: Equally mystifying, the lack of impact the Obamas have had with women voters. When you look at the poll numbers, he really trails with women by some 30 points to Senator Clinton. Can you do something about that? And why is that?

    Michelle Obama: You know…we’re working hard to ensure to the women of America that Barack Obama is who we need…some women just feel like, it’s a woman’s turn you know. That they just feel like…it’s Hillary’s turn. That I reject because democracy is not supposed to be about whose turn it is.

    September 14, 2007 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  16. E. C., Houston, Texas

    Don't worry about Hillary, for she will steadily drop in the Polls, and I would believe quite soon. Hillary's poll numbers cannot be accurate or a true representation from voters. Polls make No sense. Hillary has too many Negatives to have such high Polls.

    September 14, 2007 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  17. Bloomfield, CT

    We have seen what senior leadership can do to a country.
    Cheney, Rumsfeld, Bush. the list goes on.

    September 14, 2007 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  18. E. Coleman

    Being President of this Great Nation is a MAN's Job, not for a Powermad Woman. We don't need Pelosi either.
    What we need is a great Senior Senator or career Government Leader....not a man without Great Experience who just wants to be President. Neither Obama or Clinton are qualified for this position.

    September 14, 2007 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  19. Marilyn, Turner, Oregon

    I'm voting for Obama and this is why:
    Bush, Clinton, Clinton, Bush, Bush...Clinton?

    It's time for a REAL change! It's time for Obama!

    September 14, 2007 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  20. Jaime, Seattle, WA

    Wow...I am floored, not only by the hate and mindless anger in this list of comments, but also by the sheer lack of reading comprehension!

    Please, before you start spouting that Mrs. Obama is arguing that it is Barak's "turn" for the presidency, reread slowly the article posted here. She is not saying it is anyone's turn. She is arguing that people should not vote based on a feeling that it is time the US had a female president. If you asked her further, I'd bet a month's salary that she would say votes should not be based on a feelign that it is time for the US to have a black president either.

    This isn't a slam on Hillary. Its not a slam on specific woman voters, nor is she insulting our intelligence. We have all heard or even thought ourselves that it would be great to see a woman president. I consider myself an intelligent woman, and I even feel the pull to support Hillary to see a woman in the highest office, BUT in the end, I will not support her based on gender. I ahven't made my decision yet, but I can understand Mrs. Obama's observation having felt the pull myself.

    CNN – Shame on you twice over. First for reporting comments outside of proper context. If you plan to quote someone's response to a question, MAKE IT CLEAR WHAT THE QUESTION IS. And second for drawing in the comments by Mrs. Edwards. These are separate issues and in response to different questions. If you'd like to highlight spousal involvement, do a separate piece and bring in the actions of ALL spouses, not just a few.

    September 14, 2007 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  21. Ramin, London, England

    I advise you don't vote to monkey face with monkey mind (Osama ben bark) , because he likes his monkey friend ahmadinejad the terrorist president of IRAN. find the smart person to vote...!!!!

    September 14, 2007 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  22. C Isgrig, No Little Rock, AR

    Would you vote for a man whose wife has to speak for him?

    September 14, 2007 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  23. Julie Houston, Texas

    Mrs. Obama may say that women will vote for Clinton only because she is a woman,but don't you think people will vote for Obama only because he is black? This election should not be based at all on sex or race. It should be based on what the president can do for this country. We don't need her making comments like that. Instead of targeting others because they don't fit the profile of a 'male, white president' that we have always had, try to show America why you think Obama should be president.

    September 14, 2007 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |

    We all know who will be the next President of this great country. Fred Thompson. Look at him. He has the personality, the experience and the message. Am glad Republican Party has finally got a candidate that can beat the democrats. Both parties did not have any until now.

    September 14, 2007 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  25. Jaime, Seattle, WA

    In response to all the comments about "voting for a man who lets his wife speak for him."...

    Remember that she made a comment in an interview. She wasn't out on the street yelling on corners at people. She didn't send statements to all major news outlets. She was being interviewed! What is she supposed to do? Refuse to answer? Refuse to do interviews to support her husband? Should she go put on her prairie dress, go barefoot, get pregnant and cook everyone dinner while remaining silent and "in her place"?

    I would say that the kind of man who has a wife that is comfortable in her own intelligence and power as a woman is the kind of man who will advocate for women's rights and deserves consideration from female voters.

    September 14, 2007 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
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