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. Todd, Richmond, VA

    Michelle Obama is making this a much more vitriolic race than it should be. Her comments make her appear desperate in regards to how well Hillary is doing. I hope Hillary does not pick Obama as her running mate. I am more and more turned off by how unpolished both Obama and his wife are. (And) she's an Ivy League educated attorney?? I think the ivy on those illustrious brick walls is trying to crawl back into the ground as we speak.

    September 14, 2007 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  2. EUNICE, MARYLAND, U.S.A.

    Sorry Michelle, it is neither Obama nor Hilary. It is Fred Thompson. This election is not going to be about political parties, it is all about national security and issues that affect the American people.

    September 14, 2007 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  3. Leigh, Houston

    Fred Thompson? Are you kidding me? Why don't we just keep George Bush and his buddies? What a terrible joke.

    September 14, 2007 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  4. Concerned American

    It is quite clear what Michelle is saying, but I am not sure how people do not understand. Vote on the issues, vote for the best candidate. STOP the VANITY. The problem is, people are concerned about fluff. How can her comments then not be understood? Black, white, female, male, who cares as long as this country is lead by someone that is right for the job? This is what Michelle is saying. OK? Let's not make the mistake that we have been living with for the last 8 years.

    September 14, 2007 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  5. Dom

    The comments from the same dumb stupid Americans on this board remind me how they managed to vote in G.W. TWICE!

    People are so fixated on labels – liberal, conservative, black, jew, woman, etc.

    The first I ever heard that Senator Obama was getting so much publicity and campaign contributions (and possible Democratic nomination) because he is black – has been on this board. What an absurd and asinine observation. There have been other candidates of colour (as you american so eloquently put it) Rev. Jackson – who could only dream of getting the type of limelight Obama is getting.

    Obama talks sense. He has good judgement and is a straight talker. People recognise this man has not only the charisma but the true leadership qualities that can help salvage the USA from the depths it has sunk to.

    September 14, 2007 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  6. Micheal Des Moines, IA

    All the racist hate and bigotry on this blog does not represent the majority of America so you all best get right in your mind because you're going to have to deal with having a half white and half black president. Obama has won the hearts of americans of all ethnicity so the hate of a few is not enough to stop him. God Bless America!

    September 14, 2007 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  7. Andrea, Toronto, Canada

    for Tony G from Texas,
    Just one question: is a woman free to live her life as she sees fit? Is she allowed to forgive her cheating husband – for no other reason except that she wishes to do so (may be she still loves him, or believes in "death do us part", etc.)?
    I think now a days, its not cool to forgive anyone, especially your husband – at least if you are HRC, right?

    September 14, 2007 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  8. John, Seattle

    Fred Thompson? I don't think so – he's waaaaaay too scary and of course his handicap of being GOP. Pick a President not a daddy.

    September 14, 2007 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  9. Mia, Eau Claire, WI

    It's a Democrat's turn to be president. How about that?

    September 14, 2007 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  10. V, New York, New York

    As an Asian-American who might someday decide to run for president, I ask Mrs. Obama: WHEN IS IT MY TURN? After all, my people build this countrie's railroads! ":P

    September 14, 2007 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  11. Dora, Washington

    Michelle Obama is RIGHT ON.!!

    As a woman, I know what MANY women know, that it is NOT Hillary's turn.

    I voted for her husband and I am sorry I did. I am so disappointed that she did not slap him silly for all the scandalous things he did to all those women. She lost my vote.

    It is really the American voters TURN to decide who will be our next president, not the hype in the media. We need someone who is honest and has integrity. The Obama's are a genuine family with so many fine qualities, and I truly believe, that Michelle is a much better 'role model' for my daughter, than Hillary.

    Michelle Obama represents all that is good about the wife our next President, Barack Obama.

    Michelle speaks her mind, and it is a shame that so many men posting here, have so many nasty things to say about such a wonderful woman and our next First Lady.

    Go Michelle !!

    September 14, 2007 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  12. Mo, Chicago IL

    I love Barack Obama! He is so inspiring and the only beacon of light in America right now! Way to go Michelle! I love how she's such a spunky lady instead of a Stepford Wife.

    Obama 08!!!

    September 14, 2007 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  13. Fonsia, Oceanside, CA

    All this is quite interesting. As I read this thread, I notice that for the most part:

    Sen. Clinton's supporters take (or manufacture) any opportunity to post hyperbolic diatribe against the Obamas.

    The Obama supporters counter with positive statements.

    There appears to be a stark difference between the supporters of these two candidates. Both seem to reflect the basic qualities of their candidates.

    Sen. Clinton = negative
    Sen. Obama = positive

    I'm just sayin'.

    September 14, 2007 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  14. Anonymous, Potomac Maryland

    Everytime Mrs. Obama opens her mouth, she reduces the likelihood of her husband getting the Democratic nod for president. This woman is a loose canon. We don't need to know about Barack's snoring or stinky feet and definately not her views on Hillary Clinton. Keep talking and he'll be out of the race by January...

    September 14, 2007 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  15. Mia, St Paul, MN

    I hate it when racist ignoramuses have to put there worthless cents in. Its amusing to me that people cite his Muslim upbringing and middle name (Hussein) as a reason not to vote for him. I've heard this from the Fox Opinion Channel, not so much on the Democratic side. Then again, Republicans can afford to make these kind of remarks. Most African Americans won't be on their team anyway. Tell me, when the white populaitin in this country continues to dwindle, how will the Republican Party survive? My strategy: vote Obama. Its quite ironic that those who support the Iraqi war constantly slam people of Muslim decent and in the same breath hope to acheive its goals. Maybe a black President with a Muslim name is the best thing for this country!!! And, yes its about race because America continues to be a racist country.

    September 14, 2007 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  16. Sandy, Memphis, TN

    If these candidates don't stop their mudslinging, we're going to end up with another Big Brother Republican for president. PLEASE stick to the issues, candidates, and try to see beyond 2008. Your children's futures are at stake, not just your own.

    September 14, 2007 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  17. Ronnie.Irving,Texas

    Mrs.Obama has some nerve.Like her husband,she seems to have a "entitlement" issue.How dare the wife of presidental candidate issue such stupid comments.It wasn't her first and it seems won't be her last,she wonders why her husband is so far behind in the polls.What if Hillary Clinton had said the same thing about the Obamas?The Sharptons of the world have crawled out of the wood work.

    September 14, 2007 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  18. Jermika, TX

    Man some of these comments make me embarrassed to be a human being. Come outta the stone ages, ya rednecks!

    But in response to MRS. Obama..she's just saying let the best PERSON win. That's all. If you haven't forgotten she's just as educated as any of the people running and she wouldn't say something like that out of context and harm Barack's chances. Grow up, y'all.

    Geesh!

    September 14, 2007 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  19. David, Dallas Tx

    Kat said: 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"?

    I think it's obvious Mrs. Obama was making a general statement about many voters, NOT all women voters, and not you in particular. But that obvious fact aside....

    It's funny. I would have thought most people would care more about issues than race or gender. But then NPR did an interview with 8 black women at an historically black college and asked them who they intended to vote for, and why. Seven of them cited Hillary's gender or Obama's race as the reason they'd vote for that candidate. It was depressing.

    September 14, 2007 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  20. Karen, austin, tx

    I agree with Mr. Gravel from Alaska, america is getting dumber and fatter, i'm glad dumb people are too lazy to vote, it is sad that america's uncurable sickness of racism will keep a qualified candidate from being president, cancer eats from the inside out and the cancer of racism in this country will eventually kill the spirit of what america was founded on unless we as a society take a good hard look in the mirror. Barack Obama is an honest, humble, intelligent man,of good character and values he is taking a chance on his life to run for president in this country, how many of you hate mongers would die for anybody and put your family lives on the line, yes he has the most to lose of any candidates, i'm sure he has the biggest threats against him, i wouldn't do it, in the end people will always side with corruption in politics.

    September 14, 2007 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  21. Ron, TX

    All this is quite interesting. As I read this thread, I notice that for the most part:

    Sen. Clinton's supporters take (or manufacture) any opportunity to post hyperbolic diatribe against the Obamas.

    The Obama supporters counter with positive statements.

    There appears to be a stark difference between the supporters of these two candidates. Both seem to reflect the basic qualities of their candidates.

    Sen. Clinton = negative
    Sen. Obama = positive

    I'm just sayin'.

    Posted By Fonsia, Oceanside, CA : September 14, 2007 5:16 pm

    I didn't really notice that before. That's a great point to notice!

    September 14, 2007 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  22. EUNICE, MARYLAND, U.S.A.

    Who is saying that his muslim background does not matter? Please be serious. Have you ever seen any muslim that condemns Osama BIN laden? They all like the terror the world is experiencing now. This guy attended a muslim school in a muslim nation and that he has never denied. Get real. He will never be President of this Christian nation. Is just like the pope going to be the President of IRAN or Saudi Arabia.

    September 14, 2007 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  23. jay

    Let's be honest here, many of you are voting for hillary because of Bill, and that is the fact. Would you vote for her if she was not a cliton?
    Please give me a break.

    September 14, 2007 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  24. Mollie Hattiesburg, MS

    Well–how about...its not Obama's turn OR Hillary's?? I shudder to think about the horror that would befall us all if either one of these two were to get elected, Heaven forbid. People should really check Obama's background–SCARY! & Hillary..well, do I even need to waste time typing all of her problems???

    September 14, 2007 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  25. Ramin, london,England

    seems to me CNN is supporter of OSAMA.
    sheam of you !

    September 14, 2007 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
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