(CNN/WSYR-TV) -- Kamala Harris is a potential candidate for governor, maybe even the next U.S. Attorney General. By many accounts, she’s a rising star in the Democratic Party, but her resume isn’t grabbing headlines -- a remark made by President Obama at private fundraiser on Thursday in California, is.
At the fundraiser, Obama called Harris “by far, the best looking attorney general.”
"It's sexist. That simple comment drops her like a stone electorally and makes voters much more likely to see her - much less likely to see her as qualified or worthy of their vote,” said Leonard Steinhorn with American University.
Was it a harmless compliment or a sexist remark? Either way it has sparked a public debate.
The President acknowledged Harris’ accomplishment saying, “She’s brilliant and she is dedicated and she is tough,” before mentioning her looks.
The President has been on the defensive before fighting perception of a boy’s club attitude. The picture of his inner circle – all men – had many asking where are the women? The President has turned that around appointing women to his cabinet – most recently Secret Service Director.
He’s not the first politician to cause a stir. Remember presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s comment “binders full of women.”
Nevertheless, the President’s polling among women remains strong.