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Obama Creates White House Women's Council

Valerie Jarrett will head a new White House women's council. AP photo by Evan Vucci

President Obama will sign an executive order tomorrow to establish a White House Council on Women and Girls, according to an administration official familiar with the move.

The Council will be chaired by Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser and personal friend to the president, and the day-to-day operations will be run Tina Tchen, who is currently director of the White House Office of Public Liaison and was a major fundraiser for Obama during the campaign.

"The mission of the Council will be to provide a coordinated federal response to the challenges confronted by women and girls to ensure that all Cabinet and Cabinet-level agencies consider how their policies and programs impact women and families," reads a memo describing the move and obtained by The Fix.

The announcement is designed to coincide with the celebration of national women's history month.

Obama has both personal -- his wife and two daughters -- and political reasons to make this sort of high profile move to ensure that women's needs are being addressed by his administration.

In 2008, 53 percent of the electorate was female and Obama carried that group 56 percent to 44 percent over Arizona Sen. John McCain. That is a significant improvement from Sen. John Kerry's (D-Mass.) performance in 2004 when women made up 54 percent of the electorate and the Democrat won them by only three points.

Obama and his team know that if he can maintain his 2008 margin among women in his reelection race in three years time, he will be sitting pretty. Expect then more symbolic moves like the establishment of the Council to demonstrate Obama's commitment to women and women's issues.

By Chris Cillizza  |  March 10, 2009; 5:00 PM ET
Categories:  White House  
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This is all good, but we are also need to create a White House Council on Men and Boys, and remember that women of today are very different from the idealized women of the past. While we are tending to the needs of women, we need to make sure that our laws do not discriminate against men, and men have an equal opportunity to have work, take care of their families and children, and be in control of their lives. We also need to deal with healthcare disparity that results in no small part because our culture restrains men from taking care of their health. Also, we need to make sure that we do not imbalance our social institutions, especially the institution of marriage. Here are some interesting statistics:

- Among professional couples where women earn more than men, divorce rate is %50 higher than among couple where men earn more than women. Most women still expect to marry up. They still expect men to pay even if men earn less. If the educational and workforce trends continue, marriage rate among adults will further decline from today’s 55%. It was ~80% just 30 years ago.
- Traditional men’s jobs are leaving the United States, and men are not welcome in women’s occupation’s such as teaching and nursing. A task force needs to be established to make sure that men have respected and equitable work.
- Women are more frequently the aggressors in violent relationships among partners where violence is non-reciprocal (
- American women spend 80% of all family income despite the fact that only 60% of all women work outside the home
- Women of who are in their 20s and 30s earn nearly as much as men. They outearn men in cities like Boston and New York
-Higher percentage of women than men graduate from college, and the difference in graduation rate is growing. Teaching methods are female centric, and men simply do not get as much help as women do.
-30% of DNA tests indicate that there is paternity fraud, but laws in most states still mandate in that men have to financially support children they did not father

Posted by: MartinHughes | March 13, 2009 12:43 AM | Report abuse

Additionally, how do you think Valerie Jarret likes this? Another successful, accomplished, smart woman given the dough-brain job of Women's council.
I guess she didn't qualify for the thousands of other "important" positions that Obama has yet to fill in the various departments that are thus far echo chambers. Why not toss a few women into those? I guess he can't think of any women who are qualified, but thought he better do something with them, so he made a government approved sewing circle. How quaint.

Posted by: VonVervengarten | March 12, 2009 12:16 AM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, this is another method of pushing the agenda of special interest. It is truely a sad day when cabinate level people are put in place for only one special interest group. Where is the change for the good of the nation Mr. President? Where is the diverse point of views?

Where is the affirmative action for men?

The sufferage of families in this nation is so great yet it is completely ignorged and attacked.

Why is that Mr. President??

Posted by: Patriot777 | March 11, 2009 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Thank goodness Obama came up with this one. Obviously women can't do any thing on their own. He couldn't get his women friends jobs on his own (Or they were tax cheats also) so he made up this one. If the women's vote is so great why don't they vote in more women? I guess all the men are voted in some other way.

Posted by: jamaica98 | March 11, 2009 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Good grief! When are people going to learn. It's not about women, or men or minorities or children or WHATEVER the cause de jour. It's about THEM, jarrett, obama, & ms obama. Everyone in in the WH is drunk with power and they're ready to party.

The day I need the likes of them for any aspect of my life is the day I hang up my bra. ;))

Retired working mother of 4 sons (2 military). Never have I seen such a bunch of whiney, 'poor ole me' women as we have in our nation today.

Fine pioneers you would have made.

Posted by: chic1 | March 11, 2009 8:41 PM | Report abuse

So is there going to be an agency to help the other minority group: men and boys. WHat about left handers, or people with blue eyes. How many high priced people are going to be added to the government payroll when government should watch spending. Or is this part of the stimulus package.

Posted by: jschmidt2 | March 11, 2009 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Ahhh, window dressing!
Women don't need any "special" groups or committees. "Special" is for people who have shortcomings and need a hand up. Does Obama think women are "less"? Of course he does.

If the half-baked nouveau feminists would stop the broken record whining that women were unequal, and stop ripping apart women who are successful i.e. Sarah Palin, then we could just all get down to the business of advancing.

Ever been to an office staffed by women? Who is a woman's worst enemy??? Other women!!!

By the way, those who linked from Drudge, that accompanying picture of Michelle with Hillary sure didn't look like anything remotely "model" first lady did it? (See, we women are all down right mean and nasty.)

Posted by: VonVervengarten | March 11, 2009 8:29 PM | Report abuse

another Liberal PC idea. If President Clinton didn't have an affair with an intern or Barney Frank running a male brothel out of his apartment in Georgetown, maybe we could trust these people.
Sadly, Bush, Clinton and even worse Obama have ruined America
in various ways and we as a people can't trust elected officials because they think with there privates parts and sell out for a buck. If this government was around during WW2, Hitler would have paid off half of them and the Japanese would own California to keep them from attacking again. It's sad to think how many have died in combat for what the future of America has become. During worry congress, you also made sure that kids can't learn and have no clue how you let America down. REVOLUTION! (bet I get singled out)

Posted by: bruce26 | March 11, 2009 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Of course this does not apply to preborn women whose greatest challenge is to avoid being aborted.

Posted by: Sobriquet | March 11, 2009 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Pathetic, the pres can't find time to treat our allies nicely and get a thoughtful gift, but he has plenty of time to think up ideas like this. If he wants to help me as a woman- then get the government sorted out. Then do your special interest things. There are many more things that far more important. Our country is falling apart and he is worrying about "women and girls" councils. I am sickened by the ineptitude.

Posted by: jabaileyins | March 11, 2009 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I almost forgot; hypocritical and political. This guy's not our messiah, he's just another politician.

Posted by: loobie | March 11, 2009 8:18 PM | Report abuse

This is so hypocritical. The "all inclusive" leader. Why doesn't he create a boys and men council? This smacks of sexism. Can't the women and girls make it without the help of the good 'ol boys? Give me a break. This is such crap from a guy smart enough to know the difference.

Posted by: loobie | March 11, 2009 8:14 PM | Report abuse

What, pray tell, are the "day to day operations" of this bogus group? Just another rathole into which taxpayer dollars will be poured, endlessly.

Posted by: Curmudgeon10 | March 11, 2009 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Do you think this policy would have helped a few years back, when, oh lets say, a teenage female intern's parents thought she was safe at the White House?

Posted by: pauldia | March 11, 2009 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Why? It doesnt make sense and there is no value to it. It is sexist and divisive. Why not make other White House lobbing councils for ... gays, environmentalists, hispanics, blacks, whites, athiests, disabled... the list goes on.

Posted by: mplsinfo | March 11, 2009 8:04 PM | Report abuse

How nice that Big Ears is wasting yet more money creating another fake council, for women and girls no less. Does he really think that we can spend ourselves rich? I suggest that the corrupt Valerie go crawl back into her hole and stay there. Women are doing quite well without the likes of this bunch 'helping.' How nauseating.

Posted by: KATZ66 | March 11, 2009 8:00 PM | Report abuse

If you want to see the real value of a woman then just check out the liberal magazines at the grocery checkout like Cosmo, etc.

Posted by: leapin | March 11, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

On The Issues Magazine commends President Obama for setting up the women's issues panel. It is a first step. We hope the panel will consider some New Revolutions.

Posted by: OnTheIssuesMagazine | March 11, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Whatever happened to the Presidential Commission on Women that women's groups had advised Obama to adopt? This Jarrett Council is highly suspect in that its interests lie not in issues that really matter to girls and women, but in promoting the interests of those sitting on the Council, especially their Real Estate interests which will thusly multiply by billions as result of these high-profile dollar-seekers using the banner of "women's rights"!

If the President really cared at all about the issues affecting women and girls in his country--and in particular the misogyny perpetrated by the media--he would have fired by now his sexist punkish 26-year old Jon FAVREAU, rather than appointing him Director of Speechwriters cozily positioned in the White House....
Whom are we trying to kid Barack?

Periodically, Barack will feel down (in the polls) and will launch attacks against women to boost his appeal. Otherwise, why promote Jon Favreau rather than firing this idiot? Truly disgusting and self-serving to promote misoynists next to his office and to then try to buy votes from equally idiotic women who fall for this travesty....

Posted by: MSakel | March 11, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

I think companies are more likely to keep the people who make 85% of their real worth rather than the overpaid men.

Posted by: newbeeboy | March 11, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

My comment about pork projects are not meant for the new Women's Council. I am in support of the Council. I adore Ms. Jarrett. I am protesting the self serving greedy politicians wThey come to Washington and support ho take advantage of the American people. How? These vile creatures support and finance projects of no consequence, the projects of friends and business cronies.

Posted by: Loyalty09 | March 11, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

I have no problem with pork as a food but politicians are giving pigs a bad name. Trash the pork! No more pork! Our country is in trouble and self serving greedy politicians are stealing billions of taxpayer dollars financing pork projects. Dollars that could be spent on needed projects such as mortgages, schools,the infrastructure, healthcare etc. These politicians need to be run out of town. I urge all citizens to march on the offices of their representatives and demand an end to the pork. President Obama fight for the end to all pork. What can we the American people do to assist you? Real pigs need to be brought to Washington to oink their opposition to the slander of their good name.

Posted by: Loyalty09 | March 11, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Documents Connecting Valerie Jarrett to Chicago Real Estate Scandals

Chicago Department of Housing and Illinois Secretary of State documents

Posted by: dweyenbe | March 11, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

For decades women have been fighting for their equal rights - the right to vote, the right to equal pay and benefits.

Who kept the factories going in WWII? Women. But when the men returned from the war, women were sent back to their to what was and is viewed as their normal job keeping the home.

How many women are now the "bread winner" in their family because their husbands are unemployed? Maybe now these unemployed males who have to tend to the household chores while their wives work will see the benefit of equal pay for equal work. Maybe these men will recognize and appreciate how hard its been on their wives to go to work everday and to come home to do household chores.

Posted by: Nevadaandy | March 11, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

I applaud President. Obamas efforts on behalf of women. In just a few short weeks he has made efforts to work on behalf of the disenfranchised in America. He recognizes the urgency of our needs. I would love to see a similar agency addressing the men and addressing the role and importance responsible, supportive and loving fathers play in their childrens lives. We need good fathers to "Out" deadbeat dads and punks who commit domestc violence. Ms. Jarrett is an excellent choice. Ms. Jarrett is well educated, articulate and knows the issues. For all the sour losers ,get a life! President Obama is widening the playing field ,finally everyone has an opportunity to contribute and participate not just the usual privileged and entitled affirmative action Republicans ,The Views Elizabeth Hasselbeck and Rush Limbaugh Conservatives. They're time is up no more hustling the poor and middle class. No more ethnic politics and perks. The picnic is over. It's not socialism it's called equality and fairness. Stop the bigotry! Let's work together to get America back on her feet. Repulicans you do not have a clue! Stop playing racial politics. Placing Mr. Steele and Mr. Lindal two persons of color in visible positions is not going to change or grow your party. President Obama was not elected because of his color. He was elected because he was and is the best qualified for the job and the person the American people can best relate to and wanted. You missed again! Your desperation is a sad thing to watch.You are being destroyed by your agenda motivated bigotry rottening hearts and souls.

Posted by: Loyalty09 | March 11, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Isnt Obama Great.. Wow I love this guy.
Has anyone seen the GOP latest attack Campaign vidoe.?? They are attacking Obama on his White House Partying.

Heres the link to the video.

Posted by: crimesw | March 11, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

We need a council to protect old white fat rich guys.

Posted by: newbeeboy | March 11, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Valerie Jarrett is a corrupt businesswoman, whose actions endangered the health and well-being of the poor in Chicago. Her only claim to fame is that she helped Obama cheat his way into the White House and did so at the expense of a more qualified woman. The reason she can't fill a WH job that requires Senate approval is that she would not be approved.

This has nothing to do with improving the status of women. This is about Obama paying back a crooked Chicago thug.

PUMAs, we think before we vote.

Posted by: frecklefacemom | March 11, 2009 8:39 AM | Report abuse

This is sadly predictable. Our legislatures are indeed predominated by men but these are men who consider themselves alpha males. Remember that the male sex role is to "provide and protect" for women and children, and, for the alpha male especially, to additionally compete with and dominate other men. This leaves our legislatures and men like Obama focused on the needs and wants of women and ignoring the needs and wants of men. If you don't believe this try to lobby a pro-male issue and see what sort of reception you get on the hill. My experience is that the biggest opposition comes from the male legislators.

It will take a huge deprogramming to ever move away from this frozen misandry since the alphas will continue their pandering to women (like Obama's White House Women's Council) and the women will continue their acceptance of more advantages since they have been brainwashed with the boldface lie that women were oppressed. In a nutshell, we are locked into a spiral that will only end when men are awakened to their plight due to extreme disadvantage. Some men are waking up now.

If you don't think men are being ignored have a look at this youtube on men's issues:

Posted by: KilgoreTrout | March 11, 2009 8:01 AM | Report abuse

Anything to hide the economic ineptitude. You libs are such suckers.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | March 11, 2009 8:00 AM | Report abuse

'Directed Energy Weapons' Cook Human Tissue...



ATTENTION: Rahm Emanuel, WH Chief of Staff

It is a known scientific fact that radiation emanating from electromagnetic fields (or electromagnetic-emitting devices) can cause headaches, mood and behavioral changes, even adverse physical effects such as the induction of illness or injury.

Is it possible that such of the high-tech communications (or security protection) devices or weaponry in the vicinity of POTUS are causing physiological effects that could be affecting his sense of well-being -- or perhaps even endangering his health?

Given the advanced state of White House telecommunications and security technology, President Obama and his key staff should give this issue their serious and immediate attention.

Radiation-emitting devices and weaponry have been linked to adverse physical effects. Here is some source material:

Posted by: scrivener50 | March 11, 2009 3:28 AM | Report abuse

In his March 9, 2009 Newsweek piece describing how the Republican party is sliding toward cultishness, David Frum laments the Obama team's strategy to paint the Republican party as beholden to Rush Limbaugh. Considering the extremely low approval ratings Limbaugh garners from women, the Obama team's unveiling of the White House Women's Council now brilliantly cements home the point -- that the Dems care about and think about and develop policy with women's interests in mind, while the Republicans continue to wallow in the mire of the Limbaugh/Hannity/Levin far right muck.

I blogged on the Fix a week ago about how the ever shrinking Republican base is moving toward being so marginalized that it is becoming a cult; apparently I'm not the only one -- a "bona fide conservative", as Frum calls himself in his piece, sees the same thing occurring . . .

Posted by: jrosco3 | March 11, 2009 2:10 AM | Report abuse

All women want is an abortion and .... well, that's pretty much it.

Posted by: playfair109 | March 10, 2009 11:48 PM | Report abuse

"The mission of the [White House] Council [on Women and Girls] will be to provide a coordinated federal response to the challenges confronted by women and girls to ensure that all Cabinet and Cabinet-level agencies consider how their policies and programs impact women and families," reads a memo describing the move and obtained by The Fix.

Nice bit of stenographic reporting, Chris. But what exactly does this verbiage mean? Can you pin 'em down? This excerpt describes nothing.

Posted by: laloomis | March 10, 2009 11:30 PM | Report abuse

This could be a vital and important Council or totally irrelevant, depending on who is running it, how it is structured and what resources are devoted to it. Women are disproportionately affected by isses related to fair pay, sexual harassment, stalking, domestic violence, child care, health care, violent crime, education and parenting. I would be happy to offer assistance. See, with links to radio and video interviews, including Sky Radio's "Salute to Women in Leadership," featured in Time Magazine. Dawn V. Martin, Esq.

Posted by: DVMartinEsq | March 10, 2009 11:28 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully these mandarins will carefully study Hammurabi's laws, promulgated around 1790 BC, which include this gem:

"If a free man's wife wishes to divorce him, the man may divorce her and give her no settlement. If the man does not wish to divorce her, he may marry another woman and keep his first wife in his house as a slave."

This seems like a good plan for unburdening our overly-busy family courts.

Posted by: Miss_Hogynist | March 10, 2009 10:26 PM | Report abuse

My goodness, just what we need, a council for our interests. We are already the most subsidized identity group in the country and receive the bulk of assistance from programs in health and social services. This is not about equality, this is basically an admission that women are like little girls in need of a pedestal. A waste of energy and time and resources. We haven't come very far at all baby.

Posted by: arimom | March 10, 2009 10:03 PM | Report abuse

As long as we do not have to listen to Millionairre Michelle fuss about how hard it was for her to be a part time hospital executive and have two school aged children. Every time she moans about being a working mother she marginalizes all working mothers.

We need women leaders and role models like Sarah Palin - but them Bigoted Barack would have to go back to bashing women and working mothers again - and he trying to make nice now.

All of it is pretty sickening - especially giving it over to Valerie, but better that rich girl than Millionairre Michelle.

Posted by: mgd1 | March 10, 2009 9:32 PM | Report abuse



Do something -- tell your story to the American Civil Liberties Union (link below).

Then demand that ACLU renew its free speech fight by filing a class-action suit against unconstitutional, rogue government surveillance operations.

Posted by: scrivener50 | March 10, 2009 8:30 PM | Report abuse

You're wrong about white women. We still hit the glass ceiling. It's a man's world, especially in politics and government. While it's true that minority women have it even tougher than white women, in my career, I've found the white boy network to be alive and strong. I'm not sure what this council will accomplish. I hope that the EEOC is strengthened. It's been dormant, dead, that last 8-10 years.

Posted by: commentator3 | March 10, 2009 8:15 PM | Report abuse

The creation of a White House Women's Council is a very positive step in building a more diverse and inclusive administration. It also role models the type of leadership that should be undertaken at all levels of civil society.
Such a council can advise the President on a growing set of issues important to women.

Inclusion of women, as well as others traditionally left out of the policy making process, is an important step in making government more transparent, relevant, and customer oriented.

It signals that "inclusion" is definitely a part of the new Presidential agenda.

I applaud President Obama on this action.

Posted by: Effenus | March 10, 2009 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Pffagh! Why another council or government mandated committee for women? What about minorities? White women have already made it past the glass ceiling and nearly every Afirmative Action policy and Sexual Harassment/Discrimination policy favors them.

If they aren't the Matriarchs, then they still whine about not being equal.

Posted by: wlockhar | March 10, 2009 7:59 PM | Report abuse

About time.

Posted by: zen99 | March 10, 2009 6:44 PM | Report abuse


You beat me to it. Good one.

Posted by: hisroc | March 10, 2009 6:36 PM | Report abuse

"Obama Creates White House Women's Council"

And Bill Clinton immediately offered himself as the chairperson.

Posted by: pgr88 | March 10, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

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