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President Barack Obama raised eyebrows in the political world today, praising California’s Kamala Harris as America’s “best-looking” attorney general.

Speaking at a Bay Area fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee, the president said that Harris, 48, is “brilliant,” “dedicated” and “tough.”

“She also happens to be, by far the best-looking attorney general.”

According to reports from the fundraiser, the crowd laughed (either due to discomfort, amusement or both) after which Obama said, “It’s true! C’mon.”

Some cringed at Obama’s remarks, given the historic hurdles women have faced to be recognized for accomplishments rather than physical appearances.

Jonathan Chait of N.Y. Magazine called Obama “disgraceful.”


“Women have a hard time being judged purely on their merits,” he wrote. “Discussing their appearance in the context of evaluating job performance makes it worse.”

The Washington Post‘s Jonathan Capehart countered that Obama and Harris are “longtime friends and allies” and he wasn’t “cat-calling a woman he doesn’t know.”

“If I thought for one moment that’s what was going on, you better believe I’d hammer him for it. But that’s not the case here. Far from it. Lighten up, people.”

Regardless … we’d love to hear what Michelle Obama says later.

Obama calling Kamala Harris good-looking