Amid talks focused on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Deal, a silly exchange of statements has ensued between Senator Sherrod Brown and President Obama, represented by White House Press Secretary Josh Earnst.
On Tuesday, the United States Senate agreed on a bipartisan deal that allows for further proceedings on legislation that gives President Obama enhanced authority on trade dealings. Senator Brown was behind the scenes of the filibuster placing the Trade Promotion Authority legislation over the enforcement. And Senator Elizabeth Warren along with other Democrat Senators blocked the debate on legislation that would bestow the President with the authority to complete the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.
In a televised interview, Mr. Obama called Democrat Senator Warren „a politician like everyone else”. This sparked the reply exchange between Brown and the White House, with Senator Brown hinting that the remark was sexist and using a first name basis for referral to fellow politicians is simply rude. While in the case of male politicians this is rarely heard of, the President is diminishing the importance of work done by female politicians in the U.S. political playground.
The response came quickly from the White House which emphasized the fact that Senator Elizabeth Warren was chosen to be part of the administration and there are records of the President often calling male members of Senate and Congress by their first names as well.
Commenting from the side, Senator Claire McCaskill labeled the entire situation as „silliness”, adding that if the President had referred to Elizabeth Warren as Senator Warren,
„Someone would have said that he was giving her the cold shoulder”.
This comment stands testimony to the lightweight formality that President Obama is employing.
The White House Press Secretary commented in return that an official apology is expected from Senator Brown. In exchange, it received comments from the Senator’s office that the matter shouldn’t be understood as personal on any side and it should instead focus on the real message that the initial comment was trying to send.
A message about the need for a good deal to be agreed on for the American workers and the American manufacturers. Moreover, the need for careful assessment of trade rules and their effects on the job market, workers retention and creation of jobs.
Image Source: The Guardian