The women’s opposition to a possible Summers’ appointment was the explanation some Democratic sources are hearing for why the Obama transition team has crossed Summers off their list. The Obama team doesn’t want to kick off its administration with a controversy nor go head-to-head with an important constituency when there are other qualified candidates, political operatives speculate.They're still all upset over the remarks he made about saying that there needed to be more research to see if there were innate differences between men and women's abilities in science and math. That one comment which didn't say that there were differences but that it was a subject worth studying was enough to get women to hound him out of his job as president of Harvard no matter how servile his apologies became. And it seems that it is enough to scare Obama off from choosing him to nominate him.
Reports that Summers is no longer in the running are widespread, but not everyone agrees that his problems with women have sealed his fate.
Kim Gandy, president of the National Organization for Women, said there are other reasons to oppose Summers, citing his involvement in Clinton-era policies that many say contributed to the current economic woes.
“There are a lot of reasons that people oppose Larry Summers,” she said. NOW has not lobbied the Obama transition to scuttle Summers, she said, but instead put forward names of qualified women for the slot.
It's a sign of how sensitive Obama is to the interest groups that helped elect him and how risk averse he is in arousing any sort of controversy. I can well understand his not wanting to face the problems that Bill Clinton faced in his early days in trying to get an Attorney General who hadn't failed to pay taxes on her domestic help. But at some point he needs to demonstrate that he can't be pushed around by the interest groups. Feminist groups shouldn't have the veto power over who is chosen to lead the next administration's response to our fragile economic situation.