Former first lady Michelle Obama told an audience in Boston this week that she believed women who chose Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton in the presidential election “voted against their own voice.”
Obama made the comments at the Inbound 2017 conference, and brought up the election results as she was discussing her observations that many women, particularly in the workplace, feel inferior and begin “pretending to be something else,” according to videos from the event.
“Quite frankly, we saw this in this election. As far as I’m concerned, any woman who voted against Hillary Clinton voted against their own voice, in a way,” Obama said, as the crowd applauded.
She continued: “To me, it doesn’t say as much about Hillary — and everybody’s trying to wonder, ‘Well, what does it mean for Hillary?’ No, no, no. What does it mean for us as women that we look at those two candidates — as women — and many of us said, ‘That guy. He’s better for me. His voice is more true to me.’ Well, to me, that just says you don’t like your voice. You like the thing we’re told to like.”
Wavering female support for Clinton’s candidacy has been a frequently analysed topic in the wake of Trump’s election win. According to exit poll data, Clinton won female voters overall by 54% to 42%, and she won an overwhelming 94% of black women and 68% of Hispanic women. Clinton even won a slim margin of college-educated white women by 51% to Trump’s 45%.
But Clinton lost white female voters overall to Trump, who backed her Republican opponent 53% to 43%, and non-college-educated white women backed Trump 62% to Clinton’s 34%.
Obama was one of Clinton’s most prominent surrogates on the campaign trail, and has been a forceful Trump critic — most famously after the leaked “Access Hollywood” tape that caught Trump on a hot mic boasting about grabbing women “by the p—y.”
Trump’s remarks in the 2005 recording had “shaken me to my core in a way that I couldn’t have predicted,” Obama said at the time. “This wasn’t just locker room banter. This was a powerful individual speaking freely and openly about sexually predatory behaviour.”
Obama told the Boston audience on Wednesday that her past remarks about the election have been “rolling around” in her mind as she writes her book reflecting on her eight years as first lady.
“When you’re in it, you don’t have a moment, a second, to think,” she said, according to CNN. “This is the first time in eight years, probably 10 years, that I’ll have a chance to think back on what it all meant.”
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