Politics

Obama campaign positions minorities, women behind president at most rallies

Photo of Gregg Re
Gregg Re
Associate Editor

If you’d like to sit directly behind President Barack Obama during one of his big, nationally televised campaign speeches — right where people at home can see you on television — it helps if you aren’t a white man.

An analysis by The Daily Caller of videos from more than a dozen recent Obama campaign rallies reveals that the president and his surrogates have an affinity for speaking exclusively where cameras can see women and minorities gathered behind them.

Here’s the president’s backdrop on Oct. 25. Women: 6, Men: 0.

On Oct. 24, at a campaign stop in the swing state of Iowa, the count was 10 females to 2 males:

At another stop on Oct. 24:

One day earlier, only one white man could be spotted cheering the president on in Delray Beach, Florida:

And on Oct. 19:

Even First Lady Michelle Obama got in on the act that same day, standing in front of eight women and one man in Racine, Wisconsin:

Going back to Oct. 17, men were similarly absent, save for one gentleman in glasses. By this point, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow had said on-air that the lack of men behind the president at rallies was no “accident.”

Coral Gables, Fla. is a city that is 90 percent white and only 2 percent African-American, but you wouldn’t be able to tell by looking at this video still from an Oct. 11 Obama campaign rally:

On Oct. 6, the first lady spoke to 2,400 Lawrence University students in Appleton, Wisconsin. Behind her, women outnumbered men, 10 to 2:

In Virginia, on Oct. 5, the backstage audience was entirely female:

On Oct. 4, the day after the president was widely criticized for his debate performance against Mitt Romney, the president assembled another female-heavy group behind his podium. Nine women, three men:

Throughout August and September, the same pattern repeated at several different rallies:

According to a new ABC News/Washington Post tracking poll, Mitt Romney leads Obama among white men by an overwhelming margin: 65-32 percent. The race is significantly tighter among likely women voters, with Obama holding on to less than a 10-point lead in the same poll.

Another poll, from the Associated Press and GfK Group, puts the two contenders dead even among female voters, at 47 percent apiece. That number represents a complete crumbling of the 16-point lead Obama had among women just one month ago.

TheDC was able to identify two speeches in the last two months when the president spoke in front of a mostly white male audience: the white-tie Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner, where rival Mitt Romney also spoke, and a rally for Democratic Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber.

The president has a history of carefully choosing his backdrops before major addresses. In 2009, at the request of the White House, Georgetown University officials covered an historic symbol representing Jesus Christ’s name in a university auditorium so that it would not be visible on television when the president spoke.

A similar review of Romney’s recent rallies showed significantly more gender diversity. In VirginiaNevada, Wisconsin, Denver, Ohio and Florida, for example, Romney stood in front of what appeared to be a mostly even mixture of men and women. Obama’s rallies did, however, display more racial diversity, reflecting the president’s tremendous popularity among minorities.

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