Speaking with words full of hope and positivity this morning, President Barack Obama delivered a post-election day speech from the White House's Rose Garden. With Vice President Joe Biden by his side, Obama expressed pride in Hillary Clinton and her campaign, shared his optimism for the country's future, and talked about the impending transition of power to President-elect Donald Trump. It was when Obama mentioned this transition of power, however, that he had a bit of a Freudian slip.
In the process of saying the word "successful," Obama slipped up and instead almost said "sexist" before quickly correcting himself. (See and hear it for yourself at 11:32 in the video below.) The near-gaffe was a small one and went largely unnoticed. Once you hear it, though, you can't unhear it: Obama saying the word that is on many of Hillary Clinton's supporters' minds today.
Both Obama and Clinton were extremely gracious to Trump in their Nov. 9 speeches. This despite the months of vitriol that characterized this presidential campaign season as well as Trump's many sexist comments to and about women including Clinton. Before Nov. 8, sexism was at the center of discussions about the outcome of this election, as it continues to be today.
Many are flocking to social media to express their frustrations at the election's sexism as well as its all around bigotry. Along with mourning Clinton's loss, feminists across the country are coping with what Trump's presidency may mean for women's rights in America. And though the days ahead seem bleak, we can at least take comfort in the president's words, both the intentional and unintentional ones. Hopefully, once the Trump presidency has begun, Obama will feel even more freedom to tell it like it is.
Having made hundreds of speeches since first coming into public office, this is not the first time Obama has been accused of making a Freudian slip. Back in July 2015, when making a statement to reporters at the Pentagon, the president accidentally said "we're speeding up training of ISIL forces" when he meant to say "Iraqi". That time he didn't correct himself.
Obviously, Obama has become better at recognizing and moving on from verbal mistakes. Even so, when he spoke about the "sexist transition" earlier today, the mistake was forgivable, even understandable. Let's hope that conversations around not only sexism, but bigotry and oppression of all forms, will continue into a Trump presidency. But if this election cycle has taught us anything, it's that the American people will have to take the lead in these talks, because the American president-elect certainly will not.