It's a recurring gag that Presidents have to do a lot of kissing babies. If so, President Obama must be really sick of that particular ritual.
Why? Because the Democratic National Convention has just banned children from the convention floor -- including breastfeeding babies -- unless those children have convention credentials. Which, needless to say, is relatively unlikely.
It is not clear what motivated this particular policy. However, in a development that may surprise some people, the move has infuriated the party's feminist luminaries. Feminist icon Gloria Steinem issued a statement to the Charlotte Observer slamming the policy:
“Women are the key to a Democratic victory, and sometimes, children are the key to women,” Steinem said in a statement. “It’s both right and smart for the Democratic Convention to behave as if children exist.”
The National Organization for Women has also lept on the bandwagon, slamming the DNC's no-child-policy as sexist because it amounts to an "insurmountable barrier for mothers." Given that the convention has also refused to provide child care in any way (though private child care vendors will be listed on a convention directory), this arguably isn't much of an exaggeration. The RNC has taken a more mild tack, and only banned strollers from the convention floor.
Naturally enough, the convention's spokespeople have denied that anything untoward is taking place. Spokeswoman Joanne Peters told the Charlotte Observer that this practice is in keeping with historical precedent - which is to say, the DNC has always required only those with credentials to access the convention floor, babies or otherwise.
Certainly, more than a few feminists can be expected to object to this line of defense. "This is the way it has always been done" is not typically a successful talking point to use when dealing with members of the feminist movement.
(H/T: David Madiera Show)