Obama says 'all male' basketball game didn't have gender bias message

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Washington, Oct. 25 (ANI): President Barack Obama has clarified that his hosting an 'all male' basketball game with Cabinet secretaries and congressmen at the White House didn't have any gender bias undertones.

"I don't think it sends any kind of message or signal whatsoever," the New York Times quoted him, as saying.

Obama was criticized by women advocates and liberal bloggers for not inviting any female players for the high-level game.

However, the US President has termed the row over basketball, "bunk," adding that most players were picked from a regular Congressional game and that the list of invitees was reviewed by his women staff.

But the all-male game has highlighted a technical flaw of the Obama administration. According to sources, his closest advisers form a boys' club when making big decisions.

"Women are Obama's base, and they don't seem to have enough people who look like the base inside of their own inner circle," said Dee Dee Myers, a former White House press secretary.

Meanwhile, White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett pointed out that Obama had appointed women to top positions, including Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and six other cabinet-level officials; Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor; the health care czar, Nancy-Ann DeParle; and the domestic policy adviser, Melody Barnes.

Although women are holding key posts in White House, but Obama's comfort level with staff members is not always perceived as equal.

"There is a sense that Obama has a certain jocular familiarity with the men that he doesn't have with the women," said Tracy Sefl, an adviser to Hilary Clinton's presidential campaign.

One junior aide revealed that the "sports-fan thing at the White House" could become "annoying and that her relative indifference to athletics could be mildly alienating." (ANI)

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