Obama uses women's equality monument to call for female president

Story highlights

  • President Barack Obama spoke at the Belmont-Paul Women's Equality National Monument on Capitol Hill
  • Obama didn't specifically mention Hillary Clinton, the current Democratic presidential front-runner

Washington (CNN)Future generations of Americans will be fully accustomed to a female commander in chief, President Barack Obama said Tuesday.

He didn't mention former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the current Democratic presidential front-runner who has come closest to becoming the country's first female president. But he did suggest while dedicating a new national monument that the gender barrier in the White House would be broken soon.
"I want young girls and boys to come here 10, 20, a hundred years from now and know that women fought for equality; it was not just given to them," he said at the newly designated Belmont-Paul Women's Equality National Monument on Capitol Hill.
    "I want them to be astonished there was ever a time when women were vastly outnumbered in a boardroom or in Congress, that there was ever a time when a woman had never sat in the Oval Office," he said.
    Obama dedicated the monument on Equal Pay Day, which the White House calculates by adding the extra number of days to the beginning of the year that it takes the average woman to earn the same amount as a man's annual salary.
    Clinton marked the occasion Tuesday in New York with a roundtable focused on equal pay that was hosted by Glassdoor, a company that collects pay data on companies.
    Obama and the White House have taken pains to remain neutral in the Democratic primary contest, even as many of Obama's allies have backed Clinton. When a nominee does emerge, Obama sees himself as a key figure for unifying the Democratic factions that have split between Clinton and her rival, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
    On Monday, Vice President Joe Biden attempted to maintain neutrality as well, telling an interviewer he and Obama want to "let the party decide" who to nominate.
    But like Obama, he said the time was right for a female president.
    "This country's ready for a woman. There's no problem. We're going to be able to elect a woman in this country," Biden said, adding that he, himself, "would like to see a woman elected."