November 18th, 2007
01:05 PM ET
7 years ago

Elizabeth Edwards asks voters to look past 'glass ceiling'

Elizabeth Edwards

MANCHESTER, New Hampshire (CNN)– ­ Just two days after the CNN debates in Las Vegas, Elizabeth Edwards encouraged voters to examine their choices in the presidential field and pick a candidate for reasons other than breaking the proverbial "glass ceiling."

"There are a lot of reasons, I think, to support a number of candidates in this race," Elizabeth told the crowd of New Hampshire democrats. "I think we have a lot of ceilings, glass ceilings, to break and I'm confidant that we will in the years to come."

While Elizabeth did not mention the New York Senator by name, her words spoke to her husband's campaign efforts to woo women voters, a key voting block, away from frontrunner, Hillary Clinton.

The New York senator has campaigned aggressively to win support among women voters and has called her presidential bid an opportunity to break the ultimate glass ceiling.

"America is ready for change ­ and I believe women will lead that change," Clinton says on her website. "It¹s up to us to do our part to take back the White House and change this country, and that¹s exactly what we¹re going to do. I say this nation can shatter the highest glass ceiling ­ because that¹s what Americans have been doing for over 200 years."

The Edwards camp has strengthened its women voter outreach in the Granite state. Last weekend, Edwards' daughter, Cate, campaigned with former President of NARAL Pro-Choice America, Kate Michelman, to launch New Hampshire Women for Edwards. In an exclusive interview with CNN, Michelman noted that the women's vote was still up for grabs.

"Women are not a monolithic vote," Michelman told CNN at a Feminist health clinic in Greenland. "Nor are all women going to vote just because we have a woman. We've worked very hard as a women's movement for many decades to get to the point where women are looked at wholly, not just as females, not through the lens of our gender."

Speaking on behalf of her husband Saturday, Elizabeth highlighted what the campaign has described as key "populist" themes: fighting against the influence of money in politics and serving as an advocate for the disenfranchised.

"Once we take the money of the powerful, how good an advocate are we for those people who depend on us to be their champion," Elizabeth questioned.

Said Elizabeth, "Right now we also have a really important ceiling to break and that is the influence in our lives of money," in regards to the influence of lobbyist money in politics. "Right now the ceiling on top of us is not glass, it's made of money. And we need to break it."

Click here to see CNN's new political portal: CNNPolitics.com

–CNN New Hampshire Producer Sareena Dalla

soundoff (88 Responses)
  1. dave, new york, ny

    y'know, reading things like this make me think edwards is the real sleeper candidate in this election – he might just come out from behind everyone and take the nomination after all.

    November 18, 2007 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  2. Andrew, Atlanta, GA

    Nice reframe Elizabeth, but I'm not buying it. The glass ceiling for women and African Americans is not the same as what you're saying. She and her husband are panicking because they're afraid the U.S. is ONLY attracted to Hillary and Obama because we finally have a viable female and African American candidate for president. While I think Edwards is a better candidate than Obama, Clinton is leagues ahead of both and this has nothing to do with her being female. Elizabeth is trying to make everyone reconsider their excitement about having a woman or African American president in the context of "but who's better overall regardless of whose 'time' it is" (she's used the word "time" many times, incidentally). Problem is Hillary IS the best candidate.

    November 18, 2007 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  3. Eric Palmieri

    I agree. Voting for a candidate based on gender or race is irresponsible. That being said, voters shouldn't vote for John Edwards simply because his wife says to.

    Voters need to make up their own minds.

    -Eric Palmieri

    http://www.ericpalmieri.com

    November 18, 2007 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  4. Eric Palmieri

    One more thing...Edwards says that voters need to look past the "glass ceiling." However, she goes on to say that Americans should vote for her husband to break "the glass ceiling of money."

    A little more consistency please, Mrs. Edwards.

    I know you are trying to make a point, but try not to contradict yourself.

    -Eric Palmieri

    http://www.ericpalmieri.com

    November 18, 2007 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  5. KEITH JAMES LOUTTIT

    Okay, here is another phoney liberal talking about the RICH, and how the world would best benefit from economic equality. I don't think neither she nor her husband would like living small.

    People EARN money from hard work, and Lenin's approach proved futile, didn't it?

    November 18, 2007 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  6. PROVIDENCE, RI

    Here we are again! Edwards unleashes his attack dog, Lizzy, who is ill, and is supposed to take care of her own health. Edwards had his chances twice in 2004, and the voters rejected it.

    November 18, 2007 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  7. James, Boston, MA

    “The New York senator has campaigned aggressively to win support among women voters and has called her presidential bid an opportunity to break the ultimate glass ceiling.
    "America is ready for change ¬ and I believe women will lead that change," Clinton says on her website. "It¹s up to us to do our part to take back the White House and change this country, and that¹s exactly what we¹re going to do. I say this nation can shatter the highest glass ceiling ¬ because that¹s what Americans have been doing for over 200 years."”

    In the debate Clinton denies playing the gender card, but is instead playing the winning card. She is using women blindly to support herself. She should be absolutely ashamed of herself, but then shame doesn’t have a hold in the Clinton household. I have nothing against a woman president, but she should be the kind of person we want as president not the same old corrupt politician that we have had in the past decades. Clinton does not represent change, just more of the same old. Finally the Clinton News Network is giving a little bit of time to another candidate’s workings, but it still leads back to Clinton even though”… Elizabeth did not mention the New York Senator by name, her words spoke to her husband's campaign efforts to woo women voters…”

    November 18, 2007 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  8. fair,washington,dc

    This a good opportunity to ask what is the diffeence for any of theses spouses speaking up for their husbands and Bill stumping for Hillary. I've seen several comments that say its against some rule/law for Bill to campaign for Hillary because he's an ex-president. Is there any truth/basis to this claim.

    November 18, 2007 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  9. KEITH JAMES LOUTTIT

    Okay, here is another phoney liberal talking about the RICH, and how the world would best benefit from economic equality. I don't think neither she nor her husband would like living small.

    People EARN money from hard work, and Lenin's approach proved futile, didn't it?

    Now, I agree, the Lobbyist Agendas are really fricking it all up here, and I bet, if Mr Edwards was getting a bit more money from them, he wouldn't be complaining about who is getting money from them. But she is arguing "against the influence of money in politics..." and yet her husband's political machine depends on such moneys doesn't it? Yes, I believe there are no better people in this world to manage money than women, but let's not vote on Gender, nor Hidden Agenda, let us vote on haircuts and slogans that mask the logic and reasoning of experience.

    kthxbai

    November 18, 2007 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  10. Jr., California

    Maybe Liz can find a glass mirror? She takes bad pics.

    November 18, 2007 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  11. Clinton/Obama 08

    No one should vote for a candidate soley on the basis of their race or gender- but in a case where we have qualified capable candidates it should certainly be viewed as a plus that they represent groups who have been historically unrepresented in our country's highest offices. The choice for who to support for president is a deeply subjective and personal one. No candidate can be considered objectively better than another. Considering that it is vitally important that we attempt to control for the influences of any bias that may exist. The existence of zero women or African Americans presidents in our history is strong evidence of the fact that the process unfairly favors white males. The only way to overcome that bias is to finally elect a woman or African American. If not Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama, then who? What rising stars are there on the horizon? If we miss out on this historic opportunity then in all likelyhood most of us will never see a woman or African American president in our lifetime. I am glad Mrs. Edwards and Ms. Michelman are so comfortable with that idea. Women have only overcome obstacles and made progress when they stood together united and strong. Someone will always be around to give a reason why we should oppose or delay progress. That is how the system perpetuates itself. I only hope the American people have the courage and the strenght to take this historic opportunity to change that system forever.

    November 18, 2007 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  12. Tim Swanson - Des Moines Iowa

    Don’t expect anyone to provide for you. The government is not your mother. The wealthy are not your keepers. You are responsible for yourself. Don’t think that any president can fix your problems. No one is stopping you from providing for yourself. You are free! Use your liberties! If you don’t, they will be stripped from you.

    November 18, 2007 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  13. framecop, Raleigh, NC

    If anyone thinks that Hillary Clinton would be better for women than John Edwards just because she's a woman, then they are as mistaken as any black people who thought that Clarence Thomas would be better for them than some other judges on the Supreme Court, just because he's black.

    The issue, as Elizabeth Edwards alluded to is what the candidates believe. Their ideology.

    Hillary Clinton was a corporate lawyer. She followed the money, and chose to represent corporations in court instead of regular Americans. Whether her client won or lost, she was well-compensated.

    John Edwards was a personal injury lawyer. If he lost, he didn't get jacksquat. He chose to represent regular Americans who had been injured by malpractice or some irresponsible corporation.

    Whether you are XX or XY is irrelevant. If the only thing that people can see is male or female, then they are not wise voters.

    November 18, 2007 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  14. Brigitte N.

    How can Mrs. Edwards and her husband believe that their fight against the money ceiling washes with regular Americans given his $400 hairstyling and their overall life style far removed from most voters?
    reflectivepundit.com

    November 18, 2007 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  15. Joel, Detroit MI

    I'm so tired of having to listen to her. I really don't know who she thinks she is.

    November 18, 2007 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  16. Daniel, NY

    Edwards is being increasingly left out of the race. The <a href="">latest general election poll (released yesterday from Wisconsin) did not include Edwards but had good news for Obama and Clinton.

    November 18, 2007 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  17. Dan Bruce, Conyers, Georgia

    It's not that I don't want a woman as president, it's that I don't want Bill Clinton's wife as president. The Clintons were not good for America, so I'd hate to see us make that mistake again. The Democratic Party has better options this time around.

    November 18, 2007 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  18. diane l. machesney park, IL

    She's right. We are not monolithic and not every democrat and not every woman love her highness, Hillary.
    As a matter of fact, whether the Clinton News Network likes it or not, half the party will not vote for Hillary for any reason.
    And we are working hard to see she is defeated.
    And, I must say, that this morning on Late Edition, the little farce trying to excuse this network and Hillary's behavior at the debate the other night won't fly. You were wrong. period.
    I am sticking with Obama, with Edwards as my second choice.
    Hillary is not even on my list of people I'd vote for.

    November 18, 2007 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  19. Tom, ALBUQUERQUE, NM

    Mrs Edwards is a very smart and decorous person. I have great respect for her and in her efforts to assist John in his Presidential bid. She is quite courageous fighting for John while also battling her cancer. Kudos to you Mrs Edwards. However I feel that John's failed bid for the nomination in '04 and Kerry's hasty concession soured things a little for him.

    November 18, 2007 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  20. Martin, Clarksville, Tn

    I have heard many uninformed voters indicting a desire to vote for Clinton because it is time for a woman to have a turn. Wise up people. The worst thing that can happen for women in politics is for the wrong woman to be elected. Then any future candidate will have to overcome the record of her predecesor.

    Hillary is the wrong person to put in the White House. American needs someone we can trust.

    Anybody but Hillary in 2008

    November 18, 2007 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  21. Dave, Cheverly, MD

    1.Hillary’s horrible performance in the Philly Debate MSNBC had nothing to do with “Glass Ceilings” and was so bad that even the Media could not spin her out of it.

    2.Hillary made it even worst when she claimed don’t pile on me I am a Women after that debate.

    3.For the Voters she continues to slide downward. The Media’s attempt to use the CNN Debate to save her is NOT going to work. That only gave the Media an excuse to SAY Hillary’s poll numbers are stable now. That Philly Debate was a turning point and was a critical mistake for Hillary. That she followed with a string of response mistakes the week that followed it.

    4.Now Look for Hillary to gat into panic and pull out all the stop, dirty tricks etc. to attack directly or indirectly through people such as Bob Novak.

    5. This will back fire on her because it plays into and reminds Voters how devicive she can be.

    November 18, 2007 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  22. Daav, Fairfax, VA

    Edward has come down to where he has proved he has nothing more to say he can do, instead he and his ttack dog Lizzy have now focused on being cry baby to say what Clinton did, what she didn't, what she said and all, if you feel you are better, focus on your points, Your team and you could be the reason for Democratic loss in this election; please think before you get jealous of winners and say what you have in your mind, and what comes out of your mouth; if you think you are a man, prove it; don't just be crying; Have you noticed, none of your speech is purified without mention of Clindon's bad picture painted by you? Grow up man, rememeber what Kusinich said to you at debate? so Back off...

    November 18, 2007 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  23. Cody Harding, Kinsley, KS

    Ms. Edwards: If you really want to show your husband's strength to the nation, let him show it on his own. Don't try to flaunt yourself for his vote.

    It is the same for Fmr. President Clinton. I admire that you support your wife, but do try to keep yourself out of the political scene.

    The first lady [Or the first man if Clinton wins the seat] is a position of honor and respect, but not of political persuasion. To all candidate spouses: Support, but don't preach. The only thing accomplished by doing so is another wound for your candidates to attack.

    November 18, 2007 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  24. Anyone but Hillary, Kentucky

    It doesn't matter that Clinton is a woman. What everyone should realize, but not many seem to grasp, is that she is completely unlikeable to a large segment of the voters in America. Many of those voters who dislike Clinton are independents or Republicans who are just as sick of the current leadership as Democrats. If you put Clinton up against Giuliani, she will not get the majority of those centrist votes that carried her husband into the White House. Giuliani will.

    November 18, 2007 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  25. Gary, Oxford Junction, IA

    What I fail to see anyone asking is why should I vote for Clinton when she herself says she's been tring for 35 years to get/fix health care. 35 years! and she still cant do it. Lets put in someone who can.

    November 18, 2007 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
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