November 18th, 2007
01:05 PM ET
11 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:

–CNN New Hampshire Producer Sareena Dalla

soundoff (88 Responses)
  1. Chris, Bethesda, Maryland

    Headline should have read, "Edwards begs voters to pay attention."

    November 18, 2007 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  2. E. C., Houston, Texas

    Re/Dave, NY....Think you are absolutely CORRECT about Edwards being the 'one' to bound ahead of the pack. Edwards speaks more sense than all the three combined. I don't rule him out either, for Edwards is Solid. He was completely out of place running with John Kerry. You can also bet that the Clinton Campaign 'planted the Boos he received recently while out on the campaign trail...obvious,IMO.' In addition, who wants a repeat of Bill Clinton in our White House after his lurid behavior and public testimony of it? NOT ME!

    November 18, 2007 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  3. E. C., Houston, Texas

    Right On!

    November 18, 2007 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  4. Marko Dezdri, Portland, OR

    Viva la Hillary!! Do you know who Mrs. Edwards remind me of? Ann Coulter. I wouldn't be surprised if the both of them are in talking terms.
    They are both sad woman with low self esteem that did not achieve all the goals they had in their lives. And because of that, the jealousy they have against Clinton is visible from the moon.
    Plain and simple, Mrs. Edwards is just jealous of the next President of the United States.
    Hillary has what it takes, experience, brains, a plan, respect, decency, passion, action.
    I don't understand why this woman keeps opening her mouth.

    November 18, 2007 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  5. Dave, Cheverly, MD

    No one should Vote based on gender or Race. Blacks nor females did not Vote for Carol Moseley Braun when she ran for President.
    Most folks Democrat, Republican, Black, White etc. are more then ready for a Woman, African American etc.
    BUT we want the best qualified one. To all women wait for the better choice female that will make much of the country proud. NOT have women look back and regret their vote as a total embarrassment.
    Not totally bad persons, Hillary and Al Sharpton etc. Just should be groups first President. stuck with 4 years of right wing conspiracies excuses.

    November 18, 2007 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  6. Jill Carter

    I have been a Democrat my entire life, so let's get that straight before I say what comes next:

    John and Elizabeth Edwards are an embarrassment to the Democratic Party.
    Elizabeth needs to disappear never to be heard from again, unless she can do so without sounding like a jealous woman.

    And no Elizabeth, YOU don't get to instruct woman not to vote for Hillary. If your husband knew how to run a campaign, he would have made a serious outreach for the women's vote when he began to campaign in December. He blew it. what else is new? What has he ever won?

    Go home.

    November 18, 2007 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  7. Bill W, Coatesville, PA

    I'm sick of hearing from you people about "$400 haircuts". How much do you think Hillary pays to have her hair done? These rich people go to a different class of hairstylists than the ordinary person. They don't pay $20 for a haircut – none of them do. Nick from "What Not to Wear" charges about $400 regularly, as does any upper echelon stylist who can. Get over it.

    If that's the best you got on Edwards, he's a saint compared to Hillary, who can't give a clear answer on anything, says one thing, does another, voted for the war, then says she's against it, voted with Bush on Iran, took payoffs from healtchcare and insurance companies during the Clinton years, sold stays in the whitehouse, raided the whitehouse, took payoffs and "contributions" from the Chinese, and brought the #1 outsourcer of US jobs to India into New York.

    Can you defend Hillary for all of that? I think not. And she most likely aid $400 or more the last time she had her hair done besides.

    November 18, 2007 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  8. James, Boston, MA

    Consider the statement "One of the reasons I won't vote for Hillary is because she is a woman." What would you have to say about that person? It is just as irrational and irresponsible as "One of the reasons I am voting for Hillary is because she is a woman."

    This is about HOW the nation will be run, not which bathroom the president will use. Gender has nothing to do with it, except for people who want to make a big deal out of it.

    November 18, 2007 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  9. Lisa Murad, Canton, GA

    We need an experienced Democrat that already has a track record of working successfully with and making allies of our counterparts across the aisle to re-direct the course of our nation. Hillary is the least capable of crossing this divide. It's ashame Democrats are rolling over for her and CNN. We need to break free of the Bush and Clinton eras with a fresh, but seasoned politician. Democrats need to give Joe Biden another look. He is a leader that can smash any glass ceiling easily with our support. Now is the time for Democrats to consider the future of our party and country. Hillary is capable, but is she right for our nation? I think not.Think Democrats. Think. Time to stop being sheep.
    Lisa M., Atlanta, GA.

    November 18, 2007 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  10. Kris and Rob in N.H.

    You know folks .. at this point in the game, I think the American people are tired of John and Elizabeth Edwards' negativity. The Edwards' campaign just never took off – call it bad strategy; inadequate campaign managers; bad timing – whatever. John Edwards has been stuck in 3rd place for so long, with NO traction whatever, that I doubt he has a hope of being President, even if he wins Iowa.

    November 18, 2007 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  11. V. C. Novosad

    Mrs. Edwards must realize that her husband is just not likely to win the Democratic nomination for president, and it has absolutely nothing to do with Hillary Clinton. All of us supporting the Democratic party must realize who our enemy really is - and it's not one onother, but the opposing party. I think it's time all the candidates realize this and quit furnishing fuel for the Republicans in the general election. For now, it looks as though that will be Hillary Clinton, and I say we should all get behind the front runner.

    November 18, 2007 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  12. ronnie - knoxville tn.

    Edwards want to "serve as an advocate for the disenfranchised

    yup soundz like communism to moi

    November 18, 2007 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  13. Nathan, Melbourne, Victoria

    John Edwards reckons the US political process is corrupt. Having been elected in that process and now running in that process again, John Edwards criticizes then endorses that process. Mr Edwards, the corruption is in the Constitution, in the Presidential veto and in the Senate Cloture rule. If you get elected President, you're not going to be able to change either, so you'll be a corrupt President. You are a lightweight Edwards. Clinton-Richardson 2008.

    November 18, 2007 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  14. Jim Bremer

    Liz and Edwards are nobodies trying to be somebody by attacking everybody

    November 18, 2007 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  15. E. C., Houston, Texas

    The REAL FACT about Hillary is that everytime she opens her mouth, she makes more enemies and loses more votes! Keep talking Hillary, you're losing ground every day. We don't want any more Clintons in the White House, plus you are not smart enough or strong enough or honest enough to be OUR President. Hanging on to 'Billy Boy' isn't going to help you. Anyone BUT Hillary in 2008!

    November 18, 2007 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  16. lava, North Pole

    Where is her wedding band?

    November 18, 2007 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  17. Brian, Syracuse NY

    That "Edwards had his chance in 2004 and blew it" line is really, really boring. Seriously, is that the best the Hillraisers can come up with?

    Andrew Jackson failed, then ran again and won. Same with Jefferson and Lincoln. AND FDR.

    The failure of the Clintonites to understand US history isn't surprising, I suppose.

    November 18, 2007 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  18. Cameron, Seattle Washington

    Female voters hopefully will vote for the best candidate, regardless of gender. We will have a female president someday. Perhaps 2009, perhaps later. Gender matters much less than the other qualities.

    November 18, 2007 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  19. Marilyn Bryan, Taylor, AR

    Hillary Clinton began her political career as first lady of Arkansas. The people of Arkansas know her record far better than other politicians. Check the amount Arkansans have contributed to her campaign versus the amount given
    former governor and Republican candidate Mike Huckabee for an idea of who ranks where.
    She has been under the magnifying glass of Republicans and the media for some 35 years. All her enemies can do is rake the same coals over and over in hopes of reviving them.
    An Arkansas Democrat

    November 18, 2007 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  20. dawn -- Gaithersburg, MD.

    I'm sorry James (Boston, MA.). I don't understand your criticism. Here is the quote again with the relevant part capitalized.

    It is absurd and insulting every time anybody suggests that the ONLY reason Sen. Clinton's female supporters are voting for her is because she is a woman. SOME WOMEN THINK SHE IS A STRONG, COMPETENT LEADER WHO CAN RUN THE COUNTRY WELL (as do many men). And then, ON TOP OF THAT, IN ADDITION TO IT, we think it's about time, America, whose population is half female, had a female president. (As do many men.)

    So, I wrote in my post that I supported Sen. Clinton because she is competent etc. And, furthermore, I ALSO thought it was time that America had a (strong, competent) female president.

    I frankly don't understand why this idea is valid only if other women are running. I pick her from among the current crop of all-male candidates because I find her superior to them, i.e., stronger and more competent. Of course, if you leave out the part where I state that my support of Sen. Clinton is based first on her competence and strength, I appear to be a moronic prevaricator. But if you put that part back in, then your response becomes, as I wrote above, puzzling.
    Now, if your accusation is that I have more than one reason for supporting Sen. Clinton, well, then I'm guilty.

    Same to you Martin, Clarksville, Tn.

    November 18, 2007 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  21. Kyu Reisch, Radcliff, Kentucky

    Dan Bruce, your comment is same as Elizabeth said. You should know The Clinton's are the most brilliant politicians and leaders in this Country. Your hatred is a mistake, your hatred hurts America, American voters are smarter than John and Elizabeth. I watched every debate, I couldn't find any better option than Hillary Clinton, I couldn't make you like Hillary, you can't change my mind either. Randy, NY, did you complain about Philadelphia debate? It was a planned scenario for their business, that's why it was the worst and dirtiest debate in our history. CNN staffs are doing the best job, I trust CNN more than Fox or MSNBC.

    November 18, 2007 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  22. Kyu Reisch, Radcliff, Kentucky

    Martin, Clarksville, your slogan is in decay, needs treatment.

    November 18, 2007 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  23. AT, ny, ny

    Edwards is angry and has run a very negative campaiagn. Based on the polls, his political life will be finished in about 2 months.

    Being a former senator, Edwards will be the only loser comparing with other dems candidates, who will either be nominated (likely Hillary), or be picked as VP (likely Biden or Richardson), or may be given responsible position when the dems win the next election (remaining candidates except Edwards).

    He is going for broke, and hopes to knock off Hillary with his negative campaigns, so that he may be picked by Obama as his VP. His action appears not working based on his poll standing.

    I can hardly wait to see him and his wife gone, as they are hurting the dems party and the nominee in the next election.

    November 18, 2007 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  24. Mary, Wisconsin

    I feel like Iraq was a mistake, some others don't agree and get really mad about it. It just seems like the game always has to be played the same exact way all the time. I feel stiffled by the inflexibility. Now women in general have a lot of good qualities that they can bring to the table and change the types of rules that aren't working. However Hillary doesn't seem to be using her womanness, but instead seems to be trying to play by the same old rules.

    November 18, 2007 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  25. Ash, New Orleans, LA

    We need a president who will not divide us, who has good cross over appeal. Independents and some republicans will vote for that guy. We need some one who has global over view, respected by many, who is straight forward and is least madeup, not necessary has too much money but he is rock solid. CNN during recent debate refered him as a second tier candidate but he is real first rate and he is Joe Biden. I think Joe Biden can make a difference. Let us give Joe consideration he deserves.

    November 19, 2007 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
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