September 19th, 2008
06:00 PM ET
13 years ago

Obama pitches himself to women

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Obama is making a pitch to women voters."]CORAL GABLES, Florida (CNN) – Barack Obama took his week long economic message and gave it a different spin, pitching himself to several thousand female Floridians as the candidate who best understands what women want.

“This isn’t just about politics for me this is personal because I come here today not just as a candidate for president but as a son and a grandson, as a husband and a father who’s seen first hand, throughout my life, the challenges so many women face everyday in this country,” he told a rally at the University of Miami.

Obama needs the women’s vote. The addition of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to the Republican ticket and Obama’s decision to pass on Hillary Clinton for his running mate slot put some segments of the female vote up for grabs. Recent polling shows Obama winning women overall but he continues to trail McCain among white women by about 15 points. John Kerry lost that group by 11 points in 2004. This weekend, female Obama surrogates will be hosting events in all 50 states and the campaign is releasing a television ad on equal pay.

As women waved “Women for Obama,” “Moms for Obama,” and “Caregivers for Obama” signs, the Democratic presidential nominee said he understood the downturn in the economy has hit women particularly hard with the cost of child care, education and running a household getting further out of reach. As he has done all week on the economy, Obama sought to paint his Republican opponent as out-of-touch with women.

“It’s not that Senator McCain doesn’t care about what’s gong on in the lives of women in this country, I like to think that it’s just that he doesn’t know,” he said. “Why else would he oppose legislation to help women get equal pay and suggest that the reason women aren’t paid fairly isn’t because of discrimination on the job but because they need more education and training. He must not understand, he must not know.”

Obama touted Joe Biden’s authorship of the Violence Against Women’s Act, something campaign advisors hope to showcase in the ticket’s effort to win over women. While he rarely brings up the politically tricky issue of abortion on the campaign trail, Obama fully embraced it in front of this audience.

Change means a president who will stand up for choice, who understands that five men on the supreme court don’t know better than women and their families and their doctors about what’s best for their health,” he said. “I will never back down from defending a woman’s right to choose.”

Despite her popularity, Obama only mentioned Sen. Hillary Clinton only once and gave her a nod for putting “those 18 million cracks in that glass ceiling.” Clinton however is a crucial part in the Obama campaign’s efforts to court the women vote. She and Biden held an Internet conversation this week on women’s issues.

soundoff (407 Responses)
  1. Ken

    Obama is only pandering to the women vote because he knows now that he should have had picked Hillary Clinton instead of Biden for his VP

    Now Obama is using the Clinton's as his voice while being disrespectful on his demands of them

    I am Hillary Clinton supporter that is going to vote for McCain/Palin because I at least want someone in the "Oval office" that knows what it is that their doing. NO TRUST FOR EITHER OBAMA NOR BIDEN

    McCain/Palin 2008

    Hillary Clinton 2012

    September 19, 2008 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  2. Ron

    the facts

    a son who felt rejected by his mother. a grandson who never did anything for his grandmother, once he made good, after all the sacrifices she made for him. a father who will not buy his daughters, a birthday or Christmas gift, he says to show them limitations, but goes out an rents an NFL stadium because the Pepsi center somehow was not good enough for him. throw in how he ridiculed Hillary Clinton and gov. Palin, and maybe he will see why women are a little gun shy around him

    September 19, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  3. Sherri

    The only change i see from McCain is which different house to go in to. He is not right for this country and loves the war. I hope everyone thinks about their sons and daughters as i can see this man bringing back the draft. If you vote for him and that happens, you only have yourselves to blame for it for voting for him. Let it end now and vote for Obama for your daughters and your sons. He will finish what George Bush started. Do you really like that??? Dont vote for him because Sarah Palin is a woman.and thats it. THINK

    September 19, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  4. JPM

    Number 1 Issue for me: Economy. McCain fails miserably. His policies have been tried and we can all see they don't work. He also wrote just last month that we should privatize health care "the same way as banking"....McCain just does not have the right instincts for the economy. He is wrong, wrong wrong.

    September 19, 2008 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  5. Greenwalk

    Let's face reality. People are only voting for McCain because he's white and Obama is black. Why else would someone vote for a person who has no honor, no integrity and will lie his way into office. Some white people would rather have a person with these qualities than to have a black man in office. I knew it was too soon for a black president in the U.S.

    September 19, 2008 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  6. Carl Justus

    If the women want equal pay and equal treatment in jobs and any other endevor they should vote for Obama.
    McCain has voted many times not to raise the minimum wage and to give women equal treatment in the board rooms.

    September 19, 2008 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  7. We Need A Change!

    Arthur James said:
    He can talk the talk, but women in Obama's senatorial offices make eight or nine thousand less than a year their male counterparts, while the women in McCain's senatorial offices actually are making about two or three thousand more a year than the men there.

    These are facts, not opinions, and they do not support Obama's rhetoric.

    SORRY. They are not FACTS they are averages. McCain's campaign took the number of female employees, added their salaries and then divided it by whatever amount of women to get that "talking point."

    McCain has said women should get paid less then men because they need more education and training, THAT is a FACT.

    September 19, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  8. aware

    Just how dumb do you think women are Obama?

    You trashed Hillary and Palin! 🙁

    McCain picked a woman, mom, wife, daughter, sister, aunt, Governor Sarah Palin for VP! 🙂

    You, Barack, picked a male Washington insider for VP instead of Hillary who actually earned more votes than you! You were pulled over the line by DNC coersion!

    McCain/Palin 08! They have a record of reform in action! 🙂

    September 19, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  9. Pitbull without lipstick

    please post!

    Although I am a woman and not black, I will happily vote for Obama he is an inspiration to me because of his empathetic behavior towards those less fortunate. he is a decent man and would want a hard-working son like him. He is intelligent and well-spoken and is a unifier. He will bring this country to greater heights as seen with JFK.

    God bless this country.

    September 19, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  10. naynay

    SoetorObama supporter Mike Kernell (D-TN) confirms his son, David Kernell, hacked Sarah Palin’s email to help SoetorObama

    September 19, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  11. ellington7

    If we can put all of our diferences behind us and vote obama then our country and world will have a shot, but if not, forget about it because it won't even take 4 years for mccain to fatally wound us.

    September 19, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  12. MW / Calif.

    Dear Where's Hillary –

    Thanks for the good laugh. Hummm let's see . . . .

    18 million votes VS religiou fanatic, gun toting prom queen –

    NO COMPARISON. Nice try though.

    September 19, 2008 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  13. Griff

    Enough CNN! I walk away. I wish you the best of luck! Your going to need it! You are so Full of Crap,,, Barack Obama will never be Elected.... I said so!. In November???? Maybe! But then why should I?
    John McCain is..... CNN! You lost.... John McCain is.... The Leader of a Democracy....The Democrats are Demoralised, Dimocrats. And Pelosi is the Democrats- Simpltons...Pelosi, he Queen of Twits.

    September 19, 2008 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  14. manhandler

    How 'bout if he goes around to each and every woman in his audiences and tell them , "I've got your back, SWEETIE"

    OOOOH, I'm so impressed that NOW has endorsed Obama. This is the same organization that sat STONE SILENT, while the media unleashed it's vile sexist campaign against Hillary. Nary a word from this courageous organization while the likes of Jack Cafferty, Chris Mattews, and Keith Olberman spewed their rampant sexism towards Hillary. Oh Yeah, If I were a woman thats just who I'd want to defend me. They should rename there little cozy club, CLOW. Chicken Little Organization for Women. never a word from these self indulged hypocrits when Sarah Palin started receiving the same treatment. The Republicans stood up for her.

    NOW is a joke. What they mean is National Organization For Women As Long As You Think Just Like Us.

    September 19, 2008 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  15. CM

    Man, some of the GOP supporters revel in their ignorance. Still with the pig and lipstick smear Berkeley?

    How about that other guy saying McCain gets it....he hasn't gotten anything but payments from lobbyists for years.

    September 19, 2008 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  16. arnold

    Why isn't CNN reporting about self labeled "Obamacrat", David Kernell, 20 y/o son of Democratic Politician who hacked into Palin's email account to help his cult leader, the Big O (BO)??!! Obama is a cheat and sleaze, just like his young supporters who cheat and sleaze their way through school and LIFE.

    September 19, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  17. Kate Fergus

    By picking a devious, lying, and scheming woman like Sarah Palin as his running mate, John McCain has insulted every American woman. By picking her as a show piece to forward his campaign (she could be nothing else because she has no idea what she is doing and only lies about what she has done), he has demonstrated that he doesn't take women seriously nor does he support them.

    You don't hear McCain promoting equal pay for equal work; he is really for pro-life and will repeal Roe v. Wade the minute he takes office. All he does is criticize and lie about Obama. The man has no integrity and has proven he is not fit to run the country and heaven help us if Palin ever gets into a real position of power!!!

    September 19, 2008 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  18. Jennifer S S

    It is time for America to Unite to save America's economy. It is time for America to be the best we can be. It is time to stop the hate, and jealousy, and have hope in America's future. United we stand and divided we fall.

    September 19, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  19. MADD24

    CNN read post or do your own story but this is HUGE news for the voters:

    This is a cut and past from the NYT:

    John McCain’s article, Better Health Care at Lower Cost for Every American, in the Sept./Oct. issue of Contingencies, the magazine of the American Academy of Actuaries. You might want to be seated before reading this.
    Here’s what McCain has to say about the wonders of market-based health reform:
    Opening up the health insurance market to more vigorous nationwide competition, as we have done over the last decade in banking, would provide more choices of innovative products less burdened by the worst excesses of state-based regulation.

    My thoughts: WE ARE DOOMED because middle america will be voting for Palin and Obama will lose!!! After all these gaffes, lies, scams and scandals if McCain wins it is only because OBAMA is black PERIOD!!! I will go to my death thinking that

    September 19, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  20. debdriscat

    John McCain looks just like the crypt keeper, doesn't he? No, I meant to say he looks like the Grateful Dead skeleton!! He is too old and decrepit to be our Commander in Chief. With that temper, he might blow a vein in his head and keel over. And then we will have that dimwit puppet running the country!

    September 19, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  21. aware

    Obama is sounding more arrogant and stupid by the moment!

    No thinking woman would ever vote for this shallow, two-faced obfuscating, equivocating, prevaricating and naive guy!

    Use your heads women! Don't vote for this narcissistic egomaniac because you think he is hot or cool! 🙁

    September 19, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  22. laquesha

    When will we demand the dna tests for Michelles little girls to see if Barak is really their father?
    Michelle has never stated that Barak is the girls biological daddy.

    September 19, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  23. CNN loves McCain

    Obama shouldn't have to pitch himself to women. Any informed woman knows McCain and Palin will send the feminist movement back 40 years.

    September 19, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  24. Dot

    John McCain is not an advocate for womenIn fact john McCain is not even an advocate of the American people if he was he would not have picked the VP he did) But we all know "ambtion can get the best of us"
    ...I have so much faith in women & although it would be wonderful to have a women leader we really need one with some expreience. I would be opposed to Palin just in beliefs alone, so maybe I am not one to talk'.
    But I will share my wish.
    I would like to have everyone look at the candiates as people:
    Not a pair of balls or a pair of boobs or the color of their skin. NONE of that should matter. THIS IS OUR COUNTRY FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!
    Please vote wisely...

    September 19, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  25. Christine

    CNN.. these post are almost all planted. When did you become so bias?I now watch Fox News, because it is the only place I can get news about the candidates without bias. I know you won't put this post foward, but at least you can see an opinion from someone who USED to watch you network 6 hours a day.

    September 19, 2008 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
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