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. Helen, NY

    Obama does not know what to do. Only supporters he has are the bloggers who write here. There are Canadians who are writing now supporting Obama. I think whole Uninted Nationas should write for Obama because he wants to give tax-payeras money ($50 billion) to UN. What an idea. Barack is a fraud, is a joke, and has no experience to handle these issues. Barack, go home.

    September 19, 2008 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  2. bill b. from Stratford,Ct

    BJ, Mcsame choice that woman so people like you can vote for him. Even some Republicans have admitted it, it was a (GIMMICK) to pick Sarah. She has absolute no experience on anything, foreign or domestic. She's under investigation in Alaska for abuse of power, don't we have some one like her in office now who thinks their above the law too, we can't afford 4 more years of people like her and him(Mcsame)

    September 19, 2008 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  3. James

    Obama threw his grandmother under the bus for some race relations propaganda. Do you trust this man?

    September 19, 2008 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  4. Independent Steve

    Obama claims to know what women want? I've been married for over 26 years and I still don't know! You have to tell me your secret!

    September 19, 2008 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  5. Matthew

    As a son of a single mother
    I must say that womens should really pay attention to who is the best candidate for making America more just and equal! and not just pay attention to the gender of the candidate!

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 19, 2008 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  6. Texas Witch Twister

    Women are not that stupid OBAMA. They see through you like quicksilver through screen wire. You are an empty suit. NO morals, a liar, and a conniving crook (REZKO). We can do better and will come November. McCAIN/PALIN 08

    September 19, 2008 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  7. Ed

    A woman's man eh? Just like Bill Clinton.

    That's all we need in the White House waiting room. Another ladies man.

    What color dresses do your favor Barack?

    September 19, 2008 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  8. Independent but Leaning

    Obama: Bill Ayers, Rev. Wright, wrong on the surge, wrong on capital gains taxes... and the beat goes on. His lack of judgment and inexperience are just plain scary.

    He even admitted that his economic policies could not be implemented in the current economic climate because they would result in disaster.

    Empty suit

    September 19, 2008 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |

    Obama will say what woman wants to hear. Don't trust him at all. Remember about Hillary?. Now he love Hillary.Yeeee. NO HRC -___NO OBAMA>

    September 19, 2008 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  10. arlene, CA

    Was ready to vote for Hillary, but now voting Barack Obama. McCain/Palin will not do anything for us. It would be like voting for Bush, there won't be any change, Repubs don't have that change in their mind set. Repubs would overturn Roe v Wade, no right to choose, no equal pay for equal work, also I do/would not agree with their pick of Sup Ct. Judges that they would put in place. I am voting Obama /Biden

    September 19, 2008 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  11. facts are facts

    Well as an outsider and reading some of these blogs I honestly don't believe Americans have much of a future ahead of them unless they start forgeting about the lies and smears and look at what issues you need to survive.

    Your country is a wisker away from a full blown depression and not much farther away from a draft to support many potential conflicts throughout the world.

    At some point in time Americans are going to have to put more of an emphasis on helping their citizens survive than fighting and financing wars. You can't keep spending so much money on unnecessary wars and hope to survive in the long term.

    Just some thoughts but somehow I don't think many of you agree with me on this one.

    September 19, 2008 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  12. jimmy





    September 19, 2008 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  13. Janice Il

    Woman in California. No way on earth you could be a mom or woman! The devil himself would have a problem with what you just said. If I were you I'd ask forgiveness in a hurry, and apologize to all for that comment. Discracefull.

    September 19, 2008 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  14. Justin

    Proud democrat voting for McCain.

    I'm voting for experience and McCain is my choice!

    September 19, 2008 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  15. No Country For Old Men

    Paris September 19th, 2008 6:47 pm ET

    I will not vote for this Empty shell.

    I am a registered independent and voting for John McCain

    Hey Paris you say will not vote for this empty shell.
    But you will vote for an old rotten nut.
    The acorn doesn't fall far from the tree.
    Now I see that you have grown up to be a complete Nut!

    Obama & Biden ‘08
    Hillary & Warner ‘16
    McCain 88, Hitting & Holding ‘24

    September 19, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  16. Independent Steve

    A Woman In California For Obama: September 19th, 2008 6:40 pm ET said: All I have to say is ANY woman who votes for Palin/McCain gets what they deserve. I hope their sons and daughters come home feet first.

    That is the most ignorant and hateful thing I have ever read! Are you proud of you ignorance?

    Secondly, if Iam not mistaken, there were and still are millions of women who wanted Hilllary for your running mate. So, while you claim to know what women want it is another matter to deliver want women want!

    September 19, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  17. Pat from Cali

    Women will win the day. Women will put Obama in the White House. Women will change history.

    Behind this great man are a whole lot of great women.

    We're fired up and ready to go!

    Obama/Binden '08

    September 19, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  18. Linda

    I'm a woman. and he doesn't need to bother pitching anything. Obama is a terrorist attempting to take our country from within.
    First, it was 9/11; Second, it is Obama.

    September 19, 2008 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  19. Independent Steve

    Jayson September 19th, 2008 6:49 pm ET said:
    You won't find more of a Washington insider than John McCain.
    The vast majority of Americans are so easily fooled and even more easily led.

    Really??? You then have never heard of....Joe Biden and his 36 years as a US Senator!! How easiily fooled and easily lead you are!

    September 19, 2008 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  20. Canta

    Hey how about the time he flicked Hillary off. Or how about the time he said he would campaign in 57 states. There are 57 Islamic states or how about the time he said he was Muslin before the interviewer corrected him.


    September 19, 2008 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  21. Sarah

    I can not believe the women who once supported Hillary Clinton, have so easily forgot everyhing that she stands for and are going to vote McCain/Palin just because there is a woman on the ticket. I see people dressing their little girls in t-shirts that say "Strong women vote for McCain/Palin.' Strong women do not forget everything that they believe in just because the other party has someone of their same gender on the ticket.

    September 19, 2008 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  22. Heidi

    I fully support Barack Obama's campaign and salute his health care plan. SUGGESTION: Michael Moore's movie "Sicko" should be a must-see for everyone but especially women, to fully understand our current health care crisis. THEN read "Why Obama's Health Care Plan is Better" (September 16, Wall Street Journal) and you will see many of the outstanding benefits mentioned in the movie, in his health care plan. The preventive care alone will save the country billions of dollars. WE CANNOT AFFORD TO IGNORE THIS. Under McCain's plan, many millions more will be without employer-sponsored health insurance, and the "coverage" will be even worse than now. Pay attention women! This is about you!

    September 19, 2008 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  23. Janice in OK

    To Lynn Ex-Democrat now for McCain: did you mean domed or doomed? I'm one of those terrible Obama freaks trying to clarify what you are saying.

    September 19, 2008 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  24. Linda

    Why is it when I comment on your blog that I am always "awaiting moderation". If you have to moderate my comments because they do not coincide with your views, then just don't change anything but , instead, eliminate it. You may not alter, ie moderate, my blog. In other words, YOU may not speak for ME.

    September 19, 2008 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  25. Pat from Florida

    I came to this blessed country many years ago from Argentina, one of the only countries that print money to solve its problems.
    I thought that USA was a country of opportunities like the ones we (with my husband) lived under the Clinton administration.
    Yesterday I saw a clip from the first Presidential Debate between Bill Clinton and Bush father and I think we are watching the same movie again!
    Forget the experience, race, gender, jugdement, and everything else. What the republicans do not underestand that this is a philosophy issue. We can’t take this anymore!!! We gave the opportunity to them for 8 years! We need a democrat to heal our country again…


    September 19, 2008 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17