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. Ron was a REP now a DEM


    If you were informed Hillary is in Ohio for Obama.
    Please watch the news before commenting

    September 19, 2008 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  2. Independent Just Decided to Vote for Obama

    It AMAZES me how Dems and Repubs change from one candidate to another.

    Why aren't you following your party's PLATFORM?

    Those are things that your candidate is supposed to be guided by as he/she governs.

    The party platform is the doctrine/dogma/beliefs of your party. Those of the Dem and Repub parties are so different.

    So how can you just switch from one candidate to another like you do?

    I am an Independent. This gives me alot of room for decision making. I can pick and choose which beliefs on the parties' platforms that appeal to me and those that don't.

    I could not in all conscience be a member of a specific party and switch to the other party's candidate.

    September 19, 2008 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  3. Brian

    This man does not understand that the Supreme Court does not make the law, they interpret them in relation to the Constitution. There is a woman on the Court, does he not think that a women judge could not possibly interpret the choice law different then he does( I know this one supports abortion)? That only male judges will block a woman's right?

    September 19, 2008 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  4. Palin the Truth hurts.

    Wait a minute...

    What kind of person, Mayor, Govenor Fires anyone that is not 'Loyal" to her even as if she is Above the Law?

    Sarah Palin has ORDERED her State Employees to NOT COOPERATE in the Legal Discovery of Facts in an Official Investigation. ORDERED them to conceal the truth.

    She is a CHRISTIAN..? 🙁

    September 19, 2008 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  5. Tam

    I am a WHITE mom of 4 and Obama has had my vote from day one. He CARES, hands down, he cares... McCain/Palin can't honestly say that with a straight face. We need someone that truly cares about us MOM's. He knows this because he's watched his own mother struggle. That alone puts him high up in my opinion, he knows what women go thru more than McCain ever could. McCain PUTS women thru hell, not help them out of it.

    September 20, 2008 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  6. Bandido

    Barack, the best way to appeal to female Floridians is get yourself a walker.

    September 20, 2008 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  7. ltd1974 ohio for obama

    it's sad to read the silly womens response who say they will not vote for obama because of the clinton's situation. what about all the mcshame and sarah lies. be honest and say u want vote for a black man and rather see this country suffer 8 more years. i'm goning for those who still have hate in their heart. obama/biden '08.

    September 20, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
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