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. banderson

    To the woman from California for Obama. I too believe that if individuals vote for McCain-Palin they deserve whatever they get. However as a retired U.S. military veteran I don't want anyone to come back from overseas feet first. SUPPORT THE TROOPS ALWAYS!!!

    September 19, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  2. MBFLA

    Only a stark raving mad woman would vote for the team that does not believe that she is capable of managing her own reproductive rights!
    McCain and Palin are anti-woman and should rightfully get NO woman's vote!

    September 19, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  3. Wisdom

    This smells...

    He refers to women as typical white person, pig and sweetie... not likley he's got their interest at heart.

    September 19, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  4. RJ, CA

    YE GADS! Everytime Obama starts to talk, off goes the TV - what a phony! Steals everyone else's ideas and smooth-talk-regurgitates them as his own. 143 days in the Senate, 19 mos. on the road "pitching" himself - and he wants us to believe he will fix the economy?

    What a joke!

    September 19, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  5. ohio

    difference between Palin and MCdrill is lipstick

    September 19, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  6. Silence Dogood

    "This isn’t just about politics for me" he lies and poorly so.

    Remember the awful things he and his surrogates have said about a number of powerful women during the campaign. Review the news and google search if your memory was erased by Obama-mania.

    Green Party – feminism build right in! They don't have to stage events to prove it.

    September 19, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  7. temi


    September 19, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  8. McCain Invented the BlackBerry, Palin Invented the Manure Spreader

    It's time to expose the lie that women are being drawn to McCain-Hilton!!

    September 19, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  9. Charlotte

    I am a woman and I cannot stand Obama. He turned his back on half the democrats and still expects to win? This is one sweetie whos' vote he will never get. I have no doubt that Michelle controls him like a puppet. He was pathetic when she met him, and he still is. Not all women are as easily fooled as Obama thinks. He has spent more money then McCain on negative ads and then whines about McCains. Go Figure..

    September 19, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  10. Maddie, Hartford, Ct.

    Senator Obama doesn't need to do a thing. Just let Sara Palin keep putting her foot in her big, dumb mouth...Most woman can see right through her!

    September 19, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  11. mac attack

    Woman are goin to vote for McUnfaithful- -sweeping his first wife under the bus. She stood by him when he was a POW- -but he threw her away when she was in a car accident. Some freakin' hero.
    I'm a veteran of the same war - -I've known heroes – -john McCain is not my friend nor is he a hero.

    Woman, remain smart VoteObama

    September 19, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  12. Hillary Democrat

    If he was for women he would have chosen Hillary as his VP. Obama is an angry black man who hates women ..period. At this time of uncertain problems facing our financial markets, economy and war in the middle east we need experience not a junior senator. Pres. Clinton will endorse McCain for President so Hillary can run in 2012. McCain 2008, Hillary in 2012

    September 19, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  13. Republican Supporters in the Dark

    The Republican Party is in a free-fall. They want another term to bring America to complete. Wake up America!!! Dont give them another chance. What will you tell your children and grandchildren, if you put them back in office and thus are responsible for the mess that they are sure to continue?

    September 19, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  14. former hillary supporter

    MacCain is so old.
    out of touch
    loks like he have no idea what he's talking about.
    and his choice for VP?????????/.
    I'm voting Obama/Baden

    September 19, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  15. T

    McCain is not another Bush. He is McCain and he has disagreed on many issues with Bush. McCain was a democrat. You want change (by the way the word is not own by anoyone person) you will get change. People do you're homework, do the research. Then make you decision. Anyone can talk a good game just so they can get what they want. The rich are rich because they strive to excel. Anyone can move forward in life if they really want to instead you sorry people rather get hand outs from the government and stay at the bottom, low, low, low.

    September 19, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  16. nicole

    One woman proudly voting for Senator Obama!

    With education, choice, equal pay, health care, and virtually ALL women's issues in his favors, he's the only logical choice!

    One can only wonder what women for McCain/Palin are thinking???????????????

    Nicole – TX

    September 19, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  17. forever3

    Call me crazy!! Have you forgotten who is control now....The Democratic congress who got voted in 2006 and promised "CHANGE" How's that CHANGE working for ya?

    September 19, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  18. bob in LA

    I'm surprised your headline wasn't "Obama thorws himself at Floridian Women" – it would be so much more in keeping with this years coverage!

    September 19, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  19. Helen

    GREAT TALKER – THAT OBAMA – very theatrical


    Sarah – I Love you
    I love Hillary too

    September 19, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  20. DK, FL

    A woman's reproductive choice is her's and her's alone. It is nobody else's business. How can anyone support a woman who goes against that?!

    September 19, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  21. Judy from PA

    Why are Obama supporters so bitter? Enough of the name calling. Then as soon as someone challenges Barack, you get even more vicious. Isn't Obama supposed to be uniting people? This is the most divided our country has ever been. Thanks Barack.

    September 19, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  22. ZANE

    The Republican rats are rapidly jumping ship.

    September 19, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  23. Fatal Vision vs Noble Vision

    Palin's vision is the one she uses to look through a lens and shoot poor, innocent animals. I want someone who will use their vision to move America forward. That person is Barack Obama.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 19, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |

    florida women freaking way obama you mama.............after he stuck it to really expect women to bend over and take it again..................ouchhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, way jose............and obama doesnt even speak spanish and he makes a spanis ad ...............gee i hope the spanish are smarter than that ...................go anybody but obama and his drama......and iranian brother and osama..........we are ready got his other hussien ........and that was 3 for 3 on the huessiens...............

    September 19, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  25. Griff

    Mr Caverty! You should go see a dentist. You just lost a Mouth-Full...

    September 19, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
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