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. Walmart mom for Obama, Washington State

    Obama has my vote. I am a women and its shamefull to me that Mccain has voted against every equal pay for equal work bill. Its sad really. Oh and raising wages its sad. I am voting for Obama because we need smarts back in the whitehouse. Seeing all Clinton advisors with him today is smart, it shows me that he is thinking to put people who have been in that job. Smart man and he is ready to be President...
    Obama/Biden 08

    September 19, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  2. A Disgrunted Democrat

    "Comparing Palin's experience to Obama's is not a valid argument."

    True – Obama has less experience than Biden, less than McCain and less than Palin, Lets not pick too much on Obama – all he has is the vision given to him by Pelosi and Reid as a puppet.

    September 19, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  3. Independent, white female !

    Any smart woman who knows better, will vote for Obama. Obama grew up with a single mom and knows first hand how hard it is for women in our world. We women need someone who knows what women go through in this country to raise a family, to educate our children so that their futures are bright and prosperous. He worked his way to the top, he borrowed to educate himself, he watched his own mother and grandmother put food on the table and he knows how important it is for a woman to make her own choices. Woman of America, we are depending on your voices, your votes and your efforts to put Obama in the white house so he can fight for us to receive equal pay, to have the right to choose. Please women of America, let our voices be heard.
    Obama 08, 12

    September 19, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  4. karen

    Dear God, 'Woman in California': do you hear yourself? Is this how far this election has degenerated that it would cause you to say such a horrible thing?

    People, stop and think. We're in a mess financially and whose fault is it? OURS. Every one of us who has been on a prolonged spending spree for decades, buying toys we don't need, houses we can't afford, and numbing our minds to what's going on around us. It's time to grow up, tighten our belts, and demand congress listens to us. But they can't listen if we're all wired to our i-pods and cellphones and paying no attention to what's going on.

    Could we all be a little kinder to each other? These blogs are out of control. It isn't the Republicans or Democrats individually who have caused these problems, it's we the people who were too busy playing to take heed.

    September 19, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  5. Becky in Texas

    As a white 37 year old single mom of 3 that just bought my first home two years ago – McCain/Palin scares the hell out of me. If they had their way, I would have more kids than I could handle, but that isn't their problem right? Birth control is apparently evil to many republicans, but at least I am still able to pay my own way since I only have three kids...

    When I bought my house, I was barely getting a regular loan, which was amazing because I had been fixing my credit from the loser ex-husband since 2000. The day before I was to close – they re-ran my credit and discovered that I had recently gotten student loans in my attempt to finally get a degree. This bumped my credit score under the line and I ended up with an ARM. Two years later, I am stuck with this ARM even though I have never payed a mortgage payment late and will likely lose my house in the next year as the rates continue to climb.

    Do I trust McCain to work in my best interest? NO.

    No Way, No How, No MCCAIN.

    Becky in Texas
    First time Voter and member of Women for Obama

    September 19, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  6. B

    Senator McCain was pretty clear that he was a big part of the financial meltdown when Bernanke blew the horn in Jerusalem.

    Hopefully, McCain, 72, will retire now.

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

    "Here are our demands. We want control of our bodies...(our) decisions will NOW BE OURS." – 'Reclamation' – Ian Mackaye/ Fugazi

    Thank you Ian.

    Obama/ Biden '08

    September 19, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  8. Women

    Lets come together and show some brains that men say we dont have. We will vote for the party who put a woman on the map. Not like it happened with the democratic party who put our woman who was put in as a VP some years ago, and we as women listened to our husbands, or boyfriends. We have more sense than that.
    McCain/Palin 08

    September 19, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  9. Yes We Can

    Demo in Ca why don't you end with because I never did any research , I like war / using lies to start wars , I believe in loosing over 4,000 troops and thousamds injured for life because of lies, I enjoy Bush and Cheney tactics and just want more McBush .......and I am stupid .
    More than likely you are either a Pittbull / McLooser fallower or just admit it its the R word you are hiding behind .

    September 19, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  10. Daryl from Seattle

    Obama is all love, equality, and unity. McCain is all about divisiveness, aggression, and inequality. It's so easy to see that. How can this be the land of the free if women aren't free to choose whether they want to give birth or not? If Palin-McCain...oops, I meant McCain – Palin really are putting country first, then regardless of their personal beliefs and values, honor what this country says is it's best's FREEDOM.

    September 19, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  11. nate

    I know I already posted but Shirley P from Sonoma a GREAT post. You are absolutely rite about the role we all know Hillary will play in an Obama admin and its ppl like you that make this country great.

    September 19, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  12. btodd

    The poster "Obama # 1" is obviously a man on the payroll of the McCain campaign. Just say something that has no factual basis whatsoever and hope somebody is stupid enough to believe it.

    September 19, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  13. anyonmous

    unfouterly wisconsin and minesota will go to obama and obama will either have to win florida or ohio that put obama at 284

    September 19, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  14. Patriot

    The New York Times has published a separate list looking at contributions from "directors, officers, and lobbyists for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac" for the 2008 campaign cycle. That list — using figures from the Federal Election Commission — shows McCain receiving $169,000, while Obama received only $16,000.

    September 19, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  15. dtk

    American Women', I'm so proud of you. you are our Hops To get us out of this Mess that we are in that Bush McCain has created for us and our Children. I will be standing Proudly beside of you To Vote For Barack Obama.

    September 19, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  16. Simon Templer

    If women don't vote for Obama...I'm not even going to feel sorry when i see any crap on TV about women suffering/domestic violence, pay discrimination. etc.

    My only advice will be for them to go and complain to Cindy McPalin in one of her many houses and see if she gives a crap. Hey! Maybe Sarah will have a moose cook out...

    September 19, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  17. for obama

    women of america

    we don't need mcbush and his barbie doll to do what bush has already done.

    more power to obama.


    September 19, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  18. Thelma, MT

    I'm sidin' with Biden.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 19, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  19. I love my children

    He doesn't even have to pitch to me. I am a 32 year old, white, married, mother of 2. McCain's healthcare plans would bury my family since one of my children has a "pre-existing" condition. I am grateful that my employer offers health insurance for me to purchase. His educational plan is a complete joke.How will he decides who gets in the "good schools"? How will he keep the "good schools" from becoming overcrowded? Now Spain is a dictatorship somewhere in Latin America...and Sarah Palin wants "transparency" in Washington? Hmmm....the double talk express really is a bridge to nowhere. This Walmart mom is a registered republican who will be voting Obama/Biden in November. Put that in your polls!

    September 19, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  20. EqualBranchesofGovernment

    Any woman who has a son or daugher and is worried about them having to go to fight a war with Iran next......should not vote for John McCain.

    September 19, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  21. Madge 64 White -Rural Ohio for Obama/Biden

    Obama/Biden is the Best Choice.
    McCain-insane Palin-liar are two Evil Devils!!

    September 19, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  22. Nicole in Ga

    I'm a proud woman/independent for Obama/Biden 08 !!!!

    September 19, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  23. Mercedes

    If Florida goes to the republicans this time it just shows how much racisim is still alive in this state. We have alot of problems down here with the housing and job losing that the last thing I heard was there were thousands of south floridians especially in Broward County that have left due to these problems. They even had a shortage of teachers this year. How can anyone in these conditions go into a voting booth and vote for a republican that voted with Bush 92% of the time. I hope my husband understood we should go back to New York where we are from. People don't make that much money but housing has gone up and grocery and gas. How can we survive?

    September 19, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  24. Gail

    I have always been an Obama supporter, so he didn't have to convince me.

    It seems the GOP is accusing the Democratic party and Obama in particular of doing the exact things they are doing. I am very familiar with this behavior, it's what my abusive ex-husband used to do to me - accuse me of drinking up all my money, accuse me of running around, accuse me of gambling – all the while I was at home taking care of the kids and going to work. It was pretty ridiculous, as is McCain.

    I don't see where Obama is lying or has ever lied. But the falsehoods of the GOP and McCain and Palin in particular are quite obvious and very easy to call them on. They just done seem very intelligent.

    The Democratic Party is very united. Whereas the GOP seems to be coming apart at the seams.

    WASP (Woman Against Sarah Palin) Unite!!

    September 19, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  25. CM

    Notice the GOP supporters who claim that mcCain gets America or is honest and is getting their vote cannot explain their decisions or back up their statements.

    Obama supporters know why they're voting for him. His plans make sense to get us back on track. Anyone that thinks voting for the same old party that got us in this mess and are running a shameful campaign that discredits their own candidate's honor is fooling themselves.

    September 19, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
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