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. McShame go retire

    For once I have to agree. Wrong VP pick!!

    Bill and Hillary could be out there campaigning furiously and we wouldn't have close polls at all.

    Sure, Biden has the experience and wisdom by far over Sarah Palin,
    but Hillary would shredd her to peaces.

    And absolutely right, with Hillary as VP
    it could have been a blow out.

    Obama / Biden 08

    September 19, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  2. R, Ohio

    Honestly, Hillary removed herself from the possibity of being Obama's running mate. The campaign she led was so incredibly dirty and offensive; how could he choose her? She forgot the unsaid rule of being her brother's keeper. They came from the same party, so they were supposed to be like family, but she turned badly against her family. Had he chose her, he would've been severly criticized for that as well.

    September 19, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |

    Lets face it...Sen Obama doesnt have to "pitch" himself to any women. Hell, if I didnt like his wife so much I'd pitch myself to him 🙂

    September 19, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  4. leigh

    McCain alienated me when he called his wife a trollup and the other word. He doesn't give a hoot about women, doesn't respect women and is not getting my vote. Obama shows his caring for Michelle and I believe he respects all women.

    September 19, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  5. Priscilla

    I read where Rick Warren said to vote for the person who has character. That spells OBAMA. Obama and Joe Biden are quality people who walk their talk. They haven't thrown out dirty, sleezy, lying ads just to get a vote. McCain, on the other hand, sacrificed country for politics, and just look at his past. He is an adulterer, a liar, a compromiser, he is forgetful, his lobbyist running his campaign tells him when to jump and how high, and he is truly NO LEADER! McCain can't stay on subject and when he tries, he gets his facts straight. He doesn't make any decision without his lobbyists running his campaign tells him what to do. We can't aafford to make a mistake and have McCain in office. He is not honorable.

    September 19, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  6. sabrina01

    Go Obama we love you in Florida don't pay attention to those Republcans

    September 19, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  7. Angela

    to "wheres hillary and naomi, al" You ask where is HIllary- she just got done attending a fundraiser/speaking in Ohio and Florida for Obama and HIllary just had an internet video made with Biden talking about women's issues. HIllary has done more for Obama than any other losing candidate in history has done for a nominee- Obama won this- it's his job to go out and earn our votes- not Hillary's.

    I am not sold on Obama myself- but I was glad to see him, yes him the actual candidate out there working to earn our votes. It's not Hillary's responsibility to win this election for him- it 's his!

    September 19, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  8. Alaska will Nuke Russia

    Go Obama!
    Help save my mama!

    September 19, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  9. Does Obama Palin Comparison?

    What? And women are supposed to vote for him because he's a Ken Doll poseur?

    September 19, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  10. Bill, Covington, LA

    barak and I both know what women want from him. Most of all the young college age caucasian girls that get tingley feelings runing up their leg just before they faint in his presence. He is so whay need.

    September 19, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  11. California Voter

    He could it made it easier by standing up tall and selecting Hillary Clinton as his running mate. Too bad . . .I'm not folding and neither are many others who believe it's not racism that will take him down, but his inexperience, questions about his core values, and his arrogant remarks made to Clinton.

    September 19, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  12. Priscilla

    What I meant to say is McCan can't get his facts straight!

    September 19, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  13. Darlene

    Firstly – I continually watch CNN(totally addicted). I find it absurd that women are leaning towards McCain just because a woman is on the ticket. McCain is not original, he steals all ideas and words directly from Obama's mouth. McCain and Palin continually LIE, a trait I can't stand. It is clear that Obama is very intelligent and if the citizens of the United States know what is good for them, they will vote for him. Smart leadership should be top priority, not bucking your party.

    September 19, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |

    Laura Bush stated on 09/01/08 that Palin’s experience as a mayor, qualified her for the Republican vice presidency.

    Cindy McCain stated Sunday, 8/31/08 Palin had national security experience because Alaska was next to Russia.


    Are you willing to take a chance that the welfare and safety of your own children, may at sometime in the future be the responsibility of the Republican party that actually believes that anyone, male or female, with experience as a city council member and the mayor of a village of 9.000 for 8 of her 10 years of “executive” experience, actually qualifies the candidate for the top office in the land?

    The same Republican party believes that the fact that the state, which has a total population of less than the city of Atlanta, and which she is the current governor of for all of 20 months, during which time she has already managed to create a cloud of suspicion for possibly abusing the power of her office. and is currently being investigated, is actually qualified for national security because the state she is the governor of is next to Russia?

    No matter how you feel about the Democratic ticket at least the one with the lesser experience was ELECTED, and made a VP selection of someone who would bring balance to the ticket and provides some responsibility. The Republican VP was SELECTED by one man that actually believes the Republican statements and beliefs as outlined above.

    You parents out there need to think long and hard about this ticket but more importantly about the Republican party which is apparently so welling to cater to the Far Right that the entire Republican party is willing to chance putting your own kids future in jeopardy, just so they can win an election?

    How exactly is that considered "Country First"?

    September 19, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  15. Bill

    If you like a fascist state then vote for Obama. Next will come mind control...................................hell the Democrats are already there.....

    September 19, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  16. Patti Zimmerman

    I am confident in Obama's judgement.
    Every step of the way Obama has communicated clear plans to take this country in back to economic stability and growth, exit Iraq safely, rebuild our alliances around the world and end our dependance on foreign oil. These are just a few of the important changes he will implement when elected President. Do yourself a favor and check out the details on his website. Then check out McCain's 26 year record and plans. What stopped him from implementing his plans all that time?

    Obama has surrounded himself with the best and the brightest problem solvers. McCain chose Palin, lobbyists and Bush's cronies.

    September 19, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  17. Independent Woman

    As time goes on, I'm more convinced than ever that Obama/Biden deserves to be in the White House, McCain in one of his many houses, and Palin to the Governor's House/Mansion.

    September 19, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  18. Nate

    Actions Speak Louder than Words B.O....wish you would have picked HIllary.

    September 19, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  19. McCain for Pres.

    If Obama really respected women, he would have picked Hillary for VP.

    September 19, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  20. Roni

    As funny as this may seem. CNN and MSNBC television stations have not been getting great signal, the usual for bout a week now. But, as strange as this may seem , FOX NEWS plays fine. I strongly believe that matter should be looked into immediately.

    September 19, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  21. Pepou

    I am a woman and I will vote for Obama. If Hillary had received the nomination I would have voted for her too. No way, that I would EVER vote for this dimwit Palin who has nothing in common with me, except a chromosome.

    September 19, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  22. Griff

    Even CNN! Flip-Flop? But they will also have decide,, where they stand, this time around...
    You can beat the hell, out of your public! But in November I will never stop, beating Up on CNN..This is also my world, and . I have nothing to gain from this Election ; other than a future for young folk...
    Where does CNN stand????

    September 19, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  23. Independent women voter

    I saw Senator Obama speach this morning in CNN, like it.
    He seems to understand what women are going through every day in America. To the contrary McCain/Palin come across with this issue as just telling women what they want to hear without understanding of our situation and worries.

    September 19, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  24. Hillary Voter for Obama

    There are 3 women in my household – my 29 year old daughther, my 83 year old mother, and my 60 year old self. Mom was the only one leaning McCain – until today. She watched him on the stump and said "I can't believe I was considering voting for him – he's lost his marbles". This from an 83 year old! My Mom's the best!!!!


    September 19, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  25. deborah, WV

    To the nightingale,

    I haven't seen Senator Obama "hiding around any woodpiles" lately, but do I wonder about what kind of "piles" you are coming from!!!

    September 19, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
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