Sunday, September 21, 2008

A Good Week with Women Voters for the Democrats: The Face of Pay Equity Endorses Obama

Barack Obama has just had a particularly good week with the ladies. In fact, it was a noticeably big week for women's endorsements for the Obama campaign. Can you say "gender gap?" I knew you could. :) In a week that saw Republican VEEP candidate Sarah Palin's approval rating drop precipitously, these actvities aimed at women voters well timed.

First, a group of women's organizations -- those few that have PACs and thus can endorse without jeopardizing their precious non-profit status -- endorsed the junior senator from Illinois. Prominently featured was the still-not-as-happy-as-they-could-be NOW, who joined their shero Hillary Clinton in saying "no way, no how, no McCain." Other groups included the Feminist Majority with the ever colorful Ellie Smeal, the Business & Professional Women/USA, the National Congress of Black Women, and the National Association of Social Workers. Watch portions of the press event here:

But the real coup de grace in my mind was this week's Obama endorsement from Lilly Ledbetter. The plaintiff of Ledbetter v. Goodyear fame headlined the Democratic National Convention in Denver, and on September 18 made it official -- she's for Obama, in a big way. Ledbetter made the announcement at a series of events in the critical state of Virginia, and was treated like a rock star by adoring crowds. The New York Times has referred to Ledbetter as "the Democrats secret weapon," and they may be right.

Take a look at this ad featuring Ledbetter, below, just released this past week -- she's a humble grandmother from Alabama who packs a punch, and women nationwide are cheering her on. Why? Because her experiences are so familiar, so universal to us all, and she's speaking up and trying to change things for future generations -- despite the fact that her own case is closed. Now, the Democratic Senate needs to do the right thing by Ledbetter's vocal support and national advocacy and pass the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. The House has already passed this critical bill that would right the Supreme Court's FUBAR handling of the Ledbetter case. However, the legislation is currently stuck in a defacto Senate filibuster on the more pompous, ponderous side of the Hill. But if we can get more Dems elected to the Senate -- and inch our way closer to that magic number of 60 -- I predict the Ledbetter bill will be one of the first bills signed by an Obama Administration.

The Democratic women of Congress also had a press conference cheering on Obama this week, touting an earlier equal pay ad put out by the Obama campaign (below). Pay equity champion Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) is especially worth a listen at this particular dog and pony show, although the women members also talk about critical issues such as health care and retirement security.

The Democrats have finally gotten religion on the pay equity issue -- and about time, too. I'm sure the fact that the issue is a vote driver for women helps a lot -- but that touch of cynicism aside, the Democratic party is the only party that is collectively and actively working to improve women's economic equity -- that, in fact, recognizes the problem of pay equity at all. That, my friends, is just one of a million reasons why Obama's the better candidate for women and their families.

Copyright 2008 (text only). The Zaftig Redhead. All Rights Reserved.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Did you see the Republican front group that is all whiney-pants about the NOW endorsement? It was in yesterday's WaPo.