WASHINGTON--As major female Democratic Hillary Rodham Clinton backers are consolidating around Barack Obama, the Obama campaign is cranking up its pitch to women voters, with a joint Clinton/Biden video forum Wednesday, part of a "Women's Week of Action."
This activity comes as polls show Obama has not been able to win over a chunk of Clinton backers--and as Sarah Palin threatens to drain off crucial female voters. The Obama campaign is, I was told, "redoubling" its efforts to lock-in support of women, especially the Democratic leaners who by logic should be with Obama.
Senators and House members and other women leaders will be out stumping for the ticket as part of an upcoming Women for Change Weekend.
While Palin makes a historic appeal to women to break the glass ceiling, the Obama campaign will have an equal pay ad airing this week reminding voters of policy differences with the McCain-Palin ticket that vastly impact females.
"More and more families depend on the income earned by working women, so you'd think we'd be united in our determination to help eliminate the unfair pay gap and pay women what they deserve for the work they do. But even now in 2008 Senator McCain has stood in the way of legislation to help close the pay gap... only from the man who repeatedly says the fundamentals of our economy are strong," said Moira Mack, spokeswoman for the Obama campaign.
On Monday, the Obama campaign released a list of major female backers--some there from the start of his campaign, but more important, names of women prominent in the Clinton presidential campaign and some visible females who are just now making a public endorsement. Obama spoke to the group Monday in a conference call, first reported in the Huffington Post.
On Tuesday, Ellie Smeal of the Feminist Majority and Kim Gandy of NOW--the National Organization for Women-- hold a press conference at the National Press Club to make their endorsement of Obama public. These Democratic-allied groups had been in the Clinton camp.
On Wednesday, Michelle Obama and Lilly Ledbetter, a leader in the battle of equal pay for equal work, take part in a roundtable in Richmond, Va. and headline a Virginia Women for Obama voter registration rally.
At 8 p.m. eastern on Wednesday, Joe Biden and Clinton will be part of a video forum hosted by Women for Obama.
Biden and Clinton will, according to a note sent to backers,
"will discuss a range of issues important to women, from Equal Pay for Equal Work to reproductive health, from expanding the Family Medical Leave Act to giving tax cuts to strengthen the middle class. But they also want to know what's important to you.
Be part of the conversation on women's issues with Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden."
And as I reported on Sept. 9, "Women for Obama" and the Democratic National Committee on Oct. 10 and 11 in Chicago areholding a two-day fund-raising conference in the city featuring the who's who of Obama's policy and political world.
For donors who want to elbow with the Obama big shots, this conference, as one fund-raiser put it is "absolutely the best buy in the campaign in terms of bang for your buck."
One fund-raiser, in sending out a pitch, said this conference "will be the most visible statement of support for women the campaign will be making. Don't let McCain and Palin take this from us."
Hosts for this event need to raise $100,000 or contribute $57,000.