Pool report by Abdon Pallasch
Pool report: Michelle Obama and the Bidens at Women for Obama, DNC Women's Leadership Forum
National Womens Leadership Issues Conf., Sheraton Hotel Chicago
About 1,000 women from around the countrying paid $2,500 to $28,500 to attend.
Oprah Winfrey spoke first - we were not admitted to that.
Jill Biden introduced her husband, saying, "It's great to be here with so many amazing women.
"There are 25 days left," she said. "Each of us needs to get up every day and keep at it. Every vote counts. Every dollar makes a difference.
"Many of you know my husband as the author of the Violence Against Women Act," she said to cheers fropm the crowd.
"Many of you know him as the senator who led the effort to keep Robert Bork off the supreme court." She also mentioned his opposition to John Roberts' and Sam Alito's nominations and his support for Equal Pay for Equal Work.
Joe Biden said he and Obama -- "We've been influenced by very strong women in our lives. It may sound corny, but you can tell how many strong women we were surrounded by growing up.
"One of the issues that was raised in my debate with Gov. Palin, at least I think it was a debate..." he said to laughter, "[was] the balance of work and family. I have to say I admire Gov. Palin bringing to the public eye the choices so many of you make every day of your lives."
"Being a woman is not the same as being THERE for women -- they are two different things," Biden said to cheers from the crowd. "Ladies and gentlemen, I guarantee you, Sen. Obama and I will be there for the things that matter for the women of America."
"When the economy goes south, the first ones to suffer are the women," Biden said.
"John [McCain] didn't believe there was aby need for the Violence Against Women act. Tell the 1.5 million women who have called the battered women's hotlines that this was unnecessary. Tell the women who have been battered repeatdly by men who ignore the 'Stay Away' orders it wasn't needed. John doesn't get it.
"The next president is going to get up to three new [supreme court] appointments. What they do is going to have more impact and last longer than anything Barack Obama and I do they will be there for a generation.
Michelle Obama gave the keynote:
"The leadership of women will be critical, because we all know, when you need something done, we can get it done," Obama said. "Talk to your friends and your neighbors and your colleagues. Sit down with your mothers and your fathers and your sisters and your girlfiends and tell them about the issues at stake in this election.
"We have women here from almost every state in the country. All of you live in a swing state or near a swing state, so when you get home, start knocking on those doors. Start talking on the phone. Help us get the vote out for Barack and Joe. It's never been more important that all women make their voices heard."
Her husband understands the concerns of America's women, Obama said, like how are they going to be able to afford groceries, gas..."They are worried about how they going to afford college for their kids ... mammograms they know they need, but cant afford.
"He was raised by a young single mom who was 18 years old," she said. "Barack Obama gets it. He understands the heartbreak of a broken health care system."
Obama touted the endorsement of Lilly Ledbetter, the woman at the center of a U.S. Supreme Court case the Equyal Pay act aimed to 'correct.' The court's conservative majority ruled Ledbetter could not file suit against her employer for paying her less than men with the same experience because Ledbetter did not find out about the pay disparity until after the deadline to sue for unequal pay.
"Lilly Ledbetter endorsed Barack for president," Obama said. "I love Lilly. She's a strong woman. There is only one candidate who has stood up for women like me. There is only one team in this race who will fight to see women get equal pay for equal work."
Obama, who once worked in Mayor Daley's office, also put in a plug for Chicago tourism, saying, "This is a great city. Get out of the hotel. Go eat in a restaurant. Go shopping."
Barack Obama will address the group on Saturday.