Thursday, June 26, 2008

Resolution to recommend to the national NOWPAC to move quickly to endorse Barack Obama

Phila. NOW would like to express its appreciation to the members of the PANOW state board who supported our resolution to recommend to the national NOWPAC that:

Given that Hillary Clinton is no longer in the presidential race and given that she has endorsed Barack Obama and urged her supporters to do likewise, and given that Barack Obama is a strong supporter of women’s rights, including abortion rights, we urge national NOWPAC to move quickly to endorse Barack Obama. We also encourage the NOW officers to invite Barack Obama to address the NOW conference in July.

In addition to support from PANOWPAC and Phila NOWPAC, Northwest NOW chapter is also in support of this resolution. Susan Woodland, President of Northwest NOW announced she had polled her board members prior to the state board meeting and they voted unanimously to support the resolution.

We would like to extend special thanks to Kathy Black and Susan Woodland, who argued so effectively that we must get behind Obama now so that he is in the strongest possible position going into general election

Pro-choice organizations are well aware of the dangers ahead. NARAL has endorsed Obama and Planned Parenthood Action Fund has launched a campaign to get out THE TRUTH ABOUT JOHN MCCAIN. The Planned Parenthood Action Fund has publicly committed to mobilizing one million pro-choice voters and bringing them to the polls this November.

Ellen Malcolm wrote a message to members on the Emily’s List Web site June 6, expressing her sadness over Clinton's failure to capture the nomination and "wholeheartedly" congratulating Obama, whom she called "our new leader."

It’s clear that women voters are rallying around Obama. The June 16 LA Times had an article titled “Women voters lining up behind Obama.” See:,0,5593581.story

According to the latest Gallup poll, Obama is now running as strongly against McCain as Hillary. He’s up 13 points among women since Hillary dropped out, and up six points among older women. See:

Frank Rich makes a similar point in June 15 NYT editorial:

New polls show Obama opening up a huge lead among female voters — beating McCain by 13 percentage points in the Gallup and Rasmussen polls and by 19 points in the latest Wall Street Journal-NBC News survey.

How huge is a 13- to 19-percentage-point lead? John Kerry won women by only 3 points, Al Gore by 11.

The real question is how Mr. McCain and his press enablers could seriously assert that he will pick up disaffected female voters in the aftermath of the brutal Obama-Clinton nomination battle. Even among Democrats, Obama lost only the oldest female voters to Clinton. For complete article go to:

And Gallup poll reports: Since Clinton suspended her campaign, older women's vote preferences have shifted toward Obama, so that he now enjoys a six-point advantage over McCain.

But helping Obama solidify his lead is not he only reason why national NOWPAC should endorse Barack Obama. If NOW is to grow, we must reach out to the younger women who voted in larger numbers for Obama and to African-American women of all ages who voted in record numbers (80-90% depending on the state) for Obama. In an increasingly diverse America, NOW must shed that unfair image that it is the National Organization for White Women. The image unfortunately persists despite many efforts to address issues of women of color. Support for Obama’s candidacy would do much to enhance NOW’s image among young women and women of color.

Endorsing Obama is important in building the progressive coalition which will rid us of the Republicans; it is also important for the future of NOW as we seek to encourage younger women and women of color to invest in our organization.

Endorsing Obama now is an opportunity to influence him to speak out more forcefully on women’s issues. His positions on issues are in accord with NOW’s. See:

However, he can do more; he can become a powerful advocate for gender equality. As Anna Quindlen wrote (in the article KimGandy recently sent out):

Most candidates who want the women's vote try to get it without ever really talking honestly about what it's like to be female in America. Instead there are cutesy labels: soccer moms, security moms, minimizing names for political Polly Pockets. Talk instead about equal pay, universal child care, reproductive rights, the women warriors in Iraq, the empty purses of the working class. This is a moment when you and yours will be tempted to run a race just like any other, slicing and dicing the country and then cherry-picking parts. Don't give in to the omnipresent fear of engaging in complexities. A man who can speak eloquently about all the ways in which women carry this country in their arms and all the ways government can help them do so would represent real change. For many American women, Hillary was their surrogate. You have a chance to be their champion. Don't blow it.

NOW can have an opportunity to influence an Obama presidency. He understands and supports our issues. It’s time to endorse his candidacy.