Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is campaigning in Albuquerque, New Mexico where he hosted a discussion with working women. Much of Obama’s remarks were devoted to going after John McCain for not supporting equal pay for women.
“It starts with equal pay. 62 percent of working women in America earn half – or more than half – of their family’s income. But women still earn only 77 cents for every dollar earned by men. In 2008, you’d think that Washington would be united in its determination to fight for equal pay. That’s why I was proud to co-sponsor the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act, which would have reversed last year’s Supreme Court decision, which made it more difficult for women to challenge pay discrimination on the job,” Obama said.
He then said that McCain agreed with the Supreme Court decision, But Senator McCain thinks the Supreme Court got it right. He opposed the Fair Pay Restoration Act. He suggested that the reason women don’t have equal pay isn’t discrimination on the job – it’s because they need more education and training. That’s just totally wrong… John McCain just has it wrong. He said the Fair Pay Restoration Act “opens us up to lawsuits for all kinds of problems.” But I can’t think of any problem more important than making sure that women get equal pay for equal work. It’s a matter of equality. It’s a matter of fairness.”
In the McCain campaign’s dream scenario, women would be so upset that Hillary Clinton did not win the Democratic nomination that they would refuse to support Obama, and side with McCain. The reality is that the opposite is happening. Recent polls have shown that Clinton supporters are solidly moving towards Obama. While there are some women who will vote for McCain out of disappointment, the vast majority of female Democrats see that on the issues they care about, Barack Obama is the better choice for them.
I don’t understand how McCain thinks that liberally minded women would support him when he has an entire record that goes against women’s rights. Pro-choice women won’t support McCain once they find out that he is solidly anti-abortion. He doesn’t believe in equal pay, and he is also against expanding the Family and Medical Leave Act. Obama knows that if he can get the solid support of women and minorities, this will be a powerful enough coalition to carry him to victory in November.