(I was invited to attend the Women’s Leadership Issues Conference hosted by Women for Obama. Here is my report back)
Women for Obama hosted the National Women’s Leadership Issues Conference titled, “Women for the Change We Need” Friday and Saturday in Chicago. Delegates and Obama supporters from all across the nation raised a total of 4.2 million campaign dollars, a record number that shatters every fundraising and voter registration record for women in American and presidential campaign history, according to the Natalie Jones, financial director for Women for Obama.
Michelle Obama, Former Secretary of State Madeline Albright, Mr. and Mrs. Biden, Suse Orman, Hilary B. Rosen and Oprah Winfrey were amongst the 37 the star-studded panelists and speakers that spoke to the near 1,000 women.
Supporters paid $2,500 just for general admission, while others paid all the way up to $28,500 to enter a VIP reception with Winfrey and Mrs. Obama Friday night.
Mrs. Biden introduced her husband as an ardent sponsor for the Violence Against Women Act and the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act. On Saturday, Obama spoke for a brief 20 minutes to the various women interest groups in the conference’s attendance and then to the larger issue of continued disparities between pay for women and men, reminding his boisterous audience that women still only receive 76 cents for every dollar a man makes.
Also on Saturday, Secretary Albright accompanied Obama’s Senior Advisor for National Security Affairs, Dr. Susan E. Rice for a panel and discussion on protecting our homeland and restoring American alliances. “Diplomacy is talking to people you don’t like,” Albright said. “We need to talk to Iran.”
On the troop surge in Iraq, Rice said, “He[Mccain] wants to forget everything that preceded the surge including the failed judgment to go to war in the first place.”