Economics, With a Feminine Touch

By Samantha Hayes, Washington, DC

You can’t help but notice that Barack Obama’s recent economic message is aimed at a specific group of voters.  They are voters he desperately needs to win the election. And for many of them it will take a great amount of effort on Obama’s part to convince them.  They are, in many ways, chief executive officers, and very concerned right now about making ends meet. WE’RE talking about women, who quite often are the ones managing the family budget.  And Barack Obama is speaking directly to them.

In the battleground state of Florida today, Obama made a direct appeal stating, “We all know how important women will be in determining the outcome of this election.”  Obama knows he would have won more support among many women, had he chosen Hillary Clinton as his running mate. Instead, he’s trying to win them over with an issue that’s a top concern: financial security. “You know, growing up I saw my mother struggle to put herself through school, while working, while raising me and my sister on her own,” said Obama, “She once had to turn to food stamps to make sure we had enough to eat. I think women like her who work hard and pour eveything they’ve got into their kids should be able to pay their bills and get ahead.”

The female-centered economic message is not just coming from Obama himself. Thursday, his wife Michelle Obama discussed balancing work and family with women in Richmond, Virginia.  And running mate Joe Biden, campaigning in Sterling, Virginia, pointed to John McCain’s position on social security saying, “imagine if John McCain’s proposal to privatize and put the money in the market was in effect today. Literally tens of thousands of elderly women would be in a desperate situation. More desperate then they already are.”

After months of talk about which voting block will swing the election, at least this week, it appears to be clear who the Obama campaign is targeting. And with the current economic crises, it may be dollars and cents that connects them.

Samantha Hayes is a national correspondent for CNN Newsource based in Washington, D.C. She contributes political stories to KSAT-12. You can learn more about her here.

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