WASHINGTON (FinalCall.com) – White women voters have become the talk of the election and the prize for candidates trying to win their vote. Leaders of several national women’s organizations primarily composed of White women recently came together to say Sen. Barack Obama is their candidate.

Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) greets supporters during a campaign rally in Chicago. Photo: Kenneth Muhammad

Representing “millions and millions of women,” the National Organization of Women (NOW) Political Action Committee (PAC), the Feminist Majority PAC, the National Association of Social Workers, the Business and Professional Women’s PAC and the National Congress of Black Women made the voices of everyday women heard.

“From teachers to social workers, from business owners to college students, women in this country are lining up behind the candidate who is out there every day standing up–clearly and consistently–for women,” said Kim Gandy, president of NOW. “Women of all ages, races and ethnicities are coming together in support of Sen. Obama and his pledge to fulfill this country’s promise of equal opportunity for our daughters as well as all our sons.”


Each of the organizations had completed an issue-by-issue comparison of the candidates’ records prior to the announcement and each independently came to the conclusion that Senator Obama was the best man for women’s rights and women’s issues.

“Women simply cannot afford a President McCain,” said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority. “He would stack the Supreme Court and federal judiciary against women’s reproductive and economic rights for future generations; stubbornly pursue a policy of endless war no matter the cost in human lives and dollars; and continue Bush failed economics and political policies.”

These organizations do not regularly endorse presidential candidates. NOW supported Sen. Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary. The selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as the Republican vice presidential candidate has forced these groups to take an aggressive stand in this election.

“John McCain just doesn’t get it. He doesn’t understand women voters and especially Hillary voters. Sarah Palin is no Hillary Clinton. You can’t attract Hillary voters and women voters with a woman opposed to what Hillary stands for,” said Ms. Smeal.

“Sarah Palin stands with John McCain, who is opposed to affirmative action for women in public employment, public education and public contracting, is opposed to legislation fighting wage discrimination for women, is opposed to the Violence Against Women Act authored by Sen. Joe Biden and has a zero rating with women’s rights groups.”

Polls showed a dramatic switch in White women voters from Sen. Obama to Sen. McCain immediately after the announcement of his vice presidential pick of Gov. Palin.

“We have to wait and see if these numbers hold true,” said Ms. Smeal. “It’s not enough to break the glass ceiling for one woman and leave millions behind. Palin’s positions are so out of touch with the positions of most women.”

Betsy Clark, president of the National Association of Social Workers, thinks women are smarter than to just vote for any woman. “While we are pleased that a woman is on the ticket, we are concerned that she is not the best woman candidate based on the issues. Women will not vote for John McCain simply because he has a woman as a running mate.

“Women know that they need to cast their vote based on the policies set forth by the candidates, regardless of gender,” she said.

For many Black women the issue of who to vote for is clear.

“Our country needs the women to come to the rescue in this election. By women, I mean women who have a long history of working for the best interest of women and families–not those who are just reading from a script and trying to outdo those who’d be happy with keeping the women in their lives hidden away without ambition of their own,” said Dr. E. Faye Williams, national chair of Black Women for Obama.