I attended the Women’s Caucus today – the 88th anniversary of the 19th amendment. Rosario Dawson, Eva Longoria, and Fran Drescher addressed the packed ballroom, but the real dynamic speakers were the women democratic leaders. All of the women announced their support for Barack Obama and all explicitly clear that women who want the right to choose, equality for women, quality education for our children, affordable and accessible health care, and who care about getting out of Iraq, getting our troops home, affordable housing, and an administration that works on behalf of families will not only vote for Obama, but will go a step further. This day was more than a call for unity, it was a directive by some of the greatest women leaders in our country for women to not only vote for Obama, but to work to make sure he is elected.
The founder of Emily’s list who has served on Clinton’s campaign stated she is “fired up and ready to elect Barack Obama” and a democratic congress. Alice Germond, Secretary of this convention was perhaps the most dynamic speaker – I hope she addresses the full convention. She talked about Michelle Obama and her speech last night and told the crowd not to allow the media or anyone else to diminish Michelle Obama’s incredible speech on behalf of all women. Germond was briefly interrupted by an anti-choice protestor who was escorted out by police as he tried to approach the stage. He was easily drowned out by OBAMA chants.
Sheila Johnson, an entrepreneur and community leader, talked about the divisions that have been created – a lot of it by the media – between and among genders and ethnicities - and told the crowd that Obama cannot stand alone in this election. She called on women to step outside of themselves and elect Obama with by using their words…talking to our sisters, mothers, daughters, and neighbors about Obama. A Hillary supporter in the crowd stood to yell out “Barack Hussein” as if this somehow indicates something wrong with him. Sheila just talked with more conviction and passion and I was so encouraged when the crowd – a large portion of whom are Hillary supporters – shout him down with “OBAMA” chants.
Aside from a small group of Hillary supporters who sat silent whenever Barack or Michelle were mentioned, it does seem that most Hillary supporters are Obama supporters will work to make sure we have a Democrat in the White House. Today, I saw many people with Hillary and Obama buttons and the “Hillary Supporter for Obama” buttons. This morning at the breakfast Gloria Allred was walking around with her mouth gagged in protest of Obama’s nomination – even Hillary delegates called her wacky and over the top. I hear that she and a small band of others plan some sort of protest inside the convention tonight. Who knows what will happen tonight, but if the Women’s caucus was an indication, Clinton will draw the distinctions between and vote for Obama and a vote for McCain and the majority of folks will be onboard. I’ve met many Clinton delegates in the last 2 days who are absolutely committed to electing Obama!
I had problems posting from inside the convention last night but will try again today.