Albright campaigns for Obama, talks women’s rights
Former Secretary of State presents President Barack Obama’s pro-women platform to win female voters
Madeleine Albright, the first ever female secretary of state, addressed supporters of President Barack Obama and campaign volunteers in downtown Charlottesville Wednesday. She said Obama was the best candidate for women voters.
In 2009 Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Act into law. The act extended the period of time in which women are able to file wage-discrimination claims. Obama is pro-choice on abortion and has fought to expand access to birth control.
Albright said Obama’s advocacy of women’s rights showed the president’s “dedication to having women respected within our society.”
“I can’t imagine why a woman would vote for [Mitt] Romney,” Albright said. “[Obama] has made very clear that women should be able to choose about their lives in every way.”
Albright took office as secretary of state under President Bill Clinton in 1997. Women such as Nancy Pelosi and current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have made dents in the White House’s glass ceiling, but gender representation in the federal government remains far from equal. Women make up just 17 of the 100 members of the U.S. Senate.
Second-year College student and University Democrats member Lila Kelso called Romney’s position on women’s rights “archaic.” Romney for President spokesperson Kate Meriwether, however, said in an email that it is Obama’s policies that have made and will continue to make women worse off.
“With nearly 5.5 million women unemployed and over 16% living in poverty, women are looking to the Romney/Ryan ticket to get the country back on track,” Meriwether said.
Albright praised Obama for more than his work on women’s issues. She also commended his economic platform and national security record.
“We have to dig ourselves out of a very deep economic hole,” Albright said. “It is very important for people to understand … jobs can’t be created overnight … [but] every month [of Obama’s presidency] has shown an increase in job growth.”
Albright said Romney has a “narrow base” in his understanding of foreign policy and that his lack of experience would be detrimental. “Governor Romney has no experience, except running the Olympics — which is not exactly the same thing,” Albright said.
College Republicans President Matt Wertman, a third-year Architecture student, said Obama had been in the same position before taking office. “In 2008 then-Senator Obama had no foreign policy experience either,” Wertman said.
After canceling a Miller Center event Monday because of Hurricane Sandy, Albright expressed how this week’s superstorm highlighted the importance of the federal government’s role in helping those “who can’t help themselves.”
“As interesting as state’s rights are, you can’t do everything by yourself,” Albright said.