Breaking: NARAL Pro-Choice America Endorses Obama

This is going to ruffle some feathers.

NARAL President Nancy Keenan explains why the organization chose Obama out of the two strong pro-choice Democratic candidates.

UPDATE: The responses are already coming in. EMILY’s List president Ellen R. Malcolm says in a press release:

“I think it is tremendously disrespectful to Sen. Clinton – who held up the nomination of a FDA commissioner in order to force approval of Plan B and who spoke so eloquently during the Supreme Court nomination about the importance of protecting Roe vs. Wade – to not give her the courtesy to finish the final three weeks of the primary process. It certainly must be disconcerting for elected leaders who stand up for reproductive rights and expect the choice community will stand with them.”

What do you all think?

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Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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91 Responses

  1. Bellesouth
    Bellesouth May 14, 2008 at 2:41 pm |

    Sheer brilliance.

  2. Jovan1984
    Jovan1984 May 14, 2008 at 3:12 pm |

    The fallout is severe already. Seventeen out of the eighteen comments I’ve read on the Blog for Choice are very negative of Nancy.

  3. Marnanel
    Marnanel May 14, 2008 at 3:15 pm |

    How on earth is it not “giving Clinton the courtesy to finish the final three weeks of the primary process” for an organisation to endorse another candidate? NARAL doesn’t have some sort of magic ability to make the DNC conference sooner, and Clinton can still keep going until then or concede at any point along the way, whenever she feels like it, whatever NARAL says. NARAL has endorsed Obama because they think Obama is the best candidate currently running; I can’t see how you can get from that to an idea that they’re being disrespectful to any or all other candidates, and to be honest I think it’s disingenuous of Emily’s List to make the implication.

  4. Hot Tramp
    Hot Tramp May 14, 2008 at 3:15 pm |

    No point in waiting for what was going to end up happening anyway. If Clinton doesn’t want to drop out, that’s her prerogative, but I think the rest of us need to move on and start focusing on the general election at this point.

  5. MyComment
    MyComment May 14, 2008 at 3:19 pm |

    Well to bad they don’t have their facts right… Hillary is now awhaed in the popular vote.

    I don’t concern myself with this group… since they endorsed Joe Leiberman

  6. Mikey
    Mikey May 14, 2008 at 3:27 pm |

    I agree with the above commenters. The Emily’s List rebuke is artificial and arbitrary in its content.

    I don’t think “courtesy” is a good argument for Hillary Clinton to stay in the race, and I don’t think her other arguments for staying in make much sense, either. Mike Huckabee supporters have not been rebuking evangelicals for endorsing McCain before the end of the process out of a sense of “courtesy.”

    Senator Clinton cannot win this race without destroying Obama’s reputation (or capitalizing on some other force that destroys Obama’s reputation) and relying on superdelegate elites to blow up the Party at the Convention. If she’s not going to do that, it’s unclear how she is different from Governor Huckabee.

  7. Cola Johnson
    Cola Johnson May 14, 2008 at 3:27 pm |

    I don’t know. I’m a Clinton supporter, and I went into that expecting to find something offensive or irritating and I didn’t find it. I disagree with their choice, but I don’t feel that they were disrespectful to Clinton or her hard work at all.

    Besides, one would hope Clinton doesn’t stand for reproductive justice for the support of such organisations, but because, as a woman, she understands how important it is that we do.

  8. MyComment
    MyComment May 14, 2008 at 3:28 pm |

    ell to bad they don’t have their facts right… Hillary is now ahead in the popular vote.

    I don’t concern myself with this group… since they endorsed Joe Leiberman

  9. Marnanel
    Marnanel May 14, 2008 at 3:34 pm |

    MyComment: Where are you getting your numbers from? RCP says Obama has 16,104,613 popular votes, and Clinton has 15,511,003.

  10. norbizness
    norbizness May 14, 2008 at 3:48 pm |

    Mananel: I think it’s from the zero votes he got in Michigan, minus caucus states, minus states with too many eggheads or university towns, minus Deep South states that Obama could never win (the special election in Mississippi yesterday notwithstanding), and x2 special bonus Florida.

  11. Jeffrey
    Jeffrey May 14, 2008 at 3:59 pm |

    If you count Michigan and Florida (iffy) and don’t give the “uncommitted” votes in Michigan to Obama (somewhat more than iffy), Clinton has a popular vote lead of slightly less than 20,000, if I recall correctly. However, there’s been some criticism of the way caucuses are counted: no one seriously thinks they should be discounted, but some people have suggested that they underestimate turnout, and so the actual popular vote is much more heavily tilted in Obama’s favor.

  12. spike
    spike May 14, 2008 at 4:03 pm |

    MyComment-

    Not only do you have your facts wrong but you have fallen for the Clinton machine spin in that the popular vote is what matters. (try telling that to Gore) What matters is pledged delegates and super delegates. According to the link Marnanel porivided and earlier examinatin of the numbers by Jack Tapper, there is unequivocally no way that Clinton can catch up to Obama at this point in pledged delegates. Even if we accepted the false logic of the Clinton campaign with regards to the popular vote, even if we added Michigan and Florida as they have voted, Clinton STILL would be behind in both pledged and popular votes!

    The only way for her to win now is to convince the superdelegates that a African-American can’t win the presidency and have them OVERTURN the will of the democratic voters. (As a Hispanic that in his state often feels as if the white ruling political class only keeps us around for our votes and then ignores our needs after receiving those votes, the possibility of this happening scares the s*** out of me) And if that happens, I swear to you the Democratic party can kiss the African-American vote goodbye not just for this election but for at least decade to come. Oh they wont vote Republican, they just won’t vote, again, ever for a long time. I know I won’t. I won’t vote for a candidate that has to resort to racism no matter what party they belong to and that the racist action would be coming from a Democrat makes it even more vile.

    And I say all this as someone who voted for Clinton, has donated to her campaign, has friends working on her campaign and has truly enjoyed watching his 6 year old twin daughter be so excited about her candidacy.

    But it is over. Over. Over. She cannot win.

    EMILY’s List, AFSCME and other good liberal fundraising groups are only giving away money that would be best spent against McCain and other Democratics running in down-ticket races. They are doing a disservice to the party and the party’s candidate.

    Clinton had a great run, yes she kept the race tight the entire time and she deserves recognition for her political acumen and survival skills. But now she needs to let go of the ego and come back to bring the party back together. The Democratic party’s base is Hispanics, African-Americans and Women. If one of those legs fails to deliver we can look forward to a McCain presidency. Its time for Clinton to realize that her continued fight only opens more wounds.

  13. spike
    spike May 14, 2008 at 4:10 pm |

    I apologize for the many spelling mistakes in my post, I was in a hurry and didn’t proofread. mea culpa.

  14. baltogeek
    baltogeek May 14, 2008 at 4:13 pm |

    What?

    “I think it is tremendously disrespectful to Sen. Clinton… to not give her the courtesy to finish the final three weeks of the primary process.”

    So NARAL is only supposed to endorse after the primary process is over? By that logic pretty much every group that’s endorsed a candidate is “disrespectful”.

    “It certainly must be disconcerting for elected leaders who stand up for reproductive rights and expect the choice community will stand with them.”

    So are they implying that Obama doesn’t support pro-choice groups and initiatives? Where is their evidence for this?

    I would like to somehow get through this primary without having another feminist political organization do/say something so stupid that I lose respect for them.

  15. irishgril1983
    irishgril1983 May 14, 2008 at 4:15 pm |

    Hmmm

    This looks like two organizations that compete for the same $ from the same donors, and Emily’s List is taking advantage of an opportunity to draw a clear distinction and draw donors away from NARAL.

    I think that’s the only context this makes sense in.

  16. Kelly
    Kelly May 14, 2008 at 4:17 pm |

    Oh Ellen, all this continued primary has done is siphoned money from the general election, from pro-choice groups, from EMILY’s list, from the DNC into the pockets of Mark Penn and other near do wells in the HRC campaign.

    NARAL is smart and savvy enough to see this primary for what it is — a family feud that is costing us time, money and good will.

  17. Marnanel
    Marnanel May 14, 2008 at 4:17 pm |

    baltogeek: If endorsing a candidate at all before the conference is disrespectful, Emily’s List has some explaining to do about why they endorsed Clinton back in January.

  18. queenofbithynia
    queenofbithynia May 14, 2008 at 4:59 pm |

    Marnanel @ 13: this objection comes up not because of the mere fact of a NARAL endorsement, but because of their own stated justifications for it. The email I got from them this morning had a resounding nothing to say about Obama being a better pro-choice candidate than Clinton, because he isn’t, and NARAL is not claiming that he is. This is what they say: “NARAL Pro-Choice America PAC is making our endorsement now because every day that passes, Sen. McCain gets a free ride on the issue of choice. That free ride ends today.”

    You might wonder why it is impossible to attack McCain on his anti-choice views without endorsing Obama or, for that matter, Clinton. You might wonder why NARAL has, in their own words, been giving McCain a “free ride” up till now, and why they want to admit that.

    Anyway, I don’t think this is all that surprising or outrageous; NARAL falls in line with Democratic leadership when they think they have to, that’s all. They’ve done it before and they’ll do it again.

    So NARAL is only supposed to endorse after the primary process is over

    baltogeek: NARAL has full discretion to endorse when and whom they choose. However, it has generally been their habit, at least at the local level, not to favor one strongly pro-choice candidate over another strongly pro-choice candidate without having some reason for it other than “we don’t want to wait another three weeks.”

  19. BenVarkentine
    BenVarkentine May 14, 2008 at 5:00 pm |

    I’d like these question answered.

    What hope does Clinton have?

    Why is she dragging the country through this when it’s clear (like her or not) the clock has run out for her (this time around)?

    Is there any realistic reason to expect she’ll be the next president at this point except that she really, really wants to be?

    She’s supposed to be tough, but I believe one of the toughest (and most impressive) things a person can do is know when to give up. Does Clinton not have to do that because she’s a woman?

    Do we really want another leader who, when faced with the most serious decision they can make–whether to commit troops–chooses the path that covers their ass politically?

    More people want Obama, period, and all the wishful thinking of Emily’s List isn’t going to change that. Explain it to me if you can.

  20. Kim
    Kim May 14, 2008 at 5:01 pm |

    I am an Obama supporter and I question the endorsement at this point in time. Their reasoning was that it’s time to start attacking McCain. I agree…but do you need to endorse another candidate to be able to call a spade a spade?

    I think not.

  21. Dreama
    Dreama May 14, 2008 at 5:12 pm |

    The response from Emily’s List is somewhat predictable but sad in its presumptions. Now is the time for unifying around the candidate who will, barring a miracle of heretofore unseen proportions, be the nominee, not to raise meaningless arguments. The Emily’s List raison de etre is to support pro-choice female candidates (unless their mandate has changed?) so of course their endorsement was always going to go to Clinton, but that ship has sailed.

  22. You’ve Got To Be Kidding Me : The Curvature

    [...] and then launch this kind of vague yet ominous criticism when the orders aren’t followed. Emily’s List is in on the act, too. I’m sick of it, I’m pissed off about it, I’m done with it, and I’d be very [...]

  23. helzeph
    helzeph May 14, 2008 at 5:29 pm |

    I am just glad you raised the topic for discussion. The silence about all things Hillary in the feminist blogsphere is frightening. An anti-racism blogsphere would rightly call out and examine, media twisted and choreographed representations of Obama, even if as individuals they were Hillary supporters. Because this is a manipulation of democracy itself. Feminism needs to be able to hold its head up after this election, the treatment of Hillary Clinton is a feminist issue.
    We should think twice before we buy the silence for unity line, it never works.
    I am an out and out Hillary supporter, (without a vote) but I would like to say I don’t think Obama is responsible for this, he may feel constrained from speaking out, feminists should not.

    The heads of charity’s and other philanthropic organisations are as susceptible to
    leverage as any one else, given the climate one even wonders if it may not be a factor
    in this case, I prefer to think not.

  24. Morgan
    Morgan May 14, 2008 at 5:42 pm |

    This just further cements NARAL’s reputation as the laughingstock of the pro choice community.

  25. LS
    LS May 14, 2008 at 5:46 pm |

    This is especially interesting given that Clinton has been unwavering on choice while Obama has made a number of nods and concessions to the anti-choice crowd, including remarking on the value of abstinence education and stating that promiscuity was “a component” in the spread of AIDS, thinks we women should have “some control” over the decision and that we pro-choice folks need to acknowledge the “moral weight” of abortion, and wants to bring in priests, pastors, and family members in every abortion decision. Yes, he has a 100% voting record. Guess what? If you go down the full list, you can pick party affiliation by voting record. 100 = Dem, 0=Rep. The exceptions are few and far between. Voting record means squat-all in determining a candidate’s position on choice.

    Not on, NARAL. Not on at all.

  26. Kirsten
    Kirsten May 14, 2008 at 6:08 pm |

    I don’t know; the timing of the endorsement rubs me the wrong way. I am not sure the of the value right now. It seems to me that endorsing Obama now only acts to increase the divide between Obama and Clinton supporters, instead of unifying them. I will support the Democratic candidate in the fall, no matter whom it may be–as I believe most pro-choice voters will do. If NARAL had waited until after June 7th when the voting was complete, I think a lot of the bad will could have been avoided.

  27. Hugo Schwyzer
    Hugo Schwyzer May 14, 2008 at 6:17 pm |

    What LS said. Very disappointing of NARAL. Money that might have gone to NARAL can go to EMILY’s List this season, I think.

    What would be wrong with sitting out the primary race and then endorsing in the general? Why did NARAL think this needed to happen? Who in NARAL didn’t realize how many pro-choice, pro-Clinton voters and donors this would infuriate?

  28. queenofbithynia
    queenofbithynia May 14, 2008 at 6:27 pm |

    Who in NARAL didn’t realize how many pro-choice, pro-Clinton voters and donors this would infuriate?

    Oh, all the same people who didn’t realize how many people their Lieberman endorsement would infuriate. My experience with them has been that whenever there’s an outcry about something like this, their response is to lament that people aren’t smart enough to understand the political realities underpinning their decisions.

    Sure, there’s a place for liberal groups who put pragmatism first, and endorse the Democrat most likely to win, not the Democrat most in line with their principles. Sometimes that’s necessary. But NARAL supporters support NARAL on the understanding that they are not one of those groups, that they make their decisions based on actual pro-choice principles, not some weaselly notion what all the other kids are doing this week.

  29. Kirsten 2
    Kirsten 2 May 14, 2008 at 6:35 pm |

    I would like to add to those who protest NARAL’s endorsement. It’s not that they don’t have a right to endorse whomever they want, and I think it speaks volumes that they haven’t backed her before now; it sent a message without actually cutting her. But it is an insult to officially turn your back on a woman whom you have endorsed in the past, and who has a longer and stronger pro-choice record. For pete’s sake, the woman has voted every vote, and spoke at the last World Conference on Women. When did Senator Obama show that sort of leadership for women’s issues?

    But let’s face it: there’s no bad candidate for pro-choice voters here. And for that reason, if for no other, we should stand together as pro-choice advocates and fight McCain. It would make sense to me to focus on that effort until the primaries are over.

  30. Kristin
    Kristin May 14, 2008 at 6:39 pm |

    I think that Obama and Clinton are more alike on choice issues than either is like McCain. And it seriously is time for this primary season to be over so we can start focusing on what’s importaint: beating McCain.

  31. Pipkin
    Pipkin May 14, 2008 at 6:44 pm |

    Slightly off topic, but I’m irritated: Obama called a reporter “sweetie” again.
    http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/05/14/obama-hold-on-sweetie/

  32. Kirsten
    Kirsten May 14, 2008 at 6:51 pm |

    The two are alike….which is why the endorsement now makes me so queasy. I still do not understand what NARAL thinks it gains by doing so. I do not believe that anyone would have questioned shy they waited another two weeks–and now I fear that they are going to lose money and volunteers–I know that they have lost this one (at least at the federal level). $$ and time that previously went to the parent NARAL will now go to my state NARAL (which had no say in the endorsement and was not notified) and Emily’s List.

  33. Thene
    Thene May 14, 2008 at 7:30 pm |

    What do I think? I think Clinton does not own the pro-choice community, and she has no set entitlement to their support, especially not when she’s running full-tilt into a wall.

  34. irishgril1983
    irishgril1983 May 14, 2008 at 7:40 pm |

    I think the logic on NARAL’s side is , let’s get some goodwill from the next president while theres goodwill to be gotten. Possibly a strategic fundraising move as well “Emily’s List picked a loser, we picked a winner”

    BTW, that sweetie thing is outrageous! I think that is the first Barack Obama thing that has gotten me upset.

  35. Kristin
    Kristin May 14, 2008 at 8:19 pm |

    What do I think? I think Clinton does not own the pro-choice community, and she has no set entitlement to their support, especially not when she’s running full-tilt into a wall.

    Me too.

  36. Tiffany
    Tiffany May 14, 2008 at 9:28 pm |

    This is a terrific endorsement. Pro-choice and Pro-change is the message that was sent loud and clear.

    NARL is an outstanding resource for women and men – I hope that they can leverage Obama’s vast network of both genders to bring about awareness and make signifiant changes.

    Great job Nancy. Very Very Proud of ou

  37. Pam Hoffmann
    Pam Hoffmann May 14, 2008 at 10:06 pm |

    Just heard the news of the Obama endorsement on NPR. I was so frustrated that I made my first ever visit to a blog wanting to comment. Seems many agree with my outrage! At a time when the media is so unfairly blasting Hilary–her resounding win in West Virginia is so upstaged by the Edwards endorsement that it gets little attention–NARAL PAC choses to stab her too. Why not just wait for the process to unfold? You could certainly speak out against McCain without endorsing anyone.

  38. Lauren
    Lauren May 14, 2008 at 10:13 pm |

    I think it’s a little confounding because NARAL has given both Clinton and Obama 100% on reproductive issues. Furthermore, candidates were never expected to drop out of the primaries until recent years. Way back when, the official party candidate was chosen at the national conventions, not before.

    What’s the rush? What’s the agenda?

  39. Kristin
    Kristin May 14, 2008 at 10:43 pm |

    What’s the rush? What’s the agenda?

    Well, see, the agenda… Is the implication that it’s some nefarious anti-feminist plot or something?

    For me, the agenda: Things are really dire at the moment.

    I do not believe that Clinton or Obama are going to be the Great Progressive Savior. I think they’re both conservative candidates. I don’t think there’s any way around that right now–that’s just where we are in American politics. We’re not gonna get a progressive. So, what we have are two conservative candidates (they both voted for the wall, okay?) against a candidate who could arguably be called a fascist (And, no, I do not think this is a stretch given McCain’s “rah rah rah go Bush!” rhetoric, the fact that the Bush administration has centralized executive power to an extent unprecedented by any industrialized liberal democracy–and, oh, mainstreamed torture).

    Things are so dire that I will gladly vote for the conservative candidate over the fascist one. And it’s May, and Obama and Clinton continue to fight it out while McCain shores up his base. And I’m really, really worried that this will go into August and then there may be a fight over a technicality in Florida, and… If such a thing happens, then I think we will all be fucked.

    And, frankly, I don’t think there are anymore substantive differences between Clinton and Obama. As I said, they are much more alike on choice issues than either is like McCain.

    The agenda, the hurry, for me, is that, well, I don’t give a fuck about either of their respective careers. I just want them to get on with what matters–beating McCain. And the longer it takes to do that, the more likely, I think, that McCain will win.

  40. Kristin
    Kristin May 14, 2008 at 10:51 pm |

    Also: Before anyone accuses me of a derail, I was asked what my agenda was, so I stated it, and okay… Done.

  41. marie
    marie May 14, 2008 at 10:54 pm |

    As a feminist this endorsement really pissed me off. They could have waited. I feel alot of these endorsements are an attempt to influence voters towards Obama.

    As for NARAL, I emailed them to remove me from their donor list. People need to recognize all the great work Hillary has done as Senator for the pro-choice movement and reproductive rights. I remember emailing her offices upon being informed by NARAL about Bush’s nomination to the FDA. Was Obama even in the Senate then?

    Plus, I can not accept the fact that they would endorse a man over a woman, I don’t care how liberal he is. He can’t get pregnant and will never know innately women’s reproductive issues. This was a real slap in the face to Hillary.

    As for Hillary dropping out, I am on the growing bandwagon for her to run as an Independent. That would shut up all these DNC leaders. She should run as an Independent because she gets blamed for everything anyway. There is so much sexism in this late part of the race it is prompting me to stay home in November.

  42. mark
    mark May 14, 2008 at 10:56 pm |

    I think Kristin nailed it. Neither Obama nor Hillary is even close to my first choice — but both are far better than McCain. The primary needs to be put in the past, so the battle against McCain can be joined. Eight years of Bush has done enough damage to this country, including to the make up of the Supreme Court.

  43. Curiouser and Curiouser at Faux Real

    [...] [via] [...]

  44. Valhalla
    Valhalla May 14, 2008 at 11:22 pm |

    Even aside from the disrespect issue, NARAL’s timing was strategically stupid. Nothing stops them from working against McCain’s ‘free ride’ on anti-choice. That’s just silly.

    If they had waited until Clinton threw her support behind Obama, they could have come out well both ways — support her and him. Make everyone happy. Such opportunities don’t come around very often, esp. in politics — so why throw one away? As it is, comments on NARAL’s site are running about 90/10 against the decision, they have really ticked off their base. No chance they’ll avoid taking a big hit in financial support, and that will hurt their ability to work for choice. When you’re a member-supported organization, you don’t tick off your base supports.

    For everyone who can’t understand why Clinton is still running, broaden your reading a bit. Sixty-plus percent of Democrats in multiple surveys think she should stay in. At that rate you’ll be able to find valid reasons if you just open your eyes. Yes, it’s some work to do so but it’s only a little bit, I promise.

    Personally, I think Obama and his supporters will just be wishing Clinton was still in the race about a month from now. All this attention focused on the two of them and the (truly) mild criticism of him on her part will pale in comparison once the Republicans start in. They attacked a genuine war hero effectively in the last election. They have turned negative campaigning into an art form. Dems are just amateur’s in comparison. The longer she’s in, the shorter the time Republicans have to go all out on their attacks.

    And just under 50% of Democrats supported her (I know Obama’s supporters don’t like to hear that). Obama can’t win in November without her supporters. She’s not some fringe candidate playing around with 2% of the party vote. Her supporters want to see her go out on a high note, which she’ll be well able to do after WV, KY and PR (with 30-40% margins). It gives her an opportunity to be gracious in defeat and generous and sincere in asking her supporters to move their support to him. By propagating the (really) annoying theme of ‘Clinton’s stupid and so are her supporters’, Obama’s fans are just washing desperately needed support down the drain.

    If you want ‘unity’, you need to give a little too. Do a little more reaching out to Clinton’s supporters and practice the arrogance and condescension a little less. It’s not just Clinton’s supporters who need to do a little thinking about how they can put the issues first. Neither you nor Obama are entitled to my support, you have to earn it. Best start soon, time’s running out.

  45. Lauren
    Lauren May 14, 2008 at 11:28 pm |

    Thanks, Kristen. I’m more concerned about what NARAL’s agenda is. I get that they aim to promote a pro-choice candidate, but both candidates are inarguably pro-choice. There has to be a reason to opt to endorse Obama at this point of the game.

    Doesn’t anyone remember the NARAL/Lieberman thing?

    I just don’t get it.

  46. CBrachyrhynchos
    CBrachyrhynchos May 14, 2008 at 11:29 pm |

    Why is she dragging the country through this when it’s clear (like her or not) the clock has run out for her (this time around)?

    Well, I have a slightly different view. In spite of all the angst and sniping between partisans on both sides, the extended primary season has really energized local and state Democratic groups, who are getting people to vote in a primary in record numbers. In raw vote totals, Obama and Hillary have been individually putting more people in the voting booth than McCain since the start of the primary season. The total Democratic vote count in Indiana primary was almost the total number of votes for Kerry in the 2004 general election. Which to me means that my home state is “in play” for the first time in decades. (And with a governor’s mansion and at least three congressional districts up for grabs, it better be.)

    And I’ll agree with Kristin, and I’ve said many times before: the honeymoon with the Democratic party ends the morning after election day, even to the point where I think there is a clear and obvious conflict of interest when progressive people and groups endorse mainstream Democratic candidates.

    But, we don’t just need a president with an EC majority, we need a president with a popular vote mandate, a non-negotiable majority in both congressional houses, and friendly state governments. And I think ultimately the number of people who will pack up their toys and refuse to vote in November are much smaller than the wave of new activists and voters who have been brought into the process.

  47. Kristin
    Kristin May 14, 2008 at 11:30 pm |

    There has to be a reason to opt to endorse Obama at this point of the game.

    Maybe that Obama’s winning?

  48. Kristin
    Kristin May 14, 2008 at 11:31 pm |

    Also, see this on McCain at Belle’s blog.

  49. octogalore
    octogalore May 15, 2008 at 12:27 am |

    What marie said — hook line and sinker.

  50. Lauren
    Lauren May 15, 2008 at 12:32 am |

    Maybe that Obama’s winning?

    Thanks again, Kristen, though I feel at this point you’re being a bit dismissive of what I’m actually saying here.

    Obama’s lead is a given. My question revolves around the fact that NARAL is a one-issue organization and both candidates are, by their measure, perfect on the issues at hand. Why, then, would they endorse someone before the official party nomination for candidacy? NARAL has to be aiming for another motive in their *own* favor, be it donations, relevancy, attention, a pleasant angle of unpredictability — it’s not like an individual is making an endorsement, this is a political organization. Because it’s a political organization with self-interests that it is not making explicit at this time, what is the angle? There’s nothing delusional or conspiratorial in asking questions about the motives of a PAC during an election.

    I have to go to bed — I have an awesome ten hour work day slated for tomorrow — but I’ll totally flesh out my predictions and assumptions when I have time if anyone is still interested tomorrow. Night, all.

  51. octogalore
    octogalore May 15, 2008 at 12:36 am |

    correction — up to the last paragraph.

  52. Portland Doctor
    Portland Doctor May 15, 2008 at 1:16 am |

    I have spent years in the abortion rights movement, contributing, escorting, staffing booths. I have worked for and belonged to NARAL for years. No more. NARAL’s endorsement today was in poor judgement. There is a such a thing as principle. Senator Clinton has a longer and way stronger record on reproductive rights and health care for women. It will take Obama another 6 years to catch up with her in the national arena. (Of course since he has missed about 40% of the vote in the last two years since he has been a US Senator, it will take him more like 12 years.) Senator Clinton spoke on the Senate floor against the nomination of Sam Alito and John Roberts because of her concern of the overturn of Roe v Wade. She is the leader here. NARAL was in the wrong to support Obama during this primary. This endorsement reflects badly on the leadership of this organization. I am afraid many of their top contributors will agree and it will hurt women and girls around this country for years to come.

  53. Beverly Hill
    Beverly Hill May 15, 2008 at 1:54 am |


    What has Obama done for this group? What legislation has he proposed or fought for? None. Speeches do not count for anything. Actions are what counts.
    Hillary has always been there for you, and you could have supported her like she has supported you.
    Matter of fact, you really did not have to pledge support to anyone. Neutral would have been the best choice.
    She will be in the Senate no matter what. What happens when you need her support? She is one of the strongest Congresswomen around. I would not
    blame her if she chose to just look the other way if you needed her.
    She has always been for women’s rights. Has Obama? I don’t think so.
    He just likes to talk about it.

    The whole thing is sad. This is one of the first times that all the states votes have actually counted and people can voice their choice.
    Obama and the media just want to end if all. That does not show respect for the American people and their right to be heard. That is also what he and the party is doing to Michigan and Florida. They tried to move up so their votes so they would count more, but they got slapped in the face. They tried to move it back , but weren’t allowed to , but oh, we have got to punish them. That is ridiculous. Every vote should count.

    Would you address the fact that Obama was a cocaine user? He admitted it in his book and their are questions if he was still using it while he was in the Illinois legilature. Oh yes, let’s tell our youth that is OK to use drugs. It will help you become President.
    What about respecting American? Oh yes, let’s tell our youth and the world we don’t have to pledge the flag, and we can say we aren’t proud to be an American. That’s the American spirit. That is what is going to unify us?

    Let’s keep color coding the U.S. by calling us black, white, and brown.
    I thought I was an American first with a various ethnic background. I refuse to be color coded or hyphenated. That would make me Comanche-Scottish-Irish-French American. Ridiculous–right!

    By the way, Hamas endorsed Obama, too. You have joined an elite group.

    The Democratic doesn’t want states to move their primaries so their vote will count more, but they don’t want the later primaries to count either. If I lived in one of these states, I would be furious that a presidential nominee would not want to support my right to vote. All Obama is concerned with is to win. No experience, no running anything- not as a governor and not even a business. His record in the Senate is below 65%productivity while Clinton has always been in the top 6%. I wonder who will most likely to do the best job?

    You think that this action by you unified anything. Your pressure was due to racial issues? This concerns me that suddently black super delegates are afraid to vote for Clinton due to threats. Oh, that is the American way. Live in fear and let that affect your vote. I thought this was the United States and not a third world country where I was forced to vote for someone out of fear.

    Where are we headed? Think, think, think ahead! Your group lost my support and so many others–especially the Hillary group. We are definately with her to the end because we believe in her which you should have, too.

    Aren’t you the group that believes in being right above all? So you supported Obama just because you thought he would win. Well, the Republicans will have a hay day with him so don’t be surprised that McCain will win and then you will definately have problems. All polls show that Hillary is the only one who can beat McCain, but you must not care about your cause, because you supported the wrong person. Good luck! You are going to need it.

  54. grrzilla
    grrzilla May 15, 2008 at 6:52 am |

    This is mind blowing. Its organizational stupidity. It has and will loose NARAL State board members. And supporters such as myself who over the years have hosted house parties and fund raisers and turned out when called to do so. I am sorry to say it but I am not supporting NARAL with my money or time anymore.

    I am now going shopping for a pro-choice replacement for my time and money. One that has the good sense NOT to indulge in organizational suicide prior to very important State elections and legislative sessions.

    Ask yourselves if NARAL is going to get through the door of the many legislators around the country who support Hillary in this primary period? I imagine they will still vote pro-choice but they are not going to be taking NARAL’s calls anytime soon and that makes NARAL pretty damn ineffectual. Nor is this going to help with fence sitting Reps. who will see that NARAL will endorse on the bench but “present” voting candidates over the champions who pick up the ball for the full court press. Here comes a period of back sliding politics on choice and other womens issues because why take the heat when the deciding criteria is popularity?

    I don’t care if you vote Obama or Clinton but NARAL is a singe issue organization and they just blew off their credibility with their base by supporting the ok but not terribly courageous record instead of the stellar record on their single issue. My time and money is for organizations that stay true to their mission. Be that open space preservation, water and air quality, peace, social justice, clean energy or whatever.

    Most of the angry with the timing and failing to follow the NARAL organizational vision people such as myself are the activist/members that have supported NARAL for many many years. Contrast that to those that feel that NARAL made the right choice in endorsing now rather then seeing the normal nominating process play out. Most of the “Thank you NARAL” commentors are not members, have never protested anti-choice groups, escorted women to family planning clinics under attack by the right wing wack-jobs, testified at State legislative hearings against anti-choice bills, written letters to the editors or contributed financial. Nor are they likely to.

  55. Redheadinred
    Redheadinred May 15, 2008 at 8:36 am |

    I think this is good. I’m from the UK, support Obama, and am pro-choice. But Clinton doesn’t strike me as ‘phenomenal’ – she said she wants abortion to be ‘rare, and I mean *rare*’, which didn’t strike me as phenomenally pro-choice to me. I prefer Obama anyway, so I might just be biased, but I think we should be glad that at least the USA is likely to be getting a pro-choice president rather than a maniac who wants to overturn Roe v. Wade, whoever it is. It has been said that the UK is the 51st state of America, and I agree. We are so affected by US politics that it really does matter to me who gets in. I’m following the 2008 election closely.

  56. ElleBeMe
    ElleBeMe May 15, 2008 at 9:08 am |

    Why, then, would they endorse someone before the official party nomination for candidacy?

    To perhaps draw away pro-choice voters from McCain? McCain has been rather quiet on his stance except for those who hear his dog-whistle rally cries in the AC camp.

    Perhaps NARAL was also trying to help speed along the nomination process because SO MUCH is on the line in this election. If McCain scoots by with winning the election under the wide-impression he is a “moderate” he gets to nominate more SCOTUS judges. That cannot happen, for NARAL knows they do not have the political capital to fight yet another round of anti-choice, reactionary justices from taking seat at the SCOTUS, in addition to the lower courts appointments too.

    I believe they see who is ahead and want to move forward with that candidate. If Hillary was the agreed upon victor, I believe they would have endorsed her instead. But numbers-wise (still a bit fudgy there….) and image-wise she isn’t.

    I am not defending/condeming this endorsement. It’s just how I have interpreted their strategy. I left NARAL’s (national) membership a couple of years ago after the Roberts/Alito shitstorm and their backing of some republican candidates who voted for thsoe asshats. NEVER again.

  57. D.N. Nation
    D.N. Nation May 15, 2008 at 9:50 am |

    At a time when the media is so unfairly blasting Hilary–her resounding win in West Virginia

    Which mattered, delegate-speaking, all of jack squat.

  58. D.N. Nation
    D.N. Nation May 15, 2008 at 9:52 am |

    As for Hillary dropping out, I am on the growing bandwagon for her to run as an Independent. That would shut up all these DNC leaders. She should run as an Independent because she gets blamed for everything anyway. There is so much sexism in this late part of the race it is prompting me to stay home in November.

    The McCain War Machine thanks you for your support.

  59. emily
    emily May 15, 2008 at 10:23 am |

    NARAL’s endorsement is a slap in the face to all women who respect and admire the gifts women bring to leadership positions. By participating in the purely political based on the hierarchical ordering of men, NARAL has shown that they do not value the authority of women. I am a Clinton supporter and find Obama vapid. He is weak in his support of women (note ledbetter and fair pay; roe vs wade; and his other ‘present’ votes on issues affecting women and children). God may forgive NARAL and other women who have abandoned themselves, but right now I can’t. You have also abandoned me.

  60. Jody
    Jody May 15, 2008 at 10:59 am |

    I agree with grrzilla, it is a stupid move as an organization to be so dismissive of its membership.

    Most Hillary supporters are still supporting her regardless of what the media or John Edwards have to say about the inevitability of an Obama nomination. Many Clinton supporters understand her as the better candidate, and will fight for her regardless of the people trying to push her out before the convention. It’s sad that NARAL is dismissing her now too.

    NARAL’s endorsement of Obama at this time is definitely a swipe at Hillary and her supporters, and adds just one more voice to the chorus trying to shout her off the stage. That is intolerable to many Clinton supporters coming from ANY person or organization, but ESPECIALLY from an organization that works on issues Hillary has worked on and promoted for years and years! It also reeks of the dismissive arrogance that the Obama campaign has been accused of throughout the primary.

    This call for “unity” in the Democratic party is just a polite way for Obama supporters to tell Hillary supporters to shut up and get in line behind Obama. That is infuriating! NARAL’s membership must be unbelievably shocked, dismayed, and outraged by this choice at this time, and they have every right to be. As a member, I certainly am!

    NARAL clearly did not consult its membership on this move. NARAL is not helping unite anyone with this move, it is only serving to divide its membership. Had they focused their efforts on McCain without an endorsement, they would have had everyone’s support. Then had they endorsed Hillary or Obama AFTER the primary, they would have had everyone’s support. Making an endorsement now just serves to divide their membership and deplete their donations by majorly pissing off many in their membership.

    So – what does NARAL actually gain by making this move at this time? Whatever it is, it had better outweigh the damage it has done. I don’t believe it will, so I think it is a seriously stupid move. Bad move, NARAL.

  61. KC
    KC May 15, 2008 at 11:22 am |

    I think I’m still furious this grey, wet and humid morning. I don’t care that they endorsed a man as I know some men who are far more supportive of reproductive rights than some women. For example, my husband and one of my sisters. She’s all for uterus patrol of certain women (as in: all women but white middle class women like herself) and he thinks ‘possession is 9/10ths of the law” and that the only legitimate stance for men is the pro-choice stance.

    If either was running for public office I’d expect a group like NARAL to endorse him over her and would be furious if they endorsed her because she has a vagina and he doesn’t.

    Before I go any further, please note that I am not saying that Obama is for uterus patrol, alright? What I’m saying is that women are not and should not be considered pro-choice by virtue of being women and one should not base their endorsement of any candidate on this issue on gender.

    What I am angry about is that NARAL appears to recognize is that Hillary is far superior to Obama on this particular issue but has decided to go with Obama. With NARAL’s history, such as the Lieberman endorsement, I think their motivation was to get press for themselves and to align themselves with what they believe to be the winning team. I find this to be unprincipled and ultimately unforgivable.

    I do not buy the idea that they could not focus on getting the truth out about McCain without endorsing either of his opponents. That’s frankly absurd in my book and I see it as a rather lame attempt to silence criticism. I’ve read several reactions to the hostility being aimed at NARAL and a lot of it is “but, but, but McCain is EVIL!!!!”. This is a silencing technique and is frankly unbecoming of feminists IMHO.

    So, as with other pro-choice activists who are outraged over yet another ill-timed, and selfish political stunt by NARAL, I will be shopping around for another organization to support as NARAL has proven once and for all for me that it is far more interested in aligning itself with the powers that (will) be than remaining true to it’s alleged principles.

  62. Radfem
    Radfem May 15, 2008 at 11:37 am |

    What do I think? I think Clinton does not own the pro-choice community, and she has no set entitlement to their support, especially not when she’s running full-tilt into a wall.

    Amen. It’s NARAL’s choice which candidate to endorse and people have the right to disagree with their choice. I think their endorsement is premature b/c I think Clinton’s going to be the nominee through the superdelegates as she and her husband have been hitting them pretty hard at least in my neck of the woods. So when they use the power structure of the rather conservative second party to get them in, what will NARAL do then?

    I’m not voting for any of the three because I believe in them or through protest or anything but I’ve been in this country for decades and watched elections and I’ll be shocked if Obama gets nominated and then I’ll be almost as shocked if he actually survives to find out how the election turns out. After all, his supporters have been harassed and even threats out here, but don’t know how typical that is.

  63. Doug
    Doug May 15, 2008 at 12:11 pm |

    Marie@41

    I feel alot of these endorsements are an attempt to influence voters towards Obama.

    Isn’t that pretty much the whole point of what an endorsement’s supposed to do?

    I don’t see where the outrage stems from here — there are no rules, not even “unwritten” or courtesy rules, governing when a political action group can make an endorsement; nor does NARAL owe Clinton an endorsement, as someone upthread proposed, just because she’s a woman. It’s possible that NARAL is only doing this because they see the writing on the wall and want to get on the winning bandwagon while there’s gettin’ to be got, but that’s hardly the dumbest reason anybody’s ever endorsed a candidate.

  64. Mael
    Mael May 15, 2008 at 12:55 pm |

    This really, really, really pisses me off. It’s fine to prefer Obama, overall, but it is undeniable that Clinton’s record when it comes to reproductive issues is BY FAR superior.

    This is nonsense. Absolute nonsense. How can NARAL justify supporting a candidate who hems and haws over the “morality” of abortion over a Senator who is unapologetically and forcefully pro-choice? How can NARAL justify backing a candidate who is, for all intents and purposes, running a campaign promoting unity with the very people who want to legislate MY body over Senator Clinton, who fought for Plan B and won?

    I realize this is political expediency but I am truly disappointed in NARAL.

  65. D.N. Nation
    D.N. Nation May 15, 2008 at 1:28 pm |

    I realize this is political expediency but

    But nothing.

  66. Mnemosyne
    Mnemosyne May 15, 2008 at 1:35 pm |

    NARAL has to be aiming for another motive in their *own* favor, be it donations, relevancy, attention, a pleasant angle of unpredictability — it’s not like an individual is making an endorsement, this is a political organization.

    What they’re doing is making their choice between Clinton/DLC and Obama/Dean.

    We have two factions of the Democratic party fighting it out for control right now, and the fact that the heads of those factions are (respectively) a white woman and a black man is disguising the underlying battle for control of the party.

    NARAL went with the DLC over the Dean faction last time and endorsed Lieberman over Lamont. They got burned — bad. Now they’re pissed, and they’re signaling that they are not going to blindly support DLC candidates anymore.

    The surface battle is white woman vs. black man and a lot of people are responding emotionally to that, but underlying that is the question of whether we’re going to stick with the DLC’s 50%+1 strategy for winning elections or go with Dean’s 50-state strategy. That’s the calculation that NARAL is making, especially since both Clinton and Obama have a 100% rating on reproductive rights.

  67. shah8
    shah8 May 15, 2008 at 1:38 pm |

    You know guys, the extent to which Clinton was so great in women’s issues…

    well, that went to talks like the speech in Beijing. I see no evidence that she has ever moderated any of the BClinton’s regime tendencies of not supporting its women members, and throwing women nominees under the bus. Welfare reform was quite anti-woman, since the worst aspects affected them. She didn’t fight for those women. And I just don’t see a history where she has been out in front with her *cash*, *time*, and *personal effort* being an advocate of women.

    As for *actions* to make it a better world for the average woman out there? She ain’t better than Obama, who, when you’ve looked at what *he’s* done, has probably actually benefited more women.

    Another interesting note here, more mouthbreathers here than at Feministing, which isn’t typically the case…

  68. D.N. Nation
    D.N. Nation May 15, 2008 at 2:08 pm |

    Also, let’s not forget…

    DLC: Responsible for 2002
    Dean: Responsible for 2006

  69. Yosephina
    Yosephina May 15, 2008 at 7:52 pm |

    And I just don’t see a history where she has been out in front with her *cash*, *time*, and *personal effort* being an advocate of women.

    Then try reading the comments again. Several people have pointed out how Clinton has spearheaded several pro-choice and pro-woman efforts in the Senate.

    What has Obama actually done for women?

    Another interesting note here, more mouthbreathers here than at Feministing, which isn’t typically the case…

    WTF? Is this how you dismiss anyone with whom you disagree?

    Lovely.

  70. Yosephina
    Yosephina May 15, 2008 at 7:53 pm |

    DLC: Responsible for 2002
    Dean: Responsible for 2006

    Don’t kid your self. That should be:

    911: Responsible for 2002
    Bush: Responsible for 2006

  71. This just in: Feminists can be men, too! | Mind on Fire

    [...] usually verbose Feminist had a very short post regarding it which I feel sums up my frustration with this: This is going to [...]

  72. Diane
    Diane May 15, 2008 at 9:30 pm |

    nor does NARAL owe Clinton an endorsement, as someone upthread proposed, just because she’s a woman.

    Who said they DID? NARAL owes her an endorsement because she has worked her ass for choice for decades, and not just by her voting record. Why is every argument twisted around to mean “because she is a woman”?

  73. socraticsilence
    socraticsilence May 16, 2008 at 5:50 am |

    “Would you address the fact that Obama was a cocaine user? He admitted it in his book and their are questions if he was still using it while he was in the Illinois legilature. Oh yes, let’s tell our youth that is OK to use drugs.”

    Yeah there are “questions” all right, just like there are “questions” about Hillary’s involvement in the death of Vince Foster, seriously, don’t bring RW smear bullshit up okay. As for the “message it sends our kids” how about this one, that youthful dalliances don’t destroy your life, I mean hell last time I checked Obama would be the third consecutive President with admitted or heavily implied drug use- (guess what Hillary would also be the third straight), his usage never lead to arrest or even notice outside of his immediate peers, so I’d have to figure that it was as Obama himself stated minor and fleeting usage.

  74. Radfem
    Radfem May 16, 2008 at 12:40 pm |

    You know guys, the extent to which Clinton was so great in women’s issues…

    well, that went to talks like the speech in Beijing. I see no evidence that she has ever moderated any of the BClinton’s regime tendencies of not supporting its women members, and throwing women nominees under the bus. Welfare reform was quite anti-woman, since the worst aspects affected them. She didn’t fight for those women. And I just don’t see a history where she has been out in front with her *cash*, *time*, and *personal effort* being an advocate of women.

    On White middle-class women issues, she has a much better record. Remember, even though she’s the champion of the “hardworking American.. White American” and such now, those votes were considered throwaways during her husband’s 1990 campaigns. So it’s all about doing whatever is needed for winning.

    As for *actions* to make it a better world for the average woman out there? She ain’t better than Obama, who, when you’ve looked at what *he’s* done, has probably actually benefited more women.

    It’s interesting b/c the White feminists argument is that Obama has no “women’s issues” pages but if you look at his platform, especially on civil rights, there are measures that impact many women, but alas, those stances are seeing as being all about men of color with women of color being incidental add-ons, even though women of color were out front and center addressing many of these same issues while White feminists FTMP were no-shows.

    They’re both way too conservative for me, but Clinton’s tacit approval of her husband’s misogyny towards women and his tossing out of women advisors doesn’t make me trust that she’s some great advocate for women everywhere. Then you get hammared for being “sexist” for associating her husband’s presidency with her, but then again, anything positive that he did, she gets credit for and it becomes part of her resume experience that she brings to the job.

    And frankly, for some White feminists, I think it’s about if a White woman can’t get in, a Black man certainly isn’t going to beat them to the punch. I have a really hard time believing they’d behave this way if Obama were a White man. I’ve never seen them call a Democratic candidate on sexism even when it’s been blatent, the same way. Then, it’s all about beating the big bad Republican and party unity.

  75. Radfem
    Radfem May 16, 2008 at 12:44 pm |

    No one is entitled to anyone or any organization’s endorsement. It’s up to that entity where to place it. And there’s other pro-choice groups.

  76. marie
    marie May 16, 2008 at 3:14 pm |

    I just want to add two things. One is that Obama’s comments with regard to his daughters about his support for abortion were abysmal. He mentioned something about not punishing (keeping the child) them for making a mistake (sex). Suspend the fact that the punishment is his future grandchild. I am no pro-lifer in any sense of the word, but as a woman and a mother that has had to deal with making the potential decision (amnio-aborting) I would appreciate him to think a little more before he speaks. As much as I support abortion there should be equal support for teens that want to keep the child. This is such a complex issue that goes back in recent women’s american history (mandatory giving a baby up for adoption, back alley abortions, the branding and discrimination of underage pregnant girls, etc.) it deems a better classification than punishment. This is my point about since Hillary is a woman she would understand the complex issues surrounding women’s reproduction. I would rather hear Obama support young pregnant teens in his speech rather than promote abortion. As he spout his experience with racial discrimination, surely he can understand gender discrimination.

    Second, I used to be registered Republican – why I have no idea. But I did vote for McCain in his earlier bid for the oval office against Bush. Can I feel comfortable voting for him over Hillary – hell no! Obama – I am unsure. The Democratic power struggle is so in your face I am beginning to hate them all – Dean, Ted Kennedy, Richardson, Pelosi, NARAL and if Gore endorses Obama early I will really be pissed. They are starting to act like Republicans and in that sense they do not deserve my vote. Also, the arrogance of young Obama supporters annoy the hell out of me. Isn’t this country full of youth culture obsession enough? All I hear is them talk about college affordability – whoopee when no one can afford food and shelter.

    Also, has anyone heard about the two college superdelegates for Obama – why the hell even vote anymore non-elected officials decide elections?

  77. marie
    marie May 16, 2008 at 3:18 pm |

    Just wanted to add before the accusations start flying – that I feel supporting a woman’s right to choose means supporting her choice to abort or to have a child.

  78. pennylane
    pennylane May 16, 2008 at 3:25 pm |

    I have to agree with Mnemosyne here on the Dean vs. DLC thing. I think their decision was heavily influenced by a desire to remain relevant within the Democratic party and/or to play a role in that shift.

    And while the colossal failures of the Bush administration has much to do with 06 some of the realignment of strategy in the DNC has also played a role. He’s been putting money into traditionally red states and has been building the party in ways that are starting to pay off. The recent special election in MS was both a reaction to Bush and an influx of money and interest from the DNC. Having family members who are Democratic activists who are also living in a very red state, things are really turning around for Democrats as a part of a perfect storm of Bush-hatred, interest in this year’s election, and the DNC–for the first time in their memory–putting significant money and organizers in the state. And now they have a much more significant organization so that when anti-Bush sentiment is no longer relevant and the excitement of this year’s election has faded they will have some sort of party there.

  79. CherchezlaFemme
    CherchezlaFemme May 16, 2008 at 3:33 pm |

    Hey “sweeties”! This is a feminist site?
    Sure coulda fooled me!

  80. Doug
    Doug May 16, 2008 at 4:09 pm |

    Diane:

    Marie (the commenter I was specifically responding to) said

    Plus, I can not accept the fact that they would endorse a man over a woman, I don’t care how liberal he is. He can’t get pregnant and will never know innately women’s reproductive issues. This was a real slap in the face to Hillary.

    In addition, Emily said

    NARAL’s endorsement is a slap in the face to all women who respect and admire the gifts women bring to leadership positions. By participating in the purely political based on the hierarchical ordering of men, NARAL has shown that they do not value the authority of women.

    So maybe you didn’t think NARAL owed HRC the endorsement because she was a woman, but apparently at least a few other folks did.

  81. Donna, Seal Beach, CA
    Donna, Seal Beach, CA May 16, 2008 at 5:50 pm |

    I am so excited and proud that Naral has endorsed Barack Obama. Anyone who tries to tell us that we MUST support the woman in this race has forgotten that one of our first political struggles in this country was to win the right to vote. We are all free and obligated to vote for the person who we think can best achieve the goals we believe in. No one has ever tried to tell me how to vote and I am a 60 year old white woman who will vote for whomever I damn please and I will support the organizations who support the things I believe in.

    I am going to make a donation as soon as I get off this post because I am excited and grateful for your courage.

    Thank you

  82. Mnemosyne
    Mnemosyne May 16, 2008 at 6:12 pm |

    One is that Obama’s comments with regard to his daughters about his support for abortion were abysmal. He mentioned something about not punishing (keeping the child) them for making a mistake (sex).

    I think you’ve missed the context for that remark. He wasn’t saying out of the blue that teen pregnancy is automatically a mistake. He was pointing out that “pro-life” people talk about how abortion should be outlawed because women and girls have to “face the consequences,” aka have the child even if they don’t want it, and not be allowed to escape their responsibilities by getting an abortion. His argument was that a child should not be used to punish its mother, not that teenagers should be forced to get abortions.

    But I did vote for McCain in his earlier bid for the oval office against Bush. Can I feel comfortable voting for him over Hillary – hell no! Obama – I am unsure.

    So you’re more comfortable voting in favor of more conservative judges, more economic crises and 100 years in Iraq than for a guy whose supporters annoy you?

  83. Diana
    Diana May 17, 2008 at 1:39 am |

    I totally agree with Ms. Malcolm. NARAL gives no reason for not waiting till the primary is over. Hillary Clinton was pro choice when no one had even heard of Obama. It’s almost stereotypical female behavior, throw your girlfriend over to get close to the new, cool guy. I thought NARAL was tougher then that.

  84. Concerned American
    Concerned American May 17, 2008 at 11:07 am |

    I am very disappointed by the NARAL endorsement. The decision has upset NARAL’s longtime supporters and it will be devastating to the organization. But the truth is the endorsement will not matter to most Americans. Americans are not making their decision on a candidate based on the abortion issue, they are deciding based on the economy and Iraq. Unfortunately, if Obama is the nominee, he cannot beat McCain. Obama cleverly strategized to win the nomination by winning the caucus and small states. He trained volunteers to dominate the caucuses in Iowa. This was repeated in other caucus states. Caucus states give more delegates per vote than primary states do. For instance, Obama won in Iowa by 13,000 votes and gained 13 delegates. Clinton won in PA by 200,000 votes and gained 10 delegates. Obama has won a lot of small states that add up, mostly in the west. But these western states will not support him in the general against McCain. Only the west coast, CA, OR, WA will support Obama. Clinton could win some of the western states – NV, NM, CO. Obama will not win the south, not even FL. Clinton can win in some of the south and definitely FL. Clinton can win the working class states of the midwest – KS, NE, MO, IN. He will not win PA, Ohio, NY, NJ, MO. Clinton will definitely win PA, OH, NY, NJ and all of New England. Obama will win upper New England. It will not be enought for him to win against McCain. The Rebuplicans are waiting to do their “swift boat attacks” until he is the nominee. They do not want Clinton to win the nomination as she can easily win against McCain. She leads him in Gallup polls and Gallup is the most reliable American poll. When the Republicans start their attack on Obama all hell will break out. It does not matter if they can dig up any dirt on Obama they will create it and it will work. The underlying racism in the country will surface in the voting booth. The media supports Obama and that should be a sign to the left that he is not the one to support. This is the same media that gave Kerry and Gore a hard time in 2004 and 2000. Remember how we all felt about the media then? Do you think it has suddenly become dignified? The media and the Republican pundit support for Obama is all a strategy. Clinton is not divisive. That is the media presentation and creation of her. If she was divisive she would not be such a successful Senator for New York. She is respected in the US Senate for working hard and collaborating with Republicans. This is not divisive. Her success as a Senator has the right scared and the media reflects this. Those Americans who cannot sift through media propaganda make bad decisions when voting and that affects all of us terribly.

  85. marie
    marie May 17, 2008 at 1:37 pm |

    Peggy Orenstein wrote a great short piece in The New York Times Magazine this weekend about how and when to explain to her 4 year old daughter about the misogyny towards Clinton.

    How do you explain to your daughters that it is okay for NARAL or any other women’s organization to endorse a man over a woman?

  86. Doug
    Doug May 18, 2008 at 10:28 am |

    NARAL is only a women’s organization if you think that abortion is an issue that only affects women. And two of NARAL’s three founders were men.

  87. Portland
    Portland May 20, 2008 at 1:32 am |

    The whole thing about women supporting women and NARAL not supporting Senator Clinton is one point in NARAL’s decision. The main issue is that NARAL supported the candidate that is LESS likely to beat McCain. Just wait until the Republicans bring out the dirt on Obama! It is there and Senator Clinton couldn’t because he is a Democrat. The Republicans are waiting patiently and then the Karl Rove playbook will fall into place. And, Obama will not last in the general election. NARAL naively chose in this race and that is a problem for the future of the organization.

  88. Heather Collins
    Heather Collins May 20, 2008 at 1:32 pm |

    The NARAL announcement stinks of something underhanded, just like so many of the other endorsements of Obama over Clinton. How is that? Well, it babbles on about Obama while ignoring the alternative, Clinton, and thereby betrays a guilty discomfort. It doesn’t give a single instance where Obama’s pro-abortion stand is stronger than Clinton’s. I’ll tell you what it DOES do, though. It mentions “money, message, and manpower”, then puts “womanpower” in parentheses. Thanks, NARAL, for making women once again the parenthetical gender.

    MONEY is the key that unlocks this puzzle. Money makes the world go ’round. Obama has essentially paid off the people endorsing him, with a promise of untold campaign riches. from his unprecedented fund-raising performance in the primaries. Me, I’m pretty sure that well is going to dry up by the time the general campaign gets underway.

  89. Feminist Jen
    Feminist Jen May 21, 2008 at 12:29 pm |

    Lofty morals aside, I think it’s bad business to piss off a huge portion of your donation base.

    feminist love,
    jen

  90. Donna
    Donna May 24, 2008 at 6:05 pm |

    I congratulate NARAL for recognizing that the sooner we come together as pro-choice Democrats and take the fight to McCain, the better. After all, Obama is clearly going to be the nominee. Why wait?
    I have no problem with Hillary remaining in the race through June 3, but she should acknowledge reality, and when the primaries end, endorse Obama immediately.

  91. Kathleen
    Kathleen June 6, 2008 at 6:17 am |

    Well the joke is on NARAL PAC. seems today Senator Obama and the DNC have announced that lobbyists and PAC’s will be banned from donations and “PAC’s WILL NO LONGER HAVE UNDUE INFLUENCE”.

    You shot yourselves in the foot. Godd Luck and goodbye, NARAL

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