And this is a good thing. As any Democrat knows, "Working Families" are a staple of any good Dem's rhetoric. The trope "helping America's working families" is so often used, it loses its punch. But the "working women" campaign the Obamas are running brings new urgency to nearly universal battles. The title of Obama's theme "Change that Works for You," sounds a little like an HR policy at a mega-corporation, but I think that's a good thing.
This week at least, Barack Obama is standing up for working women. If this is what happens when a youngish man with young children and a professional wife runs for office, I'm all for it (I don't remember another young candidate with a working wife and young daughter talking about standing up for working women, but I think Bill Clinton was forbidden from talking about women, period).
Obama's remarks today were a real first. And you've got Michelle Obama talking about her experience as a working mother (and her husband's admission that when he was advancing in state politics, he was not there for his children). This is an issue that spans class, education and geography. True, hourly workers face different challenges than Wall Street professionals, but this is a universal American issue. It's not polarizing, and it actually seems solvable if government and business were to have a fire lit and then get together. Not to sound Pollyanna-ish, but this is my kind of politics of hope:
"As the son of a single mother, I also don't accept an America that makes women choose between their kids and their careers. It's not acceptable that women are denied jobs or promotions because they've got kids at home. It's not acceptable that forty percent of working women don't have a single paid sick day. That's wrong for working parents, it's wrong for America's children, and it's not who we are as a country."
For Obama's full remarks, click here.