Hip hop star Alicia Keys urged hundreds at a rally for women supporters of President Obama Monday night to work hard to re-elect him, for themselves and their families, saying she was inspired by the boisterous crowd in the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
“There is a brilliant fire that is shooting forth from you, and I am emblazoned by you,” Keys said. “This campaign gives people a voice, and a chance to be part of something bigger than ourselves.”
She was joined by Democratic National Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a representative from Florida, and Valerie Jarrett, a longtime adviser to the president, as well as Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D.,Pa.) and Lisa Nutter, first lady of Philadelphia.
The conversation dwelled on Obama’s achievements, such as the health-care act that guarantees preventive care for women and forbids insurance companies from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions, among other things, and the Lily Ledbetter Act, which makes it easier for women to challenge pay disparities in the workplace.
They warned that Republican Mitt Romney would pull the nation backward, threatening access to contraception and abortion, and reprising the economic policies that led to the recession.
“To be very blunt – can I be blunt here?” Jarrett told about 800 attendees. “Mr. Romney is not going to be looking out for you.”
Romney’s campaign brought its own female surrogates to Love Park earlier in the day to criticize Obama, as a "pre-buttal" of the rally. In Campaign 2012, if you wait until after your opponent does something to respond to it, you're too late.
Chester County Sheriff Carolyn “Bunny” Welsh and businesswoman Renee Amoore, the deputy chairwoman of the state Republican Party, accused Obama of steering federal stimulus funds for green-energy projects to campaign donors – and said that he had failed women because he has failed to revive the economy.
“Barack Obama was trained in Chicago politics: pay-to-play,” Welsh said. “We don’t want four more years of political payoffs – we need to fix the economy.”
She and Amoore said they were not concerned that Romney has yet to take a position on the Ledbetter Act. “He will take a position, sooner rather than later,” Amoore said.