Clinton campaigns at Haverford College
HAVERFORD, Penn. (AP) - April 17, 2008 -- Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton stood between her 88-year-old mother and 28-year-old daughter on Thursday to personalize issues for the "sandwich generation" facing the demands of parents and children.
In renewing a push for the female voters who have drifted away from her campaign in recent weeks, the New York senator said the three generations of women in her family give her "firsthand experience of all the challenges and changes that we face in our lives because different stages of life do present different questions."
Clinton pointed out that her mother, Dorothy Rodham, lives with her "and always has a lot of great ideas about what we need to be doing," a point that drew chuckles from the audience of women of all ages.
Dorothy Rodham didn't speak during the event at Haverford College, but her granddaughter introduced the candidate. Chelsea Clinton revealed that she's "someone who's thinking about having my own family in the not-too-distant future, something that will make my mother and grandmother infinitely happy."
She didn't mention that she's dating Marc Mezvinsky, whose mother, Marjorie Margolies Mezvinsky, was a congresswoman from Pennsylvania.
Chelsea Clinton also said she wants the "kids that I hope to have" to have quality public schools, attend college and live in a safe and secure environment. "My children don't only need to have a good grandmother but need a strong leader," she said.
With five days left before Pennsylvania's highly anticipated primary, Clinton's campaign tried to keep the event intimate by staging it in a smaller venue. The audience received her warmly with frequent chuckles and applause, and she encouraged people to recruit their neighbors' support for her bid.
"Just knock on the door and say, 'You know, she's really nice,"' Hillary Clinton said to laughter. "Or you can say it another way: 'She's not as bad as you think."'
A recent Associated Press-Ipsos poll shows women are no longer so overwhelmingly convinced that Clinton would make the best president. Clinton owes many of her victories so far in the race to support from women, but that backing has receded in recent weeks to about even with rival Barack Obama.
Clinton had 44 percent of Democratic women to Obama's 42 in the poll taken April 7-9. In February, Clinton had 51 percent to 38 percent were to Obama.
Standing in front of a fireplace, Clinton talked about how women's workplace experiences have changed over the years. She confessed to being addicted to advice columns, and talked about one that said a woman shouldn't put pictures of her family in her office because it will appear that she can't keep their mind on her work. She decried columns that used to suggest women wear "navy blue skirt suits with white blouses and ribbons tied in a bow at your neck."
"Don't even look - it's so embarrassing to think we ever wore anything like that," she said to laughter. "I think that we have seen an evolution in a lot of the obvious ways, but we're still not making work and family balance as easy as it should be."
She said women have a hard time finding quality child care and affording time off to care for aging parents while being paid 77 cents for every dollar that men earn. She noted that April 22, the day of the Pennsylvania primary, is Equal Pay Day - the day in a year that marks the point at which a woman's average wages catch up to that earned by a man the previous year.
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