“Senator Obama was raised by a very competent and professional woman and he is married to a very competent and professional woman. He has included women in leadership roles at all levels of the campaign.”
Behind every great presumptive Presidential nominee is a great team.
Meet the women behind Senator Obama. They’re smart, powerful and willing to work round the clock on their candidate’s campaign.
First and foremost is Barack’s devoted wife, Michelle, to whom he’s been married for 16 years. His former Harvard Law School colleagues say that once he met Michelle in summer 1989 he curtailed dating anyone else even though he and Michelle didn’t start dating until that fall.
Michelle boosted her husband’s image last Wednesday on ABC’s “The View” when she won over the tough all-female round table as a guest host.
“I wear my heart on my sleeve, and when you put your heart out there, it’s a risk that you take,” said the Ivy League-educated lawyer when asked by her co-hosts about being scrutinized by the media.
“People are not used to strong women,” she added. “Hillary Clinton has created 18 million cracks on the ceiling, and we need to keep pushing it and pushing it.”
Linda Douglass – Travelling spokeswoman. She left ABC News, where she covered Congress, to be a traveling spokeswoman for Obama. She says part of the draw was that the old-boys’-club notion of politics seemed to have disappeared. “Now it seems like the men like to talk about their kids, and the women often follow sports. We are all pretty much on the same plane in this campaign,” says Douglass.
Patti Solis Doyle — Chief of staff to the Vice President.
Solis Doyle will be Chief of Staff to Obama’s still-unnamed vice presidential candidate. Doyle, one of six children of Mexican immigrants, attended Northwestern University before becoming an aide to Hillary. Now she’s lending her political skills to Obama.
“Patti Solis Doyle, I think, is a terrific, experienced campaign hand,” Obama told reporters Tuesday. “She will bring not only a set of skills that we’re going to need as we put our ticket together, but she’s going to be a terrific adviser and offer insight and judgment that will help us win in November.”
Doyle is the latest woman to join Team Obama.
Eureka Gilkey — National Deputy Political Director.
As NDPD Eureka is dispatched around the country to communicate with elected officials and supporters — she is one of Obama’s key advisors.
Before joining Obama’s campaign, Gilkey, 32, served as national training director for Emily’s List, an organization dedicated to electing progressive Democratic women. But when she considered opportunities for work during the 2008 election cycle, she reached out to Obama’s campaign over Clinton’s.
“As women, we have a responsibility to express our views and values because we have a seat at the table, and we should not take that responsibility lightly,” says Gilkey.
Heather Higginbottom – Policy director.
Higginbottom says working on the campaign trail is a 24/7 job. She brings 10 years of experience, including a stint as deputy policy director on the Kerry-Edwards campaign in 2004.
Valerie Jarrett — Senior adviser.
Jarrett has worked with Obama for four years. “I was chairman of his finance committee during his 2004 senatorial campaign,” says Jarrett.
She attributes Obama’s vast female staff, in part, to his upbringing.
“Sen. Obama was raised by a very competent and professional woman, and he is married to a very competent and professional woman. He has included women in leadership roles at all levels of the campaign,” she says.
Alyssa Mastromonaco – Scheduler.
A former Kerry staffer, Mastromonaco joined Obama’s scheduling team in 2005. The job turned out to be very different from what she had expected.
“I wanted to work for someone who wouldn’t run for President,” says Mastromonaco. “Little did I know where it would all end up.”