All The President's Women
By Anne Hendershott
While the polls have shown dramatic declines in approval for President Obama from most demographic groups, the President continues to enjoy strong support from many women—especially pro-choice women. Most recently, Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards praised the President’s successful shepherding of health care reform—replete with its expansion of reproductive services to women.
Richards was especially effusive in her praise for Obama’s ability to attract the support of the Catholic nuns of NETWORK who defied the authority of their bishops in promoting health care reform. In an article at huffingtonpost.com, Richards writes that she was grateful for the nuns’ “brave and important move, demonstrating that they cared as much about the health care of families in America as they did about Church hierarchy.”
Most prominent on the long list of pro-choice women (like Richards) who are grateful that Obama continues to demonstrate that he is the most radically pro-abortion politician we have ever experienced, are the women from the Kennedy family. From Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg who wrote in a New York Times op-ed that Obama is a “man like my father,” and Kerry Kennedy Cuomo who claims that Catholics “are responding to the vision of hope that Barack Obama articulates,” to Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, who believes that Obama represents Catholics better than the Pope, the Kennedy women remain steadfast in their support for the President.
Indeed, the sub-title of last summer’s Newsweek column by Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, former Lt. Governor of Maryland, asks readers to consider: “Why Barack Obama represents American Catholics Better than the Pope Does.” In the article, Kennedy Townsend complains that “while the pope preaches love, listening to the other has been a particular stumbling block for the Catholic hierarchy as it is for many in power.” Townsend maintains that “Obama could teach the pope a lot about politics—and what a Catholic approach to politics could entail.”
Kennedy Townsend claims that although it is clear that Obama and the Pope disagree on reproductive freedoms and homosexuality, “Politics requires the ability to listen to different points of view, and to step into others’ shoes. Obama might call it empathy.” Townsend praises “Obama’s pragmatic approach to divisive policy (his notion that we should acknowledge the good faith underlying opposing viewpoints).” And, in contrast with Pope Benedict, Townsend maintains that Obama’s “social justice agenda reflects the views of the American Catholic laity much more closely than those vocal bishops and pro-life activists.”
Likewise, Kerry Kennedy Cuomo has been steadfast in support of the President. When her uncle Ted Kennedy’s Senate Seat was won by Republican, Scott Brown, Kennedy Cuomo made it a point to claim that Brown’s win had nothing to do with Obama’s healthcare or the Obama administration. On WOR News Talk Radio, Kennedy Cuomo lashed out at Democratic candidate, Martha Coakley, claiming that Coakley exhibited a “lack of effort in the last few months to gain votes or speak on jobs that really brought about the loss of the seat.”
Kennedy Cuomo has been especially close to Van Jones, Obama’s failed “green czar” nominee. Jones served briefly in the Obama administration until he resigned after it was exposed he founded a communist revolutionary organization and signed a statement that accused the Bush administration of involvement in the 9/11 attacks. World Net Daily reports that Jones called for “resistance” against the United States.
Still, the communist ties and revolutionary rhetoric did not stop Kennedy Cuomo from featuring Jones as a commentator on “RFK: Our Children, Our Future,” a documentary on the legacy of Robert F. Kennedy. In fact, Kennedy Cuomo found Jones so worthy of praise for his work on behalf of social justice that she awarded him with the “Kerry Kennedy Cuomo Human Rights Defender award.”
And, although Kennedy Cuomo and Kennedy Townsend had been early Clinton supporters in the Democratic primaries (in an op-ed published in the Los Angeles Times, they wrote that “the loftiest poetry will not solve these issues”) before they switched their allegiance to Obama, Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg was an Obama supporter from the start. Yet, despite Mrs. Kennedy Schlossberg’s description of Obama as a “man like my father,” there is no evidence that JFK was pro-choice like Obama. Abortion rights issues were in the fledgling stage at the state level in New York and California in the early 1960s. They were not a national concern.
A strong abortion rights advocate, Kennedy Schlossberg was so concerned to assure pro-abortion leaders in New York that on the same day she telephoned New York Governor David Patterson to declare interest in filling the U S Senate seat being vacated by Hilary Clinton, one of her first calls was to an abortion rights group indicating she would be strongly pro-choice.
All of the Kennedy women have learned that anyone desiring higher office in the Democratic Party must now carry the torch of abortion rights throughout any race. They continue to support Obama because he continues to carry that torch.