Unable to start a war in Syria, President Obama is settling on reviving the War on Women.
Obama's team, fresh off a summer bookended by the IRS scandal and an uncomfortable struggle to rally Congress around a military strike on Syria, plans to reset the domestic policy debate with a new "women's initiative."
White House power Valerie Jarrett and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., will attend a kick-off event next week at the Center for American Progress, but Obama's allies previewed the the initiative in a conference call Friday.
"[T]his effort isn't behind one piece of legislation, per se, but really is about getting broad support action on the whole host of these issues — health, economic security, as well as leadership," said Neera Tanden of the Center for American Progress, which will host the Sept. 18 kickoff event.
Tanden hosted the call along with Planned Parenthood Action Fund's Cecile Richards, Mary Kay Henry of the Service Employees International Union, and Stephanie Schriock (who participated in the call under the auspices of American Women, but is perhaps better known as leader of EMILY'S List, a group that donates to pro-choice political candidates).
"What we're really trying to do in this initiative is to raise the voices of women to create much more public demand," Tanden also said. "If you look at these issues, they have really bipartisan support, [and] we want these issues to be ones where there's really a focus and a demand on both sides of the aisle to get things done, because — as Stephanie was pointing out — women really across the political spectrum think of these issues as ones that just really need to be addressed regardless of the politics."
Policies discussed ranged from increasing the minimum wage to the free contraception provided under Obamacare's HHS mandate.
Here's the schedule for the event, from the CAP advisory:
10:00 a.m. – Welcoming remarks
Neera Tanden, President, Center for American Progress
10:05 a.m. – Opening speaker
Valerie Jarrett, Senior White House Advisor
10:15 a.m. - Panel 1: The Leadership Gap
Andrea Jung, former CEO, Avon Products, Inc.
Sharon Meers, Head of Sales and Business Development, X.commerce, a division of eBay
Beverly Tatum, President, Spelman College
Judy Warner, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress, moderator
11:20 a.m. -Keynote speaker:
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
11:35 a.m. – Panel 2: Economic Security
Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT)
Jocelyn Frye, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress
Judy Lichtman, Senior Advisor, National Partnerships for Women and Families
Joan Walsh, Editor at Large, Salon, moderator
Rocio Saenz, President, SEIU local 615
12:45 p.m. – Panel 3: Women’s Health
Assemblywoman Lucy Flores (D-NV)
Marcia Greenberger, Founder and Co-President, National Women’s Law Center
Ilyse Hogue, President, NARAL Pro-Choice America
Dawn Laguens, Executive Vice President and Chief Experience Officer, Planned Parenthood Action Fund
Dr. Jamila Perritt, Gynecologist, Montgomery County, Maryland
Karen Finney, Host, “Disrupt with Karen Finney,” MSNBC, moderator
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
10:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.