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The Women Wars Continue For Barack Obama And John McCain

Women from all over the world and both sides of the political aisle got angry and got going today. The McCain campaign gushed over an aisle-crossing by Democratic National Committee platform committee-member Lynne Forester de Rothschild's public defection from the Democratic Party into the McCain camp.

At least, that was the first reaction.


Turns out, the prominent Clinton supporter who crossed the partisan aisle to support McCain was none other than Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild, wife of British banking scion Sir Evelyn de Rothschild. And the Lady Forester, as she is sometimes known, may not be the ideal spokesperson for McCain in the present environment of economic uncertainty.

When not engaged in politics, de Rothschild--whom the Wall Street Journal dubbed a 'New York socialite' and Portfolio has described as 'the flashiest hostess in London'--has the run of a sprawling estate in Buckinghamshire, north of London, known as Ascott House.

This, of course, while jittery investors sent the Dow Jones industrial average down almost another 500 points on Wednesday. Still, as de Rothschild explained her background on TV, she is the child of working-class parents and she has been fortunate to live the American dream because of her parents' hard work (she went to law school and became a successful businesswoman before marrying a British knight.)

Not to be undone, high-powered Democratic female members of Congress stepped out for Sen. Barack Obama:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and dozens of female Democratic lawmakers rallied around Barack Obama on Wednesday at the start a weeklong effort by his presidential campaign to highlight women's issues. With the selection of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as Republican John McCain's running mate, Pelosi and other Democrats sought to shift attention back to the top of the Republican ticket.

The women's vote, particularly the vote of white women over 40, as I've noted many times, is the key voting bloc both candidates are competing for at the moment. McCain will win the "white male" vote, Obama will win 90 percent or more of African-American votes, according to the polls. So, the contested area is older women (and Latinos/Latinas and Asian-Americans.) Senator McCain seemed on track to win this key sector before he started making major guffaws on the state of the economy. National polls show the presidential race in a dead heat. So, whether he hangs onto that vote is something we'll all have to "stay tuned" to find out.

By Bonnie Erbe

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