I’m here at the Hilton New York for the BlogHer 2012 Conference, and I’m sitting here in the Grand Ballroom to hear President Barack Obama address the thousands of bloggers here live via satellite. I’ve liveblogged a lot of things before, but no one as important as the President of the United States! Until now.
This gigantic ballroom is filling up, and there is a lot of excited chatter. Democrats and Republicans alike – it’s pretty excellent that the sitting POTUS is taking time out of his busy schedule to talk live to the crowd at a women’s blogging conference.
BlogHer Co-founders Lisa Stone and Elisa Camahort Page are introducing the President’s address. BlogHer reached out to both campaigns – Obama and Romney – to speak to us this election year, but Romney was unable to join us.
President Obama is thanking Elisa for inviting him to speak. “Michelle says hi.” He congratulates BlogHer on their biggest conference yet. As a father, he worries about role models for his daughters, as well as their safety online. Having a community like BlogHer full of women bloggers who discuss important issues like health, living, and yes, politics… it’s good for the world they are growing up in.
Women bloggers are not an interest group. Women’s issues are important to him because women make up 80% of his family. He’s telling us about his mother and his grandmother’s struggles as he grew up.
“Every decision I make….” is to make this country a better place for our daugthers (and sons) to grow up in. He signed the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. He wants to keep small business taxes low. He happily accepts the label “Obamacare” for the Affordable Healthcare Act because of all of the things it does for women and children. He will not give any ground to those who will try to come between women and their healthcare choices. His opponent would “turn back the clock,” taking away access to contraception and healthcare for children with pre-existing conditions. Romney’s tax plan would increase taxes on middle class families to the tune of over $2,000 per family, protecting tax breaks for the richest Americans. Obama wants (wealthy) people like him to go back to paying the sort of tax rate they paid during the Clinton years to held restore economic security. We’ll build the middle class, build the economy back – not from the top down – but from the bottom up. Much applause drowned out his goodbye.
Lisa and Elisa hugged on stage after Obama finished his remarks. Both of them were political bloggers “back in the day.” They hadn’t known each other, but were introduced to each other by a mutual acquaintance so they could go on a “girlfriend date.” They came up with the concept for BlogHer on that “first date.”
I regret that I could not type quickly enough to cover everything President Obama said. Unlike most conference speakers, he’s not used to speaking slowly for bloggers, I’m sure… he speaks for the video crowd. Here is a link to the video of President Obama’s BlogHer address, so you can watch the whole thing for yourself! The White House has available a transcript of President Obama’s remarks to the BlogHer Conference.
Tags: BlogHer, conferences, politics