Clinton Relies on Women to Help Make History

It's not your father's campaign, and Hillary Clinton knows it. So does Rebecca Geller.

Geller, 27, has sent out hundreds of individually personalized e-mails to friends, classmates and colleagues over the last two months, urging them to join a fundraising "block party" Wednesday evening in Washington for the 2008 presidential campaign of Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y.

"When people see her in person, they will see what she has to say, see how real and genuine she is, and they'll be sold," said Geller, a recent American University law school graduate.

Geller doesn't work for the Clinton campaign, but she meets regularly with a small group of young women in their 20s, strategizing about how to get more women to participate in Wednesday's nationwide launch of Club 44.

Clinton aims to make political history again, this time as the nation's first female president -- the nation's 44th president -- of United States. Cleverly, Club 44 is the hip moniker given to a series of block parties (aka low-dollar fundraisers) designed to lure young women into lending their support to the former first lady.

2008's 'X' Factor

To attract young women voters, the Clinton campaign has recruited "American Idol" runner-up Katharine McPhee to perform Wednesday night, along with 10-time Grammy Award-winning R&B artist Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds.

Feminist icons Geraldine Ferarro, the country's first female vice presidential candidate, and Madeleine Albright, the country's first female secretary of state, will introduce candidate Clinton. Tennis star and women's sports crusader Billie Jean King will be on hand, as will Maya Angelou, author of such "empowerment" poems as "Phenomenal Woman," and the autobiographical novel "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings."

For only $20, Geller said, women will get to feel part of a "movement".

"With Hillary, I feel that it's not even as much a campaign as it is a movement, to be part of something historic to elect the first woman president," said Geller.

Geller alone has recruited more than 50 people to attend the fundraiser. Her efforts are characteristic of the type of political tactics the Clinton campaign is currently employing: get women talking to other women about the senator's presidential candidacy.

'Women for Hillary' Predates Campaign

"Women like to work together with other women, and so our goal was to build a network of our own, reach into as many networks as we could," said Ann Lewis, senior adviser to Clinton and part of a seven-member "Women for Hillary" campaign team.

Before Clinton announced her candidacy in January, a few Clinton insiders began secretly building an e-mail list of influential women who agreed to support Clinton's '08 candidacy.

"We called people, and in meetings we said, 'If she goes, will you be with us and would you be ready to do this and that,'" said Lewis in an interview with ABC News.

What began with 200 women on the day Clinton announced in January, Lewis said, has exploded to a large diverse network of women.

"Say you are a leader among your friends, family, workplace, book club, church group or whatever else you belong to," said Lewis. "We say, 'Send this to every member of your book club. Get information about Hillary into the mix.' We don't tell people how to do it. We just work with them to make sure they have the information women care about."

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