“Growing up, I saw my mother struggle to put herself through school and raise me and my sister on her own. She once had to turn to food stamps, but thanks to student loans, scholarships and a lot of hard work, her kids could attend some of the best schools in the country. I think women like her who work hard and pour everything they’ve got into their children should be able to pay the bills and get ahead for a change – that’s why I’m running for President.” — Barack Obama

Barack Obama landed in Daytona Beach, Florida this rainy Saturday morning, where he joined Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius and Arizona Governor Janet Napalitano. Together, they hosted a spirited “Women for the Change We Need” event at Bethune-Cookman University, for 2,500 attendees.

Watch Governor Napalitano talk about her home state’s unique historical relevance to this year’s general election:

“Janet knows something about the senior Senator from Arizona,” said governor Sebelius. “But in Kansas, we know something about the Senator from Illinois. Barack Obama was raised by a Kansas woman.”

Here’s the clip of governor Sebelius’ remarks

Barack spoke about his commitment to fund education, to continue to support legislation that encourages equal pay for women, establishing affordable health care, and his goal to protect social security from the Bush/McCain privatization plan.

Mentioning his running mate, Barack said that Joe Biden has “spent his career working to improve women’s lives. He wrote the Violence Against Women Act so we’d finally treat domestic violence like the heinous crime that it is. And in case you were wondering, John McCain voted against that legislation.”

Barack also spoke in detail about the influence of the women in his life, his grandmother, his mother, his wife, and how they continue to inspire him. In talking about Michelle, Barack acknowledged the special demands placed upon working mothers:

“Sometimes, when she’s with the girls, she’s worrying about work – and when she’s at work, she’s worrying about the girls and whether she is doing the right thing as a mom. It’s a feeling I share every day – especially these days, when I’m away so much, out on the campaign trail. But we know that no matter how advanced we like to say we are, women are still bearing that burden.”

Barack acknowledged that women are indeed the backbone of this country, and that they have consistently risen to the occasion when called on to do so, often blazing new trails in the process.

Here is a clip of Barack speaking directly to over two thousand of these women, asking them to join him in his call for change, to help face our biggest challenges as a nation: