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Why did (some) gay activists prefer Obama to Hillary in 2008 contest for Dem. nomination when he had done less for gays than she?

I had this thought while watching the Gay Pride parade this past Sunday in West Hollywood and catching sight of the first Obama 2012 sticker:  why were so many of our fellow gays so gung-ho about Obama in 2008, even to the point of regularly deriding Hillary despite his absence then of a record on gay issues.  The Democrat had, in his campaign, shared a platform with an anti-gay singer.  And to my knowledge, hadn’t done much of anything for gay people when in the Illinois — or United States — Senate.

The Illinois legislature didn’t pass a “non-discrimination” law until January 2005, the very month Barack Obama began his service in another legislature.  In his eight years in the Illinois Senate did the Democrat work to advance this legislation, legislation near and dear to the hearts of gay activists?  Did he press his colleagues on same-sex civil unions?

Not just that, as I noted on Tuesday, “Mrs. Clinton participated in gay Pride parades in New York.  Obama never participated in such celebrations in Chicago.”  (Thanks to the folks at Hillbuzz for keeping track of this failure to participate.)

Yeah, I realize this in 2011 and I’m asking a question about 2008, but I’m still wondering why so many gay activists preferred Barack Obama to Hillary Clinton that year when they had little (if any) evidence that he was a champion of their causes.

NB:  Added the parenthetical (some) to the title to make my point clearer.  Thanks, readers, for helping me realize that title leant itself to misinterpretation.



  1. One possible reason could be the fact that Hillary’s husband did not have the best record on gay issues, and that even though many would dare not criticize a Democrat in public on it, they would do in private, and publicly express it by endorsing Obama.

    Another may just be that Obama was young and charismatic, not an old former first lady.

    Comment by NYAlly — June 16, 2011 @ 3:08 pm - June 16, 2011

  2. NYAlly, good points, esp. the latter. It may just that they had same amorphous enthusiasm as did a lot young people who got all googly-eyed over Illinois Democrat. It wasn’t so much his record as his image.

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — June 16, 2011 @ 3:15 pm - June 16, 2011

  3. The gay left bought the Obama propaganda; it’s that simple. Obama is not charismatic, persuasive, or talented in any respect; he’s a very tightly scripted illusion that has shattered into dust. He ran on smoke & mirrors trying to be everything to everyone. Obama is trying to do the same for 2012; however, with a visible Marxist record that is stagnating the economy, Obama is living in the past. Regardless, he will try to re-run his 2008 campaign for 2012.

    Comment by Sebastian Shaw — June 16, 2011 @ 3:30 pm - June 16, 2011

  4. The harsh, cruel but true reason is “gay liberal guilt”. While members of a sexual minority, most gay Democrats “pass as straight white people” and their overwhelming liberal guilt for being class-oppressors against the black community out-weighed their being gender-oppressors when compounded by their retching-guilt for “passing for straight” by failing to wear their rainbow ribbons and Lambda pins.

    Comment by Ted B. (Charging Rhino) — June 16, 2011 @ 3:31 pm - June 16, 2011

  5. The are easily distracted by shiny objects : Madonna, shirtless dancing boys, Lady Gaga, etc. Voting for /supporting a “black” guy was so cool, new, hip and shiny.

    Comment by TnnsNe1 — June 16, 2011 @ 3:39 pm - June 16, 2011

  6. Ijust find it amusing as sin to watch gay ‘rights’ movements on the left cozying up to people and movements who hate them even more than they think Republicans do: Queers for Palestine, gay support for Obama and for La Raza…

    Comment by DaveP. — June 16, 2011 @ 4:04 pm - June 16, 2011

  7. Ummm…the gay left activist types are brain-dead, mouth-breathing bottom feeders. It really is that simple.

    Comment by bastiat fan — June 16, 2011 @ 4:16 pm - June 16, 2011

  8. Because Black was the new Gay.

    Comment by Jeremayakovka — June 16, 2011 @ 4:43 pm - June 16, 2011

  9. More Questions to ponder: Why did Obama’s Attorney General argue against gay rights before the Supreme Court when he could have chosen not to get involved or to support our rights; and why did the gay community continue it’s support? Why was Obama silent on Prop 8? Why has he studiously avoided gays, except to ask for financial support? Why didn’t he take a stand in favor of repeal of DODT? What has he done to move forward repeal of DOMA?

    Comment by man — June 16, 2011 @ 5:26 pm - June 16, 2011

  10. Could it also be because she is a woman?

    Comment by Az Mo in NYC — June 16, 2011 @ 5:32 pm - June 16, 2011

  11. Actually, gays were fairly split down the middle between the two, and a few of them were so butthurt that she lost to Obama fair and square that they turned into that HillBuzz goon.

    I can only tell you why THIS liberal gay was an Obama supporter. First of all, if she had won, I would have supported her enthusiastically. Though, on balance, Obama was very, very slightly to the right of Hillary, I preferred his foreign policy ideas to hers, and I had more confidence in the people he had surrounded himself with, e.g. Samantha Power.

    Comment by Evan Hurst — June 16, 2011 @ 6:57 pm - June 16, 2011

  12. In the primaries I voted for Obama, and my partner voted for Hillary. While I would have been okay with Hillary, I remember two reasons why I didn’t vote for her:

    1. For my taste she had been much too enthusiastic about the Iraq war during the run-up and for a period of time after it started.

    2. While Hillary may be fully qualified on her own merits, I have issues with people who become candidates based largely on who they are related to. Would she have risen to that level if she were not married to Bill? Possibly, but probably not. But I do think she is fully qualified – certainly far more so than George W. Bush ever was.

    I don’t believe for a moment that W would have risen to that level if it hadn’t been for who his father was. I think he was the most inept and painfully inarticulate president in my memory. And my memory goes back to the nominating conventions of Dwight Eisenhower and Adlai Stevenson – the first time – in 1952. Yeah, I was a weird 8-year-old kid who was glued to the TV watching those conventions. In those days the conventions were not infomercials – they actually did stuff.

    So anyway, our voting had nothing to do with gay issues.

    Comment by Richard R — June 16, 2011 @ 7:23 pm - June 16, 2011

  13. You and everyone know it….more people felt Hillary had too much baggage plus her support for Iraq.

    I would have voted for either – at least Clinton or Obama can construct a complete and grammatically correct sentence on their own with out having to follow a teleprompter. Quite unlike the previous resident of the white house.

    Comment by Kevin — June 16, 2011 @ 9:21 pm - June 16, 2011

  14. 12: Quite correct. If you read the former President’s resume’, he pretty much failed at all of his careers until his family stepped in. No question he woudnt’ have gotten in to either Yale or Harvard if he wasn’t in a wealthy/legacy family.

    Comment by Kevin — June 16, 2011 @ 9:23 pm - June 16, 2011

  15. Because of sleazy Bill Jeff? I would say that’s the most likely reason why they chose Barak Obama over Hillary.

    Comment by Rob — June 16, 2011 @ 10:49 pm - June 16, 2011

  16. Why did gay activists prefer Obama to Hillary in 2008 contest for Dem. nomination when he had done less for gays than she?


    at least Clinton or Obama can construct a complete and grammatically correct sentence on their own with out having to follow a teleprompter.

    You’re uhhhh….er….ummm….full of errrrr…..SHIT!

    Comment by TGC — June 16, 2011 @ 11:53 pm - June 16, 2011

  17. Do wonder why some people bring up George W. Bush in a post where he wasn’t even mentioned.

    And only a few got at the essence of the post, about how gay activists for whom gay issues are paramount could be so ga-ga about a guy who never distinguished himself on gays — and never even marched in a gay Pride parade — or even attended one for all we know

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — June 17, 2011 @ 1:39 am - June 17, 2011

  18. If you read the former President’s resume’, he pretty much failed at all of his careers until his family stepped in.

    You mean the fake one liberal propagandists created and circulated on the internet?

    Comment by TGC — June 17, 2011 @ 6:03 am - June 17, 2011

  19. While it is true Obama can’t President himself off the can, when he wants to, especially during the 2008 campaign, he can talk a good game. During the campaign, he spoke out more unequivocally than Hilary in support of gay rights and even made a show of speaking out clearly on this topic in front of ambivalent audiences of left wing anti-gay rights evangelicals. Even his outright stating he didn’t favor marriage was seen as sincere and the stance itself was virtually the same as Hilary’s. That combined with the completely mediocre array of candidates the Republican party trotted out, helped construct a very effective (but deceptive) image of him as this capable leader that didn’t jibe with some of the unsavory facts about his past. So many of us, despite misgivings, looked past that. It turns out his operatives were also working to effectively glom a bunch of racist shrews onto Hilary as “representative” of her supporters. Then there was all that “Help” that Billy-Jeff provided his wife’s campaign… talk about passive-aggressive.

    Of course, Obama’s short term gain will cost him more in the long run with voters. His first year in office prompted this voter to sharply reverse a center-left drift dating to the mid-90s, back to the conservatism of my Young Republican days when my very first vote was to re-elect Reagan and I volunteered for H. W. Bush’s campaign after college.

    Comment by PopArt — June 17, 2011 @ 9:04 am - June 17, 2011

  20. #14. But at least we have Bush’s college transcript. The incumbent likes to hide old documents. Very transparent.

    Comment by EssEm — June 17, 2011 @ 10:19 am - June 17, 2011

  21. PopArt, good comment, “talk a good game” pretty much sums up his appeal — and not just with gays.

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — June 17, 2011 @ 11:10 am - June 17, 2011

  22. Obama can’t talk without a script though. That’s also telling.

    Comment by Sebastian Shaw — June 17, 2011 @ 11:48 am - June 17, 2011

  23. One other factor that can’t be ignored is that John Edwards was still in the race and making strong showings and pulling more votes from Hilary than Obama. There could conceivably have been a few key gay votes drawn away as part of that. We keep forgetting Edwards is the other punch line to the sick joke that became this administration.

    Comment by PopArt — June 17, 2011 @ 12:00 pm - June 17, 2011

  24. Could it be for the same reason that far too many people voted for O…that he’s (half) Black?

    Comment by EssEm — June 17, 2011 @ 1:15 pm - June 17, 2011

  25. I agree with many of the other commentors here that it was mostly the whole shiney newess of an unknown everone could pin their dreams on, the fact everyone cool was cheering Obama (thanks, Tina Fey!), plus liberal guilt. They thought they were electing Morgan Freeman, ignoring real life examples like Marion Barry and Ray Nagin. Noone is allowed to mention not every black politican is sterling, so people assumed.

    It was like getting the Publisher’s Clearing House letter (not even sure if they still do those) and thinking you did win and start spending.

    It was a empty campaign. People thought they were getting a pillow sized hamburger with the finest bacon and freshest tomatos, what they got was an overcooked sausage patty sized lump of meat on an oddly wet spongy roll.

    So… yeah…

    Comment by Brush — June 17, 2011 @ 2:00 pm - June 17, 2011

  26. what they got was an overcooked sausage patty sized lump of meat on an oddly wet spongy roll.

    Ever have a burger at Scout Camp? They make your description sound appetizing.

    Comment by TGC — June 17, 2011 @ 2:13 pm - June 17, 2011

  27. Hindsight is 20/20 bitches.

    Show me multiple posts from three years ago about how much Hillary was better than Obama and I will show you how relevant the GP site is.

    Comment by Vinci S. — June 19, 2011 @ 4:24 am - June 19, 2011

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