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CA: SF Mayor for Clinton Because of Obama Snub?

By Robert Barnes
Hillary Clinton's got a number of California's big-city mayors on her side, but perhaps she has Barack Obama to thank for the support of one of them.

San Francisco Chronicle columnist C.W. Nevius reports today that a disputed snub from Obama four years ago still rankles San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, who has been campaigning hard for Clinton in advance of today's primary.

Obama was in California for a fundraiser, and Newsom at the time was national news -- and not in a good way -- about his decision to defy state law and allow gay marriages to take place in his city.

Former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, who is neutral in the Democratic primary due to his work as a television analyst, told the newspaper: "I gave a fundraiser, at his [Obama's] request at the Waterfront restaurant. And he said to me, he would really appreciate it if he didn't get his photo taken with my mayor. He said he would reallly not like to have his picture taken with Gavin.''

Obama deputy campaign director Steve Hildebrand, who is gay, denied the account as a "ridiculous story.''

Newsom told the paper the snub had nothing to do with his support for Clinton--he was at a rally with former President Bill Clinton Monday night--but seemed to confirm in an interview with Reuters in 2007 that he had caught much flak for his 2004 gay marriage support, which hardly seems quite as controversial in Democratic circles now, four years later.

Asked about Hillary Clinton, Al Gore and Obama, Newsom said: "One of the three Democrats you mentioned as presidential candidates, as God is my witness, will not be photographed with me, will not be in the same room with me, even though I've done fundraisers for that particular person--not once, but twice--because of this issue.''

Newsom told the paper Monday night that he looked forward to voting for Obama in eight years.

By Washington Post Editor  |  February 5, 2008; 12:42 PM ET
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