It's been a while since my last post, so let's hop right to it.
PROP 8: There has been a bit of soul searching in the gay community since Nov. 4, when African Americans voted overwhelmingly for Barack Obama and for Prop 8, which changed the California state constitution to ban same-sex marriage. Many white gays and lesbians can't understand why blacks, victims of discrimination who know the sting of second-class citizenship, would vote against another group seeking basic rights. I won't get into the reasons for this. They have been hashed over and explored for weeks. But I do want to give my gay brothers and sisters some advice.
The link between the two civil rights movements is real, so enlist the active and public support of African-American icons who share your view and who can get blacks to give them a hearing on the issue. Three such powerful symbols exist: Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), NAACP Chairman Julian Bond and the Rev. Al Sharpton. Last month, I emailed Sharpton and asked, "Hey, Rev.....did any of the organizers of the movement against California's Proposition 8 ever reach out to you to help with outreach to the African-American community???" He replied, "No they should have." The gay community must not make that mistake again.
The Prop 8 heat on blacks diminished greatly when the money and manpower assist from the Mormon church was revealed. Marc Ambinder of the Atlantic interestingly proposed that the Mormon intervention on a social issue near and dear to evangelical Christians could end up helping former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who is Mormon, if he makes a presidential run in 2012. But my former colleague Stephen Stromberg, who wrote about Mormon involvement in the battle over Prop 8, said it probably isn't working. "Mormon involvement underscores the concerns many Americans have about whether Romney would take direction from the Mormon church," he told me. This could make the fears about the Pope's influence over John F. Kennedy seem quaint.
REPLACING HILLARY: New York Gov. David Paterson (D) has a bunch of new-found friends now that he has the unenviable task of choosing someone to replace Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton after she's confirmed as secretary of state. Combining my knowledge of Paterson with the thoughts of a couple of wise Empire Staters who know him well, here's what's likely playing into his political calculus. Paterson likes "firsts." There hasn't been a Latino(a) or a gay person in the seat. Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion's name is floating out there. Openly gay New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who deftly made the transition from outsider activist to inside power player, fits the bill.
More importantly, though, Paterson needs a "name." Someone who instantly commands respect in the state and on the Hill and who would have no problem raising money for future races. This may be why Paterson reportedly has gauged the interest of Caroline Kennedy. And she's reportedly interested. Another possible could be state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. It's not clear he would sublimate his ambition to succeed his father as governor in order to go to Washington. Pity Paterson can't be the pick. The shocking events of March that made him governor put the kibosh on that.
CABINET DIVERSITY: Only Democrats would give a Democratic president -- and a black one, to boot -- a hard time about diversity in the cabinet. Before Obama started assembling his team, African Americans were grumbling with concern about there being "enough" representation. Gays and lesbians are grumbling with that concern now. And frustration among Latinos bubbled into view on Wednesday, when Obama was asked to respond to their concern that making Bill Richardson the secretary of commerce was a "consolation prize" for the community, since the New Mexico governor really wanted the job Clinton got.
The president-elect had the right response: "I think people are going to say, this is one of the most diverse Cabinets and White House staffs of all time." He went on to say, "There is no contradiction between diversity and excellence." And added, "I'm looking, first and foremost, for the best people to serve the American people." Amen. Now could everyone please put away their score cards? Please?!
Posted by: blessinggirl | December 6, 2008 12:37 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: jbritt3 | December 6, 2008 1:15 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Archarito | December 6, 2008 3:44 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: turtlelovenurse | December 6, 2008 9:10 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: jameschirico | December 6, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: mharwick | December 6, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: bill_delgrosso | December 6, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: ThePoliticalStraycom | December 6, 2008 8:55 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: thrh | December 7, 2008 12:11 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: thrh | December 7, 2008 12:22 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: thrh | December 7, 2008 12:27 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: CalSailor | December 8, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: bettina3 | December 8, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: jackyk | December 8, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: jackyk | December 8, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Bluefish2012 | December 8, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: lonquest | December 8, 2008 5:43 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: bob2davis | December 8, 2008 8:29 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.