Why Can't Hillary Answer the Question?


How, exactly, did Obama "bring a lot of the country along with him?" It seems to me that the country brought Obama along, in that, once the polls showed that a majority of people supported equal marriage, Obama felt it was safe to not lie about his feelings on the subject.
It's a non-story and an non-issue.
From what I've read lately, it sounds like Hillary is now considering not running in 2016.
I'll say this just once. Clinton has an infallibility problem: the problem is she has a deep seated need to appear infallible. If she's going to succeed at this presidency thing, she's going to need to go to humility school. This won't be easy for someone who'd been so thoroughly humiliated by her husband when he was president.

If there is one thing that keeps Democrats up at night when contemplating Hillary Clinton for President, this is it.
that's the last straw, i'm voting republican. a nightmare dystopia is preferable to someone who's mean to terry gross!
Hilary Clinton is Obama Lite. Just as her husband is (still) considered the best Republican President in decades, she would also be. Not 4 Hill.
@1 is right.

Come on, people! The don't-ask-don't-tell Clintons never gave a damn about non-straight rights and neither did Obama, for that matter. They never took a difficult stand and Obama only came out (no pun intended) with his "evolve" bullshit (god, I hate the misappropriation of that biological term) after Biden just went ahead and spilled the beans. For what it's worth, I think Biden cares more about this than Obama or the Clintons. I still think that beneath his black skin and thinly liberal policies, Obama harbors more than a little of the conservative white Midwestern sensibilities. I appreciate his eventual championing of equal rights for non-straight people, but I don't have any illusions about the fervor of his convictions - or those of the Clintons.
There is a reason the party didn't go for Hillary in 2008. Did you all forget why in the past few years?
What @1 said.

For someone who didn't believe in DOMA, Obama's Justice Department sure did defend the hell out of it at the start. And I guess if nobody believed Obama opposed marriage equality it wasn't a very shrewd political calculation on his part to oppose it in 2008.

Why would you be so fascinated about the political considerations that politicians make when they are so clearly aligned with the polls?
I'd rather hear about how much politics was going on in the minds of the Iowa Supreme Court justices when they ruled for marriage equality. You know, the justices who later lost their jobs because of it.

And Clinton is right. Gross is factually wrong that a lot of people supported marriage equality in the 90s.
The last two sentences of Dan's post are both true.

That's all you really need to know.

She's looking at what's going on in Texas.
She's selling a book. This keeps people interested and talking. It's her show.
@4 - That may be true about Hillary (I don't actually have an opinion there), but good God did I laugh at your comment. I know so many elected officials that need to go to humility school, and honestly, 98% of them are men.
Obama definitely was not personally against marriage equality in 2008. I went to an event he had in NH, and was standing next to a gay guy who asked him about it. The response was clear enough to both the gay guy and me that while it was politically necessary for him to maintain a "separate but equal" stance he didn't believe that himself. Still pissed me off that he waited what, years into his second term to do something about it, and then only because Biden jumped the gun? Certainly those voting for him were for it.
@8 Pretty sure it was vagina.
Obama has turned out a lot better on lgbt issues than I expected, but I am not as convinced as Dan that his prior ambivalence was a tactic.

I don't think grilling Hillary accomplishes much. She's an ally. That's a hell of a lot better than what the Republicans are going to field. Even Bill, for all his triangulation helped move things forward rather than demonizing our minority.
Does it matter how Secretary Clinton evolved on this issue? Wonder why she couldn't just say that she, like millions in this country, has evolved on gay marriage and regrets her former position. Simple.

No one will hold her former position against her when it comes to voting for her in 2016 -- especially since Republicans are still in the dark ages.
From the transcript:
>> I don’t think you are trying to clarify. I think you are trying to say that I used to be opposed and now I am in favor and I did it for political reasons. And that’s just flat wrong... I did not grow up even imagining gay marriage and I don’t think you did either. This was an incredible new and important idea that people on the front lines of the gay right movement began to talk about and slowly, but surely, convinced others about the rightness of that position. When I was ready to say what I said, I said it. >>

I'm not a Clinton fan, but I think she comes off better than Terry Gross here.
Hillary needs to craft a better response. She can hardly be surprised to be asked about this. Gross is, of course, implying that the TIMING of announcing the change in her position was political. Surely she could find some anti-gay event happening around the time of her announcement and say "That's when I realized that I needed to make public my position."
I'm a veteran, and I was around and very involved during the whole DADT debacle during Bill Clinton's 1st term. I believe he sincerely wanted to integrate gays into the military. He even campaigned on it. But he didn't realize the resistance he faced, especially within his own party.

I think Obama was well aware of how that transpired, and wanted to avoid the same mistake. He knew he had to build support in the background before trying to ram it through congress. It was super frustrating to watch, but he was right and he succeeded. He is taking exactly the same approach to marriage equality: building support for the idea. Don't try to force it on the public too fast. It is likewise frustrating to watch, but public opinion has been dramatically changing over the last 10 years, and he has finessed his public policy along with it.

Hillary Clinton is also well aware of how DADT came to be. She was at Bill's side when it happened. So I expect she will be very cautious not to get too far out in front of the public on LGBT issues. I'd love her to take real leadership, but I doubt she will.
@21 I agree with everything you say except one thing. Public opinion has not been changing dramatically over the last X years. Support has been building by 1-2% per year for decades.
I shan't argue the results, but contend that, if the Miss Obamas had had best friends whose parents were conversion therapists, Ms Gallagher and Mr Brown would be regularly welcomed and cherished guests at the White House today.

Mrs Clinton reminds me of any of several interchangeable well-known feminists who are word perfect on the talking points and then say three things very heterocentric indeed as soon as ever they go off script.

Both are improvements on the past, but I think we can do better.
@1 -- Obama was slower to evolve than I would have liked. But you have to admit that when Biden and then Obama announced their support for same-sex marriage, things immediately started to snowball. And I don't think it was a coincidence, nor entirely of them jumping onto an already run-away bandwagon (to mix a metaphor), though that was part of it. A huge part of it was that they provided political cover for those who supported same sex marriage but were too scared to be public about it. Once that cover was there, politicians were falling over themselves to agree.
@1, and @6 are exactly on target!

Dano, you think most logically and concisely on segments of political theater dealing with gaydom, gay stuff, but then, like so many others were equally or more serious matters are concerned, completely fizzle out. This being a perfect case in point.

One of the numerous items which can be linked here for this discussion (many I've done recently, so I'll just post this current one):


Pew Research Center, which a few years back (believe it was 2007) published one of their so-called surveys claiming the American media to be liberal, just published another so-called survey claiming that R-cons and Faux crats have never been more polarized in history, just at a time when more and more Americans believe that there exists little difference between the two parties on the most serious issues affecting 99% of Americans.

Regardless of how the plutocracy, and their minions be they Ted Cruz or Hillary Clilnton, attempt to flummox everyone, people are beginning, ever so slowly, to wake up!

Ever so slightly it even appears Dano Savage is vaguely beginning to arise from his slumber.
@24, they announced their support just a day or two prior to going around the country on a major fund-raising tour.

Such integrity. . . .
@16 says: "She's an ally."

Riiiiigggghtttt, perhaps to imbeciles, faux crats and various and sundry douchetards, but with backers like Richard Mellon Scaife, India's Tata Consultance, and Rupert Murdoch, all you neocon gaytards can perform all your creepy fantasized sex acts on her all you want in your dreams, but allow those sane and informed to vote in your place.
As long as she's not trying to enshrine homophobia into law I don't give two shits whether hers was a political calculation or a life-changing epiphany. The same goes for any other politician regardless of party.
I really can't care less. So it was a political calculation, whatever.

I guarantee whoever the republican nominee is, they will want to pass an amendment outlawing same sex marriage nationwide.

I'll be voting for Hillary.
Dan Savage doesn't speak for this homo! The lady answered the fucking question. DS just wants to be a cynical dick.
Dan Savage has NO FUCKING RIGHT to speak for anyone. I wasn't for gay marriage two years ago along with a lot of my gay friends and now I am. Cut the lady some slack you cynical fucking dick!
I didn't know Hillary was already the nominee? Sure saves me from having to vote. Thanks Slog!!!
Who cares about the past. She is on the right side now so why badger her?
Name an accomplishment from Hillary. One thing she can put her name on and say this is a good thing and I did it. Intentions, positions, speeches mean nothing. Likewise time spent on airplanes, miles traveled, is meaningless.

Now start a pile of screw ups.

Which pile is taller, do you really want her as president? If so, why?
"Obama managed to bring a lot of the country along with him" and "lovely piece of political performance art"?? Dan now you're also guilty of a #RUFKM hate crime ;-).

Seriously what he said or she said- or didn't- matters not for by the time they got to the station the train had long left the station- too late to catch the damned caboose! Even Bob Barr was on board five years prior! HRC will lie with impunity as long as she is a political animal- and that's the family business to the tune of $150M in the bank. No more Clintons, please.
“I understand but a lot of people believed in it already back in the nineties. They supported gay marriage.” - Terry Gross

I didn't even know gay people couldn't get married in the 90s. I had an unconventional upbringing in the Pacific Northwest and didn't even comprehend the insistence of straight people wanting to get married and still don't. Frankly, all religions seemed like cults to me (I didn't say they are cults, it was my perception of some of the ceremonies). It wasn't until the 2001 election that I realized half the nation was driven by religion and wanted to dictate the rest of us based on that said religion.

I didn't listen to the interview to hear the tone of voices, just read the transcript. I think they were both fine. A more direct question begets a more direct answer. It is still not clear to me why Terry wanted to know this so badly and/or why she believes that marriage equality was such an accepted concept by so many in 90s. When DOMA happened, I thought it was to help protect gays in the military from being discharged, a step in the right direction for them to be completely open. I don't recall any discussions about marriage equality at all. I evolved. I went from being unaware to publicly supporting any form of domestic partnership. It still isn't the marriage part for me, it's the rights and recognition that go along with it.
Not quoting Clinton's response (which was a very good one, and I'm not saying that because I want her to run, which I don't) was bad enough. But posting that horribly slanted photo of her is just disgusting. However, since Savage is the editor, I guess he can post what he wants.
Personally, I'd LOVE for Hillary--or Chelsea---Clinton to run for U.S. President in 2016.
The $64,000.00 question is, will either of them run and /or want to? Would Elizabeth Warren run for President? I think she'd clean up Wall Street and kick ass!

I'd also relish seeing the charter card-carrying members of the GOP and Tea Party eat each other up until BOTH political organizations are all gone with Eric Cantor ousted as House Majority leader. Now THERE'S a pig roast!
The reason the I supported Obama over Hillary (other than liking him more) was that I felt the Republicans would attack her brutally and incessantly through her entire presidency, and that we had a better chance at bi-partisanship with Obama.
This is a good piece from the Nation/NPR from 2012:


"Obama unambiguously supported same-sex marriage in 1996. In response to a survey from Outlines, a gay community newspaper in Chicago, Obama took the unusual step of typing in his response: "I favor legalizing same-sex marriage, and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages." At the time, his was a position on the progressive edge of the Democratic Party.

Since then, in striking contrast to other members of his generation who have moved to support same-sex marriage — and in ways that are at odds with his other views on civil rights, family and citizenship — Obama has "evolved" rightward. There's no other way to explain this shift except in the most obvious terms — as a matter of sheer political calculation. The further up the political food chain Obama went, the more he concluded that being adamantly pro-gay wasn't to his electoral benefit. In other words, his current view isn't a product of evolution so much as it is of intelligent design."


This video is from 2004, 10 years ago, 8 years after O supporting gay marriage. Watch Obama's answer when asked if he thinks being gay is a choice--it starts at 1:50 and runs to 2:30 where the interviewer presses him with "separate but equal" and O fumbles.

And remember 2007 when Obama had to defend pro-reparative therapy Donnie McClurkin going to South Carolina on his behalf.

O changed when the polling changed. Pretty sure Dick Cheney and (Laura) Bush came around on the issue before Barack.
Meh, I want to know how she's evolved on her vote for the Iraq war. Especially now that Iraq is falling apart. Was she just naive then or would she still vote the same way if she had it all to do over again? If she'd support taking us into a bad war back then what would stop her from taking us into a bad war now as President? Then again these are the Clintons. They will say whatever flows with the political winds at the time.
Green party.
Is Hillary Clinton going to break off ties with the fundamentalists in Saudi Arabia who send gays to prison? Savage says: Let's vote for her and HOPE!
And hey, speaking of prisons, is Clinton going to close Gitmo where American marines stacked naked prisoners on top of one another? CROSS YOUR FINGERS, JACK.
And hey, speaking of marines, is Clinton going to pull back America's colonial hegemony that is making democracy and therefore women and gay rights impossible in Palestine?
And hey, speaking of colonialism, is Clinton going to resolve the First-world/Third-world differences in the global warming treaties, giving all living things a chance for decent life? HEY, THAT'D BE A CHANGE.
Never mind gay marriage, Hillary was dead wrong on Iraq - and any Democrat who supported the invasion was either a fool or a cynical self-serving asshole - and has never issued a mea culpa. She's a war criminal and she can fuck off and die before I ever vote for her.
#44. She also voted for the Patriot Act and does not support the American Freedom Agenda. I'll not vote for her.
NO Obama did NOT bring the country along with him.

People's hearts and minds were changed because they got to KNOW LGBT people who were finally confident enough to live OUT. And of course, the generational shift.

And let's not forget people like Adam Lambert who single handedly changed the topic of conversation AND FORCED GLAAD to support him after being blackballed by major networks over his AMA performance in 2009. It even took that corrupt idiot Barrios FOUR press releases to get it "RIGHT".

Was GLAAAD "evolving" on two men kissing on TV?

Lastly, it's disgusting when you can applaud a corrupt politician for skillful LIES and can't even give someone like Tammy Faye Baker, a well known CHRISTIAN, props for being supportive of LGBT people DECADES before it was FASHIONABLE.

The LIAR is not always going to lie in your best interest. It just happened to be mutually beneficial THIS time.
I heard the interview. The whole thing was pretty weird. Hillary was unnecessarily defensive and Terry Gross was bizarrely fixated on getting her to say in the most blunt possible language that she cynically pretended to be against it publicly, while she was in favor privately.
Clinton said something like "I evolved along with the rest of the country over the last decade." Good enough. Move on already.
Who cares when or why? As long as she supports progress now and tomorrow. I want to hear her tell us where she'll lead the country. Couldn't care less how she's evolved. Want to know how and where she'll lead us. And am glad to see a Dem take on idiot commentators.
LOL, a lot of impotent rage being expressed on this topic.

Nothing makes the comments jump into hyperbole, bullshit, and grandstanding quite like discussing politics.
Answer: because she's a politician.
oh boy! let's elect another baby boomer! that's sure to solve all of the problems they fucking caused! i definitely think the hardest job in the world should go to someone already past retirement age!

seriously, who gives a shit what Hillary Clinton thought and when she thought it. Let's start looking FORWARD with our candidates instead of backward, what say? maybe then we can banish the stupid backward ways of the past to the past.

RISE UP GEN X. Time to take the reins. Fuck these idiots.
"And no one expects a politician not to make political calculations… but voters will punish any politician who admits to making political calculations. So maybe the question Gross was asking is the one that can only be answered in a future memoir."

So what the hell's your point, Dan? Looks like you just answered the question in the headline.
So which politician would you vote for?
Being a part of the LGBTQ community, I can honestly say that I favor Hilary's decision not to answer questions on the subject this soon, especially while trying to sell her book & running for the biggest office in the country that no woman has ever won. I wouldn't even answer that question, knowing even if we are getting closer, this country is still not ready for the advancement, let alone answer it until after being elected. It's obvious we're not ready, when we only have 17 states out of 50 that recently allowed marriage equality, when places like Canada allowed it for the entire country, without pussyfooting around the issues & we have a constitution of rights that support equality for all it's citizens. That's a reason for hesitation to discuss the issue in itself. The Clintons have always fought for equality in the realm of politics even before holding office, but always knew when to cover their a##es in order to get into office. Still, it took Obama to do what Bill didn't do while in office. GW Bush did the same. Of course he waited until he was out of office to speak up, knowing the consequences. So, give the old girl a break!
Being a part of the LGBTQ community, I can honestly say that I favor Hilary's decision not to answer questions on the subject this soon, especially while trying to sell her book & running for the biggest office in the country that no woman has ever won. I wouldn't even answer that question, knowing even if we are getting closer, this country is still not ready for the advancement, let alone answer it until after being elected. It's obvious we're not ready, when we only have 17 states out of 50 that recently allowed marriage equality, when places like Canada allowed it for the entire country, without pussyfooting around the issues & we have a constitution of rights that support equality for all it's citizens. That's a reason for hesitation to discuss the issue in itself. The Clintons have always fought for equality in the realm of politics even before holding office, but always knew when to cover their a##es in order to get into office. Still, it took Obama to do what Bill didn't do while in office. GW Bush did the same. Of course he waited until he was out of office to speak up, knowing the consequences. I believe Hilary would answer the question if it wasn't still so controversial & so soon before elections & may surprise people just like Obama did. She has already made history. So, give the old girl a break!
Why the fuck does it matter? Sometimes,as a straight ally,I just get so discouraged by the fucking drama from the LGBTQ whatever acronyms camp. Goddamn! She supports it. Why do the fuck does she need to rationalise it? It's like you're fucked if you support and you're fucked if you don't support. Could you drama queens and kings let it fucking go? Worry about the bigger issues,not when Hilary Clinton changed her mind. You guys make it so fucking hard for some straight allies. Chill the bloody hell out and be thankful she's in support.
She just sounds nutty and bitchy. Fuck her. I am a liberal democrat, but I don't need her. Bring in the new.