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  • « Welcome 'Andoni' to The Citizen | Main | Blogger-activist search for purity, con't »

    January 29, 2008

    More on Obama and 'the G word'

    Posted by: Andoni

    Obamaau I've often admired Barack Obama for using the word "gay" in his speeches to all audiences, not only gay audiences. Most politicians only use these words to LGBT audiences

    Last week Obama reminded parishioners at Martin Luther King Jr.'s Ebenezer Baptist Church that African Americans have not always been kind to their gay and lesbian brothers. Is Obama simply a good actor, or does he really have an internal compass that includes gays and lesbians?

    I believe I have my answer. In his speech at American University yesterday accepting Sen. Edward Kennedy's endorsement, Obama again included gays and lesbians in his remarks. However, in reviewing the published text of his speech to see exactly how he said it, I was astonished to discover that the text as prepared for the teleprompter did not include "the G word." And yet without batting an eye, when Obama came to that portion of the speech that enumerated various groups of Americans, he intuitively realized gays and lesbians were missing and without a pause, he ad libbed and added our community.

    The text of his prepared remarks and a video of his speech are available here, with the ad-libbed portion about 10 minutes into the remarks. Here is the text as written for him:

    And it lives on in those Americans –- young and old, rich and poor, black and white, Latino and Asian –- who are tired of a politics that divides us and want to recapture the sense of common purpose that we had when John Kennedy was president.

    And here's what Obama actually said, with the ad-libbed addition highlighted:

    And it lives on in those Americans – young and old, rich and poor, black and white, Latino and Asian, native American, gay and straight -- who are tired of a politics that divides us and want to recapture the sense of common purpose that we had when John Kennedy was president."

    On the fly, in the middle of the pressure of a major speech, it came natural to him to include gays into a speech that wasn't written that way. This is just one simple example of gut level thinking that shows us a lot about Obama, the man --  that gay and lesbian people indeed are internalized in his core beliefs and we are indeed included in his plans for change.

    (Photo of Obama at American University via New York Times/Damon Winter)

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    Comments

    1. Michael Bedwell on Jan 29, 2008 7:16:52 PM:

      Gee, Mary, you should start your own psychic hotline and donate your profits Big O.2's coffers. You know exactly what St. Barack was thinking; what his motivation was. Or is he Superman, "without batting an eye," "on the fly," faster than a speeding press release!

      Given he droned on and on in South Carolina Saturday night— before a sea of signs alluding to, nudge nudge wink wink, homohater, gospelspieler Donnie McClurkin's Grammy-winning hit "Stand"—without including the G-word in his laundry list of TWENTY ONE multi-referenced coalition members including such HUGE South Carolina populations as Asians and Native Americans [sorry, the closest he came to Gay Repugnants was crossover Republican voters], a far more logical interpretation is that his speech FOLLOWED Ted Kennedy's [whom, of course, you would normally be vilifying] speech in which KENNEDY referenced ending "straight versus gay." That would have been the perfect add to Obama's sentence Saturday night, "The choice in this election is not between regions or religions or genders. It's not about rich versus poor; young versus old; and it is not about black versus white," but, of course, he didn't include it. Bad teleprompter, bad!

    1. Chris on Jan 29, 2008 9:06:25 PM:

      Keep it up, Michael! Your substance-free, "over it" bitterness is effective at not only repelling anyone who takes the time to read it, but illustrates so well why "the politics of hope" are a needed break from such baby-with-the-bathwater cynicism.

    1. Christopher on Feb 2, 2008 12:26:26 PM:

      Interesting observations. Of the two remaining heir apparent to the democratic nomination, I must admit he is offering more hope and insight to the human soul.

      Of the four leading contender from both the democrats and republicans; we once again have to choose the lesser of evils. It saddens me that there are no true leaders and statesmen that will take on the issues of the day due to the nature of politics today.

    1. gregor on Feb 28, 2009 4:28:50 AM:

      Redtube

    1. Monster Beats Sale on Nov 30, 2011 2:53:21 AM:

      we once again have to choose the lesser of evils. It saddens me that there are no true leaders and statesmen that will take on the issues of the day due to the nature of politics today.

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