July 08, 2009
Steve Hildebrand on Obama
Posted by: Andoni
Steve Hildebrand may be the closest gay person to Barack Obama. He was deputy national campaign director for Obama's presidential campaign last year. In a remarkable interview with Hildebrand, Rex Wockner gets to the bottom of some of the issues LGBT Americans have been worried about vis a vis President Obama of late. After the the Department of Justice brief defending DOMA, Hildebrand went to the White House and spoke one on one with the president about the anger in the our community, LGBT issues in general and the DOJ brief in particular.
Two items of particular note in Wockner's interview with Hildebrand are:
2. "(President Obama) did not read the ... pathetic (marriage) brief in advance but he subsequently has read the brief and was not happy at all with both the direction as well as the language that was used." --Steve Hildebrand
So all the brouhaha the LGBT community created following that "pathetic" brief was appropriate and most likely brought some results. The president thinks pressure is a good thing and apparently repsonds to it. I for one don't believe the White House cocktail party to celebrate Stonewall had been on the books for a long time. I really think the noise we made as a community had results and if we continue the pressure we will get more results. But as Hildebrand notes, we need more pressure on Congress. The president will sign all LGBT legislation that comes to his desk. But as Chris reminds us Congress initiates and passes the laws, not the president.
Finally, Steve Hildebrand thinks that we gays are not doing as much as we could be doing to advance our cause. That will be a topic of a post in the next few days.
In the meantime, read the Wockner interview.
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