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    August 07, 2007

    Ask the Dems: Barack Obama

    Posted by: Chris

    Obamafist I like Barack Obama. Among the top-three Democrats, he's the only one for whom I can muster genuine enthusiasm. (Bill Richardson and Chris Dodd impress me most among the second tier.) I wish this election were four years later in Obama's political life, but it seems to me he's immune from criticism on this point from either Hillary Clinton or John Edwards.

    Hillary made a point during her tenure as first lady to say she wasn't involved in policy; now of course she and her camp are trying to spin in reverse. When some claim she is "the most qualified candidate" in the Democratic race, all they do is discredit themselves.  Richardson (especially), Dodd and Biden easily outpace her in policy experience, if not in time in the national spotlight.  The third top-tier candidate, Edwards, has more experience running for president and milking money from jurors as a trial lawyer than he does in actual policy.

    So that leaves Obama, and I find very appealing his message about a "new kind of politics." I have seen some signs of old politics, however, in how his outreach to black voters — and the conservative black church in particular — has muted his voice on gay issues. Case and point was his flub on gay marriage in a recent debate, when he conflated civil marriage with whether churches would permit gays to wed. He's way too smart to be that confused.

    As far as his toughest question, I'd stick with gay marriage, but focus in on how he could actually address the issue as president:

    Senator Obama, when you ran for the U.S. Senate in 2004, you said you disagreed with the Defense of Marriage Act at the time it was enacted in 1996, but you also defended the law in a candidate questionnaire from a conservative group. Do you support full repeal of DOMA, including the part that allows each state to ignore valid marriage licenses issued to gay couples by other states?

    Previous questions:
    Dennis Kucinich
    Joe Biden
    Chris Dodd
    Bill Richardson

    Hillary Clinton

    For a complete summary of gay issues in the presidential race, go to: http://www.gaynewswatch.com/whitehouse08



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    1. Jeremayakovka on Aug 8, 2007 6:14:35 PM:

      He is running for president four years from now (if a GOP candidate wins). Eight years from now if Hillary wins (whether or not he's veep). If all else fails, he's running to elevate his Senate profile.

      That was George Will's take on his candidacy earlier this year.

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