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  • « This just in from Iowa… | Main | The first casualties from Iowa »

    January 03, 2008

    The best and the worst in Iowa

    Posted by: Chris

    Obama What a night in Iowa! From a gay voter's perspective, it couldn't have gone better. Barack Obama, the best candidate for gay rights won the Democratic caucus vote, and by a larger-than-expected margin.

    On the Republican side, the worst candidate on gay rights issues, Mike Huckabee, pulled out his own surprise victory by a surprisingly large margin. Why is that good for gays? For one thing, his victory was a crushing blow to Mitt Romney, who jettisoned a moderate record on gay and abortion rights to reinvent himself as a social conservative. If Romney had been successful, it would only further seduce moderate Republicans -- like nominal national frontrunner Rudy Giuliani -- to follow him to the right.

    Huckabee's victory at Romney's expense most benefits Giuliani and Arizona Sen. John McCain, since Huckabee isn't competitive in New Hampshire and isn't given much of a chance outside the evangelical strongholds of the Midwest and South. As noted, Giuliani has wavered on his own past gay rights support, declaring now isn't the time to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and civil unions are too close to marriage -- to mention just two issues. But he is still historically far superior on gay rights than any previous Republican with a solid shot at the GOP nomination.

    The same can't be said for McCain, who has been consistently on the wrong side of every major gay rights issue, although he did endear himself to gays when he called Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson "agents of intolerance" during his fight against George W. Bush for the Republican presidential nomination eight years ago. That independence -- putting aside his late butt-kissing of the late Rev. Falwell -- along with his opposition to a federal marriage amendment, make him better than most of the rest of the GOP.

    But the big victory of the night goes to Obama, who now heads to New Hampshire already in a virtual tie with Hillary Clinton, and with a massive wave of momentum from a victory that will be a huge international story for the next week. Hillary may have given her Iowa concession speech at a podium labeled "Ready for Change," but Iowa voters -- in unprecedented numbers -- saw her as more of the same.

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    1. anon on Jan 4, 2008 5:31:06 PM:

      McCain voted against the FMA - -he wasn't on the wrong side of every gay rights issue.

    1. Mike on Jan 5, 2008 11:00:46 AM:

      Obama's support is in the middle ground. The gay community's support is not in the middle ground. If Obama is elected then the gay movement will sit in limbo for years. Obama did nothing for gay rights during his Illinois term.

    1. Double T on Jan 5, 2008 8:30:54 PM:

      Mike, I think your wrong. I believe Obama is someone the GLBT community can work with. He may not have done a lot to help the community, but he wasn't out to hurt us either.
      He wasn't mapping out quaint little ghettos to send Aids Patients off to internal exile.

      Who do you want as President, Huckaboob?

      No more of, "Wait, baby Jesus is whispering into my ear".
      I'll move to Brazil and live with Kevin if he's elected.
      Yeah, that's how bad I fear the Huckster.

    1. Mike on Jan 6, 2008 10:53:53 AM:

      Double T, these are the choices? Obama who has done nothing for the gay community or HuckaBOO who will work to harm it? I pick neither. Sorry but "he wasn't out to hurt us either" does not make me feel warm to a person. I want a person who I know for a fact will not throw the gay community under the bus. I want a candidate who has a history of using their own vote to help the gay community.

    1. Double T on Jan 6, 2008 1:53:06 PM:

      Mike, I understand your "wants".

      Question. You got someone in mind who meets all of your "wants" and has a chance in hell of being elected to
      the highest office in the land?

    1. Chris on Jan 6, 2008 8:11:21 PM:

      Mike, I understand why the McClurkin incident is upsetting, but I think Obama handled it well, apologizing for the invitation, reiterating his rejection of the "ex-gay" phenomenon, as well as his very strong (hardly "middle of the road") positions on gay rights.

      But even if you disagree, to whom would you turn? Hillary has her own Donnie McClurkins and John Edwards has a patchier record on gay rights.

      Dennis Kucinich? The chances he would be an effective president on gay rights are about as good as his being an effective candidate for president.

    1. Double T on Jan 7, 2008 12:16:31 PM:

      I like Dennis Kucinich. His heart is in the right place.
      A great friend to the community. But he's not getting elected.

      Dennis Miller said it best, "I do believe Kucinich saw a UFO, but he saw it from the inside."

    1. Monster Beats Sale on Nov 26, 2011 3:58:25 AM:

      Dennis Miller said it best, "I do believe Kucinich saw a UFO, but he saw it from the inside.

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