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    April 01, 2008

    Obama knocks the socks off NYC gays

    Posted by: Andoni

    "I've been to many events over the past 10 years of candidates running for office. This was the most forthright, eloquent, and detailed stuff I've heard from a politician [regarding gay issues]."

    That's according to Corey Johnson, one of the hosts of a Barack Obama fundraiser held the other night at the apartment of GLSEN founder and executive director Kevin Jennings -- right in Hillary Clinton's home turf, New York City.

    According to those present, Obama took on some of the toughest issues on the gay legislative agenda in his remarks without prompting and spoke with detail and candor that those in the audience were not used to hearing.

    On marriage equality, Obama again said he favored civil unions at this time, but left the door open for marriage at a future date. On the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, he said he supported a transgender-inclusive ENDA but did not think the votes were there in the Senate for that version of the bill.

    What surprised me was that Obama's speech was on gay issues and yet most of the questions following his 30-35 minutes of remarks were on non-gay issues. To me that means that he must have nailed every gay issue that was on peoples' minds or they wouldn't have switched to non gay issues during the Q & A.

    Obama repeated that his top three priorities if elected will be to safely extricate the U.S. from Iraq, pass affordable health care legislation and address greenhouse gases and the environment.



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    1. BB on Apr 1, 2008 3:15:10 PM:

      If the Democratic Party can transcend race. And then, if America can transcend race, by electing Obama as our REAL first Black President. THEN we will be that much closer to America transcending homophobia. People will experience and know that they can transcend. Transcendence speeds up progress, for transcendence begets more transcendence. People notice how good it feels to transcend, and how proud they feel about themselves when they transcend. An awakening occurs. Then we are no longer falling around in the thick MUD of sameness that we are so stuck in. Instead, we are moving along.

      The WORLD will be impressed with us. AND, I believe the tenseness between us and the Middle East will even soften a tiny bit, when we have as our President a man with the name Barack Obama. The Republicans want to make his name a negative thing. WHEN, in fact, I truly see it as an asset for us, around the World. An American President named Barack Obama, with dark skin, will capture the imagination of many. And added to this; he is SO intelligent.

      Obama has all along been so fair to the gay community, in his speeches. No matter where. In front of a mostly homophobic Black Community in Church, he calls for an end to homophobia. Wherever, he speaks out for us. Hillary will say something pro-gay, If it seems she absolutely has to, and there is no way out. McCain? LOL But Barack, without prodding, or pressure, speaks out for us. We are included in his vision for a better America. We are actually on his mind. We are not on Hillary's mind. Her picture in the History books is on her mind. McCain? LOL

      I LOVE Obama. I LOVE his wife. GOOD people, they are.

    1. Scott on Apr 1, 2008 9:43:24 PM:

      Corey Johnson is young. He doesn't have that much experience when it comes to talking to politicians. As we know Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel were not afraid to say their just views on LGBT people in public.

      Obama is not the messiah. Neither is McCain or Clinton. They all will dump us when politically convenient. Gay people have to be on their backs night and day until equality is reached. If you expect crumbs you will get crumbs. Saying the votes aren't there for the EDNA bill and that's it is not good enough. The president has to fight for ALL Americans. LGBT people are not on equal footing compared to straight people. I am ashamed and sickened but not surprised that the gay attendees of that fundraiser barely asked any questions about LGBT issues. Many gay people have this chronic need to prove to straight people that their life isn't all about being gay at the detriment of their own welfare. In every area of life gay people are discriminated against whether it's housing, education, immigration, adoption, employment, pay, marriage, hate crimes, elected office, health care, you name it. Why didn't they ask about the astronomical homelessness of LGBT people? Why gay people get paid significantly less than straight people even though gay people are more likely to have a college degree or more? Why crimes against gay people are not taken seriously and usually go unsolved? They let every gay person down by not asking the questions.

    1. Brian Miller on Apr 2, 2008 5:27:43 AM:

      Wow! So a "host" of a fundraiser for Barack Obama just loves him, eh?

      Next thing you know, you'll be reporting on Log Cabin's embracing of John McCain as the most pro-gay GOP presidential candidate in history.


    1. Brian Miller on Apr 2, 2008 5:32:32 AM:

      On marriage equality, Obama again said he favored civil unions at this time, but left the door open for marriage at a future date.

      How brave!

      Did he favor segregated schools for black children as well, while leaving the door open for integrated schools at a "future date?"

      Such courage!

      Such principle!

      He's going to deliver Change and Hope to America!

      (Gag me.)

    1. Strict Scrutiny on Apr 2, 2008 10:50:42 AM:

      Did he favor segregated schools for black children as well, while leaving the door open for integrated schools at a "future date?"

      I agree that Barack Obama's position on marriages vs. civil unions for gay folks amounts to a "separate but equal" type of arrangement. I believe that he says this not because he believes it, but because it would damage him in any national election. So I agree with you on this one issue that he does not demonstrate the kind of leadership I look for in a presidential candidate.

      However, that said Brian, I think you're sarcastic derision of Mr. Obama is unwarranted and foolish. He is one of the most outstanding candidates for office I have ever seen. He has done nothing that would put his credibility on gay issues in question (aside from the marriage issue, above). He has spoken eloquently and with conviction on the subject of GLBT rights to many non-GLBT audiences. He has also advocated for a repeal of DADT and the federal DOMA. I have no reason to believe he would "throw us under the bus" if he wins the presidency.

    1. BB on Apr 2, 2008 12:15:42 PM:

      Catch up Brian. Who threw the transgendered community under the bus, concerning ENDA legislation? The GAY Barney Frank, and the HRC, which is supposed to be fighting for GLBT equality. Where are the MILLIONS of gay people in the streets, demanding equality, like the Brown Community did for their Civil Rights? Where is the gay activism and gay outrage, among the MILLIONS of gays in this Country. If we are 10% of the population, there should be about 30 million of us. The last I heard, only about 1/4th of us even vote. If ALL of us voted, who were old enough, we would have as much clout and pull as the Religious Right does. BUT, 3/4ths of us stay away from the voting booth on election day, and you dump on Obama for not being at the place mentally that MOST gay people are not yet at. He is AHEAD of most gays, for he BRAVELY speaks out on our behalf, like NOT OTHER major candidate has. While the majority of us gays are still in HIDING.

      We live in a Country where the MAJORITY of the gay Community chooses to HIDE, while the FEW fight for them. And those that hide say, NOT ENOUGH. Do More!

      If EVERY gay person just came out to their loved ones, that would move things along more. FOR more people would know that gay rights has to do with THEIR child, or THEIR relative, or THEIR best friend, ETC. BUT instead its, "OBAMA, peel me a grape."

      DAMN! If Ricky Martin would just come out, and Clay Aiken, and Anderson Cooper, and all the rest of our high profile CELEBRITIES who are gay, that would help to change consciousness, for as more people discover that people they respect, admire and enjoy are gay, the less evil, threatening and scary gay looks to them. Ellen, Rosie, Knight, Elton, Ethridge, Neil Patrick Harris, etc. have EACH helped by coming out and saying to Americans, see we are just people too.

      Obama is a STRAIGHT man, for gosh sakes. He is not, after all, a gay man voting for Bush, and McCain. BUT, lets dump on Obama, while WE don't do right by US. Let's support those who are even LESS supportive of us, or not vote at all, and continue to shoot our own selves in the foot, and think stupid things like, "that will show Obama!" Some of us are such CHILDREN.

    1. Brian Miller on Apr 2, 2008 12:28:48 PM:

      He is one of the most outstanding candidates for office I have ever seen./i>

      In what sense? Beyond emotion, that is.

      He has done nothing that would put his credibility on gay issues in question

      Apart from supporting marriage segregation and having no real record, I guess.

      Where are the MILLIONS of gay people in the streets, demanding equality, like the Brown Community did for their Civil Rights? Where is the gay activism and gay outrage, among the MILLIONS of gays in this Country.

      Quashed by individuals such as yourself who attempt to present an obvious empty-suit triangulator as “progress,” and who chooses to blame the victim rather than demand better from a Democratic Party that has demanded LGBT votes for 20+ years and done little to nothing to earn them.
      The irony is that if millions of gay people did turn out on the streets, Obama (and yourself) would be criticizing them as self-destructive and naïve.

      And when thousands of people spontaneously rally for marriage equality (as they did last year in Silicon Valley), it receives no press coverage or coverage from the gay press. I wrote two well-known gay activists about a large rally for marriage equality which took place in Mountain View, CA, which had over 2,000 attendees yet received NO media attention.

      One of the journalists said he wasn’t going to cover it since there was no press release and the San Francisco gay rag didn’t report on it. The other told me he wouldn’t report it because it would hurt the Democrats and be “counterproductive.”

      With “friends” like these guys (and your empty-suit candidate), who needs enemies?

    1. Randy Bear on Apr 2, 2008 8:53:32 PM:

      Hold up. Corey may be young but from what I've seen he has a good political head on his shoulders. Yes, that may be a little too gushy of a statement but I think it is a reflection of the attitude Sen. Obama provides. I'm as impressed with Sen. Obama, especially after the Beaumont moment when he called for reconciliation.

      On another note, we just finished the next part of the Texas Two-Step process (yes, I know, stupid process). As a member of the Credentials Committee I had to head up a subcommittee to tally the delegates and put forth the allocation for SD 26 (Bexar County - San Antonio). It's weighted towards Clinton. That night we had 57% Clinton, 38% Obama and 5% Uncommitted (no preference designated). The Burnt Orange Report later reported 60% Clinton and 40% Obama with the 5% being proportionally allocated. Now it shows 71% Clinton and 28% Obama with 3 delegates yet to be allocated. TDP rules state the Nominations committee is to make every effort to balance the delegation to match the presidential preference. That shouldn't have been that hard. This shows me some backroom shennanigans happened and the Clinton reps stole 11% of the delegates from Obama. That SD has 210 delegates headed to the state convention. It's one of the larger delegations in the state.

      This just solidifies my dislike and distrust of this woman's campaign. It's time to get rid of the presidential dynasties.

    1. BB on Apr 2, 2008 10:08:09 PM:

      Brian, you make up things in your mind and then decide they are true. Isn't there a psychiatric term for that? How do you know that I or Obama would judge gays marching as being naive or self destructive? You don't know, and I certainly would NOT. And Obama (a Brown Man) knows the importance of marching for civil rights. And it is NOT Obama's fault that a gay march received no press.

      I dare say that a large percentage of the gay community are like Larry Craig, and Foley, and other closet queen Republicans, who don't want attention drawn to them, so they HATE this whole gay rights thing, and need to appear STRAIGHT by being antigay. McGreevey would never have come out, if he were not FORCED to by his gay lover's threat of blackmail. He was not for gay marriage when he was a closet queen, but at least (as a Democratic closet queen) he was for civil unions. SO, at least Obama is on par with Democratic closet queens, concerning this issue, instead of Republican closet queens. And, the majority of the gay community are CLOSET QUEENS. And there is OUR problem. NOT Obama. WE are our problem. Shame and fear and self-hate are our problems. So there is that.

      MOST of us are in hiding. If NONE of us were in hiding, then we would have equal rights. SO Obama is AHEAD of many gay men (the Larry Craigs, and Foleys). He is AGAINST a marriage amendment, knowing that his daughters' generation will NOT have a problem with gay marriage, and so gay marriage WILL be. In the meantime, it will be, one by one, in the progressive BLUE States. Obama is against Doma, and for Civil Unions with all the same benefits and protections as marriage. And he wants to end discrimination in the military. He is LIGHT YEARS ahead of the gay Republican closet queens, for he is a STRAiGHT man on par with the Democratic closet queens. And since MOST of the gay community are closet queens, what can we really expect?

      I mean, some gays settled for Bush, who declared war on the gay community in order to get elected. Talk about low self-esteem and the feeling of not deserving anything. And some will continue to ENABLE the antigay religious crazies, by voting Republican, which gives the religious crazies power and a say in the Government, since they are the BASE of the Republican Party. The BASE.

    1. Brian Miller on Apr 3, 2008 12:43:43 AM:

      I don’t know what’s funnier, the constant personal insults, or the idea that they represent “hope and change.”

      Let’s address things one at a time, shall we?

      How do you know that I or Obama would judge gays marching as being naive or self destructive?

      Because that’s the meme of the Democratic Party, and anybody who insists on gay equality and equal treatment (me, for instance) can expect a flurry of angry, tear-stained invective from partisan Democrats who “explain” that “now is not the time for gay rights.”

      The post 1990 peace boom wasn’t the time.

      The dot-com tech boom wasn’t the time.

      After 9/11 wasn’t the time.

      The mortgage bubble wasn’t the time.

      And now you guys are insisting that now isn’t the time either.

      When will the time be? When Democrats lose elections because of their duplicity on gay issues.

      the majority of the gay community are CLOSET QUEENS

      For someone claiming others make unsubstantiated claims, you sure seem to make a lot.

      He is AGAINST a marriage amendment

      So was John McCain and Dick Cheney, for that matter. Opposition to odious legislation is not “progressive.”

      Obama is against Doma, and for Civil Unions with all the same benefits and protections as marriage

      He’s a sitting Senator. Where is his bill to revoke DOMA and provide all these benefits and protections?

      Oh yeah, that’s right. “Now is not the time.” I get it.

      As long as he says pretty words, he’s good enough for you.

      some will continue to ENABLE the antigay religious crazies, by voting Republican

      And other equally useful idiots will vote for empty suits like Obama (and Clinton) and continue to be patronized.

      I, on the other hand, will be supporting Libertarian George Phillies, who supports marriage equality, immigration equality, adoption equality, taxation equality and equality in military service without an Obama-like embrace of segregation – and also without the loud, shrill rhetoric from Democrats demanding an entitlement to my vote (and the votes of millions of queer people) despite the fact that Democrats have done literally nothing on all of the issues you’ve listed.

    1. Lucrece on Apr 3, 2008 1:59:02 AM:

      Your vote, however, will be a moot vote. George Phillies has zero chance of winning, and you'll still be left with empty suits for president. What this act of "defiance" causes is merely damage to a Democratic prospect, aiding the far greater evil that is McCain.

      There are other way to crucify the Democrats for their failure to meet promises which don't involve the community shooting itself in the foot, dear Brian.

    1. Brian Miller on Apr 3, 2008 10:36:56 AM:

      It's bizarre to see justifications for voting for failure.

      The basic rationale is "we're all going to fail anyway, so don't try to succeed, because we'll still fail."

      Even more bizarre is the effort by some to embrace Democratic Party failures is to claim that the community is "shooting itself in the foot" by not embracing failure.

      Gay voters have embraced Democratic Party failure for two decades with hundreds of millions of dollars in contributions and votes.

      What do they have to show for those efforts? The anti-gay military policy and DOMA.

      Albert Einstein once said that insanity was repeating the same course of action, over and over, while expecting different results. By that definition, gay Democrats went insane a decade ago.

    1. BB on Apr 3, 2008 12:18:27 PM:

      Brian, you miss the point, but yakkity yak on, according to the voices in your head. If EVERY gay man in America were OUT OF THE CLOSET, then almost EVERY straight person in America would know that they had someone in their lives, who they loved or liked, who was gay. Many straight people would learn that they had more than just one person in their lives, who was gay, that they loved or liked. Whether it be family member, friend, doctor, lawyer or Indian Chief. THEN we would have equal rights. THEN IT WOULD BE TIME. WE are holding ourselves up, and then gays like you are blaming outside the community.

      SO, the STRAIGHT Obama speaks out on our behalf, while the gay closet queens tremble with the fear of being found out. And speaking out on our behalf is a BIG PART of the battle. Obama is AIDING us, on that front, in speeches all across this Country. Is McCain? Words can reassure, and words can change minds.

      The STRAIGHT Obama is LIGHT YEARS ahead of the GAY Larry Craigs. I truly believe that the MAJORITY of the gay community is in the closet and do not have the light of self-love, self-respect, self-acceptance touching them on their faces. Instead, they live in the darkness of shame and fear. THEY hold us back.

      In the meantime, one thing to keep in mind is that it was NOT the Democrats who pushed for the marriage amendment. It was the Republicans. It was NOT the Republicans who almost single handed defeated the amendment, it was the Democrats. LITTLE more needs to be said, in terms of which Party is the BEST for us, whatever its faults. SO, we take a sad song, and make it better. We take the Party that is MOST in our corner, and make it better, the best that we can, as the MAJORITY of gays hide away in their closets, either pulling against us, or bitching that we are not doing better.

      With the Democrats in charge of Congress, there will be no marriage amendment brought to the floor to be voted on. BUT, pretending that such an amendment passed the Senate, has McCain publicly promised to veto it, as President? Obama has? As President, McCain's so called Maverick days will be over. He will be the puppet to those that he needs to elect him, and reelect him, which are the religious crazies, the BASE of the Republican Party. Will he veto the overturn of DOMA, if that passes? Obama won't. Will he push for an end to gay discrimination in the military? Obama will. SO, if you don't like tuna fish, let's say it's a choice between a tuna fish sandwich (Obama) and a ROTTEN tuna fish sandwich (McCain). YES, there may be other choices in other Parties, but they will NOT be President. Either a Republican or a Democrat will be President. Sometimes it is good to work with REALITY. Take a sad song, and make it better.

    1. BB on Apr 3, 2008 12:48:38 PM:

      P.S. Brian
      DOMA came from the REPUBLICAN controlled Congress. It was brought to the floor by the Republicans in charge, to be voted on. THEY wanted it. It was not asked for by Clinton. BUT, an overwhelming amount of Congress people eventually voted for it. YES, Clinton did wrong in not vetoing it. BUT, I guess he felt compelled to, because of all the votes FOR it, even among his Party. BUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Of the 14 Senators who voted against it, ALL were Democrats. Does that not say anything? Take a sad song, and make it better. In the House, of the 60 or so who voted against it, ALL were Democrats except for ONE Republican. Does that not say anything? Take a sad song and make it better.

      Clinton asked for an end to gay discrimination in the military. He was naive. The Generals went berserk, among them Colin Powell. Clinton's approval ratings went into the toilet. Don't Ask, was the compromise of the Generals. It was to be the first step. Clinton did not know it would be the beginning of a WITCH HUNT. Obama wants it ended.

    1. North Dallas Thirty on Apr 3, 2008 1:41:09 PM:

      BB, you and Lucrece keep up this meme, but the simple fact of the matter is that gay Democrats fully support and endorse with millions of dollars Democrat politicians who support the very things that they claim to oppose -- but then attempt to deflect and blame "closet gays".

      What is howlingly funny is that you have the audacity to blast Republicans for supposedly voting against their interests, but then blast Brian Miller for choosing to vote for HIS candidate that is far superior to yours on what you have defined as gay peoples' "interests".

    1. BB on Apr 3, 2008 7:45:14 PM:

      North Dallas, Kerry is one of just 14 Senators who voted AGAINST DOMA. AND he is among the Democrats who helped defeat Bush's marriage amendment. YES, he is for gay Civil Unions, that are equal in all the rights and protections of marriage. He is LIGHT YEARS ahead of most Republicans. He can't wrap his mind around gay marriage. Does that aggravate me? YES. BUT, does that make him the Antichrist to the gay community? Goodness no. He just needs to sit and discuss this issue more with Kennedy and Feingold.

      Kerry is for same-sex immigration. He is for gay and lesbian adoption. He wants to end gay discrimination in the military. He wants the Hate Crimes bill to include the GLBT community. AND, he supports ENDA. But all that gets thrown into the trash can by you, because of ONE short coming that prevents him from having a PERFECT record with the progressive gay community. What do you do when a friend disappoints you. Kill him and bury his bones in your back yard? GOODNESS, the rage you must be feeling towards so many of the Republicans who are so antigay, if Kerry upset you so.

      AND, as to Hilary Rosen giving money to Harold Ford. Let me explain something to you that might be too hard for you to grasp. It is about body count. The GOAL of us Democrats was to gain control of the Congress, to SAVE this Country from Bush and the Republicans. Harold Ford was the Democratic Candidate. We needed his body. We BARELY made it. BUT, With Reid and Pelosi in control, and the Democrats in power, there will be NO marriage amendment for Ford to vote on, if he had won. And we will gain more bodies in the next election.

      Chafee, the former Republican Senator from Rhoad Island, was voted out of office by the people who LOVED him, because of body count. Chafee reelected might have given the Republicans the body count they needed to remain in control, and the SMART people of Rhoad Island thankfully realized they could not chance that. GET IT?

      Here in PA, Casey is not perfect for the gay community. BUT, us Democrats needed him for the body count, and he was running against the swarmy, anti-gay, Republican Santorum. We sometimes have to take the best that we can get. And compared to Santorum.........need I say more?

    1. JDW on Apr 4, 2008 12:41:39 AM:

      This is bizzaro news. People who attend a small fundraiser that a presidential candidate is going to appear at are writing substantial checks to that candidate. The attendees are more than people who already liked Obama. Al of the attendees are a very smal select group of people who have already been enthusiastic.

      It's more telling when a preexisting body of people such as Liberty City Democrats in Philly and Steel City Democrats of Pittsburgh give strong endorsements to Clinton. Although Obama's campaign has tried to spin the LCD endorsement as something HRC had an inside track on, it should be noted that both co-chairs this year are Obama supporters and one is an Obama delegate. Also Tobias Wolff Obam's LGBT policy person lives in Philly. This is Wolff's backyard and he certainly had a leg up on LCD than any of the LGBT people working for Clinton. LCD carried Clinton by a 2/3rd majority.

      State by state, Clinton is holding and GROWING her support from the majority of LGBT Americans.

      To date Clinton has given 7 unfiltered direct interviews with the LGBT media. Obama has given 1. In the aggressive LGBT outreach in OH and TX. Clinton took questions, some hostile, from the LGBT press and had a back and forth conversation with LGBT voters. Obama had a statement prepared for him that he posted on blogs for LGBT readers to passively read. He also took out paid advertisement instead of talking to the LGBT press. Clinton has listened to us even when we don't see eye to eye. In TX and OH Obama simply talked at us. Yes the speeches were eloquent and well delivered but he was still talking at us.

    1. Lucrece on Apr 4, 2008 1:12:38 AM:

      Ha, talking about meme's, someone who posts the same 2 links to every response with the tired arguments arranged in just another way.

      And voting for some third party shows an insanity of your own, Mr. Miller. Do you care to point to me where have we had any successful third party run in a presidential election?

    1. North Dallas Thirty on Apr 4, 2008 3:05:51 AM:

      But all that gets thrown into the trash can by you, because of ONE short coming that prevents him from having a PERFECT record with the progressive gay community.

      Of course; after all, the "progressive" gay community claims that anyone who doesn't support gay marriage is a hateful and evil homophobe, and that people who support civil unions instead of marriage are demanding that gays accept second-class citizenship.

      Except, of course, when their Democrat Party masters do it.

      And voting for some third party shows an insanity of your own, Mr. Miller.

      Yes; it's called sticking to your principles and making it clear that you will not make excuses when people screw you over on something which you think is important.

    1. BB on Apr 4, 2008 6:16:06 AM:

      You LOVE to cherry pick, don't you? Kerry is totally with the progressive gay community on ALL their other issues, except for ONE. And I listed ALL those other issues, such as gay adoption, same-sex immigration, Hate Crimes, ENDA, ETC. I guess ALL the Republicans in Congress are against gay marriage, and most are against ALL THOSE OTHER ISSUES, as well. BUT, because Kerry is not for gay marriage, you think we should lump him into the same category as a terribly antigay Lindsey Graham, for example, who has a ZERO rating at HRC on gay issues, the last I read. Ever hear the expression, don't throw out the baby with the bath water?

      Kerry does not yet "get it" about gay marriage. BUT, he at least "gets it" on ALL those other issues important to the progressive gay community. What is going on now in NJ may help him "get it" on gay marriage as well. NJ is finding that there can be no such thing as Civil Unions that are exactly as marriage, which is what Kerry is for. SO, there most likely will be gay marriage in NJ very soon, because their Higher Court has ruled that gays can NOT be second class citizens there.

      Polls show that the majority of people in Vermont now are perfectly fine that there be gay marriage, instead of gay partnerships. SO, any type of gay union gets our foot in the door for there to be progress towards gay marriage. That is why many Republicans want NOTHING for the gay community. Because something will lead to something more. Gay marriage is INEVITABLE in the progressive Blue States. At least Kerry helped that to not be stopped with the marriage amendment. AND, if DOMA is repealed, as Kerry and Obama want, those marriages will be recognized on the Federal Level. It could be much better times ahead, for the gay community.

      AND, where you able to comprehend body count? In order for a Party to be in Control of the Congress, it must have the body count. SO, even the bodies of Democrats such as Harold Ford are seen as important for the body count, when you are in the minority. Once you have a COMFORTABLE majority, it can become a different matter.

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