Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

I Have a Dream ... Ticket: Clinton and Obama Say They Won't Run Together. but LGBT Voters Can Hope

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

I Have a Dream ... Ticket: Clinton and Obama Say They Won't Run Together. but LGBT Voters Can Hope

Article excerpt

IN THE DAYS LEADING UP to the second Super Tuesday on March 4, a fascinating narrative emerged that contrasted the presidential candidates' comfort levels on gay and lesbian issues.

In one corner was the new front-runner, Sen. Barack Obama, who in late February placed, in four LGBT newspapers in Ohio and Texas what his campaign says is the first-ever LGBT-specific advertising for a presidential candidate. The full-page ads featured the handsome Illinois junior senator alongside text that began, "While we have come a long way since the Stonewall riots...." At the same time, he also told one Texas crowd that it was not very Christian to be bigoted toward gays and lesbians. That's very much like the senator, his queer supporters insist: Subtle, powerful, and effective, Obama is the ideal man to divide the gap between black and white-as well as straight and gay.

In the other corner was Sen. Hillary Clinton, the New York junior senator who had long been considered the candidate to beat--at least until her campaign's near-meltdown and an 11-contest losing streak in February. But the Clinton campaign recalibrated with an aggressive strategy that included a rally in Houston's heavily gay Montrose neighborhood. The senator also granted interviews to three of the four newspapers where Obama placed advertising. "No community has been made more invisible than the LGBT community by this administration, and I want to change that," Clinton told Cleveland's Gay People's Chronicle. She's a fighter, her gay supporters argue: Direct and sometimes in-your-face, she won't back down in the fight over the Employment Non-Discrimination Act or expansion of hate-crime laws.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

During the weeks ahead, while the politics of delegates and superdelegates remain front and center, one thing is virtually certain-neither Obama nor Clinton will reach the required magic number of delegates that will make him or her the nominee. So, maybe we can have both?

"A lot of Democrats like us both," Clinton told a Pennsylvania audience in early March, "and have been very hopeful that they wouldn't have to make a choice." Don't count on it, Obama shot back that same day, clearly upset that the runner-up was trying to one-up the leader. …

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