29 May 2009

What Obama Really Said

There's been a small shit storm brewing over comments made by President Obama during a fundraiser in L.A. the other day. Acknowledging gay and lesbian protesters outside the event, the President said:
One of them said, “Obama keep your promise." I thought that’s fair. I don’t know which promise he was talking about.
Many thought Mr. Obama was mocking the gay and lesbian community just days after the California Supreme Court ruled that Prop 8 would stand.

I thought the whole thing rather odd. To be sure, Obama has been extremely slow to act on LGBT issues. But to get shrill isn't his style.

Alas, video of his comments put everything in perspective...

From the bubble known as the presidential limo, with staff and Secret Service joining him in that back seat, it should surprise no one that the President didn't realize there were protesters outside until he was well into the facility and leaving the limo, at which point he probably heard their muffled chants to "keep his promises." I am not surprised he didn't know what, exactly, they were protesting.

I am not saying this as someone who has gulped the Obama Kool-Aid. I am fully aware of the President's lack of attention to gay and lesbian issues. I am also fully aware that he has a few things on his plate at the moment that take priority over most social issues: Two wars, North Korea, the recession. But I also hold firm to my personal belief he needs to tend to a couple of key LGBT issues before the end of his first term. If he becomes another Bill Clinton, then my support could wane.