Obama receives nod from many on Edwards LGBT steering committee
Kerry Eleveld of The Advocate reports that Eric Stern, chair of the LGBT steering committee for the John Edwards campaign, and David Mixner, who campaigned and held fundraisers in 1992 for Bill Clinton, have tossed their endorsements to Barack Obama. Twenty-two members of the Edwards campaign’s LGBT steering committee have moved to the Obama camp.
Mixner said Obama’s clear and consistent opposition to the war is also driving his decision on this go-around. “Moving from one candidate to another is never an easy process,” he said, “but the times demand that we all participate fully and completely to bring about change. Originally, my support went to Senator Edwards because of the war in Iraq. For the very same reason, I am supporting Senator Obama. This is not even a close call for me.”
Stern, who served more generally as a political adviser to the Edwards campaign, said he met with Hillary Clinton’s director of LGBT outreach, Mark Walsh, and had several phone conversations with Tobias Wolff, the chair of Obama’s national LGBT policy committee.
… Stern admitted that he had already been moving toward supporting Obama, mainly because, like Edwards, Obama has refused to take money from special interest groups. He also feels that Obama has the “purest position” of the any of the three candidates in supporting full repeal of the federal Defense of Marriage Act since 2004. Clinton supports repealing only the part of DOMA that prohibits the federal government from recognizing state sanctioned same-sex marriages, leaving in place the portion that allows states to ignore legal unions performed in other states.
After meeting with both Obama’s and Clinton’s LGBT leaders, “it became clear to me personally that our committee had a vision for the role of the LGBT community that was similar to the role that LGBT supporters were already playing in the Obama campaign,” said Stern.
In the article is a full list of the committee members publicly declaring their support for Obama. It will be interesting to see how this is spun by Clinton, since Stern said he has mentors on the Clinton campaign, and was lobbied aggressively for his support when Edwards dropped out. The former candidate has not yet endorsed either of his ex-rivals; it’s not clear whether one is forthcoming.