MadProfessah was in the District of Columbia for an LGBT Bloggers Summit and was able to attend two plenary sessions of the Victory Fund's International Gay and Lesbian Leadership Conference which amusingly enough is at the Mayflower Hotel where, as Kate Clinton put it “New York lost a Governor.”

The first plenary session I attended was “What Just Happened: Analyzing 2008 and Looking Ahead”

Keynote Speaker: John Mercurio, Executive Editor, The Hotline

Moderator Kerry Eleveld, Senior Political Editor, The Advocate

Steve Elmendorf, President, Elmendorf Strategies
Hilary Rosen, Washington Editor, Huffington Post
Bill Smith, National Political Director, Gill Action Fund

Steve Elmendorf
(Kerry-Edwards 2004 Deputy Campaign Manager)
and Hilary Rosen (former head of the RIAA and frequent CNN commentator)

Bill Smith
, Gill Action Fund

This was a very interesting session, with John Mercurio recounting three main reasons why McCain-Palin lost:
President Bush's incredible unpopularity ( Obama won every state where BUsh;s approval rating was below 35% on election day and LOST every state where it was above that number–his national approval rating on election day was 29%. People who approved of Bush voted for McCain 89% and people who disapproved of Bush voted for Obama two-to-1.) and)
2) The economy
(which Obama led McCain by a surprisingly narrow 50-44 margin) and
3) Palin as running mate. On election day 60% of the public felt that Governor Sarah Palin was unqualified to be President.
Mercurio went on to discuss some lower tier issues, such as McCain's age, the Denates, Obama's decision to reject public financing and young voters. He was a font of interesting little facoids. McCain got the smallest percentage of young voters since 18 year old were granted the right to vote in 1972. African American voters went for Obama 95% while Obama won Independent voters 51-45. There are fewer than 100 counties nationwide whree Obama performed worse than Kerry or Gore (and almost all of them were in the Deep South.)

The questions for the panelists (posed by Kerry Eleveld) were:

“What surprised you the most about the 2008 election?”
Rosen: the extensive duration of the campaign and Obama's
Elmendorf: Financial advantage of the Democrats (in addition to
Obama's 750 million he raised another $100 million for the DNC)
Smith: the Obama campaign effectivenss and conservatives staying
home on election day

“Why did we lose Prop 8?”
Smith: We underperformed in every Demographic, not just
communities of color. It's impossible to do long term outreach and education
work in a 120-day campaign.
Elmendorf: Marriage is a tough issue, We will win eventually but
its a generational thing.
Rosen: Executive directors of advocacy organizations don't run
good political campaigns and political operatives don't run good advocacy organizations.

“How are the Republicans coping with their electoral losses?”
Smith: There's a lot of crying and a lot of vodka.
Rosen:I think they are eager to blame the economic debacle on
the Democrats, especially the Democratic president


A Black Gay Caribbean Liberal Progressive Moderate Fit Married College-Educated NPR-Listening Tennis-Playing Atheist Feminist in Los Angeles, California