From Editor & Publisher:
Chicago -- Hillary Clinton deserves the support of gay voters, despite the presidential record of her husband and her own refusal to support gay marriage, a major gay weekly says.
In the current issue of the Washington Blade, editor Kevin Naff argues that Hillary Clinton's mastery of policy detail, Washington experience, and campaign tenacity makes her a far better presidential candidate than Barack Obama or any of her Democratic rivals.
"Her chief rival, Obama, has disappointed in the debates, appearing to lack confidence and talking mostly in generalities," the Blade said. "George W. Bush has certainly lowered the bar when it comes to expecting experience in our presidential candidates, but Obama was an Illinois state senator just three years ago. ... Electing a president with virtually zero experience on the world stage would be a mistake."
As for the Republicans running for president, they have all aligned themselves with "evangelical Christian extremists," and "appear increasingly out of touch -- from Mike Huckabee's shockingly ignorant remarks about 'isolating' AIDS patients to Rudy Giuliani's suddenly nuanced positions on gay rights....
"Gay Americans cannot afford another four years of a Republican administration in the White House," the Blade said. "Attacking gays and opposing even the most benign forms of incremental rights advances is now part of the GOP playbook, no matter the nominee."
The Blade said gay voters are "right to feel reluctant" about Hillary Clinton's candidacy -- in large part because of the record of the Bill Clinton administration. Gay voters were "crushed," the paper said, by Bill Clinton's endorsement of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays in the military, and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which excludes federal benefits of marriage to same-sex couples.
"After courting the gay vote back then, Bill Clinton embraced a disastrous policy that has led to the expulsion of 12,000 service members at a time when the military needs all the help it can get," the Blade said. "The U.S. military is kicking out brave, competent service members, including dozens of desperately needed Arabic-speaking linguists, solely because they are gay. The military's gay ban amounts to un-American overt discrimination -- a fact apparent to any rational, fair-minded person."
Hillary Clinton and other Democrats, however, are "evolving quickly" on gay issues, the paper said. It supports Clinton over Obama principally on his lack of experience on the political and world stage.
Clinton's proven ability to win in more conservative areas such as upstate New York shows that "in the end, Hillary Rodham Clinton stands the best chance of sending the Republicans into eight years of a well-deserved political wilderness," the Blade said.