The Republic of T.

Black. Gay. Father. Vegetarian. Buddhist. Liberal.

Hillary, Obama & Me

It was one of those moments any new parent treasures. The baby has finished a bottle, burped, and finally drifted off into what would be a couple hours worth of naptime. You’re not sure what do with that time—do you finally load the dishwasher or take that nap that you’ve been dreaming of since dawn?—but that moment is probably more peaceful than any you’ve had all day.

And it was for me. The hubby had just taken Parker off to his swimming lesson. I’d finished feeding Dylan, burped him, he’d just drifted off to sleep on my shoulder. I was thinking about going to sleep myself, and then the doorbell rang.

It was someone from the Obama campaign, out canvassing with his kids. He saw me with a sleeping baby and didn’t keep me long, just long enough to make sure I was voting in the Maryland primary, and whether I was voting for Obama. I assured him that I would vote in the primary. But I demurred when it came to who I’m voting for.

Yes, I’ve changed my mind since Kucinich withdrew, mainly because I discovered Kucinich is still on the Maryland ballot, and therefore I can still (and almost certainly will) vote for him. Honestly, though, I’d originally assumed that the Maryland primary—and my vote in it—would be essentially meaningless after Super Tuesday.

Now, all eyes are on the Potomac Primaries, apparently. We’ve become a state that matters. Both Clinton and Obama are courting the black vote in Maryland, though Maryland looks to be Obama country anyway.

Now, I’m voting tomorrow, and I’m voting for Kucinich. But I know that the choice will come down to one essentially between Obama or Clinton. And a blogger I read regularly and respect reminded me not long ago:

Whatever stock “T” and other disgruntled blogger-activists put in any of these views, there is sufficient difference between the candidates that the judgment of each and every voter is needed to ensure the best outcome.

So, I’ve decided to look into the differences between the two, to see if there are differences significant enough to push me towards one or the other. So I decided to start with gay issues.

Apparently, they’re basically the same on gay issues, with the exception of the DOMA difference. That, in and of itself is a big enough difference to make me—if I had to choose between the two of them—lean strongly towards Obama.

That said, there are other issues I’m concerned about. (Yes, it’s true.) And, so, maybe a bit later I’ll explore how they differ on those issues. Who knows? I don’t think I’ll be running out to join either campaign, but it might make me feel a little better about one of them.


  1. No matter who’s in the White House, there’s still the little matter of actually passing a DOMA repeal through Congress.

    Neither Hillary or Obama will make it a priority because the votes simply aren’t there. They know it, and the gay lobby knows it too. Yet, their presidential campaigns persist in selling us lies about what’s achievable. Indeed, given the difficulties with ENDA this year, I doubt Pelosi and Reid will even give DOMA repeal an up / down vote. They’ll bury it in committee and pray for the issue to go away.

    The impetus for gay rights has always come from the grassroots, civil society, and local government. That’s where we have made the most progress, and I still believe that’s still where the main engagements will be fought. The federal government has shown time and again that it will only correct injustices after every attempt at repression fails.

  2. I voted for Obama based on three factors:

    1) The DOMA difference.
    2) If Clinton is the nominee, enough people who hate her will vote for the opposition. 4 to 8 more years of Republican control. I’ve been saying this all along, and the poll data supports this conclusion.
    3) Once the nomination happens, Democrats will need to unite behind the candidate in order to win in November. I feel that Obama is less polarizing than Clinton in that respect.

    He’s not my ideal candidate, he’s just a better option than Clinton, McCain, or Huckabee, in my opinion.