Sean Kosofsky

I Endorse John Edwards

Filed By Sean Kosofsky | November 29, 2007 7:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Barack Obama, campaign 2008, Democrats, Hillary Rodham Clinton, John Edwards

Editor's note: This post is part of series called Meet the Candidates in which Bilerico contributors write about why they are supporting their chosen candidate.

Leadership means taking the lead and it also means taking risks. Whenever leaders announce their personal political endorsements it spurs discussion, debate and disagreement, and I have decided to go public with my presidential endorsement for the 2008 election. I have endorsed John Edwards. My endorsement is not the endorsement of any organization I am affiliated with, it is my personal choice alone. And I hope it will bring other Edwards supporters out of the closet.

Time is ticking and many GLBT folks are either undecided, torn or defaulting to whoever wins the Democratic primary. Let's talk about some of the other contenders first. Of course Senator Mike Gravel and Congressman Dennis Kucinich are the most pro-GLBT candidates in the race. I actually would love for Kucinich to be my president because he is a dreamer, a true progressive, intelligent and would make politics fun again. Gravel and Kucinich, however, are simply not viable. Senators Joe Biden and Chris Dodd are also strong and solid liberals, but they continue to lack traction among Democrats nationally.

Now let's talk about Hillary Clinton. I think Hillary would make a fine president. I think she has tons of political experience, she is solid on issues of GLBT and abortion rights and she would be a considerable breath of fresh air from our current Tyrant in Chief. My main fears about Clinton are that she will govern from the middle instead of the left and that she is too pro-war. She may very well be the only Democratic candidate for president that could lose the election because she irritates conservatives so much. If she is the nominee, Republicans will work even harder to defeat a Democratic candidate. I believe perceptions about her liberal views could be a drain on the ticket and we could stifle what would otherwise be strong gains for Democrats next November.

Barack Obama is an amazingly optimistic and capable candidate. I would be proud to call him my president, but I fear that despite his impressive grassroots campaign and huge number of donors, he may not be able to pull it off this time. His recent gaffe of not distancing himself enough from an "ex-gay" campaigner has permanently injured his campaign among GLBT supporters.

John Edwards is the only viable candidate in the Democratic primary that makes me proud. He campaigns hard on progressive platform issues like ensuring health care for all Americans and ending poverty. Edwards has earned the key endorsement of the Service Employees International Union which helped raise 65 million dollars for Kerry in 2004. This will help him advance in early primaries like Iowa.

Edwards is polished and rarely misspeaks his position. He is solid, confident and bold in his pronouncements about what is good for America. He also connects with conservative Democrats and anti-war Republicans in a genuine way that Hillary Clinton has not yet been able to do. He also seems committed to talking about the issues that are underlying many other social ills. Poverty causes crime and traps individuals and families in an almost permanent rut. Lack of health insurance is the leading reason individuals are now filing for bankruptcy. The cycle of attacks on the middle and lower class must end and Edwards has the best plan to ease the burden.

The interesting thing about Edwards is that he seems to enjoy more support below the surface than he does in the polls. After multiple surveys of my different circles of friends I have found that nearly everyone is either publicly supporting Clinton or privately rooting for Edwards, but not necessarily in that order. Whenever I tell people that Edwards is my favorite the response I get is usually one of quiet relief. Eighty percent of the time, supporters will say, "He's my favorite too, but I haven't told anyone that." As if supporting him were like admitting you belong to a coven or something. My goal with endorsing Edwards now is to bring those folks out from hiding.

Most GLBT leaders have been relatively quiet about their favorite candidate. In order for healthy debate to occur it needs to happen sooner than later. Please write in the comments section your thoughts about the Democratic primary.

(This was originally posted at Between the Lines.)


Recent Entries Filed under Politics:

Leave a comment

We want to know your opinion on this issue! While arguing about an opinion or idea is encouraged, personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please be respectful of others.

The editorial team will delete a comment that is off-topic, abusive, exceptionally incoherent, includes a slur or is soliciting and/or advertising. Repeated violations of the policy will result in revocation of your user account. Please keep in mind that this is our online home; ill-mannered house guests will be shown the door.


Hi Sean,
I've had pretty much the same reaction as you have when I've talked about my support for John Edwards. But I'm almost embarrassed to admit that my reason for supporting Edwards is based exclusively on the fact that of the three leading Democrats he polls the best in head to head match ups will all the potential Republican nominees. Edwards has the best chance of winning the national election. Simple choice. I hope the folks in Iowa see it the same way.

I have to admit that Edwards is winning me over. I still hold his treatment of Melissa McEwan and the other female blogger against him though. Because if he can't stand up to a Catholic bigot on behalf of a feminist's free speech rights, how's he going to stand up for us?

Rebecca:

If you read between the lines of this release, you will discover that this poll was funded by a grant from the Human Rights Campaign (and we all know that HRC is for HRC). Talk about bias and credibility issues...

Eric

Agreed, Eric, but it also says that:

Sole control over the design of the study’s questionnaire and analysis of the data were maintained by the study’s investigators.

Personally, I don't think HRC is going to chance the perception of the validity of LGBT support for Hillary being questioned in the same way as their trans-relevant poll has been. They actually care what Hillary thinks of them, and they need her to achieve their own selfish goals once she's President. You never saw such a statement in regards to their trans support poll, and in my opinion this is probably why. They knew the time of ENDA would pass quickly once the vote happened, but this survey needs to maintain credibility throughout the upcoming year.

For HRC, this is undoubtedly apples and oranges, and they care only for one variety of fruit: themselves.

And just for the record the study also says:

When asked about the proposed federal law making it illegal to discriminate against lesbians, gays, and bisexuals in employment, LGBs (by a margin of 60 to 37 percent) said that those seeking to pass the law were wrong to remove protections for transgendered people in order to get the votes necessary for passage in Congress.

John Edwards is far and away the cleverest of the three leading Democratic presidential candidates. He actively courts labor, criticizes Congress for having socialized medicine when so many have no insurance, and because he’s not in Congress has the luxury of criticizing Obama and Clinton for votes he’d ape if he were there.

If you look at his record most of his populist appeals are new. When he was in the senate he was a right centrist who voted for the oil piracy and to fund it. During his vice presidential run he didn’t oppose the slaughter of Iraqis although by then civilian casualties may have passed 100,000.

His current stand on the war is just as bad. Along with Obama and Clinton, he refuses to commit to a withdrawal before 2013, much less an immediate withdrawal. Like them he refuses to endorse the impeachment of Bush, Cheney and the dismissals of top NSA, Pentagon, State, and CIA officials. Such impeachments and dismissals would be the first step towards determining guilt for the over 650,000 murdered Iraqis, mostly civilians and including an appalling number of children.

He refuses to impeach and indict them for the criminal war he voted for, even though virtually every one agrees it’ a war to steal oil.

Republican SENATOR CHARLES HAGEL: "People say we're not fighting for oil. Of course we are. They talk about America's national interest. What the hell do you think they're talking about? We're not there for figs." (Speaking at Catholic University, Sept. 24, 2007)

Former Federal Reserve Chairman ALAN GREENSPAN, in his book The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World: "I'm saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: The Iraq war is largely about oil."

Democratic SENATOR JOHN TESTER: "We're still fighting a war in Iraq and people who are honest about it will admit we're there over oil." (Associated Press, Sept. 24, 2007)

GENERAL JOHN ABIZAID: retired commander of CENTCOM: "Of course it's about oil, we can't really deny that." (Speaking at Stanford University, Oct. 13, 2007)

John Edwards is a bit of an expert on the squalid HMO/Insurance industry because of his legal practice before his election to the US Senate, where began his drift to center right. He does not support socialized medicine and does not call for criminal prosecutions of HMO/Insurance industry leaders for manslaughter.

He dosen't get as many deep pocket contributors as the others because of his polling numbers; they bet on winners. Chief among his contributors is Fortress Investment Group, who gave him $187,850. He withdrew his multi million dollar investments in Fortress Investment Group after being outed by the NY Times who exposed their practice of foreclosing on sub prime loans to Katrina victims. This totally unmasks his pretense of being a friend of labor.

He, like all the leading Democratic candidates panders to bigots by opposing samesex marriage.

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory?
id=2761634 refuses to impeach or punish bush

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/18/us/politics/18edwards.html?ex=1345089600&en=afbc9faaa75a8476&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss foreclosing on Katrina victims

http://www.opensecrets.org/pres08/contrib.asp?id=N00002283&cycle=2008 deep pockets