Juan and Ken Ahonen-Jover

Will They Choose for or against Equality?

Filed By Juan and Ken Ahonen-Jover | July 12, 2008 3:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Action Alerts, Marriage Equality, The Movement
Tags: Barack Obama, eQualityGiving, John McCain, party platform, Sam Nunn, VP

The VP's they choose and the party platforms they put forth will give a good idea about whether Senator Obama is proposing change we can believe in and whether Senator McCain is a maverick.

Some will dismiss the importance of the choice of VP and platform. In reality, both choices could energize the base that Mr. McCain needs or de-energize the base that Mr. Obama is counting on.

McCain is anti-equality as he does not support any of the equality goals. So there is not much hope about his VP pick. For Obama, there is one pick that is not acceptable for the LGBT community... all of us should work to ensure that this person is not selected. See the details...

Democratic Party VP pick

The choices here will indicate whether the party will move closer towards equality.

Will Obama pick former Senator Nunn? This notion raised serious concern from Representative Barney Frank, who said that he "would have a hard time voting for the [Obama-Nunn] ticket" and that he "would be virtually useless in trying to convince other gays and lesbians to support the ticket."

Check out the Don't Ask Sam Nunn Campaign. Tell your friends. Blog about it. This is not the VP we want.

Will Obama pick Senator Clinton to ensure party unity?

Or will he hold true to his own mantra of change and a new way of thinking by picking Senator Russ Feingold, who supports civil rights, including marriage equality? Feingold has also fought to protect our Constitution by being the only Senator voting against the Patriot Act in 2001 and opposing FISA and telecom immunity. Of course, by picking Feingold, Obama would reinforce his support for the Jewish community.

Democratic platform

Will the Democratic platform embed the change we can believe in, and, finally, be fully inclusive of transgender issues? Will the platform call the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act and make it clear that justice cannot wait and that civil unions are not equal?

Check out this report of what supporting equal rights for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders in the platform could read like. We have made this report available to the platform committee members and writers.

Republican Party VP pick

Will McCain choose former Governor Romney to ensure access to funding? Will he choose former Governor Huckabee, who wants to update the constitution to God's standards? These picks would enrage, among others, LGBT Republicans who, justifiably, mistrust them.

Or will he pick Governor Crist to increase his chances of winning Florida? Mr. Crist is rushing to marry before November. Contrary to certain rumors, he is expected to marry in Florida, not in California.

A maverick McCain could pick a non-politician and a woman, such as Carly Fiorina, who does not have a hard line conservative social agenda.

Republican platform

Will the Republican platform match the anti-equality positions of its leader, John McCain? He opposes the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. He opposes hate crimes legislation for our community. He opposes repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell. He opposes not only our right to marry the person we love, but even domestic partnerships.

Check out a report on what a pro-equality platform should say. We will keep the report updated with the actual text of the platform.

It is not the intention of this post to guess who could be VP, but to show the importance of the platform and whom not to chose for VP. We hope that Senator Obama will demonstrate, by his VP pick and platform, that he will bring change we can believe in and that in particular he will not choose Sam Nunn. We hope Senator McCain will likewise be a maverick and reject the socially conservative wing of his party.


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Juan and Ken, your analysis is very on-target.

However, there is one McCain VP choice that could make for a very interesting campaign season: Condaleeza Rice

Secretary Rice says that she is not interested in being VP ... but that's what they all say! ... you never know what's really going on backstage behind the papier-mâché scenery.

If McCain is a true maverick and is willing to go for broke, he could really mix things up for Obama: Rice would turn the GOP ticket into one that would feature both a woman and an African-American. It offers a woman for females to vote for, and it would split the African-American vote --- maybe not down the middle, but split it would --- and give the established GOP base a pro-Iraq-War Bush-follower to vote for who is even more solid than McCain himself. The gamble would be that GOP racists and/or sexists (who know how many, but possibly a large group) might stay home.

AJ, you're so right. Picking Condi would shake things up quite a bit!

I hope Obama does the smart thing by picking Hillary. I listened to her speaking at a Women for Obama event this week and it was a total confirmation of why I fell in love with her in the first place back in the 90's.

A.J. - Agreed! Condi Rice would be a good choice for McCain (but would also emphasize the connections with Bush).

Serena - Agreed! Hillary is smart and experienced. Many of her supporters have not yet signed up enthusiastically with Obama... and we need all the votes. Also, her opposition to the FISA "compromise" would balance his vote in favor.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | July 12, 2008 11:01 PM

As a Clintonista myself (playing devil's advocate)I would need to ask where the "Change" message goes with Hillary on the ticket? What (additional) missteps might Bill make? Would the inclusion of Clinton lend legitimacy to all those "hard working white voters" in Ohio and Pennsylvania or cost us the core message? Would we be combining strengths or weaknesses?

What would the Republicans make out of it?

I think the stealth VP candidate on the Republican side (if they can get him) is Colin Powell.

I still have great respect for Colin Powell, even though George Bush tarnished Powell's image severely by the way Bush used Powell to deliver the faked-up WMD intelligence arguments to the UN. Still, I think Colin Powell would be a credible candidate for either Prez or VP.

But I surmise that Colin Powell at this point in his life, frankly, has his heart set on enjoying a hopefully quiet retirement --- so he is one exception to my comment above: when he says he doesn't want either job, he really means it.

And if Powell wants to retire ... God knows he's earned it!

P.S. Back in early 2007, my prediction was that Colin Powell would be the GOP candidate to run against Hillary --- thus, whichever one would win, America would have either our first female president or our first African-American president. History hasn't unfolded that way, but actually in a way even more unexpected.

Didn't Powell endorse Obama? Or was that just one of those "The Obama campaign is expecting..." type things?

Because that would be the Obama ticket to crap a brick over. :) Talk about balanced.

Serena,
Condoleezza Rice is seen by the majority of African-Americans as a sellout and a pliable tool of the Bush misadministration and the conservative movement.

And that's what we say about Condi publicly. What we say about her privately isn't so nice. She has less credibility than Supreme Court (In)Justice Uncle Thomas.

Generally speaking, African-Americans are SOCIALLY conservative but POLITICALLY liberal. Since the Katrina debacle the GOP is polling at 2% support in the African-American community. Sticking Condi on the ticket would elicit a major yawn and a shrug of our collective shoulders since we already have an African-American poised to be president.

I'll throw my two cents in on a bunch of these~

Condi: Monica Roberts covered the biggest problem - she has no credibility among African Americans. I'd say the next biggest problem - the GOP is counting on the racist vote this fall - means she's not even on the long list in the GOP. Plus she's probably a lesbian (I have no problem with that, but I'm doubting the Religious Right would go for it).

Powell: After helping sell the bogus war that's killed and displaced around a million Iraqis, and considering Obama's anti-war message, this would be a pretty bad choice.

Personally, I can't stand Powell at all, and I have no understanding of why people can like a man who said he knew the evidence for war was cooked but still tried to sell it to the world.

Clinton: Still think she's a bad idea, for the reasons Robert laid out and more. Yeah, she's campaigning for Obama, but he's also trying to find donors to pay off about $10M of her campaign debt, so no surprise there.

Plus the most diehard and vocal Clintonistas who haven't swayed over to Obama have said that that won't satisfy them, her on the ticket. I say Obama take those crackpots' word for it.

Romney: No way. The GOP never liked him, and he's not Protestant/evangelical. Not gonna happen.

All right time for my 2 cents Sen. McCain should pick Mit Romney true they eneded up glareing at each other but I think that would be a plus the social conservatives may balk but they know better if they want to keep the white house as it looks like for now the Congress will be more Democratic than it is now.

Sen. Obama should pick Gov. Bill Richardson he brings more to the team than Hillary would Gov Richardson is a team player he knows when to speak his mind and when to be the bosses number one go to guy and cheerleader. Many of the other former candidates may not know when its time to shut up and follow the script Gov. Richardson does.