Friday, July 20, 2007

Senator Clinton Cancels Campaign Stop at Gay-Owned Businesses

Senator Hillary Clinton [D-N.Y.] cancelled two scheduled campaign appearances at gay-owned businesses in West Virginia [Mountain Medical and the Guest House at Lost River] less than a week before they were slated to take place. Mountain Medical Inc., President Renee Lohman, whose corporation was to host the Democratic Presidential hopeful, told the Washington Blade that Clinton's campaign cancelled the appearance earlier this week before a fundraiser failed to raise the required $150,000 benchmark. Her officials further cited logistical problems, such as the lack of an nearby airport, as reasons for the cancellation. They denied the decision was based on any anti-LGBT sentiment within the campaign.

"The fact that the Guest House at Lost River caters to the LGBT community played no role in our decision-making process," her campaign said in a statement.

Candidates need to court more conservative votes during the primary and caucus season. Clinton is certainly no different. A significant number of potential LGBT voters remain suspicious of Clinton and her perceived defection to more conservative positions. I speculated in a previous blog she would not want to have a New York Times headline 'Clinton Courts Donors in Gay Resort Mecca' in relation to a possible Fire Island Pines appearance this summer. Perhaps the same conclusion is at play in West Virginia as she seeks to position herself as an attractive candidate to more socially conservative Democrats. Clinton is certainly a highly intelligent politician who calculates almost every move. She should remain vigilant, however, as to how her actions, such as the abrupt cancellation of events at two gay-owned businesses, will play out among skeptical LGBT Americans.

No comments: