Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Frank Endorses Clinton

Fresh from the contentious debate over the Employment Non-Discrimination Act within the movement for LGBT rights, openly gay Congressman Barney Frank [D-Mass.] has announced his support for New York Sen. Hillary Clinton's presidential bid. Frank, who will join the campaign as an economic adviser, is the latest LGBT politician to back the former First Lady's White House aspiration. But the question remains: Do LGBT politicos and activists back Clinton for her positions or rather to simply be part of a popular campaign.

Those who have endorsed former U.S. Sen. John Edwards [D-N.C.], U.S. Sen. Barack Obama [D-Ill.] and other Democratic candidates will almost certainly point to the latter. Others may quickly point out that everyone -- especially politicians -- want to be part of a winning team which may provide lucrative career opportunities for them and their supporters. And yet others may actually stand by a particular candidate based on their positions.

Clinton remains arguably the Democratic establishment candidate which party loyalists will almost certainly back. LGBT politicos are no exception to this rule. It remains clear, however, marriage for same-sex couples will not become the wedge issue it did during the 2004 presidential campaign. This reality provides Clinton a rather convenient cover under which she can declare her support for civil unions as opposed to full marriage. Frank and other LGBT politicos certainly recognize this politically convenient position. But they have put this issue on the back burner for the sake of their party and their end goal of reclaiming the White House in 2008.

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