Barack Obama | Dianne Feinstein | Inauguration | News | Rick Warren

Report: Obama, Not Feinstein or Committee, Made Warren Choice

According to Americablog:

Warren_2"A powerful Democratic friend contacted me this morning to let me know that they talked to the key players yesterday, and Diane Feinstein, chair of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, had nothing to do with the pick of Rick Warren as Obama's invocation speaker at the inaugural. The decision was made by Obama himself, I'm told, and Feinstein just assumed that he had vetted it with his staff. Difi went along with Obama's decision, not the other way around. If this is true, then our apologies to Senator Feinstein for suggesting that she was involved. But Jesus. This is rather uncharacteristic of Obama, making some grand gesture from his gut, and not checking it with his brain, or the brains around him. Unless, of course, his brain trust thought this was a brilliant strategic move. I can easily imagine them thinking, what better than to make a nod to the religious right and the religious left, by having Rick Warren and Joseph Lowery, at his inauguration?"

Pastor Rick Warren to Give Invocation at Obama Inauguration [tr]
Obama Camp Releases Talking Points on Rick Warren Selection [tr]
Anderson Cooper 360 on the 'Big Tent' Theory and Rick Warren [tr]

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  1. "...Unless, of course, his brain trust thought this was a brilliant strategic move. I can easily imagine them thinking, what better than to make a nod to the religious right and the religious left, by having Rick Warren and Joseph Lowery, at his inauguration?"

    EXACTLY!!! As Barack said often, "These are not RED states or BLUE states, these are UNITED STATES." It's an inauguration, not a cabinet position. I think it's a brilliant, calculated move. How better to make inroads for tackling larger issues down road of civil rights, than to offer this olive branch now.


    Posted by: Rad | Dec 18, 2008 10:22:25 AM

  2. "I think it's a brilliant, calculated move. How better to make inroads for tackling larger issues down road of civil rights, than to offer this olive branch now."

    At the expense of the gay community. It's a brilliant, calculated move. He's letting us taste what his administration has in store for us in the future. Get use to it.

    Posted by: Mike | Dec 18, 2008 10:27:10 AM

  3. ...bummer

    Posted by: Sarasota | Dec 18, 2008 10:31:31 AM

  4. I have to think that Barack is being smart about this and I think that, as a community, we have a right to be upset. However, we can't go from emotion A to emotion Z with each disappointment. We are never going to agree with the POTUS on all issues. However, that doesn't mean he is 'running the bus over us' as some bloggers have made it out to be.

    He didn't become an elected official of the LGBT community or blue or red states. This man is trying to break the cycle of what divides us and I think we should support him in that effort.

    Warren will not get up there and say "I disagree with gays" and a huge majority of the population doesn't know or care about his stance on LGBT issues. My point is, we need to focus our efforts on decrying real injustices and not cry over every glass of spilled milk.

    Posted by: Patrick | Dec 18, 2008 10:33:18 AM

  5. The best way to be inclusive is to do away with all preachers, priests, mullahs, rabbis, etc at the inauguration and definitely NO prayers

    The common ground for all americans is the constitution and that is what he should place his hand on and take the oath. No fairytale books.

    Inclusiveness? No red states no blue states? Then do away with the tooth fairy book and prayers at the inauguration all together

    "...I swear to to uphold and defend the constitution of the Unites states of america against all enemies foreign and domestic......" nothing about upholding, defending, and perpetuating myths, myth books, and shamans of schizo delusions

    Posted by: Jimmyboyo | Dec 18, 2008 10:34:00 AM

  6. The ephemeral, barely possible, and unlikely future positive effects of this "olive branch" to the Far Right who did not--and never will--vote for Obama are outweighed by the immediate, more direct, and actual disrespect shown to the gay community who overwhelmingly supported his candidacy. Obama's advisers were too clever by half and not smart enough by less than half. They have given a highly prized public forum to a homophobe cloaked in semi-religious drag, something that would not be tolerated of any other bigot against any other minority community. We are right to be outraged.

    Posted by: rudy | Dec 18, 2008 10:39:43 AM

  7. At this moment, I am more concerned about keeping my job, my home and my pension.

    At least this is not Bill Clinton dancing with Melissa Etheridge during his inaugural ball, then signing the DOMA the next day. Barack and Joe have both been up front about their beliefs. I place my own faith in them that, when it comes to the larger issues of civil rights, the rights of every American will prevail.

    Posted by: Rad | Dec 18, 2008 10:40:04 AM

  8. Honestly, I'm not surprise, it's the same thing that always happens and we never learn. They pander to us but when it comes to really doing something for our community they are just full of empty words and promises. First it was that postcard that went out from Yes on 8 with his quote and face on it, even though his publicist admonished it later he really didn't take any sort of stand on it. Then it was the complete lack of anything about GLBT rights on his transition website until we got all upset (rightfully so) and some stuff was put up there. Now it is this kick in the balls.

    I hoped Obama would be different but once again actions speak louder than words. Oh and to RAD, you are delusional if you think this is all sort of some master plan to give us our rights, it's not, this is a man that Obama trusts and respects, more that then rights of GBLTs. I'm tired of hearing of this big master plan that none of us know the details for that explains why its actually a good thing that we've been stabbed in the back again, it ticks me off when GBLT people actually try to defend Clinton and DOMA and DADT, again with the idea that it was actually good for our rights.

    Sorry, nothing is going to come from these shallow words when he is unwilling to take a firm stand on them on the public stage and instead make a special guest out of one of our worst enemies, it would be like Rosa Parks sitting one seat closer to the front every week until the bus driver tells her she is getting too close to the front and then she apologizes profusely and moves all the way back to the bus, that's what happens when you take baby steps and make sure you don't piss of the bigots too much.

    Posted by: John M | Dec 18, 2008 10:43:51 AM

  9. This move by Obama deeply saddens me. By having Rev. Warren at h[is inauguration he has set the tone of his presidency, one that we have all seen before:

    Use us gays as an ATM machine during the campaign and then sweep us under the rug in January.

    I had really hoped that he would be bring change instead of more of the same.

    Posted by: ChasMader | Dec 18, 2008 10:46:29 AM

  10. totally agree with Rad. Doing this will make his inauguration more inclusive.

    how does this hurt the gay community at all?

    to say he never did and never would vote for Obama is stupid. You don't know him. Warren never public voiced his support of either candidate. He had some ideological differences from Obama, but he very well could have still voted for Obama. So to make that kind of assumption is plain ignorant. and by you definition of a homophobe as being anyone that doesn't support our marriage rights: more than half the country is homophobic.

    Posted by: nate | Dec 18, 2008 10:48:55 AM

  11. "At least this is not Bill Clinton dancing with Melissa Etheridge during his inaugural ball, then signing the DOMA the next day."

    No, instead it's Obama holding the baby of gay couples on the campaign trail, preaching the message of inclusion of gay people and taking our donations, then turning on us. First by stating his opposition to gay marriage at every turn, second by including anti-gay religious people in his faith outreach on the campaign trail and now reaching out to the religious right while slapping the gay community.

    Guess what, rad. You can be worried about your job and your finances while giving a shit about your rights as a gay person also.

    Posted by: Mike | Dec 18, 2008 10:51:23 AM

  12. nate -- Obama is making Warren's anti-gay message legitimate. By including him, at HIS choice, he is saying that he agrees with the message this guy preaches. You don't have people involved if you don't agree with them.

    Posted by: Mike | Dec 18, 2008 10:53:26 AM

  13. As far as embracing both sides and bringing us together on a middle ground, it doesn't work that way. The bigots don't want us to have our rights, we are demanding them. The middle ground is we don't get them, plain and simple.

    Posted by: John M | Dec 18, 2008 10:54:34 AM

  14. I think there's an opportunity for Obama to clarify his position in a well crafted, inclusive inaugural address.

    Its one thing to express your opinion in a room full of people who agree with you and quite another when there's someone who doesn't.

    Posted by: Mike_in_Lancaster | Dec 18, 2008 10:59:58 AM

  15. You guys really need to gain perspective on this.

    Yes, this guy is a bigot.
    Yes, there were probably better alternatives out there.
    Yes, this is a feeling of betrayal.

    However, (and this is a big however), this is not a policy statement. This is not a platform for Warren to express his views. This is nothing more than an invitation to say a prayer for the future of our country and our president.

    We are all turning into the Jesse Jacksons and Al Sharptons of the gay community!!! Express your disappointment, but making blanket statements about how future policies of this administration will be laid out from this speaking request is not fair.

    No one has 'used us' or 'thrown us under the bus'. You could have Senator McCain and Gov Palin up there instead and then their policy would follow in line with Warren's thinking. Think about what you HAVE before you gripe about what you don't have.

    Our time will come but we really have to work on getting public support and acting like Sharpton and Jackson Sr. about every slight is not the way to do it. Strategize, people!!!

    Posted by: Patrick | Dec 18, 2008 11:01:58 AM

  16. Quit preaching to the gay choir and make your voice heard where it counts! Tell Obama (especially if you voted for him) that you're not supportive of his decision and explain how it will affect your participation in and enthusiasm for the inauguration.

    Posted by: A | Dec 18, 2008 11:02:15 AM

  17. Yes, Mike, I agree. I will certainly watch the speech on the 22nd.


    Posted by: Rad | Dec 18, 2008 11:04:17 AM

  18. MIL - It will go something like this..."There is no two America's, there is one America. It includes (rattle off list of everybody)..., straight Americans and gay Americans, ... (finish list). Hooray!!! He included us in the list!!

    Posted by: Mike | Dec 18, 2008 11:04:24 AM

  19. Patrick, he doesn't have to express his views at the event but it is a platform. It has elevated his stature and giving his message a legitimate backing.

    The "either, or" argument doesn't apply here. We KNOW Obama is more pro-gay than McCain or Palin, that is what makes this worse.

    Plus, look around the site. There are tons of suggestions on how to make yourself heard on the issue. Nobody is saying all we should do is post here about it.

    Posted by: Mike | Dec 18, 2008 11:08:44 AM

  20. mike-
    i see your perspective on this, but at what point do we not include people that disagree with us? Obama spoke of working with republicans and ending divided politics during his campaign. I think he is filling his cabinet with people who very much agree with him, but is also trying to give a voice to those he disagrees with (as to not block their voice out of the discussion, as Bush and Clinton did). We are no longer in campaign mode, things have changed. Letting Warren speak at the invocation is not an endorsement, it is a friendly and welcoming gesture.

    Posted by: nate | Dec 18, 2008 11:13:23 AM

  21. This is disappointing. It is absurd that this is about a "big tent" philosophy. If the tent is open to everyone, where is the KKK and American Nazi Party? Obama or his team don't understand that most of the shouts of "kill the n***er" during his campaign was from evangelical wing nuts -- so pandering to them will be of no use. Selling out the gay community to gain approval from the evangelicals brings Obama to a new low - and perhaps reveals something about Obama that was previously hidden.

    Posted by: Dawid | Dec 18, 2008 11:14:55 AM

  22. Looks like the Donnie McClurkin fiasco didn't teach many people anything! Obama is no friend to the gay community. NEVER has been. I know a lot of gay friends who sang Obama's praises to the highest and castigated anyone who was critical of Obama during the primary and general election. It seems they now have a lot of egg on their face.

    Posted by: Wayne | Dec 18, 2008 11:15:33 AM

  23. To care so much about something that quite honestly means so damn little is just amazing to me.

    Am I the only reader who really could give two shits about who Obama picks to give his invocation?

    I have far bigger worries in my life like my making up the money I am losing in commisions each month due to the terrible economy, trying to pay my mortgage, making sure I have enough money for meds, etc.

    Some of you guys seriously need a fucking reality check and maybe climb down once in awhile from your ivory towers...

    Posted by: Derek | Dec 18, 2008 11:15:34 AM

  24. This inauguration will act as a world-wide infomercial for all involved. Obama's invitation to Warren is in fact and endorsement and an introduction so this "Pastor" and his church can have a world-wide


    Posted by: Mark | Dec 18, 2008 11:16:09 AM

  25. Nate,

    Warren and the rest of the right wing don't "disagree with us," they want us gone. Let's be honest about that. This isn't only about marriage. Warren's church doesn't even think we should exist. He's Dobson with a happy face.

    Posted by: MAJeff | Dec 18, 2008 11:19:16 AM

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