Barack Obama | Gay Rights | Los Angeles | News

Obama Clueless About Promise Gays Want Him to Keep?

Obama made note fun of the LGBT protestors outside the Beverly Hilton hotel when he spoke at the DNC Benefit held there last night. The NYT reports:

Obamabevhill "A gaggle of sign-waving protestors milled around outside The Beverly Hilton, the sprawling hotel on Wilshire Boulevard. They must have caught the president’s eye when he arrived at the hotel from an earlier stop in Las Vegas because he relayed one of their messages to the crowd.

"'One of them said, 'Obama keep your promise,’ ' the president said. 'I thought that’s fair. I don’t know which promise he was talking about.'

"The people in the audience – who paid $30,400 per couple to attend – laughed as they ate a dinner of roasted tenderloin, grilled organic chicken and sun choke rosemary mashed potatoes."

Which promise? How about starting with the repeal of DOMA, the repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell', a federal hate crimes law, and above all, the promise to be a "fierce advocate" for all the LGBT people who voted him into office?

The AP posted a slightly different report on the remarks: "While many Obama supporters waved and cheered as his motorcade approached the Beverly Hilton, some protesters decried Tuesday's California Supreme Court ruling that upheld the voter-approved gay marriage ban. Some of them also urged Obama to repeal the military's 'don't ask, don't tell' policy for gays. Obama said he could not hear the protesters' exact words, but he agreed with one who shouted that the president should keep his promises."

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  1. Did we just get thrown under the Hope Bus again?

    Posted by: Tralfaz | May 28, 2009 12:44:11 PM

  2. What a tool! I regret voting for that arrogant windbag. He made so many promises he can't remember anymore. The only thing he's accomplished so far is bailing out the wealthy and ensuring they stay that way. Fuck him.

    Posted by: B | May 28, 2009 12:47:25 PM

  3. "...I just don't know which promise he was talking about."

    Well, Mr. President, since you haven't kept a damn one of them, PICK A PROMISE, ANY PROMISE!

    Posted by: Sean | May 28, 2009 12:48:06 PM

  4. Be fair, Andy. Let's not read too much into EVERYTHING that Obama says at this point. Maybe he didn't know what they were protesting about? Maybe any number of things is possible.

    We know that Obama cares about our issues and will deliver. It's right for us to keep the pressure on him, and his staff, and his supporters, but there's no need to demonize the president just because he's moving slower than we want.

    Posted by: Seth | May 28, 2009 12:49:31 PM

  5. You're on the right track, Tralfaz. Only it's not the Hope Bus--it's the Hopemobile!

    Gosh I'm sick of his [Obama's] BS...

    Posted by: Joey R. | May 28, 2009 12:50:28 PM

  6. Now that's not right. I understand in so many cases that protestors are going to be goofballs and deserve to be laughed off, but not this group outside the hotel. The same with the teabaggers (whether one agrees with them or not). These are all, to the protestors themselves, legitimate gripes and he's THEIR President too. I think it's bad form for a guy who usually has such admirable smoothness.

    Posted by: JoeTynan | May 28, 2009 12:50:56 PM

  7. Ask for Mr. President for a response!

    Posted by: Nate | May 28, 2009 12:55:03 PM

  8. We have a modern-day Marie Antoinette on our hands.

    Posted by: paul c | May 28, 2009 12:57:43 PM

  9. I'm beginning to think he's starting to show his true colors (no pun intended). He's a business as usual politician. He was in favor of gay marriage as far back as 1996. His current stance is pure cynicism and a complete lie. Sotomayor was not the best he could do (almost all of the women on the list were better). She was just the easiest to ram past the Republicans based on her heritage and the fear of losing hispanic votes. I'm sick of this man already.

    My wallet is closed to the Democrats from now on. It truly doesn't matter who's in office anymore.

    Posted by: Jonathan | May 28, 2009 12:58:29 PM

  10. I was in the crowd outside the Beverly Hilton yesterday afternoon. You wanna know what I found truly odd? When the crowd exited the hotel...the same crowd that reportedly laughed at Obama's little joke...the majority of them had to stand on the sidewalk for several minutes while their cars were brought around to them. We were directly across the street from them and there was little traffic on Wilshire to block us from their view. And of ALL those people, Democrats and supposed liberals, I saw only two, TWO!, instances of that anyone from that crowd showing support to us. Once was when a late middle aged couple raised their fists in support of us. And once was when J.J. Abrams, the director of Star Trek and creator of LOST (among other things), was basically forced to acknowledge us because the crowd was shouting his name. Disgusting.

    Posted by: peterparker | May 28, 2009 1:00:06 PM

  11. Wow. I'm still not ready to declare his administration a failure on GLBT issues because there are still opportunities. But that was stunning. I can only think of 2 reasons why he would give that answer, and both of them still indicate that he isn't willing to be "fierce advocate" in public, as he claimed: 1. He thought that the dinner attendees would be uncomfortable if he brought up the issue since they expected a light-hearted dinner, 2. He deliberately ignored the protesters so he wouldn't know who they were or what they were upset about. I refuse to believe he's forgotten the issues and difficulties he was confronted about. There is something else here. Either way, I'm stunned.

    Posted by: K | May 28, 2009 1:01:32 PM

  12. oh dear, I think we've been had.

    Posted by: John | May 28, 2009 1:05:00 PM

  13. If I could read the end DADT, marriage equality signs, see the rainbow flags, in the split second they were on my TV screen then he damn well could read them from the windows of the Presidential limo/SUV a few yards away. Even if he couldn't, IF he cared, he damn well could have asked someone to find out.

    But, hey, this is another historical marker for him, placing him along side homophobic Dean Rusk [Pres. Johnson's Secty of State] who mocked gays demonstrating outside the State Dept. in 1965, and homophobic VP George Bush who mocked gays demonstrating against Reagan's passive genocide.

    Posted by: Michael @ | May 28, 2009 1:06:10 PM

  14. Why do gays whine so much?

    Let's grow up and TARGET him. Make his positions hurt. Make him lose votes. Embarrass him and his cohorts. That's the way it is done, and has been done, in our democracy.


    - media campaign / memes, including YouTube videos and other mockery
    - stop contributing to the Democrats and let them know why
    - start contributing to interest groups in the party that seek to hold Obama accountable

    I don't fault him one bit for viewing us expendable. I hope he won't fault me for going after him in a big way.

    Posted by: Dan | May 28, 2009 1:15:25 PM

  15. I was at the protest, too, and when I watched the local news at 11pm last night and they showed a clip of Obama making that joke about '...I don't know which promise he was talking about. Heh Heh." my jaw hit the floor. He was JOKING about our protest!!?? He sounded arrogant and uncaring and dismissive...just like (God, I hate to say this) George W. Bush!
    I have tried to give Obama the benefit of the doubt up to now (I supported him from early in the primaries)but that was the last straw.
    He shredded my last bit of hope that he would help us. We are on our own.

    Posted by: Jeffrey | May 28, 2009 1:16:02 PM

  16. This is soooo upsetting. He has done nothing and says nothing about us anymore. He is becoming way too middle of the road for me. I am hoping the he can get our economy back on track, however.

    Why could we not have had Hillary as our Pres?

    Posted by: Mikey | May 28, 2009 1:19:07 PM

  17. I was there at the protest. It was a very respectful group, even when people were interviewed.

    His feigning "I don't know which promise" bs, is not cool.

    He will lose our respect FAST if he continues with that BS.

    Posted by: FunMe | May 28, 2009 1:21:17 PM

  18. Kool-Aid, anyone?

    Posted by: dc8stretch | May 28, 2009 1:21:21 PM

  19. I'm honestly at the point now where I'm seriously thinking about ending any financial and volunteer support for the Democrats and either staying home in the next Presidential election or voting Republican and letting the campaign know why via letter.

    I'm just one guy but maybe the idea that you can't take gay votes/donations for granted without treating us with a bare minimum of respect might sink in.

    Posted by: C_in_Chicago | May 28, 2009 1:22:39 PM

  20. oh man.....this can't be good.


    Posted by: liz templin | May 28, 2009 1:25:20 PM

  21. The difference between the tone iof the two reports is substantial. The NYT report makes him sound tone-deaf. The AP report makes him sound reasonable. Is there a link to a clip?

    Posted by: Kugel | May 28, 2009 1:28:30 PM

  22. The solution is simple. Withholding support and votes from the Dems. Of course, that leaves us with a bigger problem, the GOP in charge again, which gay rights aside, just basically drove the country into the ground for 8 years.

    I'd still vote Dem, but supporting them by doing voter drives and volunteering? No thanks. I'll support them as much as they have me. Which means, about nada, until they get their crap together about LGBT rights.

    Posted by: Darren | May 28, 2009 1:30:15 PM

  23. Sadly, we knew what we were getting, but everyone turned a blind eye. Wen he said he was against gay marriage, so many of my friends said he was saying that just to get in office but didnt mean it. UHM! WHAT! If you say something that is a lie to get in office, how can you be trusted? More likely, he did mean it, and now the proverbial chickens are coming home to roost. When McCain said he didnt mean it, everyone of my friends said, "See, he is against us" but Obama said THE SAME THING. People wanted to have it both ways. Now, not only are we suffering as a gay people, but in case you hadnt noticed, the economy isnt getting any better under Obama's Bail out plan, or as I call it, the beginning of a destructive inflation and devalue of the dollar. If you dont agree, watch what happens to the value of money in the next 6 months to a year.
    Sadly, too many people were swept up in the Obama-mania, and now we are stuck with him. Enjoy it. It is going to get alot worse for everyone.

    Posted by: Middle of the Road | May 28, 2009 1:33:37 PM

  24. He mentioned us in a speech...

    Posted by: Mike | May 28, 2009 1:34:16 PM

  25. I heard the audio clip of Obama on the radio this morning on the way to work and almost got into an accident after hearing his "I don't know which promise" comment.

    SO disappointing. I agree with other comments on here about withholding donations until we get SOME kind of action or substantive response. That seems to be the only way to get attention.

    @KUGEL - I heard the audio on KNX 1070 AM radio here in LA, not sure if they have it on their website. The tone was just as dismissive as the NYT article suggests. The AP article spun it much more positively.

    Posted by: farrellcsun | May 28, 2009 1:36:39 PM

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