That, and other news, in today’s Political Panorama.
The Obama campaign’s decision to add a gay minister to its “Embrace the Change” tour lineup appears to have done little to tamp down anger and upset among commentators and gay activists. Grammy-winner Donnie McClurkin, who has called being gay a “curse,” is still on the tour. In fact, rather than temper the situation, some see it as merely a brazen attempt to have it both ways.
Huffington Post columnist Earl Ofari Hutchinson, who first pointed out McClurkin’s comments, wrote, “He’s been the paragon of political correctness on gay issues in press statements, and in his campaign stump speeches. But Obama is a politician. It would look awful strange for him as a liberal, and a self-professed change America, consensus guy to say and do anything else. That goes hand in hand with the second thing politician Obama has mastered, counting votes. When it comes to getting those crucial votes, flowery statements and speeches on tolerance mean little.”
He adds, “It’s almost laughable to hear the tortured gyrations that blind faith Obama backers go through to justify his flirt with McClurkin. If Republican presidential contenders Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson, or Mitt Romney had publicly hyped an appearance with a very public gay basher, they’d scream bloody murder. But Obama did just that and he gets a free pass. Amazing!”
Obama told the Chicago Sun-Times, “I want to make sure that we are communicating the inclusive nature of this campaign, that I am continuing to reach out in the faith community.”
“But I did want to do so in a way that is consistent with my strong belief in equal rights for gays and lesbians. And I don’t want there to be any confusion about that.”
The Sun-Times’ Lynn Sweet reports, “During one of the conference calls, according to a participant, the decision to have a gay minister deliver an invocation at the three gospel concerts was explained as Obama ‘not wanting to choose among elements of his Democratic base. … So considering Obama is a big-tent guy, the idea was to form a dialogue among contrarian interests.'”
When all is said and done, you have to wonder whether the “Embrace the Change” tour is worth it.
Playing Judy Miller: Kate Beckinsdale, a generation younger than former New York Times’ reporter Judy Miller, plays a character inspired by her in Rod Lurie’s upcoming movie about the CIA leak scandal. Her Rachel Armstrong is a crusading journalist who finds herself under subpeona of a special prosecutor.
From the Washington Post’s William Booth: Beckinsdale says, “She’s a working mom. Her marriage is in a lull. Her husband is a novelist, and there are issues of professional jealousy. And this is the biggest story of her career. I think, yes, she is a good journalist,” and here Beckinsale gives us a throaty laugh, “given that I’ve always seen you people as the enemy.”
In enemy, Booth points out, she means reviewers, not all of us other scribes.