Barack Obama’s currently beefing up his foreign policy experience with a trip abroad, but the presidential hopeful may need to smooth things over here at home.
Leaders within Florida’s gay Democratic caucus balked this weekend after the Obama campaign “slighted” their annual meeting by not sending his wife, Michelle, who appeared at a gay event in New York last month.
The leader of the Florida Democratic Party’s gay caucus, declaring that “I’m sick and tired of getting table scraps,” complained Saturday that Sen. Barack Obama offended a large and faithful voting bloc by not sending his wife or another top campaign surrogate to the group’s annual meeting.
“Personally, as president of the Florida GLBT Democratic caucus, I must say I’m very disappointed,” Michael Albetta said. “I am not taking this too kindly and politely. They were giving us names such as Bill Richardson, who was supposed to come here, Congressman John Lewis, who was supposed to be here.”
As the meeting ended, Albetta said several representatives of the Obama campaign phoned him to apologize.
Albetta, who was neutral in the primaries, added that “I’m sick and tired of getting table scraps. I want to sit at the table with all of them. To them, they don’t understand â€” you know, ‘Give a little here, give a little there’ â€” that doesn’t fly. The thing is that we have to stand up for our rights.”
Albetta and others acknowledge that Obama’s better on gay rights than rival John McCain, but activists are quick to remind the Senator and his campaign that he needs their support. And the Obama campaign’s definitely working overtime to reassure worried voters, with Gustavo Rivera, who coordinates state-based constituency outreach, promising: “I know you cannot be ignored. We know that without your support, we will not win this state â€” but if we win this state, we win the presidency. It’s as simple as that.”