Sean Kennedy Mines Politico's Mind

Hillary Clinton Gets Real About Gay Politics

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The gays love Hillary Clinton. But, as we’ve already heard, she’s adamantly against gay marriage.

Sure, she may have winked and nodded at the HRC forum, leading some to believe she’s just playing politics, but in Sean Kennedy’s stellar interview over at The Advocate, Clinton keeps it real: gay marriage ain’t gonna happen overnight. And most probably not on her watch.

The Senator from New York, however, does intend to keep fighting to dismantle her husband’s discriminatory Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

I’m certainly going to continue to push forward. But again, I can’t guarantee that the negative feedback will go away. The president is not a king, despite George Bush’s efforts to be one…and don’t forget, there’s another set of agenda items too. We’ve got ENDA and hate crimes.

If elected president, Clinton insists she’ll do her best to get these – the most realistic – bills passed. She can’t, however, make any guarantees…

I cannot promise results. I can only promise my best effort. I can only promise to do everything that I can do to make the case, to put together the political majority, to take the message to the country, and I will do that. But there are no guarantees in life or politics.

Kennedy, who describes the Clintons as his first love, goes on to ask Clinton if she promises to sign the bills. And, of course, she does: “Absolutely, because as president I would be trying to get them to my desk. That’s the whole point!”

Aside from the political side of Clinton’s campaign, the politico also reminds Kennedy of the tremendous growth of the gay rights movement:

The gay rights movement has been unbelievably successful over a relatively short period of time. I know that if you’re in the midst of it, you see the failures to move forward, not how much forward motion has occurred. The lesson is to keep going, don’t give up. Know that you’re laying the groundwork for people being more understanding and accepting. But just keep going.

Reading through Kennedy’s piece, it becomes clear that Clinton’s emotionally and personally invested in the struggle for gay rights. And, quite frankly, that may be more important than grasping at political straws like gay marriage.

What’s more, Clinton points out that getting a woman in office – and, by the same logic, a black man – voters can help change the face of American politics:

For too long the right wing has tried to pit marginalized groups against marginalized groups and basically have a zero-sum game in American political life. And if I can break this barrier, I think it really lets the energy come out. People will feel that there’s a greater inclusion — and that they’re a part of that inclusion.

That may be important than pink wedding bells…

[PS: Kennedy’s got some balls to ask Clinton what she thinks about all those gay rumors.]