What People In The Know Are Saying About HRC’s Incoming President, Chad Griffin

Now that HRC has chosen hot nerd Chad Griffin as its new president, the talking heads have been weighing in with their opinions. And they’re almost universally positive, with Griffin being praised as a fresh face and a strong choice for the job.

HuffPo Gay Voices editor Michelangelo Signorile is a strong contender for the “Most Glowing Praise” prize:

The choice of Griffin was an inspired, bold, and ultimately necessary move for a group that was becoming increasingly irrelevant and even counterproductive in the eyes of many in the broader LGBT activist community. It’s not inaccurate to say that while HRC certainly has its many supporters and has done critical work, many have viewed the group for years, rightly or wrong, as a lackey to the Democratic establishment and the Obama administration.

GLAAD’s acting president, Mike Thompson, took a break from blasting Kirk Cameron to chime in:

Chad has led LGBT families to new levels of visibility through his work at the American Foundation for Equal Rights. His commitment to all members of our community and proven track record of advancing LGBT issues are instrumental assets to our movement. We look forward to continue working with HRC and with Chad as partners in the march to equality.

David Boies, who helped defeat Prop 8 in Perry vs. Schwarzenegger:

Time after time over the past several years, Chad has proven that he is easily one of the most skilled strategists and tacticians in American politics today. That is a rare combination of skill sets for one person to have. His diplomacy, his intellect and his passion for issues of equality are second to none. I cannot think of a better person to lead HRC into the future.

Meanwhile activist Michael Petrelis gave Griffin something of a backhanded compliment:

Chad is cool and a damn fine strategist; however, the Human Rights Campaign still sucks. It will take more than a new executive director with great qualifications to undo the decades of waste, political laziness and hardcore elitism.”

But an HRC insider told Queerty that Griffin’s magic has silenced even the group’s biggest haters: “Some of HRC’s most vocal critics are applauding the choice and I’m hearing that this is a ‘new day for HRC’ in a lot of activist circles.”

Perhaps that’ll keep those pesky Occupy Wall Street protesters away from HRC’s fancy dinner galas?

Photo via HRC

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  • Kev C

    Fundraising should be an efficient and zen-like business experience for everyone.

  • WillBFair

    We’ll see. The endorsements don’t impress. Elites always kiss each others’ asses in the press. As usual, these were full of meaningless abstractions. It’s like watching Hollywood types praise each other on camera. Totally careerist.
    I seem to remember a note that he kept the marraige fight alive in CA, where we already have civil unions, and during an election year in which we should keep a low profile, and at the expense of issues in which we are stronger in public opinion. That’s not a great strategist in my book.

  • Kostas

    Solmonese got lots of results from the Obama administration. It’s good to have a new
    face, but let’s see what he will do. Lots of guy criticize HRC, but I don’t see them going out and starting their own organization. Competition doesn’t hurt in the civil rights field. Chad Griffin started AFER and got some results.

  • WillBFair

    I take it back. Though he pressed marraige when there are more important issues to address, he did hire those two great lawyers. So he gets points for that.

  • Tyler

    This isn’t going to change the fact that the HRC is and always has and will be a pointless cash cow that doesn’t do anything to help LGBT people or to get LGBT equality yet they’ll gladly take money and donations from LGBT people to host their expensive dinners.

  • Cam

    @Kostas: said…

    Solmonese got lots of results from the Obama administration.”

    Um…no, actually he didn’t. The OBama Administration’s spokesperson stated flat out that there would be NO movement on issues like Don’t Ask Don’t Tell etc… and Solomnase wrote a memo that basically said gays should shut up and be quiet for 8 years, and after THAT if they wanted to complain about Obama they could.

    That Grass Roots Group Get Equal started up, started doing sit in’s in Nancy Pelosi’s office, and while HRC was attacking them for upsetting our friends, PElosi then shoved DADT repeal down Obama’s throat.

    To say that Solomnase had ANYTHING to do with those results is the worst kind of rewriting history. Rewriting it for the personal gain of a single person. Shame on you.

  • WillBFair

    Speaking of strategy:
    I think gays should shut up, but only during the campaign. It’s the best thing we can do to help the dems win.
    Then, if Obama wins, it’ll be pay back time. We can start lobbying again on strategic issues. I would say stop working on marraige because it would help only a few of us, and is our weakest issue in terms of public opinion. Instead, start a pr campaign with gay soldiers, suburban couples, and our historical giants. Start funding support for gay homeless, emotional support for twenty somethings to build their self esteem, and a serious stop hiv effort. And lobby the feds for enda. Employment is more important than anything else on the table. Period. If we have to throw trans folk under the bus to get enda, so be it. Enda is more important than any one group. They can be brought on board later when we’ve moved public opinion through pr.
    But I imagine the new leader will keep taking his queues from our enemies, who want us to push for marraige so they can scare independents.

  • Danny

    Remember to organize locally – nothing else will have such a strong, immediate, and lasting impact for the LGBTA people in your area.

  • Steve

    We need to do two things that Salmonese was never willing to do — but are very basic:
    1. We need to talk about “equal protection”, and “fair”, and “family” (as in, “we are family”);
    2. We need to talk to the courts and the press, not just lobby the administration.

    And, of course, we still need to support the politicians who are on our side…

    I think Chad “gets” it. I am very sure that Salmonese, did not.

  • jb

    @WillBFair: The AFER Perry Prop 8 case began nearly 3 years ago. Are you suggesting that because the appeals have stretched into an election year that Griffin’s group should just not respond to the appeals and let the other side win by default? That’s your strategy?

  • WillBFair

    No. You’re right. They had to go on with it. And there was no way to forsee that it would take this long. But there are other marraige bills happening in States with civil unions that could draw haters into the election. And I think those are strategic mistakes.
    On the other hand, going for a purely symbolic marraige in CA was questionable when there were more important issues to address. I don’t know what they were, because I didn’t live in CA at the time. But I know what they are today, and I still say that we’ve been sidetracked by our enemies into wasting time on a symbolic issue.
    Thanks for pointing out that weakness. Do you have anything constructive to add?

  • Tony

    I’m afraid one person can’t make the all the changes that need to happen at the HRC. We’ll just have to wait and see. Not really expecting much to change.

Comments are closed.