Obama Refuses Photo with Gavin Newsom

According to a high level Obama staffer via Ben Smith, ""He [Newsom] is never going to serve in our administration, and we may give San Francisco to Canada."

This was in respose to a story which appeared this morning in the San Francisco Chronicle:

"I gave a fundraiser, at his (Obama's) request at a Waterfront restaurant," said former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown. "And he said to me, he would really appreciate it if he didn't get his photo taken with my mayor. He said he would really not like to have his picture taken with Gavin."

Obama's deputy campaign director, Steve Hildebrand, who lives with his partner as an openly gay man, is reported in the Chronicle report as calling this "a ridiculous story."

But according to the published report  both current and former members of Newsom's staff, remember the incident well. And they  say that you can bet that Newsom hasn't forgotten it either.

"He was pissed," said one former staffer.

More from the Chronicle story: "In fact, early last year, Newsom alluded to the incident in an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Speaking to Reuters on Jan. 26, 2007, Newsom was asked about three potential Democratic candidates: Obama, Hillary Clinton and Al Gore.

"One of the three Democrats you mentioned as presidential candidates, as God is my witness, will not be photographed with me, will not be in the same room with me," Newsom told Reuters, "even though I've done fundraisers for that particular person - not once, but twice - because of this issue."

Newsom who is not gay, but went on to national prominence after he supported gay marriage offered this on-record comment:

"I believe in his [Obama's] leadership qualities, and I look forward to voting for him. In eight years.

Tags: Barack Obama, Ben Smith, gavin newsom, Sn Francisco Chronicle, Srteve Hildebrand (all tags)



if true, that is pathetic

but why am I not surprised?

by desmoinesdem 2008-02-05 06:49AM | 0 recs
Re: if true, that is pathetic

Indeed.  If this is true, it's just petty and entirely beneath him.

by Denny Crane 2008-02-05 07:34AM | 0 recs
Re: if true, that is pathetic

What do you mean "IF"?

Of course it's true.

Remember his famous association with Donnie McClurg, the homophobic, "former" gay "entertainer?"

Being publically associated with endorsing or approving, or even tolerating homosexuality, gay marriage, or any other GLBT issue would be fucking POISON in the 'black (church) community'.

by tokin librul 2008-02-05 08:58AM | 0 recs
Re: if true, that is pathetic

Its because he sleeps with his best friends wife....sound familiar?

by aiko 2008-02-05 12:42PM | 0 recs
11th Hour Smear

Too bad most people already have their vote locked here in CA to pay any attention to this nonsense.  Desperation at its finest.  First it was race issues in SC, now we have efforts to drive division via the LBGT vote.

So does the absence of a circa 2004 photo of Obama with Newsom mean that this is true?  How about a quote from Newsom himself?  

It doesn't take much to realize that this story is being circulated today just to slam Obama on his allegely soft support for gays.  And late enough in the game to thwart an opportunity to respond to the obvious untruth of that claim.

On a side note, I'd like to thank dpandrews and susanhu for their incessant anti-Obama crusades, which have done nothing more than strenghten my support.

by PD1769 2008-02-05 06:54AM | 0 recs
You're calling Willie Brown a liar?

And taking the word of an anonymous Obama staffer?  Why would Brown lie about this?

I can pretty much guarantee you that you could accuse any major candidate of anything, and one of his staffers will be willing to deny it anonymously.

by Trickster 2008-02-05 07:23AM | 0 recs

My bad: not anonymous.  But still, who has the incentive to lie here?

by Trickster 2008-02-05 07:24AM | 0 recs
Re: You're calling Willie Brown a liar?

Prove he isn't a liar.  Better yet, prove Hillary didn't lie about some of the things the GOP has accused her of over the years.  Just because one asshole says it doesn't mean its true.  

by yitbos96bb 2008-02-05 12:43PM | 0 recs
In court

If you want the jury to think somebody is lying, you need to provide some evidence that he's lying, some incentive for him to lie, or some past history impeaching his character as a truth-teller.

If you just stand up and say "he's lying," with nothing at all backing you up, you'll get laughed out of court.

Willie Brown is a respected figure in Democratic Party and California politics.  You think he's lying, the onus is on you to bring the evidence.

by Trickster 2008-02-05 07:40PM | 0 recs
How do you smoke kool-aid? n/t

by maddogg 2008-02-05 10:01AM | 0 recs
Re: 11th Hour Smear

What facts?  You haven't provided any or proved anything just some BS story in the paper.  NO PROOF AT ALL.

by yitbos96bb 2008-02-05 12:42PM | 0 recs
Re: stop smokin the kool aid man... n/t

Again... Prove it.  

by yitbos96bb 2008-02-05 12:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Refuses Photo with Gavin Newsom

Wow, I'd been wondering who the previously unidentified presidential candidate in this story had been when it popped up last spring. Now we know. The best way for Obama people to handle this is to admit his tactical reasoning and move on.

by blueflorida 2008-02-05 06:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Refuses Photo with Gavin Newsom

No wonder Obama loves bringing anti-gay preachers to stump for him where convienent. He lost me with Donnie and this only reaffirms I voted correctly today

by rossinatl 2008-02-05 07:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Refuses Photo with Gavin Newsom

he's the worst kind of pol, and todays results will be a rude awakening for his supporters

by atomic garden 2008-02-05 07:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Refuses Photo with Gavin Newsom

That quote from the Obama staffer can't be real... can it?

I think the most precious thing about this story is how Obama just happens to send his gay deputy campaign manager to deny the story.

by Steve M 2008-02-05 08:03AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Refuses Photo with Gavin Newsom

I guess a quote like that plays well with the trash-talking kids in the electorate, but it kinda horrifies a lot of us grownups.

by Steve M 2008-02-05 09:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Refuses Photo with Gavin Newsom

It's the same guy (Steve Hildebrand) who said that the Clinton campaign puts people in ethnic and gender boxes, and dares to talk to Latinos in their living rooms.

by OrangeFur 2008-02-05 09:45AM | 0 recs
Obama panders on gay rights

- snip -

"...Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell, a spiritual adviser to President Bush who endorsed Obama a day earlier. They turned up a page on his Houston church Web site promoting a ministry to cure homosexuals, sparking outrage among the same bloggers who were extolling him only a few hours earlier."

"...the tension inherent in Obama's embrace of what he calls a new style of politics, his belief in forging alliances even with those who hold fundamentally different views.

In this case, he has spoken out against homophobia in front of black audiences while embracing some black religious leaders who are resistant to gay rights."

"...[Gay rights activists] critical of Obama in October for appearing with Donnie McClurkin, a gospel singer who considers himself an "ex-gay" and has called homosexuality a "curse." Obama and McClurkin traveled South Carolina as part of a gospel tour aimed at religious African Americans."
- snip -

From CBS

by grlpatriot 2008-02-05 08:08AM | 0 recs
is this before or after Gavin

admitted to screwing the wife of one of his top aides?

by highgrade 2008-02-05 08:47AM | 0 recs
Re: is this before or after Gavin

This was well before Newsom was embroiled in personal scandal.

by OrangeFur 2008-02-05 10:06AM | 0 recs
Obama Is Political Febreez

Just another perfumy, worthless, cosmetic product, a nostrum, a notion, designed to cover over some of the stink of rot and corruption in our politics.

by tokin librul 2008-02-05 09:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Refuses Photo with Gavin Newsom

Then maybe Hillary should ask Obama point blank at the  next debate. Why doesnt Newsom just openly challenge Obama instead of sulking in silence?

How do we know it's because of the gay marriage thing? It should not be that tough to test. Ask Barney Frank to stand next to Obama and get a picture taken. Do you think Obama will refuse it?

by Pravin 2008-02-05 09:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Refuses Photo with Gavin Newsom

The context is that Obama didn't want to have his picture taken with a famous gay marriage supporter in 2004.

I'm quite confident that he's not afraid he will turn into a pillar of salt if he gets photographed with a gay person.

by Steve M 2008-02-05 09:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Refuses Photo with Gavin Newsom
I doubt the typical voter knows who he is. i thought we were talking about the Loveboat guy.
If obama was really that paranoid, then let's get him to answer for it. I have no problem with that. In fact, gay rights organizations should ask him point blank. But that's the problem with DEmocratic leaders in general. We do not have the same kind of access to them that the right wing to ask them these questions to clarify matters. There is a Kos convention. That's about it. MYDD has no power. DKos without the convention rarely conducts enough interviews.
by Pravin 2008-02-05 09:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Refuses Photo with Gavin Newsom

My point is that having former mayor Willie Brown confirm this on the record is a better test of whether the story is true than seeing whether Obama, today, will stand in the same photograph as a gay person.

by Steve M 2008-02-05 09:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Refuses Photo with Gavin Newsom

Everyone here in the Bay Area knows who Newsom is, and the thing we associate with him the most is his stand on gay marriage. That was a time of real euphoria here--San Francisco was taking a stand against bigotry, and once again leading the way for liberalism. Gay couples lined up around the block at City Hall. It was just an incredible time.

Later on, of course, Newsom's personal problems came to life. But that doesn't erase the memories of what he did then.

by OrangeFur 2008-02-05 09:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Refuses Photo with Gavin Newsom

I wasnt trying to minimize his importance. But just pointing out the practical aspect of such a political calculation on Obama's part. Did he really think just appearing in a pic with a straight mayor who supported gay marriage but is really not that well known on a national basis would jeopardise his future political prospects?

by Pravin 2008-02-05 09:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Refuses Photo with Gavin Newsom

He was running for Senate at the time.

by OrangeFur 2008-02-05 10:05AM | 0 recs
Inside info alert

Newsom is WAY straight. . . .

by Trickster 2008-02-05 12:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Refuses Photo with Gavin Newsom
that sounds like Obama to me.  i'm sick of people putting him on a pedestal as if he is some God-like figure, when he is far from it.
despite media and public opinion, Hillary is by far the better human being.
by musicpvm 2008-02-05 09:42AM | 0 recs
Could Obama be the case?

We have Obama with his buddy Donnie McClerkin, we have him afraid to be photo'd with Newsom. and then we get this Larry Sinclair story circulating around the net.

Could Obama be the type conflicted black male we have heard about on shows like Oprah?

by dpANDREWS 2008-02-05 09:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Refuses Photo with Gavin Newsom

Obama Supported gay rights in the Illinois senate, wants to repeal DADT, believes gays should be allowed to adopt, believes federal non-discrimination should be expanded to include sexual orientation, is against gay marriage, but for gay unions, and voted against the constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage

But on the other hand, he refused to be photographed with Gavin Newsom, therefore he's clearly A REPUBLICAN IN DISGUISE.

Incidentally, Edwards opposed gay marriage, and Clinton's stance on gay marriage is the same as Obama's, but again, Obama is a republican in disguise who's just duping people left and right here.


by Nautilator 2008-02-05 10:07AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Refuses Photo with Gavin Newsom

So what do you make of the story, then?  Is former mayor Willie Brown making the whole thing up, or do you think Obama was just concerned about their ties clashing?

by Steve M 2008-02-05 10:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Refuses Photo with Gavin Newsom

There are any number of possibilities why it happened, without us knowing all of them.

Obama has a proven legislative record in favor of gay rights, and THAT'S what important.

by Nautilator 2008-02-05 10:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Refuses Photo with Gavin Newsom

Yeah, uh, not really that many possibilities.

by Steve M 2008-02-05 10:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Refuses Photo with Gavin Newsom

You're arguing from ignorance.

You don't know why Obama refused that photo, THEREFORE HE'S AGAINST GAY RIGHTS, even though he has a proven pro-gay rights legislative record.

Way to go.

by Nautilator 2008-02-05 10:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Refuses Photo with Gavin Newsom

I never said he was against gay rights.  That's a remarkably silly strawman.

by Steve M 2008-02-05 10:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Refuses Photo with Gavin Newsom

Obama has a pro-gay rights record.

You just ignored the facts that I posted in order to reaffirm your own narrow view of reality, good going :)

by Nautilator 2008-02-05 10:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Refuses Photo with Gavin Newsom

We were just talking about Obama's gay rights record, but since you can't attack his actual record, you're just trying to attack him on other issues now. I'm not even going to bother in a gay rights thread. Maybe another time.

by Nautilator 2008-02-05 10:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Refuses Photo with Gavin Newsom

You're insinuating that both those things happened because of gay issues. Given that Obama's track record on gay issues has been strong, I don't see that happening.

Oh, and in the links I already posted you can see that Clinton voted in favor of DOMA, while at the same time Obama voted against it.

by Nautilator 2008-02-05 10:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Refuses Photo with Gavin Newsom

Actually it was Clinton -- see also, their votes on DOMA -- that was for banning gay marriage before she was against it.

The best you've got is that Obama refused a photo with Gavin Newsom. You're completely ignoring his legislative record and assuming that this is happening because he's magically become an evil anti-gay republican.

by Nautilator 2008-02-05 10:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Refuses Photo with Gavin Newsom

Clinton voted for DOMA while Obama voted against it, yet Obama is to the right of Clinton? What the hell is wrong with you?

And again, we're just talking about gay rights here. I can't find the link any more, but they're both at the same point in the political spectrum.

His voting record proves he's a liberal, but you've ignoring that -- for what, the third or fourth time now? -- just so you can repeat the talking point that Obama is a republican in disguise.

by Nautilator 2008-02-05 10:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Refuses Photo with Gavin Newsom

Clinton wasn't in the Senate when DOMA was passed.

by OrangeFur 2008-02-05 12:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Refuses Photo with Gavin Newsom

Incidentally, the chicken little approach of pretending the world is going to end every time something minor like this crops up doesn't really help anyone.

by Nautilator 2008-02-05 10:43AM | 0 recs
This is a lie perpetrated by the Clinton machine

by Moonwood 2008-02-05 10:51AM | 0 recs
Re: This is a lie perpetrated by the Clinton machi


by Steve M 2008-02-05 10:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Refuses Photo with Gavin Newsom

Is Obama gonna ice every dem that didn't endorse him in the primary (Newsom endorsed HRC)? He bends over backwards for the GOP to make nice and only plays hardball with dems?

I got a really bad "gut" feeling about this guy.

by bird52 2008-02-05 10:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Refuses Photo with Gavin Newsom

Well... update your diary with the links.

by kevin22262 2008-02-05 11:07AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Refuses Photo with Gavin Newsom

How some of my fellow gays are supporting Obama over Hillary, I have no clue.  She's the right choice for us- his religious pandering worries me- and bringing up Jesus Christ last week or so reminds me too much of the Republicans.  Yes, he'll be better than any Republican but I just feel we will make better progress under Hillary.  

by reasonwarrior 2008-02-05 11:33AM | 0 recs
this comment was posted on Huff Po.

It deserves to be shared:

It's by ericstern75 at Huffington Post:

Oh, how the times have changed! As the DNC's Director of LGBT Outreach from 2003-2005, I had a front row seat for all that happened inside the Party on and after that historic and beautiful day in San Francisco.

In 2004, James Carville, Mark Penn and many others currently working on the Clinton Campaign were absolutely furious with Mayor Newsom's courageous decision to authorize marriage equality in the city of SanFrancisco. They believed at the time it happened and in post-election forums that Newsom's actions helped to mobilize and energize millions of socially conservative voters for Bush-Cheney and Republicancandidates across the country.

Even openly gay Congressman Barney Frank (a Clinton supporter) maderemarks suggesting that Newsom's decision was ill-timed and had anegative impact on the outcome of the 2004 Election.
(I have deep admiration for Newsom's courageous act, but question howhe could endorse a candidate whose staff and key supporters blamed himin part for the losses suffered by Democrats in 2004).

So, while some of Clinton's staffers were busy publicly blaming Newsom(and us pesky gay voters who just don't know our place), Obama--in 2004--wrote an op-ed pledging to work towards andvote for the full repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act if elected tothe U.S. Senate. This is a position he has consistently held since2004 and now as a Presidential candidate, he has pledged to use thepower of the White House to work with Congress to repeal ALL of DOMA(while Hillary, as you know, supports only a partial repeal ofDOMA).

Honestly, this kind of leadership makes me as an openly gay man feelpretty good about the kind of President Obama is going to be for ourcommunity. And the fact that Obama was unwilling to get his picturetaken with Mayor Newsom just kind of feels like an attempt to blow upwhat could have been a misunderstanding or slight into a "huge" storythat just happened to break on Super Tuesday. Oh the irony!

by Damien in Texas 2008-02-05 11:46AM | 0 recs
Re: this comment was posted on Huff Po.

so let me get this straight:
You support Hillary b/c she had her picture taken with Newsom (after he endorsed her)and Obama didn't (in a charged election year.)

-But Hillary supported DOMA- an Act which prevents a state from having to recognize the legality of a same-sex marriage performed elsewhere in the country- and Obama supports repealing it.

How does that make any sense?

by Damien in Texas 2008-02-05 12:27PM | 0 recs
get your facts straight

Clinton supports repealing part of DOMA.  Obama will repeal the whole thing.

This is from a January 2008 article in Beyond Chron a San Francisco online journal:

Clinton's husband signed the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act when he was President, and she has only promised to scrap part 3 of DOMA - whereas Obama would repeal it entirely.

Why does a photograph matter more to you than a policy stance?

by Damien in Texas 2008-02-05 01:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Refuses Photo with Gavin Newsom

(note: I'm an Obama suporter)

First I think the problem with Obama isn't that he is willing to throw people overboard, its that he isn't. You can see this with a lot of his focus on immigrants lately where he has gone far too far to be just appealing to Latino voters.

I think the McClurkin thing was just because he didn't see it coming and became caught in a bind because he saw a rejection of McClurkin as a rejection of socially conservative African Americans by him. I think his speech on the need to fight homophobia in the African American community was attempting to show gay voters that he isn't going to abandon them on prickly issues.

As for the Newsom pic I'd guess if that story is true(and I doubt it, especially the aids supposed comment), its either due to time constraints or because of some personal dislike he has of the mayor. Maybe because the mayor endorsed Hillary. if he did it because of personal dislike then unless the reason is very good it's sort of rude.

But he didn't do it because of gay mariage, during the course of the campaign Obama will likly apear with people a lot more controversial then Newsom and at worst any Newsom Obama Photo would be a much milder from of the Kerry Fonda "controversy".
I would think even his worst detractors would give him credit with enough determination not to care about it.

by rtaycher1987 2008-02-05 11:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Refuses Photo with Gavin Newsom

what are you referring to with

"So while he won't throw anyone overboard he is the first to scream that others better do so."

Please give me a point of refrence

by rtaycher1987 2008-02-05 12:16PM | 0 recs
Newsom endorsed Clinton.
Early on.
and vocally.
by neutron 2008-02-05 12:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Refuses Photo with Gavin Newsom

Obama's deputy campaign director, Steve Hildebrand, who lives with his partner as an openly gay man, is reported in the Chronicle report as calling this "a ridiculous story."

His deputy campaign director, calls it ridiculous.



Oh the one who is gay and lives with his partner.


Go ahead, spread lies and hate.

by inexile 2008-02-05 12:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Refuses Photo with Gavin Newsom

Yes, and if you're sued for sexual harassment, you always make sure your defense attorney at trial is a woman.

I'm not going to take the word of Obama's "deputy campaign manager" over that of former mayor Willie Brown and the multiple other individuals the reporter confirmed the story with.

by Steve M 2008-02-05 12:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Refuses Photo with Gavin Newsom

Please... Quit the ignorant lies while you are ahead.  

by yitbos96bb 2008-02-05 12:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Refuses Photo with Gavin Newsom

All hear-say.  Prove it.  People printed Hillary killed Vince Foster with supposed witnesses.  Just because some asshole prints it doesn't make it true.  Its ridiculous bullshit.

by yitbos96bb 2008-02-05 12:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Refuses Photo with Gavin Newsom

Yet, Obama's congressional votes and other policy positions are CLEARLY to the left of Clinton on Gay issues.  SO clearly only the biggest fucking moron in the world would call him anti-gay or biggest jackass in the world... you can take your pick of which title.  

by yitbos96bb 2008-02-05 12:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Refuses Photo with Gavin Newsom

Ah so Obama's big tent isn't as big as you all though it was....

by sonofdonkeykong 2008-02-05 09:31PM | 0 recs


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