Obama Transition Team Nods to GLBT Constituents

Bill Clinton had a few gay appointees too back in the day. Remember what that got us? DoMA and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.  Proceed with caution before throwing parties. Glittery fund-raisers may not send the best message in the era of Stonewall 2.0. (And don’t get me started on the economic recession.)

Officials with President-elect Barack Obama’s transition team this week named at least seven openly gay people to transition panels assigned to review federal departments and agencies.

Three of the seven gays named to the transition panels — businessman Fred P. Hochberg, former San Francisco Supervisor Roberta Achtenberg, and labor attorney Elaine Kaplan — held high-level positions in the Clinton administration.

The Obama officials also named President Bush’s former ambassador to Romania, Michael Guest, to a transition panel assigned to review issues pertaining to the State Department. Guest became the nation’s second openly gay ambassador when Bush appointed him to the Romania post for a term lasting from 2001 to 2003.

… Officials with HRC, the Task Force and the Victory Fund said they were deliberating over whether to sponsor gay-related events for the Obama inauguration, and HRC was expected to announce plans soon for another gay inaugural ball. But no plans had been announced by mid-week.

The seven known gays appointed to the Obama transition review teams are among more than 300 people appointed to transition review panels this week.

… Presidents traditionally appoint members of their transition teams to middle and high-level posts in their administrations. Officials working in presidential election campaigns also have been named to government agency jobs and White House positions under past presidents.

… Last week, reports surfaced that Obama was considering appointing his highest-ranking gay campaign official, deputy campaign manager Steve Hildebrand, as successor to Democratic National Committee Chair Howard Dean. Dean announced last week that he would not seek another term as chair.

Obama transition spokesperson Stephanie Cutter has said neither Obama nor the transition team would comment on any potential appointees to government or party positions until such appointments are officially announced over the next several weeks.

via Washington Blade: Obama Names Seven Gays to Transition Team


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