In a forum sponsored by the Human Rights Campaign in Los Angeles (and broadcast live to a cable television audience on LOGO), the six Democratic presidential candidates who participated made common cause with the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities while unevenly grappling with the issue most important to those communities same-sex marriage.
Emotional (in a good way), bookish (again, in a good way) and apparently at ease, Hillary Clinton answered even the hardest questions engagingly. Called her opposition to same-sex marriage "personal" without the defensiveness that Obama, Edwards and Richardson all displayed. Attuned to her audience, she bashed George Bush, Karl Rove and Newt Gingrich, pointed out the first Marine wounded in Iraq sitting in the crowd and, rather than responding strictly to the panelists, addressed the full room with major doses of Clintonesque eye contact. Was focused and empathetic during an emotional exchange with questioner/rocker Melissa Etheridge about the Clinton administration's incomplete efforts on homosexual rights. Remains the nomination front runner with another strong performance.
By Mark Halperin
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