Obama Dispatches Biden to Do Damage Control

Monday, December 22, 2008

President-elect Barack Obama has dispatched Vice President-elect Joe Biden to do damage control on the Rick Warren controversy.

Here’s the exchange from tonight’s CNN’s Larry King Live:

KING: There has been much controversy over the selection of Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at the inaugural. He’s been a guest on this show an awful lot, and he supported California’s Proposition 8, a measure that outlaws gay marriage. He is also very opposed to abortion. I know the gay community in America appears to be up in arms. What do you make of this?

BIDEN: Well, I’d make of it [as] Barack Obama keeping his commitment. Barack Obama said you’ve got to reach out. You’ve got to reach a hand of friendship across the aisle and across philosophies in this country. We can’t continue to be a red and blue country. We can’t be divided like we have been. And he’s made good on his promise. And I would say to the gay and lesbian community, they have nothing to worry about. Barack Obama, every aspect of his life, every aspect of his public life, and every commitment he’s made relating to equality for all people, will be things that he will stick with and that they should view this in the spirit in which he offered the opportunity to — to Mr. Warren.

You know, I almost feel sorry for Joe Biden. I mean, here’s a distinguished Democratic U.S. Senator, who spent much of his 35 year Washington career serving as Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, who opposed the 1991 Gulf War, and who worked as an advocate for important issues as crime prevention, civil liberties, and the creation of the Violence Against Women Act. But now, he”s forced with running behind Barack Obama with a mop and a bucket to clean up after him.

Obama should be ashamed of himself for placing Biden in such a position.

This entry was posted in Barack Obama, Homophobes, Joe Biden, Politics, Religious Right, Rick Warren and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Obama Dispatches Biden to Do Damage Control

  1. proudprogressive says:


    i am as angry as anyone, ok – i posted multiple posts , however Monica Roberts makes some fine points –

    please i have called , written, and will continue to , but how elitest are we , or would it be – to be bashing on Obama so damn soon. Personally i am finding it hard to take – LOOK i am as fuckin militant as the next guy.

    i am prone to despair and basically am a socialist – but please lets give the man a chance – honestly , its not apologetics , its on the media – msnbc , the light is being shined on the cockroach called Warren. Its a damn invocation speech – he is a doughnut eating asshole , who really oughta go cure his own self of gluttony . Lets stop the bashing – breath. please. For the sake of our future legislation –

    Monica Roberts is a Trans woman of color and her post is a good read – i cannot help but feel , that this justifiable outrage , which i feel as well – is a bit over the top. Look the damn hrc wrote letters..but where were they for the Trans folks last yr ? Bump a white guy though and all hell breaks loose.

    i can see shades of Clinton – i can imagine the worst , i say keep writing in , but honestly lets have some balance – we got a marathon ahead of us , not a sprint.

    keep some powder dry – and easy on the guy , he hasn’t even taken the oath of office – and Biden’s words , will be able to come back to him – when legislation is on the floor –

    Read some Howard Zinn – its perversely comforting.

    breath. i know i have to. I am also re registering to socialist on principle , because in american politics the dems the thugs, its all about one business party.

    but in the meantime. Our anger is NOTED. now lets , wait for the legislation, sign up on join the impact, fund our lawyers , the aclu and stop bashing Obama -please , it does give the Puma’s too much satisfaction.

    it will be over , the stupid invocation before we know it..backs will be turned. He can’t revoke it, and likely regrets it – but thats politics. And the publicity warren has gotten has shown him to be VILE and thats a good thing !

  2. Ulysses Washed Ashore says:

    Christopher –

    You’ve earned your metal as an activist to be reckoned with.

    I admire the your tenaciousness and refusal to be forced to sit at the back of the bus. You do the LGBT community proud.

    This entire fracas was created by Barack Obama and he needs to deal with it. Sending Biden out to try and fix things is just passive-aggressive. As others have said, the only “fix” is to uninvite Rick Warren. The clock is ticking.

  3. Deborah says:

    You should be ashamed of yourself for what you just said. Who says Biden is “cleaning up after Obama”. Obama needs no one to clean up after him, he said what he meant and is doing just what he said he would do. He does not believe in gay marriage, just as over half the country doesn’t. That does not mean we shouldn’t have a dialogue about this issue without the name calling. You’re no different from right wingers who refuse to try and look at others points of view. GROW UP!!!!

  4. Adirondacky says:

    This mess has grown into an embarrassment and the irony is, it didn’t need to happen in the first place if Obama had been a little more sensitive to the gay community, women and the progressives and a bit less worried about reaching out to the Bible thumpers.

  5. Big Hank says:

    Hey Deborah – Is screaming “grow up” your favorite refrain? I’ve seen scream this before, as if the words are tattooed on the back of your hands.

    This is precisely what Biden is doing: he’s cleaning up after his boss’ fuck up. Yes, Deborah, King Obama fucked up — BIG TIME.

  6. toddyenglish says:

    But aren’t the bible thumpers apart of America too? Obama’s whole platform was creating unity…

    I hate the Warren choice as much as everyone else; however, this is, perhaps, his little olive branch to that community whom he KNOWS would not support him.

    Sorry…But I don’t give two shits about Warren. However, I’m still an obama supporter and I’ll wait and see what he does over the next four years. If he gets the economy going, precedes to end the war, and then works toward equality for LGBT people then it’s all good…

    I could careless about his extension of an invitation to Warren.

  7. VicoDANIEL says:

    Christopher –

    Great coverage on this subject. Your focus and energy is amazing and you always bring it with a degree of wit and intelligence.

    I wanted to ad to what you have here.

    These contact numbers and email addresses to directly to Obama’s transition team. I’m not supposed to give them out but after Obama asking Rick Warren to be part of the big day, I just don’t care anymore, so here they are.

    1. CALL 202-540-3000 , press “2,” speak with a live person

    2. SEND a letter letting the transition team know what you think here http://change.gov/page/content/contact

    EMAIL Parag Mehta, Obama’s LGBT liaison on the transition team at parag.mehta@ptt.gov.


  8. Brigadoon says:

    Perfect characterization. Biden is like the owner who chases his dog around who isn’t housebroken and must clean up after him each time the dog shits on the floor.

  9. mbmdl says:

    I’ve intentionally stayed away since the primary was decided. I never supported Hillary but my feelings about Obama were lukewarm. I think he will have a successful first term but his early association with Donnie McClurkin. This made me nervous. I’m afraid my doubts were confirmed when Obama invited Rick Warren to perform the invocation. I don’t know why Obama can’t steer clear of these religious people but, at the end of the day, I think Obama will prove to be his own worst enemy.

  10. Randy Arroyo says:

    Vice presidents are often stuck with trying to put a positive spin on something their boss screwed up but I think what is different here is, neither Obama or Biden have been sworn in and Biden is busy with damage control. This doesn’t bode well for the next four years.

  11. Maithri says:

    Peace to you brother,

    If theres anything i’ve learnt from visiting your site its that the people that come here are strong and resilient…. Certainly not victims.

    I trust that nothing Rick warren or any prejudiced person says, will keep any one here from living their lives to the full.

    Peace and power, Maithri

  12. Conejo1982 says:

    Biden will very busy over the next four years.

    If I were a betting man, I would put $100 on Obama sticking his nose in it at least once a quarter. The Rick Warren controversy is only the beginning.

  13. Bruce says:

    Did Obama really think the Gays would not react to Warren? If so, he’s made the biggest miscalculation to date.

    Remember when Obama called the Big 3 automaker CEOs “tone deaf” for flying separately in corporate jets when they first came to D.C. to ask for the bailout?

    Well, Obama has proven he’s tone deaf to gay civil rights, no matter how he’s tried to scramble after inviting Warren. The worst part of it was saying there’s a gay marching band in the parade, and you know how much the gays like parades. It was as patronizing as Warren’s “I gave the Gays donuts.”

    Enough of the “let them eat cake” mentality/morality. Obama blew it with the gay community.

    That said, I’m not giving up on him. Hey, he’s the only President we’ve got for the next 4 years. But I’m holding his feet to the fire now on civil rights. He better put his “fierce advocate for equality for gays” where his mouth is.

    And if the gays want to stop being treated like 2nd class citizens they have to fight for their rights. Take a page out of the black civil rights movement. They fought injustice. We do, too. And it’s great Obama is getting an earful from us.

    Thanks Chris. Keep fighting. Blog. Write letters to Obama at change.gov and to his LGBT liaison. Keep speaking up. We all need to.

  14. Tengrain says:

    Christopher –

    Everytime I think I’m yelling into the void, I need to come by here and see what you are saying. Keeps me sane(ish).



  15. Jim says:

    Talk to the hand, honey. Blah, Blah, Blah.

  16. Bill Perdue says:

    Those who say this is no big deal are shortchanging the GLBT movements as all of Obama’s supporters have done from the beginning (as did those of McCain and Clintons campaigns).

    This isn’t Obama’s first or his only attack on our rights. He’s done it consistently. He didn’t lift a finger when Barney Frank gutted ENDA as a favor to the Chamber of Commerce bigots who make big bucks underpaying us. His lips were zippered when Ted Kennedy and Nancy Pelosi quietly dropped the hate crimes bill after it’d passed both Houses of Congress. (They did it so no one could accuse the Democrats of being soft on child molesters, as Warren describes us, as if we all wore roman collars.)

    He began his campaign in the bible belt with a series of revival meetings featuring anti-GLBT scum like MaryMary and ex-gay bigot KcKulkin. Obama pandered from day one because he wanted to chip away at the Rovian strategy that collared the bigot vote for Bush and was far more successful at it than Bill Clinton. Polling shows that he succeeded, especially after Warren gave him an intro into the southern baptist milieu. When he spoke at Warrens cult center in California shortly before the election he empowered the bigots by telling them that he was a bigot too and giving them the go ahead to vote their bigotry.

    His success insured our failure because the bigots he empowered wiped us out with Prop 8 and 102 and 2 in Arizona and Florida.

    Then he excluded us from any major government appointments and all Cabinet positions.

    Then, likely as not as the result of some deal, Obama invited Warren to speak at the inaugural.

    I counted a lot of mistakes there, and I didn’t even include appointing a cabinet so right wing it’d make Reagan blush, or his total and unflinching support for the multitrillion giveaways to the rich or his commitment to continue the murder of GIs and muslims by enlarging the oil war.

    Biden was picked to be VP because he’s totally on board with the islamophobic war for the oil riches of the muslim Middle East. He and Obama support continued US funding of the ethnic cleansing and apartheid policies committed against Palestinians. Both supported the idea of calling the Iranian Revolutionary guard a terrorist group, opening the way for war. Both support ramping up the murder of civilians in Afghanistan and cross border raids against Syria and Pakistan. McCain has the same politics.

    Biden voted for DOMA. He opposes same sex marriage and GLBT equality. He and Obama are bigots. McCain has the same politics.

    Biden is the Senator from BoA who wrote the bankruptcy bill allowing credit cardsharks to take bigger bites from working people and consumers, many of whom pay medical bills with their plastic because Biden and Obama and the Clintons oppose socialized medicine. McCain has the same politics.

    People who voted Democrat expecting real change got punked just as much as if they’d vote for McCain. Now all we have to do is organize when the hope turns to rage as it inevitably will.

  17. Bill Perdue says:

    proudprogressive – I can’t imagine why you’d be “prone to despair” at a time when the nation is entering a period that’ll be marked by Obama’s attempts to win an unwinnable racist war against muslim and when the economy has struck an iceberg and is listing 90%.

    Obama has no solutions that will work.

    Working people, the antiwar movment, minority communities and the LGBT communities are going to be galzanized by the war, unchecked bigotry and the end of prosperity.

    At the same time the Republicans and Democrats have demonstrated their total imcompetence. Over and over and over.

    What exactly is there to be despondent about?

  18. Vicodaniel…thanks for the contact info. My emails have been sent regarding how I feel as well. Christopher you never cease to amaze me with your blog. While we may not always agree 100 percent you are my hero and I have nothing but tremendous respect for you. Where you find some of this stuff never ceases to amaze me.

  19. Aunt Peg says:

    What a great, informative and insightful post.

    I think you nailed it, Christopher. Damage control is exactly what we’re seeing, otherwise Biden would be enjoying the Christmas holiday with his family.

  20. libhomo says:

    I find it odd that some of Obama’s hetero supporters are stupid enough to expect queers to shut up about this.

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