HOUSTON–Maybe he threw in the phrase to show some good old fashion Texas courtesy, but San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom’s comments about Barack Obama yesterday, didn’t exactly ring with high esteem.
In fact, after talking with the mayor for ten minutes before his appearance at the Stonewall Democrats rally for Clinton yesterday, I couldn’t help but get the feeling that “respect” isn’t exactly what Newsom feels towards the senator.
When I asked him about Clinton’s policies regarding Transgenders, the mayor responded by shifting the blame, saying, “I was very disappointed with a lot of democrats, including Barack, who hasn’t talked much about the transgender community either, with all due respect.”
Here was the kicker-after mentioning that Clinton has “been at these issues a lot longer,” Newsom continued, “I got to tell you I was very disappointed when Barack Obama said he didn’t see any difference between civil union and marriage…to me it was very hurtful particularly coming from someone in the African American community who understands separate is not equal.”
The mayor continued, “It only just reinforced my own experiences on these issues.”
Whether he was referring to the general abandonment of the Democratic Party after his controversial endorsement of gay-marriage in San Francisco four years ago, or a direct blow towards Obama, is up to interpretation.
In 2004, during his campaign for the U.S. Senate, Obama allegedly snubbed Newsom in his home city of San Francisco. While at the actual event yesterday the mayor did not mention Obama directly, he did allude to the fact that Clinton was the only one who stood by him during this time.
Newsom went on to compare Obama to John McCain and other Republicans-again, “with all due respect.”
“Look [Obama’s] so much better than John McCain, so much better than most of the Republicans,” he said, “So I’m proud to embrace him as an alternative to Hillary Clinton.”
Newsom’s support for Clinton comes largely from her ability to make change. “With her it’s always been about making change, that’s why she’s been so controversial,” he said. “They say dogs don’t bark at parked cars.”
After Newsom’s trip to the Lone Star State to campaign on behalf of Clinton, it looks like cars in motion stick together.
The mayor concluded, “People don’t get upset about people who aren’t about change, they get upset about people who are about change.” (That and people who snub them at fundraising events.)
For more on the ground Texas coverage check out seattlepoliticore.org