Michael Crawford

New Gay Appointments to the Obama Administration

Filed By Michael Crawford | January 10, 2009 10:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: gay leaders, gays and Obama, Obama appointments

Two more openly gay people have been appointed to positions within the Obama administration bringing the number gay appointees to four.

Fred Hochberg has been appointed chair of the Export-Import Bank of the U.S. Hochberg is the former Dean of the Milano New School for Management and Urban Policy. He served as deputy then acting administrator of the Small Business Administration (SBA) under President Bill Clinton.

The Export-Import Bank is the serves as the official export credit agency of the United States, helping to finance the export of U.S. goods and services to international markets.

Brian Bond, longtime gay Democratic Party operative and Obama campaign official, is expected to be named as deputy director of the White House Office of Public Liaison. Bond is a former executive director of the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund

He will have managerial and strategic responsibilities for the entire Public Liaison office as well as function as the point person on LGBT issues. The liaison office is tasked with communicating and promoting presidential policies to individual constituency groups and serving as a sounding board for the president on policies that affect certain interest groups.

Other gay appointees are Brad Kiley as Director of the Office of Management and Administration and Nancy Sutley to head the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

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But, everyone's saying that Obama is going to fuck over LGBT people and has proven he really don't like us. Gee. I'm so confused. I guess these new appointees is proof these naysayers are right. The next "prediction" from those without hope is that he'll say that San Francisco has weapons of mass gayness and has to send in the gay Mafia. I wonder how many more times he'll prove he hates us?

Once more for those who refuse because of their game playing to get it, this is not about what we think of Obama. This is about politics, and how of politics is played. Obama is neither our enemy or friend. We need to keep pressure on him because we achieve nothing by being silent. Every time I see a post like yourself somewhere I am going to remind you that is politics and not about whether one likes someone or not. Until you get this, you will never understand any of the strategies and tactics being advocated because they don't fit into your version of "but he's our friend." he's a politician. We need to realize that. Regardless of what he feels personally, he will do whatever will help him politically. Period. These actions that you are lauding are in fact a product of the very public criticism of Obama that you are trying to disparage.

David Goroff | January 10, 2009 12:06 PM

Obama has made several third and fourth tier appointments of lgbt people thus far. There is no reason why an lgbt cabinet member could not have been named. There plainly are qualified lgbt individuals. Lgbt voters are a key part of the Democratic base and voted overwhelmingly for Obama ,yet are taken for granted. The result is that if you are looking for a role model for gay youth in the executive branch you have the head of the Export-Import Bank. Obama has no more openly lgbt appointees than Clinton had 16 years ago (and perhaps fewer) (Even Hochberg is a rehash and was previously Clinton's head of the Small Business Administration). Even Bush II had an openly gay appointee as his Aids Czar. I agree with Monica that Obama's actions so far, including the kind of appointments he is making, are proof of what the lgbt community can expect from this administration. I just draw far less comfort from that fact than she does.

David -
You are offering legitimate opinion of this post while Monica just wants to make the same weak point over and over again.
She has become a one note sheet of fly paper. Don't land there.

And, I suppose "Warren! Warren! Warren!" is more than one note? Plaaaaleeeez! (I was being sarcastic in my previous comment, in case people missed that.)

Michael Crawford Michael Crawford | January 11, 2009 1:00 AM


President-elect Obama was elected to run the country not to provide role models for LGBT youth. To judge his performance based on whether or not he has provided role models for LGBT young people makes no sense.

Keep in mind that are literally thousands of presidential appointments and we are only at the beginning. There will be more appointments of openly LGBT people.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | January 10, 2009 9:09 PM

Oh, be still my heart!! Another bulletin from the front showing the victorious armies of Obamadolators leaping from the trenches to vanquish bigots. It means… well gosh, exactly what does it mean?

Does it mean that The Obama Himself is no longer a superstition driven bigot opposed to same sex marriage who validated Yes on 8's disgusting victory by inviting Warren to speak? Does it mean that unlike Clinton He'll keep his promises? Does it mean that your vote wasn’t wasted on a Hustler trained in politics by the Chicago Machine?

No. It means nothing of the kind. In fact "It is a tale told by a HRC graduate, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” With apologies to the Bard.

When you actually have some news, Michael, let us know. This isn't news and it's not important. In fact it goes a long way to confirm our analysis about the attitudes of the bigot you and other Democrats support without reservation.

What is important is that He appointed an open bigot, Tim Kaine to run the DNC (as if Leah Daughty wasn't bgad enough). He chose a rancid racist, Lawrence Summers, who says the lives or working people in overexploited parts of the world are worthless, to craft His economic policies. And He appointed Hillary Clinton, a rabid pro zionist war hawk to run State. And that He’s retaining the war criminal Robert Gates to run the war department. And He pals around with other war criminals like Colin Powell Powell and bigots like Sam Nunn.

Please, Michael, do a piece on those appointments because they determine the basic direction of His administration.

Warren is many notes, Monica, the most recent one being his unqualified support for an Ugandan witch-hunter trying to break up secret Satanic covens meeting to plot blood rituals under Lake Victoria and who advocates the imprisonment of all LGBT's

So let's see:
Warren whitewashes Akinola's massacre of Islamics and supports his anti-gay laws that elslave our brothers and sisters there

Warren advocates international crimes against foreign heads of state

Warren advocates for theocracy(read his book)

Warren supports the witchhunter who wants to lock us all up.

and of course, the prop 8 issue and Warren...

This teaches us something about Obama; he finds it hard to admit error.

Hochberg ought to be an interesting appointment, though he lacks banking and currency experience on the international stage. Still, he might do well with this...

I am linking here to a diary by Kos over at Daily Kos for the non-political who on your site continue to not understand politics. They think the public action by gay advocates is the "wrong" thing, but in fact, it is the playing of politics and being savvy that's producing the results we are seeing such as the reaffirmation of repealing DADT without prompting this week. Why are they doing that? Kos's diary on Warren sums it up.

I just think a lot of gay people are not capable here of grasping politics. I wish I were wrong, but , if,I see one more comment saying "oh see, this proves you did not need to say anything to Obama" then I will scream. It's precisely to achieve our goals that we need to keep pressure on him.

Now, letting Kos (an ardent Obama supporter) say it for me:

But let me add this to John -- Obama wouldn't be out there making perhaps the strongest statement in support of gays and lesbians by a president (though he's still not technically one, I know) if it wasn't for the sturm and drang this choice generated. It is precisely this backlash that has forced Obama to clearly affirm his commitment to equality. And it will be continued pressure that will force him to do the right thing on the issue.

If we shut up, he'll take the path of least resistance. And that path of least resistance is kowtowing to the conservative media, the clueless punditocracy, and bigots like Warren.


I mentioned here before I have a friend who works on the hill. He constantly makes this point to me. If you do not speak up, no one will give you anything in politics. This is the nature of the game. What I am starting to realize is a lot of gays don't know how to play politics. This is why we are so far behind in trying to accomplish our goals versus other groups. We simply don't understand how to wage the battle. Well, a lot of us anyway. Some of us get it.

Michael Crawford Michael Crawford | January 11, 2009 1:10 AM


Its important not just to put pressure on elected officials, but to know how to when and how to effectively put pressure on them.

Too many think that yelling and screaming is all that's necessary. Its the carrot and the stick that makes effective political advocacy.

And what was the carrot that enticed Obama to choose gays in these posts?

What is this carrot we will use to get our way while we are not employing the stick in order to avoid seeming...impatient?

do tell.

We have no carrot to offer, insufficient numnbers, a string of recent political defeats from doing it "the nice way"

Radicalism on our part IS making change in perceptions.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | January 11, 2009 3:05 AM

There have always been a lot of Gay people serving in government and military, just not openly so. They have made a positive difference if you debit out Hoover. There are many more still who choose for convenience to be covert. Being openly Gay and in our government is a great improvement that we should celebrate as we appreciate their example.

Imagine Sumner Wells, homosexual under secretary of State, who was blackmailed into resigning by political rivals just because he was Gay. Roosevelt supported him and considered him a friend, but had no choice in 1943 but to accept his resignation. Years after the fact, despite his service, the pulp media of the time undertook to scandalize his life with untruths.


We have come a long way baby! If you doubt it read the above.

I am not a Political insider but the impression I have gotten from these appointments is that they are very peripheral and quite token in the over view of the Power Play, sort of like Chief Dog Catcher.

The quote below sums up my perspective.

Desmond Tutu

I don't know why the quote was omitted from my post. Here is its again.


Desmond Tutu