The White House recently held a meeting with a group of LGBT reporters and bloggers in order to reassure them that the administration is prioritizing their concerns. Pam Spaulding was there:
An answer that raised eyebrows at the table was why there wasn't a single, high-level policy point person who has LGBT issues as a responsibility. [Melody] Barnes said that she, Rahm Emanuel, Jim Messina, Valerie Jarrett care deeply about our issues (!) and that Emanuel was the one who pushed for hospital visitation. Well, I can say that since Obama's been in office, none of these people, or even Brian Bond, has had any roundtable discussions with LGBT media or citizen journalists to ensure your questions got in the queue.
I'm more sympathetic than Pam to the idea that the administration faces serious institutional barriers to its LGBT-rights agenda -- we are, after all, still waiting for an unemployment-benefits extension -- and I think that the administration has taken some important steps in terms of what it can do without Congress. But I also think some better base management might have gone a long way toward stemming liberal disappointment with the administration.
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