The snapshot coverage of the Bill and Hillary media blitz last week might make one believe they didn’t say anything substantive or serious in their talk-show appearances. But Hillary’s appearance on the September 4 season premiere of the Ellen De Generes talk show featured the Democratic front-runner pledging her eagerness to sign off on nearly the entire gay-left political agenda when she becomes the president. Hillary dodged Ellen’s question if a Democratic candidate could openly support "gay marriage" and win, but touted her support for a list of gay agenda items.
While reporters like NBC’s Andrea Mitchell only showed her joking with coffee-shop customers about how much housework Bill Clinton does, Hillary stressed that the concepts of marriage and family should be redefined with as much elasticity as people can muster: "You know, Ellen, we need to really open the door for people to define their relationships in a way that we can recognize and acknowledge."
The interview began with a light turn, as Hillary presented Ellen with gifts if she were to run for president, including a T-shirt that read "Ellen-Hillary 2008," and on the back "DeGeneres-Clinton." After a commercial break, the discussion about the gay agenda began as Ellen cracked wise about being gay – Hillary pretended to be shocked at the news for comic effect – and Ellen subtly made fun of Senator Larry Craig for denying he’s gay. Then she grew serious:
ELLEN: It’s important to me to be able to commit to someone that I love and to have the same benefits, the same rights. If something should happen to me, Portia’s [her lover Portia de Rossi] taken care of. People who are gay care about that. You support civil unions.
HILLARY: I do.
ELLEN: But not gay marriage.
HILLARY: Uh huh.
ELLEN: And uh, why?
HILLARY: Well, I’m very much in favor of civil unions with full equality of benefits, and I want to see that developed as we move forward. I want to make that happen with federal benefits. There are a lot of federal benefits that people in long-term committed relationships don’t have access to, and I wanna make that happen. So I consider that this issue is one on where we can agree on equality of benefits, and move toward that.
And then we have a lot of other work to do. I’m very much in favor of ending Don’t Ask Don’t Tell [policy on gays in the military], because I don’t think it’s worked. It has driven a lot of people out of our military, [applause] and you know, other countries have gone much further – Israel, Great Britain, and others – and have had great success with letting people serve openly. If you are willing to serve your country and you’re a patriot, you ought to be permitted to do that without lying about who you are. I’m in favor of that. I want to end discrimination against gays and lesbians [the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, or ENDA]. We haven’t gotten that passed yet.
ELLEN: Do you think it would be possible for someone to run and to openly say I support gay marriage, and win? Do think that’s even possible?
HILLARY: You know, I don’t know. I mean, I had the same position for years, and so I don’t know what somebody could or couldn’t do. But I’ve always believed that marriage should be left to the states. Because that’s where it’s always been. States have determined the age of marriage, the conditions, and over time, we’ve gotten rid of a lot of the discrimination that used to exist in marriage laws, and that’s now happening. People are making decisions – civil unions, marriage. They’re deciding in the states, and I think that’s the appropriate place for this to be.
ELLEN: I think that’s really important. I mean, it’s close to me, all of it’s close to me. I mean all of it really matters. I live in this world just like everybody else but those things matter a great deal to me. So –
HILLARY: Well, you know, Ellen, we need to really open the door for people to define their relationships in a way that we can recognize and acknowledge.
ELLEN: Well, it gets rid of the shame, and it gets rid of behavior that we see happening all the time when people are so ashamed they do things that are – sad.
HILLARY: That’s exactly right.
ELLEN: Really, really sad.
HILLARY: That’s exactly right.
ELLEN: It’s all about shame.
HILLARY: It is.
From there Ellen took Hillary to a local coffee shop to interview voters, and that was the part most pundits noticed. But even there, in a clip not noticed by the Andrea Mitchells of the world, Hillary tried to talk a loosely affiliated Republican woman to vote for her by sounding like Ross Perot:
We’ve got to get over a lot of the partisanship and the divisiveness we’ve had in the country because we have a lot of big problems to solve, and we need to just roll up our sleeves and work together.
Should voters be led to believe that Hillary Clinton, the legendary spinner of Vast Right Wing Conspiracies, is utterly free of divisive partisanship?
Finally, it was hard to ignore the music that accompanied Senator Clinton as she came into the studio. It was the old song "Right Here, Right Now" by Jesus Jones, with its hopeful lyrics about "watching the world wake up from history."