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Chief political reporter David Postman explores state, regional and national politics.

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March 4, 2008 11:17 AM

S.F. mayor in Texas backs Clinton, "disappointed" in Obama

Posted by David Postman

This report is by Mehgan Sellers, a University of Washington student who, along with other members of professor David Domke's blogging class, is filing reports from Texas on today's key primary there.

HOUSTON-San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom told me on Saturday that Clinton has “been at [GLBT] issues a lot longer.”

Talking with the mayor for ten minutes before his appearance at the Stonewall Democrats rally for Clinton that day, he said, “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 same-sex 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.

“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.”

The mayor was positive about Clinton's chances of winning both Texas and Ohio today, saying "She's formidable in these two states."

"If she pulls these two states...the winds behind her and I think she's going to be unbeatable," he said. "A lot of folks are writing her obituary...[they] are being real presumptuous."

Newsom said these people need to look back in history at what happened after Iowa.

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