By Sam Stein and Jennifer Bendery
WASHINGTON — Hillary Clinton’s interview last week on National Public Radio drew heavy interest, and no shortage of pre-2016 theatrics, for her sharp exchange on the issue of same-sex marriage.
Terry Gross, the host of “Fresh Air,” pressed the former secretary of state on when she changed her mind and decided gay couples have a right to legally wed — something she publicly opposed until leaving the Obama administration last year. When Clinton gave a vague answer, Gross persisted, wondering if Clinton had always supported the rights of same-sex couples, even when her public position was otherwise.
But for all the ink spent writing about the tone of the exchange, the substance of Clinton’s response was what spurred attention and, in some corners of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender community, concern. Speaking about her own evolution on gay marriage, Clinton suggested the issue should be resolved at the state level instead of in federal courts.
“So, for me, marriage had always been a matter left to the states,” Clinton said. “And in many of the conversations that I and my colleagues and supporters had, I fully endorse the efforts by activists who work state by state, and in fact that is what is working.”
“We are at a point now where equality, including marriage equality, in our country, is solidly established,” Clinton added later. “Although there will be places … Texas, just to name one, where that is still going to be an ongoing struggle.”
There is a good reason why Mrs. Clinton was passed over by the voters in 2007, and it is that she was to the right of a majority of Democratic voters then on many issues.
When probed, vigorously, by Terry Gross, it became apparent that Clinton remains to the right of most voters now on same-sex marriage. States’ rights is a notion that most of us associate with the far right. Yet, Mrs. Clinton had no problem spelling out views that are, to put it kindly, outdated.
The question I ask myself is who among the press will have the presence of mind to question Mrs. Clinton on her approach to the underlying philosophies to many of the issues of the day?
How would she approach banking reform?
How would she approach trade?
How would she approach tax reform?
Would she apply the same “states’ rights” approach to Voter ID and Affirmative Action? If not, why not?
These are very serious questions about the beliefs of someone who is presumed to have the Democratic party nomination locked up, when she shouldn’t have it this time around, either.
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Curated from www.huffingtonpost.com