September 05 2003 12:00 AM ET
Gay rights activist launches "Hillary for President" campaign
A longtime gay rights activist is refusing to take no for an answer from New York Democratic senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. Robert Kunst, a Florida activist who first became known for his 1977 battle against former beauty queen Anita Bryant's effort to foil a Florida antidiscrimination initiative, has launched a grassroots campaign on a Web site--www.hillarynow.com--to convince Clinton to enter the Democratic presidential sweepstakes. According to Newsday, Clinton told a crowd at the West Indian American Day parade in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Monday that running for president is "something I am not going to do, but it's obviously a huge issue on everybody's mind." Last Friday, at the New York State Fair, she said, "I am absolutely ruling it out."
Kunst said that Clinton is the only Democrat who is capable of defeating George W. Bush and that the others are too timid. "We're on to something," he said, adding he would savor a grassroots effort from Florida bringing rise to Bush's defeat. He contends Bush stole the 2000 election. Without Clinton, he said, "Bush gets it by default because there is no one here to take him on." On the Web site he urges visitors to sign a "draft Clinton" petition. Kunst predicts the Democratic National Convention, slated for July, will be deadlocked and hopes his drive will galvanize pressure to draft Clinton.