Election 2008: Advocate Coverage of the Iowa Caucus

Meet R.J. Droll, a Biden supporter and the LGBT caucuser whom we will follow live tonight as he navigates his way through an Iowa caucus for the very first time.

BY Kerry Eleveld

January 03 2008 1:00 AM ET

Caucusgoer: R.J. Droll

Age: 31

Candidate: Joe Biden

Hometown: Des Moines

First-time Caucuser?: Yes.

Candidate in 2004: Gen. Wesley Clark, but he
didn’t run in the ’04 caucus.

Why Biden?

“I’m not a single-issue voter,” says
Droll, “and he’s very astute about the
issues going on in the Middle East. He actually had a plan
for getting out of Iraq long before it was en vogue to
have a plan.”

Droll also likes
the fact the Biden coauthored the Federal Violent Crimes
Control and Law Enforcement and the Violence Against Women
Act. “That lets me know that he’s going
to be looking out for people who aren’t just
white heterosexual males,” he says. “He also
has 24 years of experience.”

“He may be
polling in the single digits, but you never know. The night
before the caucus in 2004, we were all saying, ‘John
Kerry who?’ So you really don’t
know.”

Second Choice? (In the Iowa Democratic caucus,
if your candidate does not win the support of at least 15%
of the people at your caucus site, he or she is
not considered “viable,” and you must
choose another candidate.)

Droll is in the
unusual position of backing Gov. Bill Richardson as a
second choice, who also might be not viable. In that case,
he would be back to Sen. Hillary Clinton, which
is exactly where he was at the beginning.

“This is
where I met and decided to support Senator Biden,”
says Droll, referring to the Ritual Café, the
lesbian-owned and operated gathering spot in downtown
Des Moines where we were seated. “We sat here for 45
minutes to an hour -- no press, no pressure. Up until then,
I started as a Hillary supporter.”

Gay Marriage

Biden
doesn’t support same-sex marriage, but Droll liked
the honesty with which he approached the subject
during that hour-long conversation. “When he
explained his opinion on gay marriage, he was coming at it
from his heart -- not from necessarily what we wanted
to hear,” Droll says. “He said the
nation just isn’t ready for marriage in 2008. He
supports equal rights for everyone -- he thinks
everyone should have the same rights. If he’s
willing to support that, that would set us on the right
path.”

Tags: Politics

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