Bill Clinton says it's "sad" that Arthur Finkelstein, a
Republican political consultant who recently married his
male partner, is raising funds to defeat Sen. Hillary Rodham
Clinton. But a Finkelstein associate says there's nothing
contradictory about being gay and Republican. Clinton said
Monday there might be "some sort of self-loathing" going on
with Finkelstein, the longtime Republican operative who
directed the election campaigns of such antigay lawmakers as
Jesse Helms and helped George Pataki unseat Democrat Mario
Cuomo for governor of New York State in 1994.
Finkelstein told The New York Times last week
that he had married his partner of 40 years in
Massachusetts, saying he believes "visitation rights, health
care benefits, and other human relationship contracts that
are taken for granted by all married people should be
available to partners." The marriage took place in December.
The national Republican Party has taken an aggressive stance
against same-sex marriage, with President George W. Bush
endorsing a U.S. constitutional ban on such unions.
Finkelstein is lining up donors to help raise $10
million for a "Stop Her Now" committee to defeat the
senator's 2006 reelection effort. New York magazine
first reported Finkelstein's "Stop Her Now" plan in
February, and a Republican operative speaking on condition
of anonymity confirmed the account to the Associated Press
at the time. At a news conference Monday about his
foundation's AIDS initiatives, the former president was
asked whether the anti-Hillary efforts made him angry.
"Actually, I was sort of sad when I read it," Clinton said.
"I thought one of two things. Either this guy believes his
party is not serious and is totally Machiavellian in its
position, or you know, as David Brock said in his great book
Blinded by the Right, there's some sort of
self-loathing or something. I was more sad for him."
In the book Clinton was referring to, the formerly
conservative Brock says that when he attacked the Left he
was expressing his own self-hatred for being gay.
Finkelstein did not return a call seeking comment. Kieran
Mahoney, a Republican consultant who has worked with
Finkelstein, said Clinton was "engaging in pretty basic
stereotyping by suggesting that because somebody's gay they
have to be a Democrat."
Asked about his wife's possible presidential
ambitions, Clinton said, "Whatever she wants to do, I'm for
her, but we should deal with the matters at hand," referring
to issues before Congress and her reelection plans. (AP)
gay Republican consultant as "self-loathing"