Hardball | March 18, 2013
>>> secretary of state hillary clinton ventured back into politics today when she announced her support for gay marriage in a video for the human rights campaign . let's watch.
>> lgbt americans are our colleagues, our teachers, our soldiers, our friends, our loved ones. and they are full and equal citizens and deserve the rights of citizenship. that includes marriage. that's why i support marriage for lesbian and gay couples. i support it personally and as a matter of policy and law. embedded in a broader effort to advance equality and opportunity for lgbt americans and all americans .
>> well, secretary clinton 's support came not long after an op-ped from former president bill clinton backing an overturn of the defense of marriage act . a few days before the supreme court will look at both doma, defense of marriage act , and california's prop 8. it also puts her in line with top democrats heavily weighing 2016 bids, of course. could this mean a move for her already, eventual candidacy? chad griffin, president of human rights campaign , and joel walsh editor at large for "salon" and msnbc political analyst and laughing, and joyously involved in fascinatine inine ining piece. hillary clinton has come forward in a very well-produced video. very well done. and i listened to it all today and it's well done. here's why question. how did it happen? we were talking, the producers and i, when is she going to do it, how is she going to do it?
>> i knew the clint nts for a long time. i grew up in arkansas. over the last few years every chance i had when i was around people in leadership positions, i urged them to fully evolve and come out in support of marriage equali equality. that includes former secretary clinton sometime s clint clinton . sometimes in the last ten days or so she reached out to do this video as part of a series the human rights campaign has.
>> who did she call?
>> she personally called you?
>> yes. i had the happenstance of walking on the amtrak train and former secretary clinton was seated there. she was so excited.
>> was this the fast train or slow train ?
>> this was the fast train . we were able to talk about how excited she was to do this. and she actually did it over the weekend on saturday. and then we released it, as you know, to our 1.35 million members today.
>> it had to be.
>> let me go back to joan . what i'm fascinated by is the doppelganger. laura bush a week or so ago was featured in a big ad , a group you support for marriage equali equality, she was listed as one of the four -- in the upper right side -- a major figure along with colin powell , an e dorser of marriage equality . later that afternoon around 5:00 eastern, she withdrew her name from it and said you can't use my image, which she can't -- it's a fact, so they can't say it wasn't true. i find this still a partisan issue. i find it something that's troubling for the republicans and a big plus for the democrats. i think they've really chosen sides. your thought on this issue of equality?
>> i agree. i think this is a foundational issue that will divide the two parties. i think secretary clinton getting out there and doing this now makes it clear, i don't think there could be anybody running in the 16th primary who don't support marriage rights. it feels to me like that would be a really dangerous place to be. and so i think it's significant that chad says she reached out to him. this is really her first political act. now that she's allowed to be political again. and i think it is saying that we know that we're the party that supports marriage rights, some of us came to it a little bit later than maybe we should have. but we're coming to it firmly. i think her position sounds like she may even be beyond president obama 's position, and this is --
>> how so? how so, joan ?
>> you know, i think he's left it that he's comfortable leaving it at the state level. she seems to come out and go beyond it that it's just a basic right. you know, i would want to follow-up on that, but it's a very, very strong statement with no caveats or quibbles. and, you know, god bless rob portman . he's come out for it on behalf of his son and other gay people . but this is an issue where the republican party is going to drag its heels. john boehner feels like it's a good idea to come out and say, i wouldn't support gay marriage even if i had a gay son which is so unbelievable.
>> let's get a response to that. i think that's interesting. is it becoming partisan? meaning that you expect the republicans will not change their platform between now and then, next time, for president?
>> no. i actually am optimistic they will, chris . in fact, the postmortem that came out today from the republican party mentioned four times that they have got to start including the postmortem that came out today from the republican party mentioned four times that they have got to start including gay people in the party platform .
>> wait a minute. what are the words? the words matter. what do you mean, including them in the platform?
>> they said that they're -- oh, that's right, no, the platform actually is terrible, as it relates to lgbt people , but the report that came out today used the position that they have against lgbt people as one of the reasons why they did so poorly this past election.
>> it has to be followed up with actual action.
>> i see all this -- you're concerned about it, obviously concerned about others. not just marriage equality as an issue for the gay community , lgbt community . when they say things, we want do reach out to african- americans . their way of reaching out is to stop them from voting. people are not stupid. if your policy is still anti a group, they're not going to vote for you. let's take a look at this, the way she ends this. secretary clinton . very well written, very well put together. let's talk about it as an opening for the 2016 presidential bid. i really did think it was in the best sense political.
>> for those of us who lived through the long years of the civil rights and women's rights movements, the speed with which more and more people have come to embrace the dignity and equality of lgbt americans has been inspiring. we see it all around us every day in major cultural statements and in quiet family moments. but the journey is far from over, and, therefore, we must keep working to make our country freer and fairer and to continue to inspire the faith the world puts in our leadership. in doing so, we will keep moving closer and closer to that more perfect union promised to us all.
>> we. chad. we.
>> look, chris --
>> is she running for president?
>> she did not tell me. we didn't talk about that. the " washington post " came out with a poll today that shows that 58% of americans support marriage equality . 81% of people under the age of 30. chris , 81% of people in this country don't agree on anything these days. 81% of people under the age of 30. i think it's going to become increasingly difficult for anyone of either party to run for public office if they're anti-gay and hold anti-gay positions and do not embrace freedom and equality.
>> you're making a push here, but i'll make a prediction. the next presidential election , the republican party platform will oppose gay marriage .
>> i'll take that back.
>> how much? no, i'm just kidding.
>> a great dinner, chris .
>> i can't bet. i always like to bet in my brain, though. joan , do you think the republicans will get on board? i think they'll be slow to get on. i think they'll fall back to the states rights position, myself. that's their usual fall position.
>> yeah, they may try to have nicer language. you know, this rnc report today talked about inclusion and tolerance, but we're not talking about tolerance in the democratic party anymore. we're talking about full partnership and equal rights . and i have to say, chris , today watching that video was the first time that i really felt a twinge in my gut like, i think she's going to do this. not a prediction, i have no inside information.
>> just my --
>> let me tell you why you might be right. when she announced for president, when she ran against obama, what, five years ago, six years ago, she opened up with a videotape.
>> with a video. it was like an echo of that.
>> just like this.
>> time will tell.
>> thank you, chad. you're such a pol, chad, such a politician. joan walsh , as always.
>>> up next, notice anything familiar about this guy? he's a character who plays satan in a new history channel series "the bible." a lot of people think he looks like the president. you decide. a lot of people around here. i was a little slow on that. this is "hardball," the place for politics. want