I can’t say I saw this coming, especially from Varilek, a candidate backed by Daschle’s former campaign manager Steve Hildebrand who was once at odds with Herseth Sandlin for her position on gay marriage.
At one time, Hildebrand said he “advised” Herseth Sandlin “on an informal basis” and even donated $500 to her campaign. But when she came on out in favor of a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, Hildebrand asked for his money back. Hildebrand, who is gay, is the principal in Hildebrand Strategies, political consulting firm based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Varilek was quoted in the Argus as saying:
?I don?t agree with the president?s new position,? Varilek said, adding that he doesn?t support efforts to redefine ?traditional marriage.?
I wonder if Hildebrand is ready to jump off the Varilek train?
But Steve Hildebrand, President Obama?s former deputy campaign manager and a supporter of same-sex marriage, said he was surprised by Varilek?s position on the issue. Hildebrand was an early supporter of Varilek, helping to launch a Draft Matt Varilek page on Facebook last year.
Hildebrand, who is gay, said the two had not talked about the issue in a year.
?I?m disappointed in Matt Varilek?s position,? he said.
Maybe even more surprising to me is what SDDP Chairman Ben Nesselhuf said:
?We?re not going to get distracted by those issues at the periphery that, at the end of the day, don?t matter to a lot of South Dakotans,? Nesselhuf said.
So much for the standard liberal belief that it’s a civil liberties issue and fundamental human right. Or as Obama said: “It’s the right thing to do.” Evidently it’s a peripheral issue that doesn’t matter…