After fending off allegations that he possessed child pornography and being embarrassed by a crass YouTube video showing him on a gay web site, New Hampshire Democratic power broker, Ray Buckley, has been elected chairman of the party by fellow Democrats.
The election followed an historical write-in campaign in which state Democrats amended party rules to allow the write-in. Buckley, 47, replaces outgoing chair, Kathy Sullivan.
New Hampshire Congressman Paul Hodes, who had earlier withdrawn his support for Buckley after seeing the YouTube video, was characterized in the AP story as “making amends” with Buckley, who is openly gay.
”I probably was uncharacteristically unartful or undiplomatic in the way I said what I said, but I felt it was important,” Hodes said.
Despite his election, it remains to be seen if Democratic presidential candidates will seek or even want Buckley’s endorsement. Although some liberals and gay rights activists in the state did not find the video offensive, others think it could be potentially damaging to any presidential candidate who is closely associated with Buckley.
Some fear that in the hands of groups like the “Swift Boat” vets or Republican campaign operatives, the video could be lethal to a Democratic nominee. Already far right bloggers are castigating Hillary Clinton just for congratulating Buckley for surviving the child porn accusations.