Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients announced

Billie Jean King, 2009 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient
I don’t know how many of you remember Former President Bush’s picks, but Obama’s have a significantly different tenor.
A refresher of Bush’s picks from the AP (which included the anti-abortion advocate Henry Hyde in 2008):

Though recipients are typically applauded, President George W. Bush’s decision in 2004 to award them to three people central to his early Iraq policy were controversial.
Bush awarded medals to former CIA Director George Tenet, former Iraq administrator L. Paul Bremer and retired Gen. Tommy Franks. He was especially criticized for including Tenet, who came under fire for intelligence failures leading up to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and the Iraq war.

Among the 16 awardees announced by the White House today are Senator Edward Kennedy, Nancy Brinker, founder of Race for the Cure, Billie Jean King, well-known tennis player and first openly gay sports figure and Harvey Milk, the first openly gay elected mayor. Also included was the first female President of Ireland, Mary Robinson.
You can see the full list here.

Join the Conversation

  • Handprinted

    Thanks for the symbolic nod, Mr. President, but could we please have our rights now?

  • Sara Pulis

    Harvey Milk wasn’t mayor, Moscone was the mayor all throughout Milk’s tragically short tenure. He was the first openly gay man elected to public office.

  • lefthandedpenguin

    Harvey Milk was never, George Moscone (the man who killed him) was. ‘Mayor of Castro Street’ was just a nickname. And he was actually the 5th openly gay person to be elected to a public office. Elaine Noble was the first and she outdates him by three years.

  • jellyleelips

    Yeah, I like all that Obama has done to honor diversity and the contributions of non-whites, non-males, and non-heterosexuals, but could he please stop paying lip service and try to give all of us rights on a policy level?
    I guess it’s better than George W. “We’re in Afghanistan for Women’s Rights” Bush.

  • 76cents

    Mary Robinson is a really cool woman with some amazing achievements. I met her at the opening of a Rape Crisis Center and could barely talk to her as I had completely lost my voice. The reason why? Protesting the day before, over overcrowding in our college and demanding government action. Happy Days…..
    Even nondescript soccer moms have stories:)

  • oxygengrrl

    Moscone didn’t kill Milk. He and Milk were both shot and killed by Dan White.