We were perusing the New York Times on Sunday and came upon a major story in the Style section about White House social secretary Jeremy Bernard, who, according to all reports, is doing a bang-up job for President Barack Obama.

Bernard made major news last year when he became the first openly gay man to get the social secretary gig, but we got to know him four years ago when he was a Los Angeles-based fund raiser for the Obama campaign. Guess what? He excelled at that job, too.

So we thought we'd bring out the 2008 L.A. Weekly profile on Bernard and his then partner, Rufus Gifford, titled “Obama's Gay Gold Mine.”

The New York Times piece only underlines the progress of the gay community over the past twenty years, which Bernard, a serious political player in Los Angeles going back to the Bill Clinton era of the 1990s, realized during the 2008 campaign and related in our story.

Bernard recalled a time when he was sitting with Senator Obama in a black SUV with a Secret Service agent at the wheel, on their way to a campaign event. Bernard was talking about gay issues with the presidential candidate.

“It really hit me, as I was sitting there,” Bernard told us, “how far I had come in politics since working with David Mixner [an openly gay political operative who was based in Los Angeles during the 1970s] and Clinton, and how far the gay movement had come in all of those years.”

Bernard is not talking with reporters for attribution these days, but if you want to learn more about what drives him, read the L.A. Weekly story. Four years later, he comes through on many of the things he was hoping to do back in 2008.

Contact Patrick Range McDonald at pmcdonald@laweekly.com.

Follow McDonald on Twitter and his Facebook page.

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