Obama About To Endorse Same-Sex Marriage?
There’s an awful lot of speculation today that President Obama is going to have something new to say about same-sex marriage when he sits down for an interview at the White House this afternoon:
The prevailing wisdom right now is that President Obama is going to have to take some kind of position on gay marriage at this point, and not something equivocal.
His team is keeping tight-lipped about what’s to come at the Robin Roberts taping. But there is a sense that Vice President Joe Biden’s comments pushed things forward in unstoppable fashion, and it may be better for Obama to say what most people already believe he thinks now instead of later.
If he does, will it hurt him in swing states, especially in the wake of the the North Carolina gay marriage ban passing Tuesday night? Depends on who you ask. There remains fear among some Democrats that it will hurt Obama in swing states if he supports it.
But the likelihood that North Carolina was going to be the clincher for Obama’s re-election is slim anyway – the bigger issues are Ohio and Pennsylvania, for instance, where his decision could have some impact with conservative Democrats.
But there’s the bigger issue for Obama now, which is that it has become a political problem that is larger for the specific issue – and looking weak is potentially more dangerous to him than taking a social issue stand in an economy-driven election.
A smart Republican operative who’s worked presidential races put it this way, arguing that it might hurt Obama most with black (and maybe Hispanic) voters, but “even that will be minimal.”
As I’ve said before, I think that’s largely correct. African-American voters certainly aren’t going to start voting Republican simply because of the same-sex marriage issue, and they also are unlikely to pass up the opportunity to re-elect the nation’s first African-American President just because of this issue. This would seem to be as good a time as any for the White House to get the criticism about equivocating on the issue behind them and move forward.
Andrew Sullivan doesn’t seem entirely impressed with the prospect of a Presidential announcement:
Some are saying he will make news. I doubt it, and I don’t much care. The Congress and the states are the players here – not the president. And this desperate desire among some gays for some kind of affirmation from one man is a little sad.
Perhaps. In either case, I’m sure we’ll here something from ABC News in a few hours if there’s news.