In most, but fortunately not all coverage of what John Podhoretz dubbed L’Affaire Grenell, various pundits and pontificators have attempted to discern some anti-gay prejudice or crass pusillanimity within the Republican Party in general and the Romney campaign in particular.
In doing so, most lose sight of the basic facts of the situation which, Jennifer Rubin who first broke the story, reported in her last update to her post on the matter:
Right Turn has learned from multiple sources that the senior officials from the Romney campaign and respected Republicans not on the campaign contacted Ric Grenell over the weekend in an attempt to persuade him not to leave the campaign. Those were unsuccessful.
Despite social conservatives’ criticism of the appointment, the Romney team wanted to keep Grenell on board.
It seems that the real reason Grenell stepped down was the one he articulated in his statement:
While I welcomed the challenge to confront President Obama’s foreign policy failures and weak leadership on the world stage, my ability to speak clearly and forcefully on the issues has been greatly diminished by the hyper-partisan discussion of personal issues that sometimes comes from a presidential campaign.
Emphasis added. As Podhoretz put it, the former John Bolton aide “was evidently rattled by attacks from the Right on his fitness for his post.” And not just the right. Scanning the Facebook comments of my liberal friends who posted on the matter, it seems he experienced attacks from the left as well for his choice words mocking leading liberals.
Grenell, Podhoretz suggests, “decided he didn’t need the grief”. One wonders if he, used to flacking for others, was just not comfortable — or not prepared — to become the story himself.
And that rather than being a story with large implications, this may simply be the story of a man who wants his private life to remain private.
FROM THE COMMENTS: Replying to this comment, “Romney WANTED / NEEDED a token gay person in his campaign”, Rattlesnake quips, “Or, maybe he just hired him for his qualifications.”