Romney defends Grenell as “accomplished spokesperson”
(Rubin wonders whether campaign officials were aware of angst he was going through)
“To repeat a point I made last night,” writes Allahpundit, if the Romney team “muzzled” Richard “Grenell to show social conservatives that they disapprove of gays, they’re going about the aftermath in an awfully funny way.” That blogger reports that Romney and a top aide reiterated that they had wanted Grenell to stay. (The post merits your time and he provides video clips of both men.)
Jennifer Rubin quotes the presumptive Republican nominee himself as saying that his team “wanted him to stay with our team. He’s a very accomplished spokesperson, and we select people not based upon their ethnicity or their sexual preference or their gender but upon their capability.” Emphasis added.
Unlike yours truly who has blogged on this topic as a gay conservative, trying to imagine what it might be like for one of our number to go through what Grenell been going through, Rubin has actually talked to “many players involved” and has learned . . .
. . . that Grenell was getting flak principally from the far right[*], but also from the left challenging how a gay man in favor of gay marriage could work for a conservative (on foreign policy, mind you) whose position is the same as the president’s (neither is in favor of gay marriage). He perceived the Romney camp was keeping him out of sight. The Romney camp thought it was successfully calming the waters, and senior officials may have been only dimly aware of the angst Grenell was going through.
. . . .
But Grenell was right. He had become the story. If Romney or Fehrnstrom had said what they did today before Grenell quit, he might have been understandably reassured. But the firestorm wouldn’t have ended, as we see from a new round of speculation and stories.
Emphasis added. Read the whole thing. Only dimly aware of what Grenell was going through. Sometimes, we do forget that people in the public eye have feelings. (Lends credence to my notion of the personal toll this might have been (was?) taking on him.) No matter how strong you think you are, no matter how thick your skin, attacks in public fora do sting, particularly the first time you hear them. It takes time to learn to distances yourself from some of the nastiness prevalent today in our political discourse.
Campaign officials may just not have been aware of the angst caused by the vitriol coming from a handful of extreme social conservatives.
*Which makes his experience similar to and different from our own, similar, in that he has been taking flak from both sides, different, in that he is taking primarily from the far right whereas our tends to come from the angry left.
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