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Will Obama’s gay marriage pander hurt him politically?

Interesting how today, both gay conservatives and leftists see through President Obama’s pander yesterday on gay marriage, coming as it did following a week when the Democrats was facing questions for his stand on gay marriage.

The president may claim that Vice President Biden’s recent comments on gay marriage forced the timing of the announcement, but the real question is why he didn’t announce his change of heart when it could have made a difference, especially given, as Ed Morrissey reports that, in his interview yesterday, Obama claimed “he’d made up his mind to change his position some time ago“:

And for all of those who cheered this flip-flop, here’s a question: wouldn’t it have been more effective in North Carolina had Obama made this announcement before Amendment One went to the polls?  According to Obama himself, he’d already changed position on same-sex marriage.  An announcement last week or the week before that, with a personal plea to African-American voters, might have made a difference.  Instead, Obama hid, the White House fibbed, and Amendment One won easily in a state that Obama carried in 2008.  Regardless of whatever else this might be called, leadership isn’t among the terms that come to mind.

Ad the Yahoo! online survey indicates, it does seem most people see through the president’s pandering move, with more than two-thirds of respondents saying they see his policy shift as based on campaign politics.

This may help rally the base and generate some more campaign cash, but could well end up being a net negative for the president, not on the merits of the issue, but on his approach.  Expect more people to realize Obama is just another politician for whom political calculation matters more than principle.

UPDATE:   Seems Obama consulted his political advisors to reach the decision he announced yesterday:

In his ABC interview, the president pretended that his much touted “evolution” had now led him, ineluctably, to speak out now, today; he simply could longer stay silent. ABC let him off the hook, but this is not a credible account.  In March, the Washington Post was reportingthe debate among his advisers on whether the issue would help or hurt the reelection campaign and what, therefore, Obama should say: “Obama’s top political advisers have held serious discussions with leading Democrats about the upsides and downsides of coming out for gay marriage before the fall election.”

The same advisers told the Post that Obama would make the decision based on his gut, but that is an insulting way to refer to the vice president.  There is no evidence that Obama planned to speak until Joe Biden said last weekend that he was for gay “marriage” and forced the issue.

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33 Comments

  1. I see it as an negative. Blacks are largely against gay marriage. This could sway the most religious against voting for Obama.

    The Christian voters who are on the fence on supporting the Mormon Romney will take a second look. Obama is increasingly repellent. Soon he will be repulsive.

    Obama is running on fumes from his 2008 campaign. He has nothing else to run on.

    Comment by anon23532 — May 10, 2012 @ 3:49 pm - May 10, 2012

  2. help me out here… are you claiming that obama did this for political expediency, even as this could hurt him politically? i just want to be sure before i can respond to that claim…

    also, you write: “but the real question is why he didn’t announce his change of heart when it could have made a difference”… but it CAN. have you forgotten minnesota, maine, maryland, and washington??

    finally i understand that politically you are pretty much against obama on everything. fair enough. but when will you give the man credit for anything? it seems whatever he does, you (and, ironically, the “extreme left”) will never be satisfied. nuance in your criticism would give your arguments that much more weight.
    amendment 1 in north carolina (which by the way, became a possibility thanks to your fellow republicans winning the legislature this passed election cycle) passed by a huge margin. do you honestly thing that obama saying what he said could have changed something? honestly??

    Comment by daftpunkydavid — May 10, 2012 @ 4:01 pm - May 10, 2012

  3. Daft…personally I think he did for 2 reasons. One is that Biden rolled him on Sunday and forced him to do “something”‘ especially in light of the NC vote. Which leads to the 2nd reason. He had to force the LGBT wallets to open. 20% of O’s bundlers are openly gay and were having a difficult time bringing in the dough from their community.

    Comment by Mary — May 10, 2012 @ 4:21 pm - May 10, 2012

  4. Prop 8 managed to pass pretty soundly in hard-left California, which went heavily to Obama. Exit polls showed that black and Hispanic Democrats voted yes on Prop 8 by an astounding majority. Obama is doing more to hurt himself.

    Of course, none of this is to mention the fact that Obummer claims to support gay marriage while still saying it’s a states-rights issue.

    Comment by Mel Maguire — May 10, 2012 @ 4:32 pm - May 10, 2012

  5. Obama and his spin team were looking at options to improve his standing and polish his image. Rumblings out there were that he was going to push the Gay Marriage stance and like I said before announce his evolution be complete. ( evolution is not a pretty term for Some and in a way is a hand up side the head for some folk)

    Biden didn’t make a gaff he made a planned statement. And some believe that it was to test the waters for those on the left stuck in their own evolution when it comes to SSM.

    Will it hurt him? At this point of the campaign, more points, a little polish and $$ won’t hurt.

    Whether he gets re-elected or not, this statement really pushes the envelope.

    Will wait to see how this plays out

    Comment by rusty — May 10, 2012 @ 4:36 pm - May 10, 2012

  6. Did you really just claim, with a straight face, that Obama was “pandering” by embracing a position that will no doubt hurt him at the polls? When the GOP candidate for President would embrace gay marriage in about 30 seconds if he thought it would swing one single vote in his favor, without any doubt whatsover? Funny stuff, it’s almost self-parody at this point. There isn’t one position that Romney has taken on any important issue that he actually consistently sticks to if it will in any way hurt him to do so politically. That’s why he is a completely different candidate depending on where and when he is running. Now, all politicians shift and pander to some degree (alas, at least all successful ones). But Romney is the all-time gold medalist world champion, which is why virtually no one, not even people in his own party, trust him. Obama is not made of granite, but he has a spine and a backbone and a consistent philososphy of Governing. Romney’s philosophy is to advocate for whatever will help him in his next election. Which, in this case, happens to be opposed to gay marriage and to disavow his friendly positions on gay rights from when he was running in a liberal state. I mean, heck, Romney has consistently flip-flopped within the same ten minute stretch during debates and such during the primary campaing. Big difference, there, one man of core principal, albeit flexible to some degree as all politicans are, and Romney, whose core principale is “how can I win the next election?”.

    Comment by Jeff — May 10, 2012 @ 5:01 pm - May 10, 2012

  7. daftpunkydavid, in answer your first question, what is confusing? I’m sure Obama believed that his flip-flop (i.e. returning to his 1996 view) was a political winner. That doesn’t mean, however, that it IS a winner. Impossible to see right now how it will turn out.

    “but when will you give the man credit for anything?” Why? I recall thinking “He got something right!” (with great amazement) three or four times since 2009, but I couldn’t tell you what they were about now. That indicates that they were not major items. On every big issue, he has failed or “lead from behind”. (I don’t consider the gay marriage issue to be one of the big ones – no dog in this fight.)

    Comment by alanstorm — May 10, 2012 @ 5:09 pm - May 10, 2012

  8. Whether you agree with the latest Obama flip-flop or not, it does demonstrate in brutal, raw political terms that NEITHER party’s presumptive-candidate has any moral or ethical back-bone whatsoever….just expediency and calculation. You don’t consult with your political advisers and spin-doctors in making a moral or ethical decision. Those have to come from within….and unfortunately Romney nor Obama are both hollow men, spinning weather-vanes.

    This is so discouraging.
    And I fear that 2016 will be even worse in this regard.

    Comment by Ted B. (Charging Rhino) — May 10, 2012 @ 5:17 pm - May 10, 2012

  9. This move is every bit as calculated as Bush’s support for the FMA back in 2004. I feel sorry for idiots who are deluded enough to think Obama gives a sh-t about them.

    It’s also the latest “Shiny Object” tossed out by the Obama Regime in order to distract from his abysmal economic record and colossal deficits.

    Comment by V the K — May 10, 2012 @ 5:21 pm - May 10, 2012

  10. “Obama is not made of granite, but he has a spine and a backbone…” Assumes facts not in evidence, and completely ignores contrary evidence, such as the subject at hand and his performance in office thus far.

    “…and a consistent philosophy of Governing.” Yes, the idea that government is good, and more government is better. A consistent philosophy of ruling, you mean. No thanks.

    Comment by alanstorm — May 10, 2012 @ 5:32 pm - May 10, 2012

  11. So Obama says this is a states’ rights issue? Ala 10th Amendment? Plenty of conservatives have said the same thing. Dick Cheney said the same thing four years ago (and I take him seriously… unlike Obama and Biden).

    This is a freebie for Obama. His voters will support him even if he starts hosting gay weddings in the White House. The gubmint check is a powerful inducement.

    Besides, the economy and our military involvements are, IMHO, far bigger issues.

    Comment by SoCalRobert — May 10, 2012 @ 6:03 pm - May 10, 2012

  12. I don’t think this will help him or hurt him. Everybody assumed that he supported same-sex marriage or that he would for political expediency. If this issue hasn’t really hurt Romney with Republicans why would it hurt Obama with anybody. Oh, and about that. If Obama gets credits for stating that he supports same-sex marriage, how much credit does Romney get for signing into law a bill that would make Massachusetts the first state to legalize (civil) same-sex marriage?

    Comment by MV — May 10, 2012 @ 6:28 pm - May 10, 2012

  13. Maybe with black and latino voters, but straight people don’t give a shit about gay news. Most probably don’t even know he “evolved” (what the fuck is that?) on the issue. They don’t read gay blogs or gay websites. He may grab a few gay independents or rhinos but he’s doing it cause gays aren’t going out and supporting him and aren’t donating the same kind of money as last time. He already made black history getting elected once, they’re not gonna come out for him in the same numbers. He didn’t even help out his own people, even after they voted 2 or 3 times for him the first time.

    Comment by Name — May 10, 2012 @ 6:56 pm - May 10, 2012

  14. YES, President Obama, as usual, is overplaying his hand.

    Comment by Sebastian Shaw — May 10, 2012 @ 7:19 pm - May 10, 2012

  15. Short term, he opens wallets.

    Long term, he alienates people. OTOH, who knows, maybe he will do something positive for race relations and get blacks out of the Democrat Ghetto.

    Comment by The_Livewire — May 10, 2012 @ 9:13 pm - May 10, 2012

  16. Atta girls ( as Romney would address us)
    You want to tell me that you would vote for someone who is against us, gay people, because Obama took too long, didn’t mean it, was too late, was pandering and other weak reasons.

    Please, I don’t get it. Could any of you explain it to me?

    Comment by George insane — May 11, 2012 @ 1:20 am - May 11, 2012

  17. Here’s a question. Did Fumblin’ Joe pre-empt Obama as an orchestrated part of the pandering… or because he’s Fumblin’ Joe?

    Some say that Obama planned to make his announcement next week on The View: http://hotair.com/archives/2012/05/10/cnn-source-obama-was-set-to-announce-his-gay-marriage-shift-next-week-on-the-view/

    Which would argue for the view that Biden really made a mistake.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — May 11, 2012 @ 2:38 am - May 11, 2012

  18. George Insane. Do you just make up statements like “Atta girls” and believe them. Just because you make them up in your mind doesn’t make it true.

    Comment by Name — May 11, 2012 @ 7:13 am - May 11, 2012

  19. Perhaps the funny thing about George is he finds bullying as a teen abhorent, but loves an unrepentant bully.

    Comment by The Livewire — May 11, 2012 @ 8:03 am - May 11, 2012

  20. Atta girls ( as Romney would address us)
    You want to tell me that you would vote for someone who is against us, gay people, because Obama took too long, didn’t mean it, was too late, was pandering and other weak reasons.

    Please, I don’t get it. Could any of you explain it to me?

    Comment by George insane — May 11, 2012 @ 1:20 am – May 11, 2012

    Yup.

    Because Obama is against my religious beliefs, my job, my business, my livelihood, my saving and accumulating wealth, and everything else that I do.

    Obama wants to force me into slavery to the government so that he and his spoiled wife can throw lavish parties at my expense, fly around on multiple private jets on my dime, and buy votes from adult babies who don’t want to work with the proceeds from my working.

    In short, George, it all boils down to whether you want to be judged and rewarded on your character or on your minority status.

    You want the latter, I want the former.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — May 11, 2012 @ 12:24 pm - May 11, 2012

  21. Character: The mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual.

    Is that the individual as s/he conducts themselves before others, or does that also include the individual as to how they conduct themselves on the internet?

    Comment by Cinesnatch — May 11, 2012 @ 12:38 pm - May 11, 2012

  22. Well, Cinesnatch, the definition clearly changes, given that you consider Evan Hurst to be an “eloquent” man of character despite knowing exactly what he posts and endorses on the internets.

    And that probably is the point. If someone agrees with you, they are a person of character; if they don’t, then they aren’t. That’s why gays like yourself can scream about bullying and hate speech, and then the next minute praise Evan Hurst as “eloquent” for what he says about Dan.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — May 11, 2012 @ 1:48 pm - May 11, 2012

  23. No, ND30, I don’t research everything Evan posts, nor do I always read entire threads. I respond to what I see. Just as I haven’t researched everything that Sonic Frog, ILC, VTK, TLW, Helio, YOU, Dan, Bruce, Levi, TGC, Rusty, Lori, Sean Anne, Sean A, et al, have ever posted.

    Just like the Tweeter who verbally assaulted Bruce and his mother on Twitter. I called her out and not only did she admit she was wrong, she came to Gay Patriot and publicly apologized.

    And, I’ve gone on Sadly, No! and asked them to repeatedly take down the photoshopped picture of Dan. My comments are still there.

    If anything, THOSE ACTIONS are what represents who I am. Not the WORDS of Evan Hurst or anyone else you want to impose on my thinking.

    I apologize for the comment I made about your mother’s decisions as a lawmaker reflecting upon your opinions. I’m sorry if you inferred that I was trying to blackmail you. My intent was to drive home the point of what you do when you hold me responsible for other people’s words. And, I’m stubborn enough to believe that, one day, you will understand.

    But, as long as you hold me responsible for the words of whomever you choose, that will speak of a low moral quality. Do I have the best moral character? Obviously not if some of my past discretions on GP are an indication. But, I’m willing to fess up when I’ve transgressed. Something, I’m waiting, stubbornly, for you to do.

    Comment by Cinesnatch — May 11, 2012 @ 2:06 pm - May 11, 2012

  24. I apologize for the comment I made about your mother’s decisions as a lawmaker reflecting upon your opinions.

    Let me repeat ILC’s excellent summary of the problem here.

    Cinesnatch: You’re in the wrong here, plain and simple, for trying to make somebody’s alleged family situation (real or imagined – you don’t know what you think you know) “the subject”.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — May 11, 2012 @ 1:32 pm – May 11, 2012

    In short, your “apology” only compounded the problem by repeating the same thing you did in the first place.

    I’m sorry if you inferred that I was trying to blackmail you.

    Comment by Cinesnatch — May 11, 2012 @ 2:06 pm – May 11, 2012

    There’s no inference. I’ll show you the definition of blackmail, and what you’ll find is that you went WAY across the line when you threatened what you thought, wrongly or rightly, was an elected official.

    Oh, and don’t forget this:

    It’s very important to note if you used the Post Office, the internet or even text messaging to allegedly commit your blackmail you invite additional federal charges since you allegedly used a federal mode of communication,

    Meanwhile, why don’t you post from where you got the information, correct or not, that you are repeating — or, more precisely, whose confidence you broke away from the blog in order to get it?

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — May 11, 2012 @ 2:35 pm - May 11, 2012

  25. I’ve jumped through a lot of your hoops in the past, ND30. As soon as do ONE of the few things I’ve ever asked you to do, I’ll gladly acquiesce.

    Two way street.

    Comment by Cinesnatch — May 11, 2012 @ 2:53 pm - May 11, 2012

  26. Nope, I’m sorry, Cinesnatch; you don’t have leverage in this regard.

    Because clearly, you are a hypocrite.

    And, “outrage” is a rather extreme description to be used by someone who:

    1) Exposes a person’s private details, because he disagrees with them politically

    Comment by Cinesnatch — May 9, 2012 @ 6:16 pm – May 9, 2012

    So you’re caught doing exactly that which you denounce.

    And what was the penalty you wanted for releasing personal information about others? Banning, wasn’t it?

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — May 11, 2012 @ 7:04 pm - May 11, 2012

  27. If I wanted banning for releasing personal information, provide the link.

    Comment by Cinesnatch — May 11, 2012 @ 7:16 pm - May 11, 2012

  28. Oh, so now you’re arguing that you DON’T want banning for release of personal information when you would actually be the one being banned.

    Nice and hypocritical, Cinesnatch. You lay down all these rules, scream and whine and cry to the moderators how badly you’re being treated, and then refuse to follow them yourself.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — May 11, 2012 @ 7:28 pm - May 11, 2012

  29. I never argued for “banning for releasing personal information.” That’s why I asked you for the link.

    And, I don’t approach the moderators anymore about etiquette, as what I’ve learned is that implementation of GP’s commenting policy is subjective, erratic, and, in some instances, non-existent. People are breaking rules all the time here, so why not join in on the fun every now and then. But, what I did yesterday was inappropriate and I take full responsibility for. It obviously was pointless, as you didn’t even understand the merits behind the analogy.

    In fact, I thought of another personal thing I’d love to share about you on here, but what would be the point? To anger at least two people specifically not involved in this even more? No thanks. You’re not worth it.

    I haven’t approached the moderators about commenting policy or YOU since the beginning of the year. And, if I’m not mistaken, you have at least a couple of times since. But whoops, isn’t it releasing personal information about a person’s private life (who they email) when I said that? Guess not. Because you did.

    Comment by Cinesnatch — May 11, 2012 @ 7:39 pm - May 11, 2012

  30. So now you’re threatening to release even more information.

    And why would it anger two people even more, Cinesnatch? Were you breaking confidences and making it clear that you took advantage of them?

    You simply cannot be trusted. And some people apparently had to find out the hard way that you will abuse and exploit their goodwill.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — May 11, 2012 @ 9:17 pm - May 11, 2012

  31. As you’ve already disclosed personal information about me (exposing my email activity that wasn’t made public in which you learned from certain persons behind the scenes), care to betray your confidences, my friend?

    Comment by Cinesnatch — May 11, 2012 @ 10:11 pm - May 11, 2012

  32. As you’ve already disclosed personal information about me (exposing my email activity that wasn’t made public in which you learned from certain persons behind the scenes), care to betray your confidences, my friend?

    Comment by Cinesnatch — May 11, 2012 @ 10:11 pm – May 11, 2012

    Nope, sorry Cinesnatch. You are lying.

    The simple fact of the matter is that you broke trust with people and are now trying to threaten me with information that, according to you, would “anger at least two people specifically not involved in this even more” if you released it.

    You have made it abundantly clear that you will exploit and abuse peoples’ trust for your own hateful purposes. Enough said.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — May 11, 2012 @ 10:29 pm - May 11, 2012

  33. Oh, ND30. It gets better.

    Comment by Cinesnatch — May 12, 2012 @ 2:05 am - May 12, 2012

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