Team Obama doesn’t do big stuff accidentally, even when they muff the tactical. Of course they ran the numbers (Gallup has support for gay marriage at 50-48 in its latest poll), and looked at the swing states, and figured out how much campaign cash was on the sideline because the president has occupied an increasingly outlying position among Democrats. They had a plan for addressing gay marriage before November.
And then Joe Biden spoke. It was as if a right hand came out of the occult, wrenching the president’s own onto history’s tiller.
It’s unlikely the staunchest gay-marriage opponents would have voted for President Obama, regardless of his position. He may lose some black and Latino voters, Catholics, rurals, and voters who don’t like flip-flops. The Democratic Party has moved so far (so quickly) on gay marriage that he had already lost support within his own party, most notably among the heavily funded gay-activist community.
On history’s terms, Obama became the first sitting president to announce support for gay marriage, thrilling advocates and further convincing his foes he is managing a national decline. In crudely electoral terms, it was a pick ’em, and he did.
-- Jim O’Sullivan
NATIONAL JOURNAL’S PRIMARY REPORT
Obama’s Gay Marriage Leap of Faith NEW!
[National Journal, 5/9/12] Obama’s endorsement on Wednesday of gay marriage shows the president reaching out to mobilize the new pillars of the Democratic electorate, particularly younger people and socially liberal white collar whites, as National Journal’s Ronald Brownstein writes.
For Romney, Words of Wisdom on Winning Michigan NEW!
[National Journal, 5/9/12] National Journal’s Tim Alberta writes that it’s possible for Romney to steal Michigan’s coveted 16 electoral votes away from Obama this fall on one condition: Stop talking about the auto bailout.
Obama Supports Gay Marriage: How Will it Affect His Campaign?
[ABC, 5/9/12] Obama’s history-making embrace of gay marriage could send far-reaching political aftershocks through a campaign defined by the economy but likely decided by a few voters in a handful of battleground states – particularly if the president’s announcement is merely a check-the-box exercise with no follow-through.
On Gay Marriage Politics, Obama Can Find Silver Lining NEW!
[National Journal, 5/9/12] The politics of Obama's decision to publicly embrace same-sex marriage are murky at best, National Journal’s Alex Roarty writes. But the silver lining is that young voters, a critical part of Obama’s coalition, are overwhelmingly supportive of the policy. Meanwhile, Romney said Wednesday that he unequivocally opposes “marriage between people of the same gender.”
Obama’s Gay Marriage Stance Brings Uncertain Political Fallout NEW!
[Washington Post, 5/9/12] Both parties seized upon Obama’s announcement of his support for same-sex marriage as an opportunity to energize the bases: On the left, there was jubilation and hope that the president’s stance will energize liberals and young voters; on the right, a call to arms that may rally conservatives to Romney.
Obama Leads Romney in New National Poll
[National Journal, 5/9/12] A new national poll shows Obama leading Romney 50 percent to 42 percent among registered voters, a lead that is due to his popularity among women, minorities and independents. But Americans are split on who can best handle the economy.
What Lugar's Loss Could Mean for a President Romney
[Washington Examiner, 5/8/12] Philip Klein writes that the more victories the tea party racks up, as in Indiana, the greater the chance that Romney would be forced to govern as a limited-government conservative, even if his natural inclination is to migrate to the left.
Romney Pokes Obama Over Losing Votes to West Virginia Felon
[National Journal, 5/9/12] It was embarrassing enough for Obama to lose four in 10 votes to a convicted felon in the West Virginia Democratic primary. Now Romney is pouring salt on the wound: He joked about the results during a radio interview on Wednesday
Ron Paul: I Don't Want to Disrupt the GOP Convention
[National Journal, 5/9/12] As Ron Paul continues to rack up delegates in places like Nevada and Maine, many are starting to wonder what it is the Texas congressman is up to and whether he’s trying to throw a monkey wrench into the Republican National Convention later this year. He says he’s not. Meanwhile, Washington state is preparing for a combative convention, courtesy of Paul.
Dem Plan: Throw It All at Romney, See What Sticks
[Associated Press, 5/9/12] The Obama campaign will lose no opportunity to slam Romney on everything from his character to his wealth to his policy positions. This far out from the general election, they haven't yet begun to hone their attacks, hoping instead to see what works best with voters.
Hard Times = Tough Year for Incumbents
[Wall Street Journal, 5/9/12] All told, a dozen governments in the 17-member eurozone have fallen or been ousted in the past two years, amounting to a wave of anti-incumbent sentiment sweeping through the Western body politic. Could it be a harbinger for the U.S. and President Obama?
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