TPM Reader WB says don’t be surprised Obama took the plunge …
I’m surprised that you’re surprised that Obama has (apparently) endorsed same sex marriage. I don’t care what the polling on the issue says, this won’t hurt Obama in November. In fact it might help him.
This is about operating in good faith (which I would argue for the most part Obama has done) versus bad faith. On some level everybody already knows that Obama doesn’t object to gay marriage, so why should he continue to pretend he has reservations or his position is “evolving”? It’s the kabuki charade that would have had a greater chance of dragging him down.
By contrast, what is going to doom Romney is that he is operating his campaign, on every level, in bad faith. No one believes that the positions he’s espousing (when he can be pinned down on them) are actually his own positions. At every step he’s said what he needed to win the nomination, and now will say what he thinks he needs to win the general. But it’s all phony and everyone knows it. But it’s all in bad faith.
So endorsing gay marriage is a good opportunity to draw a sharp contrast with Romney’s politics of expediency. To be clear, this is not an issue that will decide the election, but it does help further one of the basic narratives that will decide the election in Obama’s favor.