Former RNC chief Ken Mehlman: I’m gay

posted at 6:37 pm on August 25, 2010 by Allahpundit

He says he realized it “fairly recently,” in Marc Ambinder’s words, which has Tammy Bruce chuckling on Twitter. Honestly, I thought the guy came out years ago. Remember when Bill Maher talked about the rumors surrounding him on Larry King’s show — back in 2006? I guess you were the last to know, Ken.

He’s doing this now, it seems, because he wants to drum up publicity for the cause of gay marriage and figures that “Republican whom everyone thought was gay actually is gay” headlines will do the trick. Could be, although Ambinder’s careful to remind readers of the sort of social con initiatives that the GOP pushed during Mehlman’s RNC tenure. That won’t endear him to gay activists, and his newly public identity won’t endear him to social cons. Maybe he should have just worked for gay marriage like Ted Olson and kept his orientation private?

Privately, in off-the-record conversations with this reporter over the years, Mehlman voiced support for civil unions and told of how, in private discussions with senior Republican officials, he beat back efforts to attack same-sex marriage. He insisted, too, that President Bush “was no homophobe.” He often wondered why gay voters never formed common cause with Republican opponents of Islamic jihad, which he called “the greatest anti-gay force in the world right now.”

Mehlman’s leadership positions in the GOP came at a time when the party was stepping up its anti-gay activities — such as the distribution in West Virginia in 2006 of literature linking homosexuality to atheism, or the less-than-subtle, coded language in the party’s platform (“Attempts to redefine marriage in a single state or city could have serious consequences throughout the country…”). Mehlman said at the time that he could not, as an individual Republican, go against the party consensus. He was aware that Karl Rove, President Bush’s chief strategic adviser, had been working with Republicans to make sure that anti-gay initiatives and referenda would appear on November ballots in 2004 and 2006 to help Republicans.

Mehlman acknowledges that if he had publicly declared his sexuality sooner, he might have played a role in keeping the party from pushing an anti-gay agenda.

“It’s a legitimate question and one I understand,” Mehlman said. “I can’t change the fact that I wasn’t in this place personally when I was in politics, and I genuinely regret that. It was very hard, personally.” He asks of those who doubt his sincerity: “If they can’t offer support, at least offer understanding.”

I couldn’t care less either way, but with all the buzz lately about new conservative support for gays — here’s the latest surreal episode in the Coulter/Farah HomoCon saga, incidentally — this is a bracing reminder that an openly gay RNC chief probably would still be a problem. Or would it?


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2 3 5

who?

therightscoop on August 25, 2010 at 6:39 PM

So what?

Fishoutofwater on August 25, 2010 at 6:39 PM

I knew it. Or rather, I sensed it.

myrenovations on August 25, 2010 at 6:39 PM

“Mehlman is the most powerful Republican in history to identify as gay.”

I thought that was Lincoln.

Talk about hijacking a thread, that’s gotta’ be at the top of the list.

SteveMG on August 25, 2010 at 6:40 PM

I thought that was Lincoln.

Sweet.

Allahpundit on August 25, 2010 at 6:40 PM

HomoCon 2010.

portlandon on August 25, 2010 at 6:41 PM

Who knew GOP stood for Gays on Parade.

Holger on August 25, 2010 at 6:41 PM

Sounds like he did a real bang up job for the Pubs back then.

JellyToast on August 25, 2010 at 6:41 PM

Wow, I never saw that coming…./s

sandee on August 25, 2010 at 6:42 PM

Sounds like he did a real bang up job for the Pubs back then.

JellyToast on August 25, 2010 at 6:41 PM

bang up
heh

blatantblue on August 25, 2010 at 6:42 PM

That is fabulous. But seriously, whoopty-s**t.

Blarg the Destroyer on August 25, 2010 at 6:42 PM

I love the references to “Anti-gay initiatives” as if that description was a fact, rather than one side’s perspective.

BuzzCrutcher on August 25, 2010 at 6:42 PM

Who knew GOP stood for Gays on Parade.

Holger on August 25, 2010 at 6:41 PM

A+

JellyToast on August 25, 2010 at 6:43 PM

Gay marriage is so close to being a non-issue.

It’s only a matter of time before the Supreme Court rules gay marriage is a constitutional right. With that and the increasingly libertarian bent of the Republican party, I have a good feeling people will gradually stop caring about this issue, and focus on real problems, like the economy.

Seriously, people. Gay marriage is probably the least important high-profile issue in the nation. It doesn’t hurt anyone, contrary to all the vague claims of “It will hurt the social fabric of America,” and it’s really not even a matter of the government endorsing homosexuality, it’s about decreasing the size of government by getting them out of defining marriage entirely.

I’m going to be so happy when conservatives stop caring about this and get back to focusing on the economy.

doodleduh on August 25, 2010 at 6:43 PM

Mehlman: I’m gay

I’m not sure I really need to know that but as long as we’re making announcements, I’m not. Now what?

ncborn on August 25, 2010 at 6:43 PM

Next thing you know you’re gonna tell me Liberace was gay

sandee on August 25, 2010 at 6:43 PM

Who? Did what?

tarpon on August 25, 2010 at 6:43 PM

I thought that was Lincoln.

SteveMG on August 25, 2010 at 6:40 PM

If your wife was bat-sh*t cray Mary Todd, wouldn`t you be too?

ThePrez on August 25, 2010 at 6:43 PM

He can cross the alise with Frank

Oil Can on August 25, 2010 at 6:44 PM

crazy

ThePrez on August 25, 2010 at 6:44 PM

LOL YOU DON’T SAY

lansing quaker on August 25, 2010 at 6:44 PM

So he takes it in the chops, big deal. As long as he doesn’t go all big government militant gay liberation theology on us.

abobo on August 25, 2010 at 6:44 PM

something like 10% of people are gay. im sure more than a few work at the rnc.

triple on August 25, 2010 at 6:44 PM

Is he still on Letterman?

Rocks on August 25, 2010 at 6:44 PM

He’s the last one to know.

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on August 25, 2010 at 6:45 PM

So?

InterestedObserver on August 25, 2010 at 6:45 PM

So Mehlman is happy go lucky?

What do you mean the other gay? What other ga….OOOOOOOHHH.

Bishop on August 25, 2010 at 6:45 PM

Ken Mehlman did a great job for the GOP.

It’s about time members of the GOP feel the confidence and the freedom to be who they are.

jake-the-goose on August 25, 2010 at 6:45 PM

And I should care, why?

Gothguy on August 25, 2010 at 6:45 PM

Apparently, Mehlman was the only republican who didn’t Mehlman was gay.

Blake on August 25, 2010 at 6:45 PM

Gay marriage is so close to being a non-issue.

It’s only a matter of time before the Supreme Court rules gay marriage is a constitutional right. With that and the increasingly libertarian bent of the Republican party, I have a good feeling people will gradually stop caring about this issue, and focus on real problems, like the economy.

Seriously, people. Gay marriage is probably the least important high-profile issue in the nation. It doesn’t hurt anyone, contrary to all the vague claims of “It will hurt the social fabric of America,” and it’s really not even a matter of the government endorsing homosexuality, it’s about decreasing the size of government by getting them out of defining marriage entirely.

I’m going to be so happy when conservatives stop caring about this and get back to focusing on the economy.

doodleduh on August 25, 2010 at 6:43 PM

Yeah, just like abortion is finally a non issue. All these moral issues just go away over time. At least that’s what immoral people always say.

JellyToast on August 25, 2010 at 6:45 PM

When is Janet Napolitano going to drop that bomshell that she is straight?

portlandon on August 25, 2010 at 6:45 PM

Oh my good God! Who cares!?

ORconservative on August 25, 2010 at 6:45 PM

And I guess now we know who Larry Craig expected find in the next stall.

Rocks on August 25, 2010 at 6:46 PM

Former RNC chief Ken Mehlman: I’m gay…

And I’m happy, and he’s Grumpy, and Doc is over there…
Who gives a RIP… I think someone is trying to establish his victim cred for the new order…. Handouts anyone?

Kuffar on August 25, 2010 at 6:46 PM

Next thing you know you’re gonna tell me Liberace was gay

sandee on August 25, 2010 at 6:43 PM

……………….. Are you telling me?………

ThePrez on August 25, 2010 at 6:46 PM

I am so over this urge for everyone to tell folks about their sexual preferences.

How many heterosexuals are coming out telling everyone they’re hetero?

It has NO BEARING on someone’s abilities to govern, lead or cast votes. If someone agrees with same sex marriage, who cares if they’re gay or straight. The issue is what’s in question, not the person talking about it.

People need to get over themselves.

ButterflyDragon on August 25, 2010 at 6:46 PM

Why do so many homosexuals think we gives a rats a$$ about their sex life?

sharrukin on August 25, 2010 at 6:47 PM

As long as he isn’t Irish. We’ll take the gays and the lesbians but we’re NOT taking the Irish.

Bishop on August 25, 2010 at 6:48 PM

Why do so many homosexuals think we gives a rats a$$ about their sex life?

sharrukin on August 25, 2010 at 6:47 PM

I told you in the post. He’s trying to drum up publicity for his new cause, i.e. gay marriage. And it’s working like a charm.

Allahpundit on August 25, 2010 at 6:48 PM

How many heterosexuals are coming out telling everyone they’re hetero?

why would you need to? its assumed.

triple on August 25, 2010 at 6:49 PM

Yeah, just like abortion is finally a non issue. All these moral issues just go away over time. At least that’s what immoral people always say.

JellyToast on August 25, 2010 at 6:45 PM

The major difference is that conservatives think abortion is actual murder, whereas gay marriage is just something they don’t like.

There’s a pretty big difference when you stop caring about murder versus when you stop caring about a group who’s behavior you don’t like getting the right to marry.

Also, nice Ad Hominem.

doodleduh on August 25, 2010 at 6:49 PM

There are two issues to me which there can be no dissent among conservatives, disagreeing puts you in the other camp.

Abortion
And We The People’s Relationship with the Government and our elected leaders.

Holger on August 25, 2010 at 6:49 PM

WHO? Why should I care?

Emily M. on August 25, 2010 at 6:50 PM

… didn’t know Mehlman was gay.

Blake on August 25, 2010 at 6:50 PM

As long as he isn’t Irish. We’ll take the gays and the lesbians but we’re NOT taking the Irish.

Bishop on August 25, 2010 at 6:48 PM

Nah, no deal then!

ThePrez on August 25, 2010 at 6:50 PM

Holger on August 25, 2010 at 6:49 PM

Not capitalism?

doodleduh on August 25, 2010 at 6:51 PM

I told you in the post. He’s trying to drum up publicity for his new cause, i.e. gay marriage. And it’s working like a charm.

Allahpundit on August 25, 2010 at 6:48 PM

Then they need to lay off the false victimization. They bring it up and want to use their sex life as a tactic to effect social change.

And yeah, it’s working like a charm.

sharrukin on August 25, 2010 at 6:51 PM

Last week’s national Public Policy Poll shows what citizens have said repeatedly in the voting booth–Americans opposed gay marriage. The August 2-9 poll showed that Americans opposed same-sex marriage almost 2-to-1 — 57 percent opposed, 33 percent in favor. Republicans oppose same-sex marriage 80 percent to 12 percent and Democrats are in favor of same-sex marriage 48 percent to 41 percent. But here’s a number you want to pay attention to: Independents oppose same-sex marriage by a 48 percent to 41 percent margin.

PrezHussein on August 25, 2010 at 6:51 PM

So? He’s gay. So what? LOL

Ricohoc on August 25, 2010 at 6:52 PM

You don’t say.

stenwin77 on August 25, 2010 at 6:52 PM

Not capitalism?

doodleduh on August 25, 2010 at 6:51 PM

Capitalism is necessarily a part of the latter issue. The people cannot be free to live life as they see fit and be socialist at the same time.

Holger on August 25, 2010 at 6:52 PM

Take heart, Zippy.

Cody1991 on August 25, 2010 at 6:53 PM

…or the less-than-subtle, coded language in the party’s platform (“Attempts to redefine marriage in a single state or city could have serious consequences throughout the country…”).

Where’s the “coded language”? This seems quite straight-forward to me.

Buy Danish on August 25, 2010 at 6:53 PM

Must be a slow news day to post such a story……
I could care less about his sexuality. straight or gay

hawkman on August 25, 2010 at 6:53 PM

And I prefer brunettes with dynamic eyes, medium breasts and a sweet butt.

Since we are revealing our sexual preferences.

carbon_footprint on August 25, 2010 at 6:53 PM

Wow, another one for Gay Summer of 2010 here in HA. Read it. Sorry, but he comes off as an a*hole.

Apologetic California on August 25, 2010 at 6:53 PM

That’s exactly right, he was the only one who didn’t know he was gay.
I’m all for the libertarian stance (ha) on this one. Who cares who you choose to have sex with? Not me and I do not want to have your private dreams and aspirations shoved in my face.
I don’t care. I also don’t care if you want to get married. Find an opposite sex partner. It’s obviously easy. If you don’t want to do that you don’t want to get married. I agree that everyone should have the same benefits of a committed relationship but beyond that can we quit talking about sex?

ORconservative on August 25, 2010 at 6:54 PM

With that and the increasingly libertarian bent of the Republican party, I have a good feeling people will gradually stop caring about this issue, and focus on real problems, like the economy.

doodleduh on August 25, 2010 at 6:43 PM

Yeah, then the Republican party can be as successful as the Libertarian party. Good days ahead!

sharrukin on August 25, 2010 at 6:54 PM

And in that photo doesn’t it look like he is performing a sex act on an invisible man?

carbon_footprint on August 25, 2010 at 6:54 PM

As long as he isn’t Irish. We’ll take the gays and the lesbians but we’re NOT taking the Irish.

Bishop on August 25, 2010 at 6:48 PM

HEY. HEY!!!!!

blatantblue on August 25, 2010 at 6:55 PM

I remember Tucker Carlson going crazy when Rachel Maddow said he was gay in 2004. He called her a liar.

SnarkVader on August 25, 2010 at 6:56 PM

Wide stance should have tipped Mehlman off.

BHO Jonestown on August 25, 2010 at 6:57 PM

Meh. Whatevs.

Good Lt on August 25, 2010 at 6:57 PM

Yeah, then the Republican party can be as successful as the Libertarian party. Good days ahead!

You don’t know much about the Spatial Model of elections, do you?

There’s a reason there’s only two political parties in the U.S., and it sure isn’t because there’s only two types of ideologies.

doodleduh on August 25, 2010 at 6:57 PM

who? and so?

ted c on August 25, 2010 at 6:58 PM

A gay Republican…

I’m sure the Dems think that’s almost like dividing by 0…

toenail on August 25, 2010 at 6:58 PM

Where’s the “coded language”? This seems quite straight-forward to me.

Buy Danish on August 25, 2010 at 6:53 PM

Obviously you don’t have the secret leftie decoder ring. Once you have that you can see things others just can’t.

They saw Obama as a transformational figure and can you truly argue they were wrong?

sharrukin on August 25, 2010 at 6:58 PM

refer back to jon stewart clip on the race card having no effect any longer. gay card same same.

ted c on August 25, 2010 at 6:58 PM

I was told that this was the biggest open secret in Washington when he was RNC Chair.

Whatever. I don’t care what the guy does with his free time. If it’s a sin, that’s between him and God.

Red Cloud on August 25, 2010 at 6:59 PM

I remember Tucker Carlson going crazy when Rachel Maddow said he was gay in 2004. He called her a liar.

SnarkVader on August 25, 2010 at 6:56 PM

I’d agree with anything Maddow said just to get away from her. She’s really creepy.

darwin on August 25, 2010 at 6:59 PM

gay or not doesn’t matter, a milquetoast by any other name. NOT what the RNC leadership should be. Damnable RINOs.

rayra on August 25, 2010 at 6:59 PM

You don’t know much about the Spatial Model of elections, do you?

doodleduh on August 25, 2010 at 6:57 PM

You don’t know much about who votes in elections do you?

BTW, those cool libertarians over at Reason Magazine mostly voted for Obama so I do see some flaws in your clever plan!

sharrukin on August 25, 2010 at 7:00 PM

Obama always struck me as gay.

darwin on August 25, 2010 at 7:01 PM

Bears shit in the woods! News at 11:00.

IntheNet on August 25, 2010 at 7:01 PM

He’s doing this now, it seems, because he wants to drum up publicity for the cause of gay marriage and figures that “Republican whom everyone thought was gay actually is gay” headlines will do the trick.

How condescending–”Those conservatives don’t know anyone who isn’t just like them. Well, this will show them, and make them confront their out-of-touch ideas.”

I know and care about people who are homosexual. My principles are not based on who I know or how they choose to live.

DrMagnolias on August 25, 2010 at 7:01 PM

gay or not doesn’t matter, a milquetoast by any other name. NOT what the RNC leadership should be. Damnable RINOs.

rayra on August 25, 2010 at 6:59 PM

He’s a RINO?

darwin on August 25, 2010 at 7:01 PM

Must be a slow news day to post such a story……
hawkman on August 25, 2010 at 6:53 PM

You could go to Drudge and try to figure out how long you would last in the ring with Terry Crews.

Bishop on August 25, 2010 at 7:01 PM

Bears shit in the woods! News at 11:00.

IntheNet on August 25, 2010 at 7:01 PM

Update!: EPA to regulate bear shit. Bears set to protest.

darwin on August 25, 2010 at 7:02 PM

That’s not a hard one to swallow.

dthorny on August 25, 2010 at 7:03 PM

I worked at the RNC during Mehlman’s time. It was pretty much “known” that he was gay. He seriously just now realized it? That’s just sad.

di butler on August 25, 2010 at 7:03 PM

I know and care about people who are homosexual. My principles are not based on who I know or how they choose to live.

DrMagnolias on August 25, 2010 at 7:01 PM

Well said. Nor should they be based on personal failings which we all have.

sharrukin on August 25, 2010 at 7:03 PM

Larry Bud Mehlman is gay?

vcferlita on August 25, 2010 at 7:05 PM

Is there anyone willing to come out and then also say that we should still be cautious about redefining the bedrock relationship model of recorded civilization even though they’re out now?

Anyone?

Kensington on August 25, 2010 at 7:06 PM

Larry Bud Mehlman is gay?

vcferlita on August 25, 2010 at 7:05 PM

Kind of hard to be gay when you’ve been dead for three years.

Holger on August 25, 2010 at 7:06 PM

Remember…you always know when you’re gay… it’s not a choice

Skywise on August 25, 2010 at 7:08 PM

He’s gay … but is he a Wolverine!

Enquiring minds want to know.

darwin on August 25, 2010 at 7:08 PM

GINO

faraway on August 25, 2010 at 7:10 PM

I never liked Ken Mehlman because I always thought he was Generic-Talking-Point Man.

Not a particular interesting man with anything interesting to say.

HDFOB on August 25, 2010 at 7:12 PM

Y’know, I find that I really couldn’t care less whether someone is gay or not…..but I’m getting really, really tired of people who are coming out as gay and launching into public support of gay activism.

If someone comes out as an environmentalist, and starts preaching about the virtues of environmentalism, my first reaction is to sort of go-along. After all, I have pet causes that are probably a bit off-the-wall, and — who knows — maybe I could become a convert, too. Same for Catholicism, Democrats, rock collectors, whatever.

But there isn’t a chance that I’m ever going to find myself changing over to homosexuality, which makes a desire to be acknowledged for “coming out” or listening to gay activism automatically tiresome. (By contrast, having a beer with a Lesbian friend and doing the “petite brunette at 2 o’clock” thing works.)

Frankly, I don’t recognize this guy or have any great desire to know him…..and even less if he thinks it’s important that I know he’s gay.

cthulhu on August 25, 2010 at 7:13 PM

doodleduh on August 25, 2010 at 6:43 PM

Well said an thank you!

For the others around here who are not the quick study that doodleduh is, here’s the deal, IT’S THE ECONOMY, STUPID!

Live it, learn it, love it.

MJBrutus on August 25, 2010 at 7:13 PM

By gay does he mean “happy and carefree” or that he likes to take it up the …

Tommy_G on August 25, 2010 at 7:13 PM

And you wonder why the Republicans have gone socialist.

True_King on August 25, 2010 at 7:14 PM

The only issue I have with any “gay issues” are attempts to force any given church to recognize gay relationships. Leave churches alone, take government out of marriage, and I’m happy.

If he wants to make this point, more power to him.

Vera on August 25, 2010 at 7:15 PM

So, he had been undercover, so to speak?

faraway on August 25, 2010 at 7:15 PM

wait, first ed gillespie comes out. then ken melmann. one is an anomoly..two is a trend.

second look at chairman steele?

DrW on August 25, 2010 at 7:15 PM

Wait, Mehlman has got to be mistaken.

People can’t change their sexuality. That’s like changing your race or something.

It’s an inherent part of who you are. you don’t just “realize very recently” you’re gay.

Heck, if that were true, we’d have to completely re-think this whole sexual-orientation-as-civil-rights thing.

greggriffith on August 25, 2010 at 7:15 PM

I don’t know…. the biggest thing stopping Same sex marriage is the problem that, historically, it won’t be enough. Exactly what evidence is there that Same Sex marriage is where the gay lobbyists will shut up and go away, satisfied? None–they’ll come up with something else to show how we are all homophobic bigots for not giving them what ever it is, right now.

It will never end, will it?

Vanceone on August 25, 2010 at 7:16 PM

Why in the flippin flying firetruck do I need to know about anybody’s sex life? My apathy knows no bounds.

Cindy Munford on August 25, 2010 at 7:17 PM

Screw you Mehlman. He must be another foot tapper with other things on his mind besides the peoples work heh!

sonnyspats1 on August 25, 2010 at 7:18 PM

Comment pages: 1 2 3 5