Via BuzzFeed, a fun way to end Gay Marriage Day. The key bit comes at 2:15 but watch from the beginning or else you’ll miss why he’s so exasperated. This is what I was getting at in this morning’s post about why O was willing to take a calculated gamble on endorsing SSM. Simply put, he knows Romney doesn’t want to talk about it. He’s desperately trying to brand himself as the candidate of economic recovery before Obama can brand him as the candidate of waging war on women and putting dogs on car roofs and yadda yadda yadda. Remember, their big talking point against Romney, ludicrous as it is, is that he’s the most conservative nominee since Barry Goldwater. If they can bog him down in talking about hot-button social issues instead of unemployment, they can get him to play into that impression a bit. His rhetoric doesn’t have to be strident or out of the conservative mainstream for this tactic to work; all they’re trying to do is make him look like a guy who’s preoccupied with “values” issues while swing voters are worried about jobs. And of course Romney knows it. Hence his consternation here as he’s put through his paces first on gay marriage, then in-state tuition for illegals, and then ye olde medical marijuana question. Axelrod couldn’t have scripted that any better. If Mitt never has to field another question about those topics before election day, I’d bet he’ll be just fine with it.
Two questions here while you watch. One: Why is he okay with domestic partnerships but not civil unions? Is there some principled distinction he has in mind or is that purely a minor strategic concession to pro-gay-rights Republicans? Two: Andrew Kaczynski makes a very good catch. Watch to the last seconds of the clip and you’ll hear Romney say, almost offhandedly, that gay marriage and marijuana are state issues. Is that really his official position? Didn’t he sign a pledge supporting a Federal Marriage Amendment?