Team Hillary: It's the media's fault that Hillary's position changed on same-sex marriage

Alternate headline: We’ve always been allies with EastGaysia. Even Chelsea Clinton has acknowledged that her parents have changed their positions on same-sex marriage over time, in part from her own lobbying on the issue. Hillary Clinton refused to back same-sex marriage when she ran for president in 2008, only switching her position on the issue two years ago last month while preparing for a run at the 2016 Democratic nomination.

Even after that, Hillary still hedged her bets, insisting that marriage policy should be left to the states. When she conducted her book tour late last spring, Hillary told NPR’s Terry Gross that the federal government should stay out of the issue, emphases mine:

CLINTON: Well, I think you’re reading it very wrong. I think that, as I said, just as the president has said, you know, just because you’re a politician, doesn’t mean you’re not a thinking human being. And you gather information. You think through positions. You’re not 100 percent set – thank goodness – you’re constantly reevaluating where you stand. That was true for me. We talked earlier about Iraq, for goodness sakes. So, for me, marriage had always been a matter left to the states. And in many of the conversations that I and my colleagues and supporters had, I fully endorse the efforts by activists who work state-by-state and in fact that is what is working. And I think that, you know, being in the position that I was in the Senate – fighting employment discrimination, which we still have some ways to go – was appropriate at that time.

As secretary of state, I was out of domestic politics and I was certainly doing all I could on the international scene to raise the importance of the human rights of the LGBT community. And then leaving that position, I was able to, you know, very quickly announce that I was fully in support of gay marriage and that it is now continuing to proceed state-by-state.

That was then, when Hillary thought she’d need to run a centrist campaign to win the nomination. (Read more of the transcript for the amusing argument made by Hillary that she couldn’t announce her change of position while serving as Secretary of State.) Last week, Hillary’s spokeswoman said that Hillary wants the Supreme Court to rule that states can’t decide the issue at all:

“Hillary Clinton supports marriage equality and hopes the Supreme Court will come down on the side of same-sex couples being guaranteed that constitutional right,” Adrienne Elrod, spokesperson, Hillary for America, told BuzzFeed News.

So what changed? Er, nothing at all, insists Team Hillary. Karen Finney told MSNBC yesterday that Hillary Clinton has been the model of consistency on same-sex marriage — and that it’s the media’s fault for asking questions:

Politico’s Dylan Byers finds this bemusing:

“No change of heart,” Finney replied. “[She] was asked a different question than she was asked before, but I’ll tell you.”

Finney appeared on MSNBC again that afternoon and similarly said her team had “been asked different questions” about marriage equality. “Last week there was a question about where she was on marriage equality, which she’s had a consistent position on that — despite the way it was reported,” Finney said. “So, you know, when we’re asked the question, I think part of it, though, is as a spokesperson, we’re trying not to get ahead of her because she’s got her platform that she wants to roll out.”

In fact, the questions put to Clinton last year, last month and last week do not vary greatly enough to warrant different responses. NPR’s Terry Gross asked about Clinton’s support of marriage equality, which is when Clinton said, “For me, marriage had always been a matter left to the states.” Last month and last week, Clinton was asked about where she stands on the constitutionality of marriage equality, and that is when Clinton started referring to it as a “constitutional right” that should be guaranteed by the Supreme Court.

This prompted a riposte from Ron Fournier, who’s been singularly unimpressed with Hillary 2.0:

After Greg Sargent objected to Fournier’s “snark,” both Fournier and Nick Confessore from the New York Times responded:

To his credit, Greg agreed on that point, “especially on the e-mails.”

The resort of putting up media-blaming stonewalls this early in the campaign should be a warning sign to Democrats. So far, Hillary’s not sticking around to answer questions, barely engaging with the media at all while arguing that she’s the most qualified person in the field on either side. If she can’t respond to legitimate questions about her actions or her policies and has to claim that there’s a media conspiracy in place against her at this early stage, then she’s hardly qualified at all as a candidate, let alone an actual contender for the presidency. And that should worry some Democrats, while encouraging others to provide their party with a Plan B.