As the White House prepares for next year's reelection campaign, President Barack Obama is coming up with a pitch to LGBT voters.
As reported by Politico.com, Obama's team is starting to present its case to gay voters for the 2012 election.
From the repeal of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell to not supporting portions of the Defense of Marriage Act, Obama can remind LGBT voters he has been the 'fierce advocate' promised in 2008. Despite these advances, the president could have trouble connecting with gay voters because of his stance on marriage.
This past October he repeated he was against same-sex marriage, but added his position was 'evolving'. This might not be enough.
'I think if he did come out and say, "Yes, I believe gay people are equal," you’d have a lot of [gay and straight] volunteers,' said anti-DADT advocate Dan Choi in the article – the quote is from last summer. 'But as of right now, I do not think I should endorse a president that does not endorse my right to full personhood.'
Despite the president's reticence to support marriage quality, some in his Administration have no problem publicly disagreeing with their boss. In an interview last month Shaun Donovan, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, announced his support for same sex marriage. And he wasn't required to recant later.
This apparent lack of Obama team discipline has some wondering if the president is preparing to evolve to a pro-gay marriage announcement during the 2012 election.
Richard Socarides, an assistant and senior advisor during the Clinton Administration, wrote a 19 December New Yorker article arguing that based on upcoming federal cases, and the changing mood of the country, Obama's position 'on same sex-marriage appears likely to end with a strategically timed (if low-key) pre-election announcement of his support for marriage equality.'
While his base might applaud such a move, the president's risk adverse nature makes such an announcement unlikely.