Wednesday, April 25, 2012


The Romney campaign is furiously trying to spoon-feed stories to the media that signal a pivot to the center. Yesterday, Molly Ball of The Atlantic did the campaign's a favor and wrote a Romney press release:

Mitt Romney's Gay Spokesman: A Milestone in Republican Politics

The recent hiring of Richard Grenell, Mitt Romney's openly gay foreign-policy spokesman, represents a breakthrough in the world of Republican presidential campaigns.

Grenell isn't the first out gay person to serve as a high-level staffer to a GOP nominee, but as far as I can tell, he is the first such press spokesman -- the first to serve as the public face of the all-but-certain Republican nominee -- and on the historically sensitive issue of national security, no less.... His rise signals a remarkable new openness in a party often castigated for its social conservatism....

We're supposed to be impressed by this? In 2012? I just want to remind Ball that this makes the Romney approximately as pro-gay as the Poppy Bush White House twenty years ago. Ball talks about "the historically sensitive issue of national security," but Grennell is a spokesman on defense issues for a guy who's not in office; Bush Senior had a man known to be gay as his spokesman at the Pentagon.

Older readers know who I mean -- Pete Williams, now a newsman at NBC, was Pentagon spokesman during the Gulf War, then was outed in August 1991. There was talk of a resignation, but the Bush administration kept him on, and he continued to serve as the controversy died down.

Hiring Grennell is a huge breakthrough? Why?


Laszlo said...

So basically the GOP is normally so heinous that upon making a single concession to modern society, it's a huge breakthrough and they can be portrayed as tacking to the center.

Okay, they hired one gay guy. That's nice, but now how about they give him equal rights too? I guess it's too much to ask that we hold off on the fawning articles until then.

BH said...

This would be the same Grennell who was frantically (and futilely) trying to scrub all his snarky tweets about various women, as soon as it became known he was going to be Mitty's token gay. Grennell's qualifications for the job left aside, I'm not sure this is the right token to pick. Sure doesn't seem likely to reduce that yawning gender gap that's killing Mitty.

Tom Hilton said...

Next Romney breakthrough: hiring a pacifist as spokesman for his anti-gay misogynist "family values" pandering.