President Obama today said that he now supports gay marriage. Obama, of course, has favored it all along and said he did back in 1996. I agree with Allahpundit that the timing of Obama’s statement was driven by the increasing embarrassment of pretending not to be a supporter — his brand was being damaged by his hedging — and the perceived need to motivate his base.
Obama is still hedging, though. He stressed that his view on gay marriage is a personal position, and that he still supports the concept of states deciding the issue on their own. Sure, we all know what a state’s rights champion Obama is.
Is Obama better positioned for the election as a result of having abandoned one fake position on gay marriage for another? Maybe. But he’s going to have to explain why his “evolution” on gay marriage is different from Mitt Romney’s several evolutions.
UPDATE: Obama also said this:
You know when I go to college campuses, sometimes I talk to college Republicans who think that I have terrible policies on the economy, on foreign policy, but are very clear that when it comes to same-sex equality or, you know, sexual orientation, that they believe in equality. They are much more comfortable with it.
It will be interesting to see whether Obama’s claim that as president he has talked to college Republicans who tell him they favor gay marriage will hold up to fact checking.
JOHN adds: I don’t doubt that if Obama spent any time talking to college Republicans he could find some that support gay marriage, but I seriously doubt that he has spent ten minutes talking to college Republicans in the last four years. Here is my question, though: Obama thinks the states should be able to decide the gay marriage issue. That means there is no federal constitutional principle that resolves the issue one way or the other. So if Obama gets another opportunity to name a Supreme Court justice, does that mean he will vet the candidates to make sure they don’t harbor the view that there is a constitutional right to gay marriage?