Friday, May 4, 2012

Romney’s First Big Mistake

Richard Grenell recently left the Romney campaign’s support staff in a bit of snit. The departure is causing Romney problems.
by Charlie Leck

I think George Romney is bound, almost inevitably, to make a lot of mistakes in his campaign for the Presidency. Why? Because he’s so stretched across a wide spectrum of political tastes and philosophies in his party. He’s going to try to please everyone. And, what is it they say? If you try to please everyone, you end up pleasing no one!

One of the very most important stories for you to watch in the current political contest has to do with a very talented, bright and respected aide to Mint Romney who just walked out on the campaign – and not happily so.

Richard Grenell was hired by Mr. Romney to head his foreign policy team. It was regarded as a very good move. Grenell is highly respected in this field. In addition, he has, as the NY Times puts it, “pristine political credentials.”

Last Thursday, the Romney campaign was prepared to go public with a significant criticism of the Obama administration’s foreign policy. Grenell was to lead the press conference. He didn’t. Some of Mint Romney’s campaign advisors asked Grenell to step aside and go unseen on this one. It appears it is because Grenell is a known gay and has a gay partner and publically supports gay marriage.

It appears that conservative Christian (I use the term loosely) backers of Mr. Romney were highly offended by the Grenell hire. Most of the far-right segment of the Romney supporters got caught up in the debate about Mr. Grenell.

Rather than be hidden from view, Grenell decided to step down and walk away from the campaign. He wasn’t happy, but he kept his mouth shut and dropped out of public view.

America’s gay, lesbian and bi-sexual community is not happy about the development and neither are those who support that community. More people than we normally imagine who fall within this group are voters who lean Republican. They are getting sick and tired – tired and sick – of the fundamental Christian Church dictating so much of party policy and direction.

Romney is slow to react to this fire-storm. And it is that – a fire-storm. Most of us cannot imagine how serious it would be to flat-out lose the entire gay-rights movement to the Democrats. We are probably talking about 12 percent of the population. Already, Romney has deeply offended women (on reproductive rights) and Hispanics (by supporting Arizona type immigration laws). Now he appears to be giving up on retaining what support he had within the GLBT community. Romney cannot speak to the question of gay marriage rights because the fundamentalist Christians have caused him lockjaw. If he tries to woo back this group, the super conservative Christians (again, I use the term regretfully) will revolt.

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