Newsweek’s Andrew Sullivan calls President Barack Obama “The First Gay President” in light of his support of gay marriage.
By: A.J. Niles
President Obama reached another historic milestone last week when he became the first sitting president to openly support gay marriage during an interview with ABC’s Robin Roberts. This is a stance that will have polarizing and decisive consequences as the 2012 elections draws closer. Such unprecedented stances will lead to unprecedented claims. Such is the case from Newsweek’s Andrew Sullivan.
Sullivan and Newsweek call President Obama “the first gay president.” Sullivan writes,
The interview, by coincidence, came the day after North Carolina voted emphatically to ban all rights for gay couples in the state constitution. For gay Americans and their families, the emotional darkness of Tuesday night became a canvas on which Obama could paint a widening dawn. But I didn’t expect it. Like many others, I braced myself for disappointment. And yet when I watched the interview, the tears came flooding down. The moment reminded me of my own wedding day. I had figured it out in my head, but not my heart. And I was utterly unprepared for how psychologically transformative the moment would be. To have the president of the United States affirm my humanity—and the humanity of all gay Americans—was, unexpectedly, a watershed. He shifted the mainstream in one interview. And last week, a range of Democratic leaders—from Harry Reid to Steny Hoyer—backed the president, who moved an entire party behind a position that only a few years ago was regarded as simply preposterous. And in response, Mitt Romney could only stutter.
Sullivan then goes on to explain that President Obama’s “evolution” was nothing more then careful political calculations.
There was, of course, cold politics behind it. One in six of Obama’s fundraising bundlers is gay, and he needs their money. Wall Street has not backed him financially this year the way it did in 2008.
If money was one factor making the move necessary, the youth vote—essential to his demographic coalition and overwhelmingly pro–marriage equality—clinched the logic of it. The under-30s were looking worryingly apathetic, especially compared with 2008. This would fire them back up. And by taking a position directly counter to that of Mitt Romney, who favors a constitutional amendment to ban all rights for gay couples across the entire country, Obama advanced his key strategy to winning in the fall: to make this a choice election. If it is a choice election, he wins. If it is a referendum on the last four years of economic crisis, he could lose. And last week, especially after The Washington Post broke the news of Romney’s adolescent assault on a gay student, the choice could not have been starker.
The flashpoint for this wonderfully written article will be the fact that the publication releases the issue containing the article with a cover that depicts the President with a halo colored as a rainbow. This picture is a polarizing symbol that is done in a very distasteful way and adds no dynamic value, other than a controversial way to draw in readers and people to buy the publication and read it online.
What are your thoughts on this cover and the article?