Mitt Romney accomplished a rare political feat when he hired Richard Grenell to serve as his foreign policy spokesman: He managed to provoke politicos of all ideological stripes. Liberals were up in arms over Grenell'simpolitic tweets (more than 800 of which he has deleted) haranguing female politicians and journalists, among others. The press corps was equally disturbed, as reporters recalled stories of Grenell's ill temperament during his time as a U.N. spokesperson. Yet it was a separate character trait that appears to have doomed Grenell by riling up social conservatives: He’s gay. The National Review disparaged Romney's appointment, with one writer suggesting that Grenell was "a man with questionable judgment" for supporting same-sex marriage. The American Family Association's Bryan Fischer said that "Romney stepped on a landmine by appointing Richard Grenell, an out, loud and proud homosexual."
This afternoon—less than two weeks after Grenell’s hiring—The Washington Post broke the newsthat Grenell had resigned “in the wake of a full-court press by anti-gay conservatives.” Romney’s response avoided any mention of the controversy: “We are disappointed that Ric decided to resign from the campaign for his own personal reasons,” the campaign said in a statement. No doubt they were crushed by the news. The episode was, as Jonathan Chait wrote, another sign of how deeply "Romney remains beholden to his base." Even with Rick Santorum finished and Newt Gingrich exiting tomorrow, Romney has shown no inclination to back away from his extreme deference to social conservatives. During a debate in January, Romney proudly touted his willingness to hire people of all sexual orientations as governor of Massachusetts. In his presidential campaign, he's apparently just as willing to let them go.
So They Say
"We got him."
—President Obama one year ago today in the Situation Room as Osama bin Laden's death was confirmed
Daily Meme: Hide and Seek
- The President made a surprise trip to Afghanistan today for the anniversary of bin Laden's death.
- Oh wait, maybe not.
- Wait again: "The President is not not in Afghanistan."
- Buzzfeed has a timeline of how the White House (sort of) kept the lid on the president's whereabouts.
- The New York Times: "The ruse was part of a bipartisan pattern of deception for the sake of security engaged by both of the last two presidents to cover their tracks as they headed to war zones."
- Back in D.C., the Pentagon released a new report on the war's progress (and lack thereof).
- Obama signed a new agreement with President Karzai detailing the future of U.S. involvement in the country, and he'll give a live address tonight.
- Meanwhile, as Obama tackled Afghanistan policy, Mitt Romney spent the day in NYC attending to the cultural politics of terrorism.
What We're Writing
- Paul Waldman explains what the Prospect has meant to him.
- Amanda Marcotte: Karl Rove goes mean girls on Obama.
- Jamelle Bouie: Just give people some money.
What We're Reading
- The Wall Street Journal touts Rob Portman as the anti-Palin VP choice.
- Hillary Clinton continues to up her cool cred.
- Mark Schmidt: Ignore Americans Elect, but the idea of a third party isn't totally frivolous.
- Jeffrey Toobin: The Supreme Court might close the door on affirmative action.
- James Fallows: Leave Jimmy Carter alone.
- Michael Hastings: Are the Navy Seals turning on Obama?
Poll of the Day
The steady march toward marriage equality is poised for a setback in North Carolina next week. Voters in the state will decide the fate of a constitutional amendment that would ban both same-sex marriage and civil unions. Momentum had appeared to be on the side of the opposition, but a new PPP poll has support for the amendment holding steady at 55 percent. The survey found that a majority of North Carolinians support some form of legal recognition for same-sex couples, but are unaware of the implications of the amendment.