The White House Press Corps knows this. Members of this exclusive club wouldn't have worked their way up the food chain to the coveted position of White House Correspondent without learning the rules of the game. Its their job to try to trip up the press secretary and get him or her to reveal more than they intended.
That's not what happened this week in the much-regurgitated non-story, that has the LGBT blogosphere all atwitter. The Washington Blade reports:
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said on Friday he wouldn’t rule “in or out” the possibility of President Obama endorsing same-sex marriage in the upcoming State of the Union address.
Carney made the remarks on whether Obama would announce support for marriage equality during the State of the Union address, which is set to take place Tuesday before a joint session of Congress, in response to a question from the Washington Blade.
“I will not rule anything in or out,” Carney said. “I’m just not going to talk about — beyond pointing at his words — his personal views on this. I think his administration’s policies on related issues are there for people to judge.”
In the wake of this latest nondisclosure, The Blade, The Washington Post, blogger Andrew Sullivan, ThinkProgress, LGBTQ Nation, Instinct and On Top have all been speculating about whether or not the president will endorse Marriage Equality in Tuesday's speech.
Uh, folks? Simply because the question was asked again, doesn't mean the answer has changed. Repeating the question ad nauseum doesn't change the answer, it only fuels the build-up to a major let-down.
This president isn't likely to blow his chances of re-election just to appease the LGBT community. As much as public opinion has shifted in our favor, keep in mind that only half of those eligible to vote actually do so. Of those, most will vote along party lines. It only takes a 1% shift to win an election, which is squarely within the margin of error.
Obama may be a lot of things, but he's not stupid. He has never tipped his hand before and there is no reason to think he will now. What Carney did on Friday was take a lesson from the press and rephrase the answer to a rephrased question and they swallowed it hook, line and sinker. Tuesday's speech will be about the economy and job creation. That's the message that's going to make a difference in this election.
If the GOP thinks they can win on social issues, that's their gamble to take. We know that we stand a better chance of achieving our goals with Obama than with anyone in the GOP clown car. If the president has to keep his mouth shut on marriage equality in order to win the election, the LGBT community had better suck it up, face reality and do what we can to assure that he wins.