Must-Read Op-Eds for Thursday, May 10, 2012

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PRESIDENT OBAMA’S MOMENT
EDITORIAL
NEW YORK TIMES

We have one major point of disagreement with Mr. Obama: his support for the concept of states deciding this issue on their own. That position effectively restricts the right to marry to the 20 states that have not adopted the kind of constitutional prohibitions North Carolina voters approved on Tuesday. Mr. Obama should remember that, in 1967, the Supreme Court said no state could prohibit mixed-race marriages because “marriage is one of the ‘basic civil rights of man.’ ” Those rights are too precious and too fragile to be left up to the whim of states and the tearing winds of modern partisan politics.

NO MATTER THEIR IMPACT, HISTORIC WORDS
BY FRANK BRUNI
NEW YORK TIMES

Our highest elected official, our president, said that same-sex couples should have the right to marry, something that none of his predecessors had done, something that he had refused to do since becoming a national political figure. There’s a powerful message in that. … Over recent days it has been observed that the president’s position on this didn’t and wouldn’t make an immediate or enormous difference in the actual law of the land. That remains true. … But that doesn’t diminish the emotional importance of what just happened.

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TALKING ‘BOUT AN EVOLUTION
BY DANA MILBANK
WASHINGTON POST

Political observers pretty much assumed that was his view, even before Vice President Biden forced his hand by articulating it himself on Sunday. And Obama didn’t commit to doing anything to advance same-sex marriage; he merely stated his view. And yet, his statement required bravery. By taking sides on the highly divisive issue, he risks antagonizing swing voters, particularly in conservative-leaning states such as Virginia and North Carolina. He also puts himself at odds with the 30 states that constitutionally ban same-sex marriage.

OBAMA’S MARRIAGE ACT
EDITORIAL
WALL STREET JOURNAL

One school of political thought holds that gay-rights issues typically hurt the person who raises them first. But perhaps the Obama campaign calculates that in a close election he will need a passionate base and that this will drive liberal and youth turnout in such important and evolving states as Virginia, Colorado, New Hampshire and New Mexico. On the other hand, Mr. Obama looks like he has just solved that problem Mitt Romney supposedly has with rousing cultural conservatives.

HUCKABEE FOR VEEP?
BY ROBERT COSTA
NATIONAL REVIEW

The conventional wisdom about Mitt Romney’s vice-presidential short list, according to a handful of Romney insiders, may be wrong. Instead of picking a straitlaced Midwestern senator such as Ohio’s Rob Portman, or an outspoken northeastern Republican governor such as Chris Christie, there is a chance Romney will tap an evangelical from the South. And the name on the lips of Romney friends and supporters isn’t a rising southern senator or a current Dixie governor. He has been out of office for five years, resides on a beach in the Florida panhandle, and hosts a television show. In other words, Mike Huckabee, the bass-guitar-playing former governor.

OBAMA’S LEAP OF FAITH ON GAY MARRIAGE
BY RONALD BROWNSTEIN
THE ATLANTIC

President Obama’s endorsement of gay marriage undoubtedly reflects a personal evolution in his thinking, as he’s said. But his decision also reflects a hard-headed acknowledgement of the changing nature of the Democratic electoral coalition. Indeed, historians may someday view Obama’s announcement Wednesday as a milestone in the evolution of his party’s political strategy, because it shows the president and his campaign team are increasingly comfortable responding to the actual coalition that elects Democrats today – not the one that many in the party remember from their youth.

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Must-Read Op-Eds for Thursday, May 10, 2012

Updated