I guess this is Mitt Romney’s attempt to throw a bone to gay Republicans, who haven’t had much to celebrate with the GOPClownCar being steered all primary season long by candidates more than willing to gay-bait and gay-bash. This move by Mittens will, no doubt, cause an eruption in the Santorum wing of the party, which is already suspicious about the social conservative creds of the former Massachusetts governor and presumptive GOP presidential nominee. (MetroWeekly):
Mitt Romney’s campaign tonight announced that it has hired Richard Grenell, an out gay former George W. Bush administration official, to serve as the presumptive Republican presidential nominee’s “national security and foreign policy spokesman,” according to a report from The Washington Post that did not mention Grenell’s sexual orientation.
Grenell served through September 2008 in the Bush administration as a spokesman to the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations — and told The Advocate‘s Kerry Eleveld as he left the administration that it was his hope that New York would have marriage equality soon and that he would one day be able to marry his then-partner of six years.
The reaction from Log Cabin Republicans exec director R. Clarke Cooper:
“Having served with Ric, I can attest that his experience in the multi-lateral environment of the UN and familiarity with domestic and international media make Ric a strong voice.”
And GOProud’s Jimmy LaSalvia told MetroWeekly’s Chris Geidner:
“It’s Obama and Romney now, so we’re going to be talking about all the issues affecting the American people and the whole world. Ric has been around during some very important times in world affairs and … certainly has the experience to help the campaign deal with and respond to crises around the world as they develop this year.”
Aside from the professional credentials (Romney surely wouldn’t choose a dolt for this position), it represents a superficial transparent move to the center. After all, the Republican party movers and shakers have always included a ton of homos, most closeted or socially out and professionally closeted so as not to rile the base of anti-gay bible beater voters.
In fact, Grenell’s homosexuality does not mean he’s pro-equality (self-loathing professional and personal behavior is sadly, part of GOP gay history as well). Mike Rogers, who did groundbreaking work exposing the double lives of politicos — gay hating homosexuals in positions of power who professionally worked to restrict or prevent expansion of LGBT rights — profiled Grenell on BlogActive (Rogers and his work were also the subject of the documentary Outrage). Mike bestowed one of his Roy Cohn Awards on Grenell for homophobic professional behavior while in the Bush admin back in 2006, asking readers to “Let him what you think of a gay man representing a homophobic administration. Let him know what you think of his defending the US vote with Iran and Sudan on gay rights”
This is blogACTIVE‘s first internationally connected Roy Cohn Award. blogACTIVE has learned that John Bolton’s spokesman at the United Nation’s, Richard Grenell, is gay. Mr. Grenell confirmed this information directly to blogACTIVE and he explained that ambassador Bolton had welcomed him into his home with a male date.
This is the same John Bolton who made this happen:
For the complete story of how the US sided with anti-gay regimes in denying observer status to LGBT groups, click here.
While Mr. Bolton didn’t have a problem standing with Sudan when it comes to gays, here’s what the ambASSdor had to say the other day:
All just say I did introduce our resolution on sanctions on Sudan…
Grenell did “turn” on the Bush administration when he learned that — surprise — that this partner was not able to be listed as a family member in the United Nations’ Blue Book in 2008, and spoke to the Advocate’s Kerry Eleveld about it at the time.
“What put me over the edge was a friend and colleague who met her spouse after I was already with my partner — they got married and subsequently were put into the Blue Book in a matter of days.”
So it’s a mixed bag politically, certainly a risk to some extent for Romney, because he still has to hope the base will phone bank and GOTV for him in November — after all, the party counts on that reliable religious base to stuff those envelopes, do canvassing and bus their peeps to the polls. Too many moves like this will only encourage them to stay home on election day as well. Will a minor move like this shift any opinions of the moderates and independents he needs to win over after a season of unrelenting anti-LGBT, womb-controlling rhetoric? I doubt it.
UPDATE: Mitt’s new big ol’ gay spokesman is a no-class @ss…take a look at his tweet about Rachel Maddow:
As a spokesperson, he gets an F for strategic thinking that this is a net positive for his new boss. A lesbian-hating, gender variant-averse gay man is almost too stereotypically nauseating to be believed, but there it is, in stark relief.