Tactically, did not condemning gay marriage outright doom Kerry in the end?

Per this Clinton advice

Kerry was always surprised that the Bush approval numbers remained as strong as they did relative to his, even with the stready stream of bad news coming out of Iraq and a sluggish economy. Was his refusal to condemn the notion of gay marriage outright, and specifically support anti-gay marriage legislation in swing states, a potentially larger and more significant deciding factor than previously acknowledged?

What he should have said when asked about gay marriage in the second debate is this:
“The president and I have very similar views on the subject. Both of us oppose gay marriage and are in favor of civil unions. The difference is that he would make an amendment to the United States Constitution while I would leave it to the states to decide. So a vote for me is not a vote for or against gay marriage. And a vote for Bush is not a vote for or against gay marriage. Since we have such similar beliefs, the issue of gay marriage should have no impact on the presidential election.”

No - I’d rather he wasn’t elected (just as well, really :wink: ) than go against a core belief for tactical reasons.

And of course his saying that would make everyone believe him.

Kerry has a long pro-gay record; running away from it was foolish, and it was obvious he was pandering. I say he should framed it as a state’s rights issue, and then he said that he thought it was right for him and Massachusetts.

I frankly think those kind of stones would have been appreciated by the moderate eloctorate.

Just another post-election sign that Kerry was the better candidate, by far. Sigh

I’ve never been impressed with Kerry’s spine, and I must say I’m truely touched and surprised that he took a stand on this.

That is why good guys finish last…

From the debates I thought it was pretty clear he was for States to decide… he should have bashed Bush for trying to ammend the constitution frivously.

Kerry’s answer to the gay marriage question in the debates was a nice pleasant thoughtful one.

That’s not good enough in Prime Time when you know the question may well be asked. Kerry and his advisors didn’t know this a day or week before, but months.

He had time to prepare real bell ringer, and he didn’t, just as some other questions he knew would come–these could have been home runs and thru lack of preparation he settled for a single.

What would have been the point of running against Bush if he had to become Bush?

Sheesh. What in the world were they thinking? You have to respond to attacks.

I don’t think it would’ve made any difference, but I also don’t see why he wouldn’t have taken Clinton’s advice. He already said, in February, that he backed a MA plan to enact an anti-SSM amendment:


No, it would have backfired. It’s becoming clear that Bush’s margin came mainly from the hard religious right who bought into the theme that Kerry isn’t a real American, he’s one o’ dem lib’ruls from Massachusetts, the worst one in the whole Senate, he wants to take away our guns and let our babies get aborted and give in to them terr’ists like Osaddama, evict God from our schools and public life entirely, why, he’s even from that Ted Kennedy state where them queers can get married just like regular people! Let’s all admit it, few other than Karl Rove thought the numbers were there to do it, but it worked, the hatemongering succeeded.

The only way to combat that is to get out your own supporters in huge numbers, which he did, but they wouldn’t have been so enthusiastic if he’d sold out the basic principle of antidiscrimination and the broader one of love of our fellow humans. Well, there’s another way to combat it, and that’s to be a Southerner/Westerner of a strong fundie religious air and a poor background, too strong for a Rove hate campaign to work against, and essentially work from within that system. Even Clinton was willing to sell out the gays, though - you can take the boy out of etc.

How about a cite for exactly how many Bush voters think Kerry is “not a real American”.

Your analysis is pure spin. Suppose Kerry had won by 100,000 votes. Would it be accurate to say that his “margin” came mainly from anti-American left wing nutjobs? No, because you can’t just pick some random group and say they are the “margin”. Reminds me of when Kerry claimed to have cast the “deciding vote” for a particular piece of legislation. While techincally true, anyone who voted for it could have claimed the same thing.

I highly doubt it. A vote for Kerry was probably, more often than not, a vote against Bush. Given that Bush was actively anti-gay, while Kerry was merely rhetorically anti-gay, one had the option of voting for the guy with the gun at your head, or the guy with his fist in his pocket trying to look like he had one.

Kerry did condemn gay marriage. If i recall correctly, his official stance was that he would leave it up to individual states to decide, but if it came to his own state he would vote against gay marriage and for civil unions.

This is one of the reasons why i voted third-party (in a non swing-state of course). Kerry ran as Republican-Lite. The left got pissed that he swung so far to the right and the right didn’t believe that he really swang that way.

Pro-dumb-war, pro-bigot, pro-fiscal irresponsibility … no wonder the liberal base didn’t turn out.

I gave a cite for that in post #10. :slight_smile:

I take this sort of “inside gossip” with a very large grain of salt. Unless Evan Thomas and Newsweek were eavesdropping on this alleged Clinton-Kerry phone call, how did they know what the two men discussed? I highly doubt if either Clinton or Kerry shared the details of the call. My hunch is that a Kerry staffer slanted whatever the real convesation was into something that makes his boss (Kerry) look noble at the expense of the conniving Bill Clinton.

I don’t know that Kerry had much control over it. The problem for him is that the issue was on the ballot in 11 states, and that brought out a lot of Christians who, while they were in the booth voting against gay marriage also pulled the lever for Bush.

One of the worst things to happen to the Kerry campaign was the Massachussets legalization of gay marriage. That started a chain reaction that led to a huge turnout of evangelicals, among others. Kerry’s position on the subject probably didn’t change much, in my opinion.

Congratulations! After repeatedly doing the opposite over and over, you’ve finally at least included SOME evidence in your post that his acceptance of the SSM ban was tied to full civil unions, and hence stopped being so wildly deceptive.

You’ve grown as a PERSON.

What are you talking about? I don’t even know if I understand what you’re saying, but it sounds like you are implying I’ve claimed that Kerry is opposed to civil unions. If so, I’d like to see where I posted that. If not, what ARE you talking about?

If you think about it, Kerry’s position is more closely aligned with the majority of Americans than Bush’s is. Polls consistently show that while most Americans don’t want SSM to be legal, they also don’t want a federal constitutional amendment to ban it. The mainstream opinion is that is should be handled on the state level, which is Kerry’s position.

Of course, you have to look at this state-by-state to get the real effect of the two candidates’ position, but I’m not aware of any polls, by state, on voters opinion concerning the federal amendment.