Of course Obama has been planning his fundraiser for quite a while now. So there’s certainly a possibility that it’s just a coincidence that Washington was the first state he visited after announcing his support for marriage equality. Still, he could have made his announcement at any time. And Biden’s trial balloon came the weekend before the trip. So, maybe they looked at the calendar and decided Obama is going to be in Washington, so let’s make it happen.
It certainly seems to me that Washington is the right choice of venue for that. Of course there’s a good chance, depending on the signature gathering, that we’ll have this question on the ballot. Obama coming here probably spread the news a little more among people who like him that he thinks marriage equality is something worth pushing. Of course, this was big news anyway, but it probably got to a few more low information voters today.
That’s not to say his speech was all this one issue. As Paul Constant says:
What President Obama offered was basically his standard stump-speech. This doesn’t mean he ignored LGBT issues—when he listed his accomplishments, DADT repeal was high on the list; he said that no American, “black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled” should be discriminated against; and he did state that nobody should be denied rights because of who they love. (That mention of the freedom to love came early in the speech, and it got a raucous round of applause.) But marriage equality was just one of a series of issues he set out to contrast himself with Mitt Romney, who he referred to frequently by name. Romney, he said, “is a patriotic American,” and he congratulated him for the “success he’s had as the head of a large financial firm,” which earned derisive laughter from the crowd.
His was a fundraiser for his campaign, not a marriage equality rally. And there are lots of issues where he has to keep pushing. Still, I’m glad he was here.