More On The ‘Importance’ Of Mitt Romney Hiring Richard Grenell


A lot of people seem to think Mitt Romney's hiring of openly gay former UN ambassador Richard Grenell as his foreign policy spokesman marks a shift to the center for a Republican presidential candidate who so tenaciously courted the right.

"For Romney to have an openly gay spokesman is a real outreach to gay Republicans, a subtle signal to moderates, and the Santorum faction's reaction will be worth noting," said Andrew Sullivan.

Social conservative agree, but see the hiring as a harbinger of homosexual doom. Bryan Fischer from the rabidly anti-gay American Family Association described Grenell's placement as a "shout out to the homosexual lobby."

ABC News' Matt Negrin also argues that Romney's relationship with Grenell, who supports marriage equality, is a dog-whistle of sorts, and contends that it could lay the groundwork for a gay policy shift on Romney's part:

Grenell’s appointment also signaled that the Romney campaign had fully moved on from the primary in which the former Massachusetts governor vaulted to the right wing of his party to win conservative voters who were less likely to support gay rights.

In a general election, however, being open to gay rights could even help Romney win some independent voters – especially against a president who has been timid about outright support of gay marriage.

But that's only if Romney comes out for gay marriage, which he most probably won't, though it would be a potential game-changer for the election, especially since President Obama consistently claims he's "evolving" on the issue.

As for Grenell, I personally think Romney hired him for his qualifications, rather than for political calculus, and that other faux controversies will play a bigger role in voters' decision-making. Romney's massive wealth and "inadequate" $12 million California mansion, for one, turns off those who are struggling; that whole Etch-a-Sketch meme scares people who think Romney's a flip-flopper; and Seamus Romney's travel accommodations of course worry anyone who loves dogs, or common sense.


  1. NwYrkr says

    I, frankly, am more concerned about Mr. Romney’s ( and Mr. Ryan’s) intentions with regard to Medicare, Social Security and his proposed tax code reforms that would eliminate many middle class tax breaks such as home mortage interst deductions and stae and local tax deductions while lowering the tax rates on the richest, effectively shifting more of the country’s financial burden to the middle and working classes.
    These things concern me far more than whether his foreign policy spokesperson prefers sleeping with members of the same or opposite sex.

  2. Emmy says

    I don’t understand any of this. Romeny wants to put a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, i mean it’s on his website! people are so stupid sometimes.

  3. VDUFFORD says

    You are so spot on!
    Let me add the healthcare issue especially the pre existing condition parts of the bill.
    I think this more about pandering than anything else!

  4. Paul R says

    Grenell is a massive jerk. His tweets have been completely unprofessional, so it just shows more bad judgment by Mitt to have hired him.

    Oh, and gay Republicans are obviously despicable. Working for Bolton, and now Romney? It’s sad.

  5. says

    “But that’s only if Romney comes out for gay marriage, which he most probably won’t . . . ”

    Most probably won’t? Ha, Andrew, are we back to April Fool’s Day or are you smoking something?

    We all know Romney’s the queen of flip-flopping, but he supports a constitutional amendment that would not only prohibit marriage equality but strip away existing marriages. The Romney campaign is already on record as a mainstream (i.e. extremist) anti-gay Republican. Anyone who thinks Romney is suddenly gay-friendly because he has a misogynist Log Cabin Republican on his team should be diagnosed with a brain injury.

  6. Michaelandfred says

    Ok, lets’ set reality aside for a second. If Hell actually did freeze over and Romney came out in support for marriage equality, THEN we’d have an interesting election. Obama would finish evolving faster than we could all blink, closet marriage supporting Republicans would voice support, independents would rethink things, the far right’s head would collectively explode….maggie would tie a rock to her feet and take a jump somewhere… about a game change.

    Oh well, back to reality…..

  7. say what says

    Just like how kapos (Jewish prisoners made guards over other jews in concentration camps) advanced Jewish rights amongst the SS

    Just like black to mixed raced plantation overseers beating even their own family members on “masters” orders helped promote afican american rights on plantations

    This thread is a complete FAIL

  8. says

    My friends who endured Romney’s term as Governor of Massacusetts know exactly what he’s doing: He’s moving to the center for the general election. If he wins, he’ll then govern from the far right. The best predictor of future behavior is past performance.

  9. Reggie says

    Will someone please inform Andrew Belonsky that we don’t care what he personally believes. Focus on getting the facts right, and less on your own viewpoints. Thanks.

  10. BobN says

    Grenell is a handsome man and, just like under Bolton, he’ll be a pretty face hired to say stupid and nasty things.

    Wow, what “progress” for gay people hiring him will be….

  11. jack says

    There is nothing new about a few token “gay toms” being hired by republicans. FYI: one of Rick Santorums Senatorial assistants was an out Black Gay Male. The significant question is why these homosexuals work for people who don’t recognize them as fully equal American citizens.

  12. Tom Cardellino says

    When people like Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, even the worst of outspoken homophobic politicians like Rick Santorum disingenuously begin a sentence with “Even my gay friends know this about me…” these putrid very-well-paid Quislings like Richard Grenell and Ken Mehlman are the “friends” about whom they are talking. I’ve occasionally wondered what it might be like to show up at work “absolutely knowing” that you were the rarest of rare minorities there, and most likely despised by more than half of your staffers. That wonderment must be made all the more special for these self-loathing “lace-curtain-homos” (who think the rest of us middle class LGBT folks are “shanty-queers”) once they fire up their smart phones to check their millions of dollars in their rare-these-days interest-bearing bank accounts, trust funds and their investment portfolios. Sort of makes you more empathetic to the Parisian mobs who paraded outside the windows of Marie Antoinette’s second floor prison quarters in the Temple of the Marais with her relative’s severed head on a pike, doesn’t it?

  13. ajthedj says

    Grenell’s recent twitter attacks on liberal female politicos (Hillary and R. Maddow)dress and appearance was just ridiculous for someone in his position. Especially cuz his appearance(that sad 1989 frost and tip highlight job on his hair) looks pretty pathetic? It seems to be more subtle lately but you can tell there is some light auburn highlight messiness goin’ on.

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