The authors of plan that hoped to smear President Obama over his past connection to controversial pastor Jeremiah Wright inadvertently gave Obama's reelection campaign a fundraising tool.
The plan, written for and then rejected by billionaire Joe Ricketts, also proposed that Ricketts hire an "extremely literate conservative African-American" to paint Obama as a "metrosexual."
It was swiftly repudiated by the Romney campaign, Ricketts and Team Obama.
Though it seems the proposal partially succeeded in its intent - the story has resurrected the original Wright controversy - the President's staffers are already framing it as just part of a broader movement working against the president. From a fundraising email sent my campaign manager Jim Messina and found at TPM:
[The plan] shows in vivid and gruesome detail what the President and all of us are up against.
The proposal laments that voters “still aren’t ready to hate this president” but lays out a plan to portray him as “slick” and “cocky” – and notes that they need to hire an “extremely literate conservative African-American” to insulate against charges of racism.
In the words of one of these guys, they want to “do exactly what John McCain would not let us do” in the last election. And the plan was for it to be financed by a single billionaire.
This is going to be worse than we could have imagined. President Obama needs your help to stop it before it starts.
Knowing how fundraising ebbs and flows - for example, the flood after President Obama endorsed gay marriage - it wouldn't be surprising to see the campaign's email pay off.
Dozens of same-sex families headed to Washington today to lobby lawmakers as part of the Family Equality Council's push to evolve more politicians toward equality. And one of the participants was none other than Zach Wahls, the Iowa college student whose impassioned defense of his two mothers before Iowa lawmakers last year made him a star.
Today, appearing on CNN, Wahls said that the only way the country can move forward on equality is if we start breaking down far-entrenched barriers between right and left."The fact is that not all people who are opposed to same-sex marriage are bigots or hateful or ignorant," said Wahls, who met with Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley today.
He went on: "Likewise, not all people who support marriage equality are godless, colonizing sodomites. So I think if we can move past some of these stereotypes on both sides, we're able to have this real conversation and understand that at the end of the day, my family isn't looking for some radical change to the law, we're looking for due process and equal protection."
Family Equality Council executive director Jennifer Chrisler remarked to NPR: "The 12 states where [same-sex] couples are most likely to be raising kids are states like Mississippi and Montana and Kentucky and Louisiana. And those are the states that actually have some of the worst policy."
South Carolinian gay couple Tommy Starling and Jeff Littlefield and their daughter, Carrigan, also participated the event, which was planned before President Obama came out for same-sex marriage, and told CNN that they hope seeing so many families would help change some lawmakers' minds.
"Now that we have Carrigan in our lives, people's minds are changing," said Starling. "They see her; they see us in the PTA functions; they see us in the community, going to the school, so we have a different group of friends, and everybody's hearts and minds are opening to seeing that we are a family just like theirs."
That's precisely what Jane Lynch was telling Rachel Maddow.
Watch Wahls' appearance on CNN, AFTER THE JUMP...
Jane Lynch filled in for Rachel Maddow during the MSNBC host's "Best New Thing In The World" segment last night. And the out actress was kind enough to bring along her own new thing suggestion: the memo from former Bush pollster Jan van Lohuizen advising Republicans to catch up on LGBT rights by presenting equality as a conservative value.
According to Lynch, the memo has the potential to create some jobs, another conservative value, because strategists can now charge more money for their gay expertise. "There's money to be made on promoting gay rights within the Republican Party," she said.
Someone is going to have to teach Republicans to talk about gay rights without seeming like they've caved to the Democrats. Some strategists are going to have to make it their specialty to teach Republicans how do be pro gay while still sounding angry. That's a very tall order, but the good news is, you can charge more money.
Republicans are trying to figure out how to lose gracefully -- the best new thing in the world today.
Lynch later tells Maddow that she's not sure Obama's equality proclamation will "change history," or whether there was "political calculus" involved, but "believes in the dignity of our relationships and our right to exist." And the actress also discusses the importance of being out and about with her family, Joe Biden's comment about Will and Grace changing American culture and had this to say about Mitt Romney's right-wing gay politics: "Even us talking together right now, he's probably against that."
Maddow replied: "That's exactly right. It`s probably illegal somewhere, and he supports that state`s right to make it that way."
Watch the entire segment, AFTER THE JUMP.
TENACIOUS: Street preacher to protest Obama until November.
TRIBUTE: A song for May 22nd's Harvey Milk Day.
ATTACK: Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS launched a $25 million campaign against Obama.
COUNTER-ATTACK: Obama's campaign hit back.
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Fallen televangelist Jim Bakker is now selling survivalist gear. One package includes "over 3,300 servings of food and enough fuel to cook 480 meals," all for the low price of $2,000.
The Gay-Straight Alliance at Maryland's Blake High School made a doll called "Allie the Ally" that traveled around the world spreading a message of inclusion, and met some celebrities in the process.
Check out the new Skyfall poster.
Stalemate? Queers Against Israeli Apartheid vowed apply for a spot in Toronto's gay pride, but Toronto City Council insists it will withhold funding if that happens.
Chloe Sevigny says wearing a prosthetic penis while filming the British miniseries Hit & Miss made her cry.
Happy 8th anniversary of marriage equality in Massachusetts!
Evangelical pastor Joel Hunter, a spiritual advisor to President Obama, says that though he disagrees with gay marriage, he still backs the commander-in-chief.
Boxer Floyd Mayweather came out for same-sex marriage.
On the inevitablity of total equality: "Freedom can take a long time to come but it can't be stopped forever. Segregationists were able to delay social and political freedom for blacks but they couldn't stop the inevitable march to freedom. Religious bigots won't be able to stop the march for gay rights, either."
TRIO: John Doe #1 and John Doe #2, the masseurs who accused John Travolta of groping them, have hired Gloria Allred, even though they already dropped their repsective suits. Travolta's lawyers say no money was exchanged. Meanwhile, Travolta himself released a Mother's Day tribute to his wife that's peppered with pictures of them through the years.
Adam Lambert will be the first openly gay singer to land in the Billboard 100's top album slot should latest offering, Trespassing, sell well. And you'll love the list of other singers who could have been first.
Glee co-stars Lea Michele and Cory Monteith take their love to a hockey game.
Conservative blogs are having a field day with a Breitbart report that a literary agent's 1991 blurb about President Obama that read, "Barack Obama, the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review, was born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii." That same agency also repped the New Kids on the Block.
The White House has ordered all prison facilities to crack down on rape in prison.
Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom opened Cannes last night, and it looks like quite the premiere.
Further studies show that virtual reality battles can help soldiers overcome post-traumatic stress disorder.
Here's interview with musician Rye Rye about her new album, growing up in Baltimore and why gays are "her crowd." "I always feel like they really like the gritty side of what I do and that bass that just makes you just go CRAZY. They've loved it since day one and they love it to this day. They really embrace, like, it's crazy."
Bishop Harry Jackson falls back to the "gay activists are like Nazis" argument, but only sometimes.
Jared Leto and Terry Richardson, together again.
Florida Senator Marco Rubio told Fox Business that President Obama endorsed marriage equality for "political reasons" and to move the political conversation away from the economy. And according to Rubio, long-thought to be a potential veep pick for Mitt Romney, Obama will keep using this tactic as the election goes on.
Via the Miami Herald:
He doesn't want [the economy] to be what this election is about. And so it's not just on gay marriage, I think every week he'll roll out another issue to distract from it. And so it's not just on gay marriage, I think every week he'll roll out another issue to distract from it.
I think they've actually admitted that it was politically calculated, because they said they were going to make this decision anyway, they just want to do it closer to the convention. He admitted that he was going to announce this anyway, he just wanted it to be around the convention, he wanted it to be even more dramatic. So of course this was all about politics.
Rubio reiterated that he himself opposes gay marriage for religious reasons, but that the decision to be left to the states. The Tea Party favorite also refused to address the possibility that he could be on the GOP ticket in November, but remarked, "I have no doubt he’s going to make a great selection as his running mate."