President-elect Barack Obama on Thursday defended his choice of a popular evangelical minister to deliver the invocation at his inauguration, rejecting criticism that it slights gays.The selection of Pastor Rick Warren brought objections from gay rights advocates, who strongly supported Obama during the election campaign. The advocates are angry over Warren’s backing of a California ballot initiative banning gay marriage. That measure was approved by voters last month.
But Obama told reporters in Chicago that America needs to “come together,” even when there’s disagreement on social issues. “That dialogue is part of what my campaign is all about,” he said.
Sure, as a red-blooded blue-stater, I’m mildly offended. I’ll even turn up my nose and give a little sniff of indignation.
There now. With that out of the way, I can get back to admiring Obama’s political savvy. With one fell stroke, he manages to reach out to a group Democrats considered unreachable only, like, five minutes ago. He also puts the aspersions about the Good Reverend Wright behind him forever. And the tradeoff? Offending an interest group that pretty much has no choice but to vote Democratic. Genius!