The Note: Consensus Reached

In a must-read, the Los Angeles Times' James Gerstenzang and Ronald Brownstein look at the contrasting messages of President Bush and former President Clinton while on the campaign trail in the nation's Rust Belt on Thursday. LINK

For President Bush, this week's New Jersey court decision "provided a fresh opportunity to speak to the heart of a cultural issue that motivated many conservative voters who had propelled him and other GOP candidates to victory in recent years -- but whose enthusiasm for Bush and his party has been lagging, according to some polls."

For former President Clinton, the rally was an opportunity to try to refute a "the perceived risk, which Bush raises regularly, that Democrats would seek to pull U.S. troops out of Iraq before the country had been stabilized and could defend itself against becoming a haven for anti-American terrorists."

To "loud applause and whoops from the audience," former President Clinton said: "'Stop and think' is not the same as 'cut-and-run.'"

The president of the Family Research Council, Tony Perkins, tells the Washington Post that conservative voters were awakened by the New Jersey Supreme Court on gay marriage and that conservatives now feel a "very real and present danger" that same-sex marriage could spread. Alan Cooperman on what may be wake call for conservatives that could really tilt thing in favor of GOP. LINK

USA Today lists the eight states that will be voting on same-sex marriage in November. LINK

The Boston Globe's Michael Kranish looks at the intensifying national based attacks on Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) from Vice President Cheney, who has said of the gay lawmaker "I don't need to tell you what kind of legislation would come," (although the veep has not mentioned Frank's sexuality) and Rep. John Hostettler (R-IN) who is airing an ad warning about Frank-led Democratic efforts to "advance the homosexual agenda." LINK

"Frank is both outraged and bemused by the attacks. If his mother were still alive, 'she would have kvelled at Dick Cheney attacking me, she would have been the proudest mother in America,' Frank said in an interview, using a Yiddish word for bursting with pride."

Thomas Beaumont of the Des Moines Register analyzes the fact that gubernatorial candidates Jim Nussle and Chet Culver both oppose same-sex marriage. LINK

Sen. Clinton makes news on same-sex marriage:

Sen. Clinton told a group of gay elected officials Wednesday that she would not oppose same sex marriage in New York if the state legislature and governor enacted it. LINK

According to the Gay City News, when Sen. Clinton was asked about plans Eliot Spitzer, the Democratic candidate for governor, has to introduce a gay marriage bill, Sen. Clinton said: "if our governor and our Legislature support marriage in New York, I'm not going to be against that. . . So I feel very comfortable with being able to refute anybody who tries to pit us or pit me against Eliot." LINK

During a May 26, 2005 interview on CNN's "Inside Politics," Sen. Clinton said: "Well, I don't know many Democrats who support gay marriage. In fact, I don't and haven't for, you know, years before I became a Senator."

Bush Administration agenda:

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