ABC's Rick Klein: Obama Wants Fight with Gay Activists to Prove He's Moderate

December 18th, 2008 3:57 PM

Barack Obama doesn't mind a fight with gay activists over selecting Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at his inauguration because the President-elect is bound and determined to govern as a centrist.

That according to's Rick Klein as posted to The Note blog (emphases mine):

President-elect Barack Obama’s selection of Pastor Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at his inauguration has ignited a firestorm of criticism from the gay-rights community, where Warren is considered something of a sworn enemy.

Yet Obama’s response to a question about his selection of Warren seems to confirm one perception: that this is a fight that the president-elect isn’t necessarily sorry to be having.


The fight is an offshoot of a continuing struggle Obama has had with his left flank. His relationship with liberals in the Democratic Party has long stopped just this side of adulation, and some prominent gay-rights leaders have been skeptical about how aggressively he’s committed to their agenda.

Still, from an incoming administration that seems very much committed to governing from the center, could it be that this is a fight that is welcomed?

Of course, there's a more skeptical way of looking at Obama's political calculus. Weekly Standard's Mary Katharine Ham, for example, might say Klein's analysis doesn't add up when you do the pander math. From Ham's Twitter page:

On Warren, do the pander math. Pander to millions w celeb preacher or take a political chance on pandering to those you don't need anymore?