Newsweek’s “First Gay President” Cover

You thought Tina Brown was really going to bring the insanity to this week’s Newsweek cover, especially after she was one-upped by Time’s mind-scarring “Are you Mom Enough?” photo. But actually, the cover is relatively tame. The over-the-top Obama worship at these weeklies has lost its shock value, and the “First Gay President” line was a pundit trope as soon as Obama wrapped up his ABC interview last week. Politico’s Dylan Byers has the summary of Andrew Sullivan’s cover story:

It’s easy to write off President Obama’s announcement of his support for gay marriage as a political ploy during an election year. But don’t believe the cynics. Andrew Sullivan argues that this announcement has been in the making for years. “When you step back a little and assess the record of Obama on gay rights, you see, in fact, that this was not an aberration. It was an inevitable culmination of three years of work.” And President Obama has much in common with the gay community. “He had to discover his black identity and then reconcile it with his white family, just as gays discover their homosexual identity and then have to reconcile it with their heterosexual family,” Sullivan writes.

Obviously, this story was supposed to be a boost for Obama, but conservatives are already pointing out that the cover is a gift for Mitt Romney. Yes, the regular readership of Newsweek (and Andrew Sullivan) loves this sort of  Obama fawning. But they’re not the only people who are going to see this, and they’re already voting for him anyway. This cover is going to be on newsstands. It’s going to be in the checkout line at the grocery store. It’s going to be on the news rack at highway gas stations across the Midwest and the south. And it’s going to be viewed very differently in those areas of the country than it will be in the Northeast and West Coast.