Hillary Rodham Clinton’s embrace of gay marriage Monday signals she may be weighing seriously a 2016 presidential run and trying to avoid the type of late-to-the-party caution that hurt her first bid.
Her chief Democratic rivals endorsed same-sex marriage as much as seven years ago, and it’s widely popular with Democratic and independent voters.
By supporting gay marriage a full two years before the next presidential primary warms up, Clinton may render the issue largely settled among Democrats, should she decide to run.
But things could be vastly different in the November 2016 general election, regardless of who wins the Democratic nomination. That nominee is virtually certain to support same-sex marriage, whereas there’s a strong possibility the Republican nominee will not.
That could be a problem for the GOP nominee if same-sex marriage becomes a prominent issue. A poll released Monday shows a dramatic shift in attitudes about legalizing gay marriage, with 58 percent of Americans now supporting it.