Frank Pignanelli & LaVarr Webb: Political questions to ponder while honoring mothers

Published: Sunday, May 13 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

The institution of marriage is already not doing so well, given the high percentage of children born out of wedlock and high rates of divorce. And as the traditional family crumbles, so does society. We wouldn't need nearly as much government, or high taxes, if we had stronger families. A large share of society's ills, and the need for government intervention, map directly back to dysfunctional marriages and families. When the most powerful person on Earth takes a position that will inevitably further weaken traditional marriage, it's a sad day.

Pignanelli: Never underestimate the Chicago boys running the Obama campaign. They understand close races in a dozen states will determine the presidential election and hope this bold move will garner Americans under the age of 30 (including independents and moderate Republicans) who are fine with same-sex marriage. Voters opposed were not going to support Obama anyway, and the base is now rejuvenated. The Obama pros knew that the president could just not announce this policy suddenly, but chose a strategy of dribbling it out over several days.

What is the immediate impact on Utah politics?

Pignanelli: Utah Democratic candidates must decide to either publicly embrace or distance themselves from the president — and do so with an articulate message. Either approach is not fatal for Utah's minority party, although waffling will be. The economic issues important to Utahns will determine their fate this election year.

Webb: Obama's position will hurt Democratic candidates in Utah. He's their leader, their standard-bearer, the face of their party. It focuses attention on the issue in Utah, where before it was below the radar.

Republican LaVarr Webb is a political consultant and lobbyist. Previously he was policy deputy to Gov. Mike Leavitt and Deseret News managing editor. Email: lwebb@exoro.com. Democrat Frank Pignanelli is a Salt Lake attorney, lobbyist and political adviser. Pignanelli served 10 years in the Utah House of Representatives, six years as minority leader. His spouse, D'Arcy Dixon Pignanelli, is a state tax commissioner. Email: frankp@xmission.com.

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