Today’s gaggle reminds me of an old joke:
Q: What’s the difference between Fundamentalist Christian voters and a toilet seat?
A: A toilet seat won’t bitch after you use it and walk away.
Q The Senate just rejected the constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. Leaders in the House say they still plan to take it up. Does the President think that’s a good use of their time, when it’s clear they don’t have the votes in Congress to get it passed?
MR. SNOW: Well, I’d leave that to members of the House to decide. Again, Nedra, as you know, it’s possible for members of Congress to take up a whole lot of issues at once — in fact, it’s their job. And this is an issue on which, I dare say, many members want to express themselves. I’m not going to tell them what to put on their legislative calendar.
Q Does the President have any reaction to the failure?
MR. SNOW: Well, he understands that this is an issue that people are going to want to think about. And he believes strongly that marriage is between a man and a woman. There is one more vote in the Senate than there was last time around. It is an issue he will continue to support.
Q Is he disappointed?
MR. SNOW: You know, I don’t want to characterize state of mind on it. There will be a statement out later, and we’ll see if there’s any expression of his emotional condition.
Q He lobbied for this, or spoke out in support of it yesterday and over the weekend. So a cause that he championed has lost — so does he —
MR. SNOW: It’s fair enough, Jessica. The President understands that on an issue like this, it tends to evolve in response to things that are going on around the country. He has spoken repeatedly on the fact that nationwide, in a number of states, voters in a number of states and legislatures have defined marriage as being between a man and a woman, only to have courts overturn it. And he said that he wishes it hadn’t come to this, that judicial activism is a concern. This is an issue that will play out over time, and the defeat does not mean that he’s despondent or that he gives up on it. He knows that this is a long fight.
Violence in Iraq? It’s Prime Minister Maliki’s fault for not appointing his interior and defense ministers.
Q — on Maliki, and the President’s confidence in their government, how it’s evolving, and the violence in Iraq?
MR. SNOW: Well, once again, we are looking forward to the Prime Minister being able to get in place his interior and defense ministries. That’s obviously an important step.
Q He’s not troubled by the delay?
MR. SNOW: He understands that when you’re doing government formation, especially in a brand new parliamentary system, it’s a complicated chore.