May 7: The reason Carney's 50 versions of non-answer looked so silly was because on Meet the Press Sunday, Biden gave a long and rambling answer on the question of gay marriage, eventually concluding "I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women and heterosexual men andwomen marrying one other are entitled to the same exact rights." And the reason Biden had to answer a question on gay marriage was that Biden was attacking Romney for being too socially conservative. "They're going to need a better social policy than taking the social policy back to the '50s," Biden said just before he was asked about the issue.
May 1: The reason Biden was attacking Romney on social issues is that Democrats had been capitalizing on the resignation of a gay Romney staffer earlier that week. The Obama campaign's digital director, Teddy Goff, tweets, "Today we learned that in the year 2012, a Republican nominee for President can't have a gay person as spokesman." Obama super PAC head Bill Burton added, ""This is the kind of bigoted, anti-gay extremists a Romney administration would find itself held hostage to." The comments were picked up by BuzzFeed, ABC News, the Huffington Post, even foreign newspapers.
The reason Democrats had that window is that on May 1, Richard Grenell resigned as Romney's foreign policy spokesman. The Washington Post's Jennifer Rubin broke the story, and reported that he left because he was not being defended by the Romney campaign after social conservatives began attacking the hiring of a gay person. Grenell "has resigned in the wake of a full-court press by anti-gay conservatives," she wrote. The story was picked up everywhere -- The New York Times devoted two long stories to the incident -- though some conservatives questioned whether Grenell would have really quit over the controversy surrounding his private life. The reason Grenell quit, The Daily Beast's Andrew Sullivan reported, was that he was left off a conference call on April 26 with foreign policy reporters that he'd set up. The campaign told him to "shut up" at the last minute, even though foreign policy was a major news story at that moment as the anniversary of Osama bin Laden's death approached. The reason Grenell was told to lay low, Sullivan explained, was that the Romney campaign was waiting for the controversy over his sexuality to blow over.
April 27: The reason the controversy was still going was that it had been taken up by several more prominent conservatives like Family Research Council's Tony Perkins and the National Review's Matthew J. Franck.
April 23: The reason the Grenell hiring caught those guys' attention was that on April 23, Slate's Dave Weigel recapped a weekend Twitter fight between more liberal tweeters and the American Family Association's Bryan Fischer and Media Research Center's Dan Gainor, who said hiring a gay person was by definition a "move to the left."