After years of insisting that he was personally opposed to gay marriage, but his views were “evolving,” Barack Obama suddenly declared last week that his evolution was complete. In an interview broadcast on ABC’s Good Morning America Thursday, the president said: “I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married.”

Even gay marriage supporters know this is an act of pure political opportunism on Obama’s part, not a bold statement of principle. The New York Times reported via Twitter that “some Obama advisers were divided on the decision to support same-sex marriage, but concluded his brand has been damaged enough by hedging.” Well, if there’s one true conviction Obama holds, it’s his firm stance against damage to his brand.

He also decided to affirm that states should be able to make marriage laws on their own, a “principle” he’s not likely to “evolve” on other issues … like, say, voter ID laws, education, or health care.