Obama After He Finally Evolved On Marriage: “I Feel So Good About That”

A new book about the 2012 presidential election is due out Tuesday, but the advance leaks are already flowing. Double Down: Game Change 2012, by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, chronicles the ins-and-outs of the election, including a rundown of President Obama’s decision to support gay marriage. According to the book, two things are clear: Vice President Biden spoke out of turn when he voiced his support for marriage before the president, and Obama has actually been supportive of marriage equality since 2004.

Halperin and Heilemann say that the White House had carefully planned a rollout of the president’s evolution on marriage equality, when Biden blew it by giving an interview in which he said was “absolutely comfortable” with same-sex weddings. When Obama advisor David Plouffe saw the transcript of the interview, he exploded. “WHAT THE FUCK? We were going to do this! In the next two weeks! As a fucking surprise!” according to Halperin and Heilemann,

Given the kudos that Biden got for his non-gaffe, he doesn’t come across in the book as all that sharp on gay issues. His gaydar is described as “nonfunctional,” with Biden not even knowing how many gay staffers he has.

The White House scrambled to find an appropriate venue for the President to make his own statement, finally settling on an interview with Robin Roberts. When it was done, Obama told Plouffe, “I feel so good about that.” According to the book, Obama was likely being politically expedient when he said he opposed same-sex marriage. Former spokesman Robert Gibbs is quoted as saying he heard Obama express his support for marriage equality in 2004, and many of Obama’s advisors believe that he was always supportive of it.

Of course, taking that position in 2008 would have been a lot riskier, and in politics, minimizing risk is considered essential to winning, even at the expense of principle.

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  • Pistolo

    Of course Obama was for same-sex marriage but he couldn’t have gotten into office on that platform because the odds weren’t in his favor if he did. So he only slightly pandered to the conservatives and as soon as gay marriage had 50% or 51% approval from the population, he placed his bets on it. There was no epiphany from his children like he said, he knew it was the right decision. That’s why Biden was pro-gay marriage, it was their way of endorsing it.

    Some people accuse democrats of appropriating gays for votes but not acting in their favor. The truth is that everyone knows it’s the *right* thing to do but these politicians are at the mercy of a lot of STUPID people in self-denial about ethics. Obama & democrats are the way lesser of two evils. Republicans continue to push us again and again and again.

  • jeff4justice

    @Pistolo: How about not having an evil party at all? YouTube search: How 3rd Parties Can Win By 2014 & 2016

  • andy_d

    Because his gaydar is “nonfunctional” show that Biden was truly concerned with equality. I think it is important that he said what he said based more on what I perceive is how he felt that who he knew.

  • BJ McFrisky

    Translation: “I feel so good about [getting the gay vote to ensure my reelection].”

    What a load of crap. Obama “evolved” for purposes of political expediency—period. If he was pro-gay marriage in 2004, then how come he stated in 2009 that he believed marriage was between man and woman? And remember: Hillary said the same, until election time.

    How rewarding it must be to be a clueless sycophant.

  • viveutvivas

    American presidents don’t lead. They follow.

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