Forcing Obama’s Hand on Gay Marriage
Becker makes it clear that both Obama and his team were deeply conflicted about whether he should announce his support for gay marriage before the 2012 election, to the point where its unresolved, internal debate had resulted in a kind of paralysis. “His political advisers were worried that his endorsement could splinter the coalition needed to win a second term,” Becker writes. In the excerpt, Chad Griffin, the head of a group fighting Prop. 8, recounts a conversation that he had with First Lady Michelle Obama, during the summer of 2011: “Her message, he told his team, was clear: ‘Hang in there with us, and we’ll be with you after the election.’”
Even though Axelrod says that Obama “has never been comfortable” opposing same-sex marriage, it was not until Biden made some unscripted remarks in support of gay marriage on “Meet the Press,” in early May, 2012, that the President decided that he could no longer stay quiet, no longer occupy a permanent middle ground.