Before President Obama announced his support for same-sex marriages on Wednesday, Vice-President Joe Biden reportedly apologized to the president for declaring on Sunday that he was “absolutely comfortable” with such marriages. “The President has been the leader on this issue from day one and the Vice President never intended to distract from that,” said Kendra Barkoff, the vice-president’s press secretary. Obama accepted the apology, saying he knew Biden was “speaking from his heart” (and without a filter).
But the notoriously loose-lipped, gaffe-prone veep expedited Obama’s coming out of the closet in support of the rights of same-sex couples to marry.
New York’s John Heilemann spoke with Obama senior adviser David Plouffe about the effect of Biden’s remarks. “He said yes, in fact, the president had decided weeks before this that he was planning to come out with this announcement.” Heilemann continued, “[President Obama] was going to do it probably in May or June, ahead of the convention. And the annoyance with Biden was that he kind of forced them into a position where they had to do it on a different timetable. And it made the president look like he was dragged into it, rather than doing it the way they planned to do it.”
Obama indicated his own frustration in a very tempered manner.
“Would I have preferred to have done this in my own way, in my own terms, without I think, there being a lot of notice to everybody? Sure,” Obama said in his interview on Wednesday. “But all’s well that ends well.”