Obama’s Gay-Marriage-Support Fund-raising Boom

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 8:  U.S. President Barack Obama delivers a keynote address during the 18th Annual Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies Gala Dinner on May 8, 2012 in Washington, D.C. APAIC is a non-profit group that works to develop Asian American leaders and politicians.  (Photo by Kristoffer Tripplaar-Pool/Getty Images)
Photo: Pool/2012 Getty Images

Vice-President Biden might have forced Barack Obama into coming out of the closet with his gay-marriage support sooner than he’d planned to, but for fund-raising purposes, the timing actually couldn’t be better. The president is headed to California tonight for a $40,000 fund-raiser with George Clooney, organized by Jeffrey Katzenberg, among other Hollywood bigwigs. It’s a liberal crowd of Democrats, and the president’s gay-marriage support is just about the No. 1 short-order thing he could have done to get a little extra love from his Hollywood supporters. As the Times points out, that wouldn’t have been the case otherwise: “Organizers had expected the president to face tough questions from an audience that had grown increasingly uncomfortable with his tentativeness on an issue of great importance here.” Instead, he’s on the right side of history just in time for those donors to be on the right side of their checkbooks — and thanks to Obama’s fraught relationship with Wall Street this election cycle, this group is more important than ever to him.

But it’s not just in Hollywood where he’s getting a fund-raising bump. The Obama campaign reportedly raised $1 million in just the first 90 minutes following the airing of his interview with Robin Roberts yesterday. That was before last evening’s fund-raising e-mails  — with a link to donate over the text “If you agree, you can stand up with me here” — even went out. And that’s probably just the tip of the iceberg: As many as one sixth of Obama’s top bundlers are gay, and the announcement is likely to reinvigorate their efforts. “There have been a lot of us urging him to do this for a very long time. I imagine he and Michele [sic] felt some pain for us after North Carolina yesterday,” one anonymous bundler told Buzzfeed. After all, gay or straight, one of the best parts of a marriage is the reception — and everyone’s happy to bring a gift to celebrate.