The president has already admitted Biden 'got out a little bit over his skis,' on the issue. But Politico reports that the White House is fuming that Biden's errant remarks in support of gay marriage forced the president's hand. Not only that, Biden's getting the credit for the president's change of heart when he had argued behind the scenes to hold off on making the decision for fear of alienating key segments of the electorate:
But the vice president is no hero in the West Wing, and administration officials are struggling to cast Obama’s truly historic — and risky — announcement as something more than an election-year shotgun wedding.
Obama’s interview with ABC’s Robin Roberts capped a frenetic half-week of backstage political maneuvering after Biden said he was “comfortable” with gay marriage during a TV interview that was taped Friday and aired Sunday. It followed the passage Tuesday of an anti-gay marriage ballot initiative in North Carolina that illustrated the divisions in typically cohesive Obama constituencies, including women, Hispanics and blacks. And it exposed a few divisions in the Obama-Biden camp.
Senior administration officials admit that Biden’s comment was, indeed, the catalyst for Obama to make his historic announcement weeks earlier than planned.
But Biden’s remarks on “Meet the Press” deeply annoyed Obama’s team, people close to the situation tell POLITICO, because it aggrandized his role at the expense of Obama’s yeoman efforts on behalf of the community and pushed up the timing of a sensitive announcement they had hoped to break — at a time and place of their own choosing — in the weeks leading up to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte this fall.
Nor did it tickle anyone, from Obama on down, that Biden — who backed the Defense of Marriage Act while serving in the Senate in the 1990s — seemed to be getting more credit in the LGBT community than a president who has actually taken steps to repeal the Clinton-era law that defined marriage as something that could only take place between a man and a woman.
And it chafed Obama’s team that Biden had, at times, privately argued for the president to hold off on his support of marriage equality to avoid a backlash among Catholic voters in battleground states such as Ohio and Pennsylvania, according to two officials familiar with those discussions.
Who could have forseen that Joe Biden's legendary verbal incontinence would eventually prove to be a political liability for Barack Obama?