Vice President Joe Biden may have stopped short on Sunday of pledging that the administration will embrace same-sex marriage, but his personal support for gay rights underlined the fact that the White House has stuck to a politically safer middle ground on the issue.
While making it clear that Obama sets administration policy, Biden went on to say that on NBC’s Meet the Press, “I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women, and heterosexual men and women marrying one another are entitled to the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all the civil liberties.”
Biden is now the highest ranking member of the Obama administration to endorse same-sex marriage. Obama, by contrast, has said he supports civil unions and that his position on same-sex marriage in general is “evolving.”
The careful choice of words places Obama in a murky gray area of support that risks alienating a key group of backers that could help him in the election. However, any step to the left of that statement could risk offending undecided voters or moderates that could be crucial to victory in battleground states nationwide. Read more
NATIONAL JOURNAL'S PRESIDENTIAL REPORT
Obama Tries to Reignite Fire of 2008
[National Journal, 5/5/12] President Obama officially kicked off his campaign on Saturday at Ohio State University, evoking the themes of his 2008 campaign in an attempt to differentiate himself from Mitt Romney.
Who's Who? Obama, Romney Projecting Mirror Image
[Associated Press, 5/6/12] The election fight thus far hasn't provided a stark contrast between the two candidates, because each is trying to paint the other in the same way: Clueless on the economy, in over his head on foreign policy.
Biden Attacks Romney on Jobs, Foreign Policy
[National Journal, 5/6/12] Biden attacked Romney specifically and the GOP in general, questioning Romney's policy specifics on the economy and accusing the budget proposal authored by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., of "emasculat[ing] the very things that are going to allow us to grow this economy."
Carter as Romney's Foil: A Stale Analogy?
[National Journal, 5/5/12] Romney has begun to use president Jimmy Carter for comparison, evoking what many see as a symbol of a largely unsuccessful presidency. While the comparison may not resonate with younger voters, it's a useful contrast for Romney to use when reaching out to older generations.
Obama Supporters Are Nervous — But Not About Romney
[AFP, 5/6/12] Republicans are working hard to neutralize the advantage Obama established in technology during the 2008 campaign, rolling out their own web apps and social media campaigns to rally supporters.
Goolsbee: Obama Faces 'The Fight of His Life'
[National Journal, 5/6/12] Former Obama adviser Austan Goolsbie said that, because of the outsized influence of super PACs on this election, Obama will have a tough slog to reelection.
Hispanic Voters Hold Key to 2012 Map
[Politico, 5/6/12] The key states of Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado and Florida could hinge on Hispanic voters, a demographic where Obama leads. That's why both candidates are working to court Hispanic voters.
Obama: It's Not About the Economy, (Stupid), It's About Romney
[National Journal, 5/5/12] Though Romney is working to shift the conversation to the economy, Obama struck a different tone during one of his campaign kickoff speeches on Saturday in Virginia, attacking his opponent and attempting to fashion himself as a strong alternative to Romney.
Obama’s Fundraising on Steroids: Choosing an Ambitious Schedule to Avoid Super PACs
[The Daily Beast, 5/6/12] In an attempt to distance himself from super PACs, Obama is hitting the road for as many as six fundraisers a week to achieve his monetary goals, rather than explicitly aligning himself with Democratic super PACs by appearing at their events.
Obama Launches Campaign Against Romney, But His Real Opponent is the Economy
[Washington Post, 5/6/12] Despite his best efforts, Obama may not be able to run entirely against Romney, whom he's working to define as a flawed candidate. The economy is likely to take center stage in voters' minds over the next few months, as a sluggish recovery continues to affect Americans.
9 Swing States, Critical to Presidential Race, Are Mixed Lot
[New York Times, 5/5/12] Though Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin all supported Obama in 2008, those nine states are completely different economically and, in some cases, demographically, making Obama's work this year quite different from the effort in the 2008 race.
Gingrich: Romney 'Earned' the Nomination
[National Journal, 5/6/12] Gingrich said that "nobody gave [Romney] an inch" in the nominating process, and so Romney's "earned it the hard way."