Vice President Joe Biden's gay marriage gaffe in 2012 caused an uproar in the White House, while President Barack Obama's official position was that he still opposed it.
According to the book, "Forcing the Spring"
by Jo Becker, set to come out April 22, the White House was frustrated by Biden's gaffe, even though the administration tried to hide it, Politico
On NBC's "Meet the Press"
in May 2012, Biden said he supported gay marriage and that gay couples and heterosexual couples should be "entitled to the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all the civil liberties."
Some speculated that the comments were made on purpose
to see how voters would respond.
That theory, Becker writes, was from those "not privy to the chaos that erupted inside the West Wing after an emailed transcript of the interview landed in the inbox of the White House press team."
According to the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, the gaffe lead Valerie Jarrett to accuse Biden of "downright disloyalty."
In an attempt to figure out how to deal with the fallout, as the White House was being pressured by the gay community to follow Biden's lead, White House senior adviser David Plouffe met with Ken Mehlman, former Republican National Committee chairman, who came out as gay in 2010.
Mehlman said that if Obama announced his support for gay marriage it could help him re-establish the character strength he had in 2008.
In a letter he sent in November 2011, the former RNC chair had recommended that when Obama decided to make his formal announcement in support of gay marriage, he should do so in an interview alongside first lady Michelle Obama with a female journalist. Mehlman even suggested what kind of lighting should be used, as well as a possible script for Obama.
Obama ended up following Mehlman's advice and enlisted ABC's Robin Roberts
for the interview, but he didn't do the interview with the first lady.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan
also said the same week that he supported gay marriage and believed that it should be legal.
According to Becker, at that point it was decided that Obama needed to go public with his support to avoid further confusion.
Obama refused to come down on Biden for the gaffe, even though several of his closest advisers wanted him to, she said.
A Politico report published in late February said that after Biden's gay marriage gaffe, his role in the administration
came to a standstill, and he claimed that the president's closest advisers became hostile toward him.
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