President Obama’s re-election effort marred by internal clashes, Politico e-book reports
President Obama’s reelection team has suffered from a lack of bonhomie throughout the campaign, with rifts developing between Obama and Vice President Joe Biden and between top advisers, according to a Politico e-book published Monday.
The e-book, titled “Obama’s Last Stand,” reports that Obama was more peeved than originally reported after Biden essentially forced the president to publicly endorse legal same-sex marriage earlier than he wanted.
“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 said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” in May.
Three days later, Obama -- who had said his views on gay marriage were “evolving” -- declared his belief that “same-sex couples should be able to get married” in a hastily arranged interview with ABC News.
In between, Politico reported, White House advisers were angry that Biden had thrown off a plan for the president to endorse same-sex marriage shortly before next month’s Democratic National Convention.
Obama and Biden reportedly had an emotional one-on-one meeting in which Obama said, “Look, Joe, there are people who want to divide us. You and I have to be on the same page from now on. You and I have to make sure that we don’t get divided.”
The Obama campaign did not respond immediately to a request for comment on the internal clashes reported by Politico.
“Obama’s Last Stand” also describes a tiff between senior adviser David Axelrod and Deputy Campaign Manager Stephanie Cutter that left the two barely on speaking terms and chronicles the president’s second guessing of some campaign strategies -- including a decision to send Axelrod to Boston for a press conference on the State House steps.
The event devolved into an embarrassing spectacle in which Axelrod and other Obama surrogates were heckled non-stop by supporters of Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
Watching the action on television, Obama turned to a nearby aide and said “We aren’t going to do that kind of thing again, are we?” according to Politico.Callum Borchers can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @callumborchers.