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.