Adam Serwer says Obama lost last night:
As for the biggest loser last night, I'd say the president, but not because these elections are a "referendum" on his agenda. That happened in 2008...No, Obama is a loser for backing two losing Democratic gubernatorial candidates while staying relatively silent on Maine's referendum. Just as this country will one day look back in shame at discrimination against same-sex couples, so should President Obama feel regret, wondering if things could have been different had he intervened and put the full force of his office behind those fighting for their rights, rather than simply looking out for his party.
But we know by now that he is not a civil rights president. He is like Kennedy in this regard, cautious to a fault, not Johnson, seized with a historical urgency that nonetheless destroyed the Democrats for a generation. And we keep forgetting that Obama openly opposes marriage equality. What he wants, and has always said he wants, is the separate-but-equal civil unions route, which protects his own party from the blowback fighting for real equality inflicts. If he'd said something about Maine, it would have had to have been: vote yes. Better surely for him to say nothing than that. And better for us to stop hoping he'll help. He won't.