When Vice President Joe Biden said he supported gay marriage on Meet the Press Sunday, was it a Kinsley gaffe -- as in, did Biden accidentally say what he really thinks? Or did the White House only try to make it seem like an accident? Or was the White House trying to make it look like a fake accident? Oh, White House, we don't know on what level you're messing with our heads. But it's hard to imagine the administration is too upset with Biden, given that Education Secretary Arne Duncan nonchalantly backed gay marriage on MSNBC Monday morning.
Evidence it was an accident:
- Biden has a history of accidents. During the 2008 primary, his comment that Obama was "clean" and "articulate" had uncomfortable racial overtones. He recently launched a thousand dick jokes when he said that Obama, like Teddy Roosevelt, walked softly and carried a big stick.
- Biden's office clarified his statement. The New York Times said the White House was "scrambling" to clarify Biden's comments, reporting aides explained they were "off-the-cuff views of a vice president not known for fidelity to a script." But the scrambling seems pretty organized. All media organizations are quoting the same statement, from an anonymous aide, that doesn't walk back Biden's comments all that much:
"The vice president was saying what the president has said previously -- that committed and loving same-sex couples deserve the same rights and protections enjoyed by all Americans, and that we oppose any effort to roll back those rights. That's why we stopped defending the constitutionality of Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act in legal challenges and support legislation to repeal it. Beyond that, the vice president was expressing that he too is evolving on the issue, after meeting so many committed couples and families in this country."
- Biden wants to run for president in 2016, Salon's Steve Kornacki points out. Obama will be the last Democratic president who hedges at all on the issue, he says.