Joe Biden Suggests His Obama Legacy Will Be Gay Marriage

Joe Biden, everyone’s favorite no-nonsense vice president, believes that his coming out in support of same-sex marriage will be a lasting legacy from his time in the Obama administration. Biden made headlines in May of 2012 after voicing his unequivocal support for gay marriage ahead of president Barack Obama during an interview on Meet the Press.

Biden_2013Biden’s statements are thought to have forced the President’s hand in making his own support for LGBT rights more concrete just days after Biden’s interview. Biden, to his credit, says that he didn’t intend to preempt the President , but rather wanted to be clear in his position.

"To set the record straight … my comments on 'Meet the Press' were not planned,” Biden explained at the Make Process National Summit. “[B]ut what was planned and understood was when I get asked a direct question, I give a direct answer."

Biden went on to explain that he felt as if  the outpouring of support that he received following the interview was really more deserved to members of the LGBT community.

“I didn't free the LGBT community, what you all did, what they did was free every straight woman and straight man in this country.”

Relive Biden's career defining Meet the Press moment AFTER THE JUMP



  1. Jmac says

    How about a little less talk and a little more action? Pledging support for something is fine and dandy but does diddly squat when that thing is still illegal in most of the US. If Joe’s legacy is talking points and fluff, he should be ashamed.

  2. Jmac says

    How about a little less talk and a little more action? Pledging support for something is fine and dandy but does diddly squat when that thing is still illegal in most of the US. If Joe’s legacy is talking points and fluff, he should be ashamed.

  3. Mike says

    AKI Do you EVEN remember the horrible nightmare of Bush and Cheney? (Talk about WAR CRIMES . . . ) Shudder!

  4. jason MacBride says

    Biden may be right. This administration certainly hasn’t done much else it would want as a legacy.

  5. jmartindale says

    Uh, no to all of the above. Biden is VP. As such, he has no power. I don’t know what on earth you would expect him to do besides voice opinions. In his case, his timing and expression of opinion has had a profound impact on marriage equality and Executive Branch movement in terms of gay legal status. And the Democratic administration enacted the ACA, which will ultimately give 20 percent of the population affordable health care. That is the most important act in terms of health care since Lyndon Johnson. If you consider that a non-accomplishment, you are an idiot…or a rethug, which is the same thing.

  6. crispy says

    “Pledging support for something is fine and dandy but does diddly squat when that thing is still illegal in most of the US.”

    Uh, blow it out your ass, Log Cabinner. About half the U.S. population lives in a state that allows gay marriage, and that number is very soon going to jump to 60 percent.

    Biden’s “talk” directly cleared the path to much of the recent action by putting pressure on the president to come out in full support.

  7. anon says

    We can count on Biden doing things “unplanned”! However, the little thing called Obamacare and the expansion of the war in Afghanistan are probably the main legacies of this administration.

  8. BobN says

    “This administration certainly hasn’t done much else it would want as a legacy.”

    Well, in fairness, it would be near impossible to match the legacy of the previous administration which somehow managed to combine an economic catastrophe approaching that of Hoover’s with military missteps that rival the Kennedy/Johnson/Nixon debacle in Vietnam and which, as they play out for a generation or two, may indeed exceed them. In contrast, eight years of slow economic recovery and successful navigation of the minefield of foreign relations left by Bush without the eruption of WWIII seems like more than we could have expected. Oh, and SSM on top to boot!

  9. the other Ken says

    I’d love to see SSM in every state, of course.

    But I’m smart enough to know change takes time. I’m surprised we’ve seen the progress we have seen in President Obama’s term.

    Oh, and there’s the economic recovery he’s given the nation. I’d vote for him again, but I’m happy to cast a vote for Hillary Clinton to continue the economic recovery and expansion we’ve experienced since the devil himself, George W. Bush, left the white house.

  10. Paul R says

    Obama and his planners have clearly kept Biden on a very tight leash, lest he overshadow the president or speak too honestly and often. He’s been among the least visible VPs of recent decades, which is unfortunate. He can definitely come off as a buffoon, but he’s a decent guy.

  11. ben~andy says

    Biden said “his” legacy during the Obama White House; his personal legacy. VP is the WORST job, nothing to do but preside over the Senate, breaking any ties that happen to come up. So, everything else, that’s Obama’s legacy. Joe’s claiming SSM.

    Now, he did it in May 2012, in the lead up to the election and what he did had less to do with the actual movement than what the Supremes did with Prop 8 [nothing] and Windsor [prelude to Gotterdamerung as far at NOM et al are concerned], but we LIKE to hear our leaders approve of us. We hated that Uncle Ronnie didn’t mention AIDS forever.

    Joe has a rep for saying what he thinks and he might well have done this “off the cuff” or it might have been planned as the “fly that [gay] flag so we can see how it plays” for the election. Either way, it worked out well for equality, fairness and the American Way.

  12. Josh says

    Obama toppled the Republican majority and they hate him for it. Asking most Republicans to review PBO’s legacy is like asking Nazis what they think about the Jews.

  13. MichaelJ says

    As important as marriage equality, Biden’s comments come off as faint praise damning, for the statement draws attention to all the things that Obama has not managed to accomplish. Perhaps because he anticipates running for president, Biden is trying to distance himself from Obama’s failures.

  14. says

    i think people are missing the point – he’s making a rather incredible statement with that. he’s basically pointing out what all intelligent folks know – it’s massive civil rights issue, that future generations will look back on and say “what do you MEAN they used to not be allowed to get married?!?”

    i was born in 1982. when i learned, in school, about segregation? then slavery? and about all those who OPPOSED abolition and Integration? you best believe my mind couldn’t even process it – how could our species be so worthless, useless and ignorant?

    same thing will happen with his. Biden knows it. Obama knows it.

    it’s a big deal for him to make that statement. it shows he actually understands how important it is, and how history works and will view this civli rights battle.

  15. Josh says

    @MICHAELJ You don’t seem very politically astute. Biden cannot beat Hillary by distancing himself from Obama. He can’t beat her, period. So he’s not even running, obviously.

    As for Obama accomplishments, the list is long and does not require publicly supporting marriage equality to even be on it.

  16. MichaelJ says

    @Josh I don’t claim to be particularly astute when it comes to politics. However I will plead guilty to speed reading and misunderstanding what I read. I didn’t realize that Biden was talking about the lasting impact of his own role in the Obama Administration, and I think Biden is correct to take the credit for forcing Obama and others to take a clear stand on marriage equality one way or another.

    That said, I think the way in which Biden had to lead the way for the President to take a definitive stand illustrates why so many people who supported Obama have been disappointed in him. He campaigned hard to be elected, but once in power was all too willing to compromise in the name of bi-partisanship with people who had no interested in compromising with him. As a result, we’ve gotten watered-down health care reform that maintains the insurance industry’s profits and power to determine the quality of health care. We had a watered-down response to the Great Recession with a pitifully small stimulus and contractionary fiscal policy which has generated the dismal pace of the recovery. We’ve had an Administration whose expansion of the Patriot Act and its attack on civil liberties has been greater than what the Bush Administration managed to get away with.

    I could go on and on how Obama’s caution and wanting to please a bi-partisan consensus has led to disappointing accomplishments, often losing control of the terms of the debate. I’ll admit that it is questionable whether Obama could have accomplished more given the timidity of all too many Democrats in Congress, a Republican opposition committed to being against whatever Obama is for, and the ignorance and racism of so many Americans. Still, I wish Obama would have been more of leader, fighting more loudly and more clearly for progressive policies, than he has been.

    PS I wouldn’t assume that Clinton’s nomination is inevitable. That was most people’s assumption eight years ago.

  17. Josh says

    @MICHAELJ Well, since I don’t bet, I won’t challenge you to one! All I’ll say is that I fully expect to be on the winning side in both 2008 and 2016.