Joe Biden's calculated ploy to suck up to gay marriage advocates

Pundits are racing to cast the vice president's embrace of gay marriage as a gaffe. But make no mistake: It was a deliberate political gambit

Edward Morrissey

No one expresses any surprise when Joe Biden goes off script. He's spent most of his political career providing amusement to observers with gaffes and misstatements, so much so that distinguishing rhetorical fumbles can be difficult. Most recently, the vice president attempted to evoke Teddy Roosevelt when describing his boss' foreign policy, telling an audience that "I promise you — the president has a big stick," which produced laughter that appeared to catch Biden by surprise.

That history played into the initial reception of Biden's remarks Sunday on Meet the Press. David Gregory challenged Biden on the issue of gay marriage, noting that President Barack Obama remains publicly opposed to legalizing gay marriage, while insisting that his positions continue to "evolve." In 2004, for instance, Obama stated that his religious beliefs undergird his support for marriage remaining the union of one man and one woman. Biden, a Catholic, had a different take:

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Edward Morrissey

Edward Morrissey has been writing about politics since 2003 in his blog, Captain's Quarters, and now writes for His columns have appeared in the Washington Post, the New York Post, The New York Sun, the Washington Times, and other newspapers. Morrissey has a daily Internet talk show on politics and culture at Hot Air. Since 2004, Morrissey has had a weekend talk radio show in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and often fills in as a guest on Salem Radio Network's nationally-syndicated shows. He lives in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota with his wife, son and daughter-in-law, and his two granddaughters. Morrissey's new book, GOING RED, will be published by Crown Forum on April 5, 2016.