A few hours before President Obama offered his historic endorsement of same-sex marriage on Wednesday, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. apologized to the president in the Oval Office for forcing Mr. Obama’s hand by airing his own views three days earlier, several people briefed on the exchange said on Thursday…

People who know both men said they did not believe that Mr. Biden had an ulterior motive in pre-empting the president, despite the fact that he has not ruled out running for president himself in 2016. Indeed, several gay rights activists said, whatever affection Mr. Biden’s candor might have won him with gay voters, he would still lag behind other potential Democratic candidates like Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York or Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who are both seen as champions of the gay community.

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“President Obama just ‘evolved’ himself into a one-term president,” said Brian Brown, the president of the National Organization for Marriage. “This is a disaster for the Democratic Party: the reality is that the exact states he needs to win are the states that have overwhelmingly passed legislation defining marriage as between a man and a woman.”

“What I’m hearing from folks around the country is ‘game on, we’re in, we will do whatever is necessary to elect Mitt Romney now because Obama has shown where he really stands,” Brown said…

The Romney team will try to paint Obama’s evolution on the issue — coupled with reports that he’d planned the rollout of his change of heart for right before the Democratic convention this summer – as part of a storyline that Obama changes his message based on what is politically expedient. Of course, that’s been an effective attack on Romney in the past on issues like abortion rights.

“After weeks of strutting re: the [Osama bin Laden] anniversary and the president’s ‘decisive leadership,’ he is dragged into this by Biden and essentially yields to the base — it’s going to be hard for them to make the flip-flopper argument with a straight face,” one Romney adviser told POLITICO. “Equally bad is the story that he was going to announce the switch before the convention but not right now — suggests that principled stands can be politically timed.”

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President Obama declared his personal support for same-sex marriage yesterday, but the White House chose not to push for the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act today.

“Well, party platform issues are for the party to decide,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said when asked if Obama would call for the repeal of DOMA and endorsement of pro-gay marriage language in the party platform. “That process is underway, and I refer you to the DNC on the question about the platform.”

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The Democrats’ top leader in Congress said Thursday that the party’s platform will soon include a plank calling for the legalization of gay marriage.

“The president’s in favor of it — I’m sure it will be [included],” said Reid…

Reid, however, declined to say when or whether he would schedule a vote on legislation approved by the Judiciary Committee to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The law defines marriage as the legal union of a man and a woman and exempts states from having to recognize same-sex marriages certified by other states.

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Here’s something else Obama accomplished with his announcement yesterday: He has basically wiped away whatever tensions existed between him and the gay fundraising community over a range of issues, of which marriage is only one…

The push for Obama to also move on the executive order will continue, but Obama has bought himself an untold amount of good will and breathing room from this important fundraising constituency. Given that conservative groups are set to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on ads this campaign, and given that the task of waging the air war with those groups will fall largely to the Obama campaign, this is no small thing — another area where Obama’s announcement could have far reaching consequences to his reelection.

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President Barack Obama drew cheers and applause for his endorsement of same-sex marriage during a fundraising spree on Thursday that will culminate in a multimillion-dollar extravaganza at the home of Hollywood movie star George Clooney…

“Here in Washington you’ll have the chance to make your voice heard on the issue of making sure that everybody, regardless of sexual orientation, is treated fairly,” Obama said to loud applause…

Obama’s support of gay marriage could help boost donations from supporters in his Democratic base who have been pressing him to make clear his position, which he had long described as “evolving.”

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“I haven’t read The Washington Post article, but I think it would be discriminatory if Mitt Romney did not play pranks on gays, just the way he plays them on non-gays,” Coulter said. “And I don’t know, back then, how many people were all that aware of it? But Mitt Romney is known for being a prankster. I don’t think this issue is going to help Obama much. It is just that it is not going to hurt him as much as it would hurt a non-half-black Democrat. I think this whole thing is a lot like — it’s such a sign of desperation.”

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Asked about Obama’s shift on gay marriage, Romney again reaffirmed that he believes marriage should be strictly defined as “between a man and a woman.” He called for a “national standard” to define marriage, but said states should enforce rules when it comes to “domestic partnerships.”

Romney added that he is “fine” with gay couples adopting children but “to call that marriage is a real misleading of the word.”

He told Cavuto that he hopes the issue of same sex marriage won’t be an issue that drives campaign contributions for either him or Obama this fall.

“I hope the topic as tender and sensitive as marriage is not a source of fundraising,” Romney said.