Last Updated: 1:16 PM, May 15, 2012
Posted: 1:05 PM, May 15, 2012
Though President Obama supposedly was not planning to endorse gay marriage until closer to the Democratic convention, the decision to make the call last week has paid dividends -- helping him raise at least $21 million for his campaign coffers in a matter of days.
Based on ticket information provided by the campaign and other estimates, the five fundraisers Obama has attended since his endorsement last Wednesday have brought in at least that much. The haul was aided in large part by the $15 million fundraiser at the home of actor George Clooney.
The total continues to underscore how the Obama campaign has quickly managed to turn a potential political liability into a political tool, at least in the short term -- either to paint GOP candidate Mitt Romney as intolerant, divert attention from the economy or simply raise money.
If the last point was the goal, it's a strategy that's paying off. And based on a New York Times/CBS News poll, the controversial position might not even cost him much at the polls, considering the survey shows gay marriage is a top issue for just 7 percent of voters.
The president's fundraiser Monday evening with openly gay singer Ricky Martin was just the latest venue where Obama was able to tout his administration's efforts to fight for gay rights and raise money on the side. By arranging for an interview last Wednesday to announce his position shift, the president was able to pivot immediately to a string of appearances and fundraisers -- including two on Monday -- where his decision, to put it mildly, was welcomed.