Same-sex marriage, terrorism & moms on Face the Nation

How will Obama same-sex marriage word play politically?
A gay man holds the gay and lesbian flag with the US flag during a demonstration in West Hollywood, California, May 15, 2008, after the decision by the California Supreme Court to effectively greenlight same-sex marriage.
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The President's advisers were a little peeved at the Vice President for sort of jumping the gun on the same sex marriage issue when he embraced it last Sunday. I'm told the President wanted to do this coming Monday on ABC's The View, after he had a week of campaigning on the economy. 

But, the Vice President went into the Oval Office Wednesday and apologized to the president, who accepted his apology and said he knew Biden's comments had come from the heart. In the end, no harm, no foul from the Vice President. But, you might not see him out in any big interviews anytime soon. Then again, people connect with him because they do see him as honest and ready to say what he thinks.

This took the President off message, but it certainly didn't hurt the President as far as fundraising goes. At a fundraiser last night at George Clooney's house, he raked in close to $15 million - that's his biggest fundraiser to date. I'm told by sources that their online fundraising has shot through the roof since the announcement on Wednesday, too. And, the President has a number of big ticket fundraisers planned in the coming weeks hosted by leaders in the gay community. So while this roll-out wasn't the plan, they are at least trying to capitalize on this and raise some money with an important constituency.

Beyond fundraising, I'm curious to see what effect this will have on the overall campaign. Any pollster in this country - even Republican pollsters - will tell you there is no other social issue where there has been so much rapid change in terms of acceptance for gay rights and even support for same-sex marriage. Same-sex marriage is still controversial in this country - look at how many states have legal bans on it - but overall nationally 50 percent of Americans say they favor same-sex marriage. This will definitely present some difficulties for the president in key swing states, all of which have some form of same-sex marriage ban.

It does seem to be an issue that Mitt Romney doesn't want to be talking about. He wants to look at the economy, period.

A story in the Washington Post late this week about him bullying a kid at prep school got him off that message a bit. Romney responded to it almost immediately. He didn't contradict the story, he just said he didn't remember it but apologized broadly for the stupid things he did in high school. I think what's most interesting about that response is that the campaign did it so quickly.

Sunday on "Face the Nation," Bob will look at all sides of the same-sex marriage debate with Ted Olson, the conservative lawyer who became somewhat of a rockstar during his defense of President George W. Bush in Bush v. Gore, then shocked a lot of people by leading the charge to overturn California's Proposition 8 and establish a constitutional right for same-sex marriage. Gov. Deval Patrick, D-Mass., will join him, he's a top supporter of President Obama's. Same-sex marriage has been legal in Patrick's state since 2004.

Then Bob will talk to Ralph Reed, the former head of the Christian Coalition. Singer Clay Aiken of American Idol fame will join them. Aiken's an openly gay father who was born and raised in North Carolina, which passed Amendment One on Tuesday, a law that says the only legal union is marriage between one man and one woman - effectively saying civil unions, even between men and women, aren't recognized by the state. Evan Wolfson, the founder and president of Freedom to Marry, and Mark McKinnon, who is a Newsweek Contributor, will also join us.

Bob will switch focus to this terrorist plot to bomb a U.S.-bound plane using what appears to be an updated version of the underwear bomb used in the attempted Christmas Day bombing in 2009. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., will give us the latest on that.

Finally, I'll join Bob on a special Mother's Day panel. We'll look at the women's vote along with Obama surrogate and Democratic strategist Anita Dunn, Romney surrogate and Republican commentator Bay Buchanan and Melinda Henneberger, who writes the column "She The People" for the Washington Post.

I hope you'll tune into CBS this Sunday morning. Check here Same-sex marriage, terrorism & moms on Face the Nationfor your local listings.

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    Norah O'Donnell is the anchor and managing editor of the "CBS Evening News." She also contributes to "60 Minutes."