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“This is beyond unifying — it’s electrifying,” said Eugene Sepulveda, a former fundraiser for Obama who withdrew to take a non-political job early this year. “This man stands for right, despite the political consequences.” Jeff Soref, a longtime Democratic activist in the gay community, told BuzzFeed: “I think the people who were disappointed by the president’s failure to support marriage quality will now have that barrier removed for them.”

Indeed, top gay donors have been using their expensive access to bend Obama’s ear on the issue for years. Some now feel that their specific pleas have been answered. “There have been a lot of us urging him to do this for a very long time. I imagine he and Michele felt some pain for us after North Carolina yesterday,” said another longtime gay Obama bundler. “There are more LGBT co-chairs across the country are raising more money than we’ve ever raised. And you’ll see a lot more of that now,” the bundler said.

Soref said that aside from energizing supporters, Obama’s decision sharpens the choice for the general election.

“There is a contrast between the President and Mitt Romney, and this clarified the contrast, and that will help with fundraising,” he said. The Obama campaign sees the announcement and the contrast with Romney’s position, as playing into the campaign’s narrative of Obama as the forward-looking candidate and Romney as the one of the past.


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