Although Barack Obama has publicly endorsed Joe Biden, he has privately expressed grave concerns about his former VP’s 2020 White House run, according to a report.
It appears that behind their so called friendship, there were actually bitter tensions between the two.
“Don’t underestimate Joe’s ability to f**k things up,” the former president told an unnamed Democrat according to an interview with Politico.
In the report, Obama era aides reveal Obama’s apparent snub of Biden in favor of Hillary Clinton for the party’s 2016 nominition.
“Don’t underestimate Joe’s ability to fuck things up,” Obama was quoted as saying.
Speaking to one candidate about the Democratic electorate in Iowa, Obama scathingly remarked that Biden didn’t bond with voters: “And you know who really doesn’t have it? Joe Biden.”
Obama’s aides often derided Biden, Politico revealed, “like an elderly uncle at Thanksgiving, [who] would launch into extended monologues that everyone had heard before.”
“You could certainly see technocratic eye-rolling at times,” former White House Communications Director Jen Psaki told the publication.
Some aides highlighted Obama’s lackluster endorsement of his former running mate in 2020 versus his gushing support of Clinton in 2016.
“I don’t think there’s ever been someone so qualified to hold this office,” Obama said of Clinton.
“I believe Joe has all of the qualities we need in a president right now,” Obama said in Biden’s endorsement video. “And I know he will surround himself with good people.”
Meanwhile, Obama’s camp passed off his 2016 snub as a compassionate gesture because Biden was still coping with the loss of his son, Beau Biden, in 2015.
But both Biden and Obama loyalists paint a different picture.
Politico reported that Obama backed Hillary long before Beau lost his cancer battle, while his dad laid the groundwork for his own campaign.
Beau had been a strong supporter of his dad’s bid for the presidency, so Biden had “made serious preparations in the summer and fall of 2015 to jump into the race,” Politico noted.
In his book “Promise Me, Dad” (2017), Biden also acknowledged that Obama “had been subtly weighing in against [it].”
“I also believe he had concluded that Hillary Clinton was almost certain to be the nominee, which was good by him,” he wrote.
The Politico article also delved into their opposing leadership style, as Republicans said Obama’s arrogant style could be jarring at the negotiation table, versus Biden’s more amiable approach.
Eric Cantor, the Republican House majority leader from 2011 to 2014, said Obama “felt that he knew the world better than you,” while another former Republican leadership said the 44th president “mansplained.”
Unlike Obama, Biden, Cantor noted, understood that “you’re gonna have to agree to disagree about some things.”
“Few practiced politicians appreciate being lectured on where their political self-interest lies,” David Axelrod of Pod Save America wrote in his memoir.”
That hint of moral superiority and disdain for politicians who put elections first has hurt Obama as negotiator, and it’s why Biden, a politician’s politician, has often had better luck.”
However, Biden has rejected claims that his popularity amongst black voters should be credited purely to Obama.
He told aides that Obama hadn’t “lifted a finger” to help him following his win in South Carolina.