Despite frequently boasting of his close personal friendship with former President Barack Obama, current President Joe Biden reportedly struggled to win the support of the man with whom he served in the White House as he conducted his 2020 campaign.
According to the Daily Wire, a new book about the complicated relationship between the two Democrats indicates that Obama stabbed Biden in the back by withholding his endorsement of his former VP for most of the 2020 election cycle because Obama considered him to be “a tragicomic caricature of an aging politician having his last hurrah.”
In their book Lucky: How Joe Biden Barely Won the Presidency, authors Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes of NBC News and The Hill, respectively, detail the concerns held by Obama that:
…his former vice president would embarrass himself on the campaign trail and that the people around him would not be able to prevent a belly flop.
As Politco noted last year, the former president’s reluctance to go all-in on Biden’s presidential push was becoming more apparent as the campaign continued, with “anonymously sourced quotes” continuing to crop up, including one in which Obama reportedly warned, “Don’t underestimate Joe’s ability to f – – – things up.”
Obama’s unwillingness to formally endorse Biden well into the Democratic primary season notably drew the attention of then-President Donald Trump, who said in April of last year:
I don’t know why President Obama hasn’t supported Joe Biden a long time ago. He feels something is wrong.
It does amaze me that President Obama hasn’t supported Sleepy Joe. It just hasn’t happened. When’s it gonna happen? Why isn’t he? He knows something that you don’t know, that I think I know, that you don’t know.
Allen and Parnes also assert that Biden’s campaign was marked by a seemingly endless series of strategic errors, but that the coronavirus pandemic provided the candidate with sufficient cover to “hide his biggest weakness, which is himself.”
One Biden aide even went so far as to explain that the overall 2020 campaign strategy was to “put your dumb uncle in the basement,” according to the Daily Wire.
Sadly, the tactic of keeping Biden hidden from public scrutiny has continued, despite the fact that he now occupies the highest office in the land. Well over 40 days into his administration, the president has yet to hold a formal solo press conference, something of which even CNN’s Jake Tapper took critical note:
.@Kevinliptakcnn notes that an analysis of the past 100 years shows President Biden’s 15 most recent predecessors all held a formal solo press conference within 33 days of taking office. Biden has not and it’s day 42.
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) March 3, 2021
The longer Biden’s handlers thwart the sort of media access granted by virtually all of his predecessors, the more obvious it will become to the American electorate that the long-standing rumors of the president’s cognitive decline were perhaps just the tip of the iceberg.