Well, he’s going to have to endorse him now. Former President Barack Obama, who has very noticeably dodged all opportunities to favor his former Vice President Joe Biden throughout the Democratic primary process, is now seemingly left with no more wiggle room. Biden’s last challenger, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), has dropped out, and the longtime Delaware senator has an open path ahead to the nomination. Obama will undoubtedly soon bestow his mighty official seal of approval, but it would appear that he’d really rather be somewhere else.
How Can You Do This to Me?
Of the many things that can be said about Obama, his personal vanity is not stressed enough. It must be remembered that this is the man who saw himself as a “transformative” figure for America, representing in his very person the sweeping change he had planned for the nation. Victor of two presidential races shortly after claiming a U.S. Senate seat in his debut run for high office, Obama above all sees himself as a “winner” and would like nothing more than to bask in the warm glow of that concept for the rest of his preening days.
This sensitive ego goes a long way to explaining why Obama was practicing self-distancing protocol with Biden long before the Coronavirus ever hit these shores. “You don’t have to do this, Joe, you really don’t,” Obama is famously said to have advised his old running mate in 2019 as Biden was considering throwing his hat in the ring. While that quote from an August 2019 New York Times article got national attention, there was more context revealed that is not as widely known.
The Times’ Glenn Thrush reported in the same article that Obama “took the unusual step of summoning” top Biden advisers for a meeting. “When they were done, Mr. Obama offered a pointed reminder, according to two people with knowledge of his comments: Win or lose, they needed to make sure Mr. Biden did not ’embarrass himself’ or ‘damage his legacy’ during the campaign,” Thrush reported.
That legacy was of course in great part tied to Obama’s. In other words, Obama’s concern came from a very specific place. It was all about himself. Obama chose to back Hillary Clinton over Biden in 2016 most likely because he thought the Clinton political machine had largely locked things up well in advance and that she would go on to win a general election over yet another weak Republican establishment candidate. This would keep any stench of defeat well away from his eight years in office. Then Donald Trump happened. Overheated establishment media reports at the time marveled at the way the “enormously popular” outgoing president rallied on behalf of the Dem nominee. Hillary lost.
An irked Obama is said to have expressed his great displeasure at Hillary’s poor campaigning, fretting that it would cast negative shadows over his own standing. “She was the one who could not translate his strong record and healthy economy into a winning message,” Peter Baker, chief White House correspondent for The New York Times, wrote of the Obama administration’s view of the debacle in a book luridly titled Obama: The Call of History.
Clamped On to a Catastrophe
And if there is one thing Barack Hussein Obama will not abide, it is anyone muddying that call to history. This strutting peacock has had to watch his own two-term vice president stumble his way through a gaffe-prone and exceedingly awkward campaign that has inexplicably ended up outlasting more than 20 other rivals for the right to be the Democrat standard bearer in 2020. Astonishingly, Obama must now publicly embrace this rolling train wreck and sell him to the country.
In a January article written as Biden pressed his close ties to Obama without drawing any recognition in return, Politico’s Marc Caputo cited a conversation between the former president and a Democrat unaligned with any candidate. Obama allegedly said, “[d]on’t underestimate Joe’s ability to f*** things up.” Perhaps it is Obama who underestimated Biden’s ability to actually stick it out, win the nomination, and put his self-perceived perfection at genuine risk.
“Seeing Obama on the campaign trail should excite voters who’ve longed to see him weigh in on current issues and give Biden the needed push,” Basil Smikle, the executive director of the New York State Democratic Party, told The Hill. “Obama would also remind voters of his competence while in office, creating a strong contrast between Trump and the Democratic alternative.”
This in truth appears to be the exact situation Obama wants no part of, though he will have little choice. After all, it’s hard to boast of your administration’s high level of competence when your former vice president is unable to speak in complete sentences. It’s fairly clear that Obama sees Joe Biden as a losing horse. Shackling the intoxicating fumes of his puffed-up “legacy” to this wobbly nag must be pure despondency for the man who looks in the mirror and only sees greatness.
Read more from Joe Schaeffer.
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