The New York Times published a fascinating deep dive Friday into the relationship between Barack Obama and Joe Biden. The newspaper says it conducted “more than two dozen interviews with Obama and Biden aides and others with knowledge of the relationship.” There is no doubt people are intrigued over how much Obama has talked with Biden about his run for the White House. And according to this report, Obama may have played a big role in his former Vice President’s decision NOT to run in 2016. The NYT’s Glenn Thrush writes:
In 2016, Mr. Obama quietly pressured Mr. Biden to sit out the race, partly because he believed Mrs. Clinton had a better chance of building on his agenda, and partly because he thought Mr. Biden was in no shape emotionally following the illness and death of his son Beau in May 2015.
And the Times said there were conversations this time around as well, and again they may have been rather discouraging:
The two men spoke at least a half dozen times before Mr. Biden decided to run, and Mr. Obama took pains to cast his doubts about the campaign in personal terms.
“You don’t have to do this, Joe, you really don’t,” Mr. Obama told Mr. Biden earlier this year, according to a person familiar with the exchange.
Mr. Biden — who thinks he could have defeated Donald Trump four years ago — responded by telling Mr. Obama he could never forgive himself if he turned down a second shot at Mr. Trump.
While Obama’s camp has said he won’t make an endorsement during the primary season, he has reportedly “taken an active interest in the inner workings of his friend’s campaign, to an extent beyond anything offered to other candidates.”
Thrush says during a recent lunch Obama told Biden to “expand his aging inner circle… urging him to include more younger aides.”
And it seems Obama is also concerned with how Biden will come out on the other end of this campaign:
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.