New Book Gives Inside Look at How Obama Reportedly Felt About Biden Running for President

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Posted: May 24, 2021 9:13 AM
New Book Gives Inside Look at How Obama Reportedly Felt About Biden Running for President

Source: AP Photo/Michael Sohn

In an upcoming book about the “Democrats’ Campaigns to Defeat Trump,” The Atlantic’s Edward-Isaac Dovere offers a blunt assessment of former President Obama and gives a behind-the-scenes look at how he reportedly viewed the prospect of Joe Biden running for president.

The book, which is out Tuesday, details the 2020 Democratic presidential race and “how the embattled Democratic Party, seeking a direction for its future during the Trump years, successfully regained the White House.” 

According to the Daily Mail, some of Dovere’s sharpest rebukes come in discussions about the 44th president and the state he left the Democratic Party in, likening him to a "parasite" who sucked the DNC dry. 

[D]espite his 'beatification among Democrats', Obama 'inadvertently helped usher in what followed him', meaning Trump.

Dovere says that reason is that Obama's aides have tried to explain his lack of engagement with his own party as 'benign neglect'.

The truth is more like 'negligence' and the numbers of House, Senate and gubernatorial seats that Obama lost on his watch are 'hard to ignore'.

Dovere writes: 'Obama never built a Democratic bench and never cared to, aside from a few scattered candidates who interested him.

'Defenders like to argue that Obama's approach to governing was a reflection of his unwillingness to taint his presidency by mucking about in fundraising.

'Or because he didn't want to spoil the image that many 2008 voters had had of him as an independent-minded politician who could appeal to independents. Or that if faced with the choice between campaigning and governing, he was always going to opt for governing.

'They admit now those were excuses'.

After Obama's reelection campaign in 2012 the DNC was left with $2.4m in debt, a huge sum for the organization.

It would take three years for Obama to negotiate a deal whereby he would help to pay it down, far longer than other Presidents have taken to resolve such matters.

In 2009 Obama hired his friend Tim Kaine as chair of the DNC, even though he was the governor of Virginia for the first year of the job.

Dovere says that Kaine was 'commuting two days a week to oversee the pilfering of talent, money, resources, and purpose for the Obama reelection effort that was already under way'.

In his most stinging passage, Dovere writes: 'Obama used the party structure as a host for his campaign. In his second term, he cared about what happened to the husk as much as any parasite does'.

Obama 'takes no blame for the deterioration of the DNC infrastructure' because he raised more money than anyone in its history, Dovere says. (Daily Mail)

During his eight years in office, the Democrats lost 947 legislative seats, 63 House seats, 11 senators and 13 governors.

The book also details how Obama allegedly viewed the prospect of Joe Biden running for president, which, if true, jibes with how the former president appeared so hesitant to offer an endorsement of his VP on the campaign trail.

According to Dovere, Obama was dubious about the prospect of Biden, who was his Vice President for eight years, running for the Presidency in the 2016 election.

The untimely death of Biden's son Beau knocked the wind out of him, but not before he anguished over the decision.

Dovere writes: 'Obama, for his part, went from assuring his aides not to worry, that his vice president was just working out his grief at his son's death by entertaining the fantasy of running for president, to becoming worried that Biden was actually getting lost in his fantasy'.

In the summer of 2015 Obama told his aides to give Biden 'space' to grieve.

But by September he was 'ordering them to go and meet with Biden to jolt some sense into him, to stop him from getting himself hurt and embarrassing Obama as he did so'. [...]

Even when Biden was chosen as the Democrat's Presidential candidate Obama was still anxious and 'wasn't sure' about the decision the party had made.

Obama saw Biden as the 'compromise candidate' but he 'wasn't exactly inspiring'.

Dovere summarizes Obama's thinking as: 'The chariot could turn back into a pumpkin at any point'. (Daily Mail)

In other sections of the book, Dovere reports Obama calling former President Trump a "madman," a "f***ing lunatic" and a "corrupt motherf***er."