Normally, one would have to imagine an outgoing president would like to see his vice president become his successor.
That wasn’t exactly the case for Barack Obama when it came to Joe Biden.
From The Atlantic:
Barack Obama stood in the Rose Garden, watching Joe Biden announce that he wasn’t going to run for president—exactly what he wanted and had helped make happen.
Four years later, the president has come a long way on his views of a Biden run.
For many Democrats, Biden’s 2020 announcement today is the bookend to the anxiety and regret they’ve been filled with since Election Night 2016, when they watched the “blue wall” of midwestern states fall away from Hillary Clinton: He would have held on to those white working-class voters and beaten Donald Trump, they believe. He would have won.
Obama played a far different role in the summer of 2015, when he urged everyone in the White House to give Biden time, and space, as he talked about getting into the 2016 presidential race. Obama had decided early on that he wanted Clinton to be his successor, and that she was the best fit for the job and would be the strongest candidate. Obama didn’t think running was a good idea for Biden, politically or personally. Biden was in pain after the death of his son, and he would figure this out on his own, Obama told his aides, but he wanted it to be Biden’s decision.
Does Biden finally have the itch to run? Does he feel like his old boss might have cost him an opportunity to be President in 2016?
From The Hill:
Two years after leaving office, Joe Biden couldn’t resist the temptation last year to brag to an audience of foreign policy specialists about the time as vice president that he strong-armed Ukraine into firing its top prosecutor.
In his own words, with video cameras rolling, Biden described how he threatened Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in March 2016 that the Obama administration would pull $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees, sending the former Soviet republic toward insolvency, if it didn’t immediately fire Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin.
“I said, ‘You’re not getting the billion.’ I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: ‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money,’” Biden recalled telling Poroshenko.
“Well, son of a bitch, he got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time,” Biden told the Council on Foreign Relations event, insisting that President Obama was in on the threat.
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