Despite a strong "bromance" between the former president and Biden who served as the second-in-command, Obama discouraged his Vice President from running in the 2016 election.
Obama felt Hillary Clinton was a better candidate and during weekly lunches, he would push Biden to drop the idea of running. Finally, he arranged for his own strategist to give Biden a fact check according to which he would lose.
“The president was not encouraging,” Biden later said. He was also reportedly unhappy with Obama’s push and felt betrayed after “serving” him loyally for eight years.
Four years later Biden announced his third presidential bid Thursday. The former vice president has being picturizing himself as Obama’s natural heir.
Obama also praised Biden after the announcement. Nonetheless, he also thinks that there are other good candidates.
Denis R. McDonough, the former White House chief of staff said that Obama thinks Biden is a good candidate but “the president has also said there are a lot of good candidates in the race, and he thinks it’s important for the party to make this choice about moving forward. A full primary contest is good for the party.”
Biden belongs to the old centrist Democratic section known for its status quo which is being challenged by other candidates like Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Tulsi Gabbard, etc.
The 76-year-old moderate is considered too centrist for a Democratic Party yearning for fresh faces and increasingly propelled by its more vocal liberal wing by critics.
Biden is one of the few Democratic candidates who voted in favor of the Iraq War. He has also come out in favor of Wall Street
In 2016 Biden was asked about Bernie Sanders, which is likely to be his main challenger in the primaries, he responded: “I love Bernie, but I’m not Bernie Sanders,” Biden confirmed in a speech in May 2018. “I don’t think 500 billionaires are the reason we’re in trouble. The folks at the top aren’t bad guys.”
Biden also faced new questions about his propensity for touching and kissing strangers at political events, with several women coming forward to say he had made them feel uncomfortable.
The seasoned politician half-apologized saying he recognized standards for personal conduct had evolved in the wake of the Me Too movement, an international campaign for women's rights to exist without gender violence and calling an end to the culture of powerful men harassing women with impunity.