It came as a surprise to no one that Barack Obama decided not to endorse Joe Biden for president in 2016. Again in 2020, the Obama endorsement came late. Very late.
Now that the concrete has been poured, word is getting out in Democrat circles that Biden is more than a human gaffe machine with a questionable memory.
As reported by the reliably left-leaning Politico.com, even back to when first elected to the vice presidency back in 2008, Biden had quite the reputation of a pompous buffoon (emphasis mine);
Interviews with dozens of senior officials of the Obama-Biden administration painted a picture of eight years during which the president and vice president enjoyed a genuinely close personal relationship, built particularly around devotion to family, while at the same time many senior aides, sometimes tacitly encouraged by the president’s behavior, dismissed Biden as eccentric and a practitioner of an old, outmoded style of politics.
“You could certainly see technocratic eye-rolling at times,” said Jen Psaki, the former White House communications director. Young White House aides frequently mocked Biden’s gaffes and lack of discipline in comparison to the almost clerical Obama. They would chortle at how Biden, like an elderly uncle at Thanksgiving, would launch into extended monologues that everyone had heard before.
Former administration officials treated Biden dismissively in their memoirs.
Ben Rhodes, Obama’s former deputy national security adviser, who was known for his mind-meld with the president, wrote in his memoir that “in the Situation Room, Biden could be something of an unguided missile.”
One Democrat who spoke to Obama recalled the former president warning, “Don’t underestimate Joe’s ability to fuck things up.” Speaking of his own waning understanding of today’s Democratic electorate, especially in Iowa, Obama told one 2020 candidate: “And you know who really doesn’t have it? Joe Biden.”
Former FBI Director James Comey recalled in his book that “Obama would have a series of exchanges heading a conversation very clearly and crisply in Direction A. Then, at some point, Biden would jump in with, ‘Can I ask something, Mr. President?’”
Comey continued: “Obama would politely agree, but something in his expression suggested he knew full well that for the next five or 10 minutes we would all be heading in Direction Z. After listening and patiently waiting, President Obama would then bring the conversation back on course.”