Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden is comparing his friendship with vice presidential hopeful Kamala Harris to his personal bond with former President Barack Obama.
Speaking to People magazine in their first joint interview as running mates, Harris and Biden discussed their personal history and how they see their professional relationship.
“The easy part of this is like my relationship with Barack — we trusted each other,” Biden remarked.
The two were discussing how they came to know of one another, both personally and professionally, just before the comment was made.
“We go back a long way. She was friends with my Beau, my son. The first time I was aware of who she was, I got a phone call from Beau saying, ‘I want you to nominate Kamala Harris for the United States Senate. She’s a friend of mine,’ ” Biden told the magazine.
“That is how I got to really know Joe as a person, hearing about him through his son,” Harris added.
Biden and Obama forged a friendship after the then-Delaware senator was tapped as running mate, despite them starting out as Democratic rivals in the 2008 presidential primary, and their bond allegedly remains strong today.
When leaving office, Obama honored Biden twice, once with the Medal of Freedom as well as during his farewell address.
“To Joe Biden, the scrappy kid from Scranton who became Delaware’s favorite son,” Obama said during his speech in January 2017. “You were the first decision I made as a nominee, and it was the best. Not just because you have been a great vice president, but because in the bargain, I gained a brother. We love you and Jill like family and your friendship has been one of the greatest joys of our lives.”
Despite their friendship, Obama expressed doubt on multiple occasions about Biden’s ability to land the plane with his name at the top of the ticket.
Speaking privately to an unnamed Democrat who spoke to Politico about the conversation, Obama expressed grave concerns about his former veep’s 2020 White House run.
“Don’t underestimate Joe’s ability to f–k things up,” the former president reportedly said.
Former Obama administration officials painted the relationship to Politico as warm and genuinely close — yet also fraught with tension based on differences in working styles, the outlet reported.
According to longtime Obama adviser David Axelrod, however, the relationship did blossom after the two joined the 2008 presidential ticket together.
Speaking to the New York Times, he described their relationship as “a shotgun marriage that gradually turned into a love story.”
Still, the paper reports, Obama quietly pressured Biden to sit out the 2016 presidential race, believing that Hillary Clinton had the better shot of winning and that the vice president wouldn’t be able to handle the rigors of campaigning so soon after the death of his son Beau.
Biden also acknowledged Obama’s doubts in his 2017 memoir, “Promise Me, Dad,” saying that the 44th president “had been subtly weighing in against” him running in 2016.
“The president was not encouraging,” Biden recalled of Obama’s reaction to his running to be his successor.
“I also believe he had concluded that Hillary Clinton was almost certain to be the nominee, which was good by him,” the former vice president wrote.
Now, with Harris at his side, Biden says he has a running mate who will speak up when they disagree on an issue.
“Yes, she is,” Biden interrupted when People asked Harris if she would be the kind of VP to tell him when he’s wrong.
“We already have that understanding,” Harris added, “I’m going to be the last one in the room — and there to give him honest feedback. Being vice president to Joe Biden to me means supporting his agenda and supporting him in every way.”
“It’s really, really, really important to have someone [like Harris on the ticket] with this intellectual capacity, educational background, backbone and stature. It’s going to change a lot,” the former vice president said of Harris.
“I was absolutely, and remain, so excited about our partnership and all the potential of our country that has yet to be achieved,” she told the magazine.
The two said they were staying in touch by phone and through their staffs amid the coronavirus pandemic, which forced the campaign to hunker down in Biden’s Delaware home.
Harris, meanwhile, is based in both Los Angeles and Washington, DC.
“She’s stolen some of [my staff] already, but you got to give them back when we get elected,” Biden quipped.
“Well, they’re going to be ours,” Harris jokingly replied.
Share this article:
Source: Read Full Article