Biden presidency: How much will Obama influence the new President?

November 22, 2020
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Joe Biden rose to fame in 2008 when he became Vice-President to then president Barack Obama. The two made headlines for their close friendship and working relationship, which many called a “bromance”. And even though President Obama left the White House in 2016, the world has seen much of him and his family through the years.

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After four years of lying relatively low, Mr Obama is now back on TV, radio, online and in bookshops everywhere.

The 44th President of the United States’ memory, A Promised Land, was published this week.

The book proved to be a hit straight away, having sold almost 890,000 copies in its first 24 hours, and is likely to become the bestselling presidential memoir in modern American history.

A Promised Land topped Michelle Obama’s book, Becoming, which sold 725,000 copies on its first day of release.

As Mr Obama promotes his book, the main question on everyone’s minds is what influence he will have over his former Vice-President, who is about to become the 46th President of America.

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Biden presidency: How much will Obama influence the new President?

Biden presidency: How much will Obama influence the new President? (Image: Getty)

Biden presidency: Joe and Barack

Biden presidency: Obama and Biden have always had a close relationship (Image: Getty)

How much will Obama influence the new president?

Joe Biden knows he will always be able to call on Mr Obama in answer to all the big questions.

But President Biden has huge shoes to fill, as Mr Obama is undoubtedly one of the most popular presidents of modern times.

Author of Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama David Garrow said: “I’m certain Barack would be happy to react to any question or request Biden has put to him.

“But, I wonder, having spent eight years as VP, whether Biden would hesitate to rely on Barack in any meaningful way because of a feeling that would be like relying on your older brother.”

Biden presidency: Obama

Biden presidency: Obama will always help Biden when needed, according to experts (Image: Getty)

President Obama answered the question himself, however, in a recent interview with CBS Sunday Morning.

The former President said: “[Biden] doesn’t need my advice, and I will help him in any ways that I can.

“Now, I’m not planning to suddenly work on the White House staff or something.”

Asked whether he could accept a cabinet position, Mr Obama replied: “There’s something I would not be doing because Michell would leave me.

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Biden presidency: Joe Biden

Biden presidency: Joe Biden wasn’t endorsed by Obama in the 2016 election (Image: Getty)

“She would be like, ‘What? You’re doing what?’.”

Mr Obama hasn’t always seen Mr Biden as the natural heir to the White House, having discouraged him from running in 2015, instead, endorsing Hilary Clinton.

In 2020, which was Mr Biden’s third attempt at running for President, Mr Obama was reportedly sceptical again and didn’t endorse him until he was the presumptive nominee in mid-April.

Mr Garrow continued: “They ended up disagreeing privately so much on various foreign policy things, like the Osama Bin Laden takedown.

“I somehow think Biden would feel it diminishes him to be calling Barack.

“But I’d say that about almost any former Vice President, so it’s a role function more than an individual personality.”

Former speechwriter for President Obama, David Litt, said the two had “a very strong working relationship and a lot of personal respect and trust and so I do think it’s an interesting situation.

“I’m sure President Obama would have been supportive in whatever way asked with any Democratic president but you’re going to see more continuity among the staff than you might otherwise because so many people worked in the Obama administration and then on the Biden campaign and presumably will join the Biden administration.”



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