'Guys' trip' raises questions about Obama's 2016 choice...again
April 17th, 2014
10:57 AM ET
4 months ago

'Guys' trip' raises questions about Obama's 2016 choice...again

(CNN) - The selfie. The “guys’ trip.” An endorsement?

Not quite.

President Barack Obama, who has never been less than glowing in public praise of his vice president, said in an interview aired Thursday that Joe Biden “will go down as one of the finest vice presidents in history” and has been “a great partner in everything that I do.”

But Obama stopped short – as he’ll likely do until a Democratic nominee emerges in 2016 – from saying he’d support Biden if he makes a third run for the White House.

“I suspect that there may be other potential candidates for 2016 who have been great friends and allies,” he told CBS News. “I know that we've got an extraordinary secretary of state who did great service for us and worked with me and Joe to help make the country safer.”

That “extraordinary” diplomat would be Hillary Clinton, the understood Democratic frontrunner whose every utterance is parsed for signs she’s closer to jumping back into the political fray.

As it happens, the last time Obama sat down with CBS for a joint interview was with Clinton as she prepared to step down as secretary of state shortly after the start of his second term. And just as he did Thursday, Obama heaped praise on the former rival.

“I think Hillary will go down as one of the finest secretary of states we've had,” he said – but again stopped short of offering his 2016 endorsement.

“I was literally inaugurated four days ago,” he said then. “And you're talking about elections four years from now.”

Biden, who has said he’s considering making another go at the top job, similarly demurred about 2016 while the 2014 midterms are approaching. But he made clear on Wednesday that his boss wouldn’t be left in the dark when the decision is made.

“If I decide to run, believe me, this'll be the first guy I talk to,” he said of Obama. “But that decision hasn't been made for real, and there's plenty of time to make them. We have a lot of work to do between now and November.”

If Biden hopes Obama can help him in 2016, Obama seems confident his vice president can help a little sooner, with midterm elections looming and Democrats anxious about the president’s signature health care reform law.

The White House had Biden on full display Wednesday, sending the vice president to Pennsylvania - his home state - to help Obama announce $600 million in new job training grants. As the so-called “guys’ trip” kicked off, his office was clicking publish on Biden’s first Instagram picture: a shot of the vice president’s trademark Ray-Ban aviators.

Later the account popped out a shot of Obama and Biden posing together in the back of a presidential limo, the pair’s toothy grins captioned by the White House with just the word “Pals.”

Obama has long depended on Biden to fire up traditional Democratic voting blocs like unions and blue-collar workers, using the vice president’s folksy style to supplement his own liberal loftiness.

That effort appears to still be in full swing as November’s midterm elections approach. Democrats, who have all but given up taking control of the House of Representatives, are now focused on retaining control of the Senate, where many vulnerable incumbents are looking warily at the prospect of campaigning with Obama.

Biden’s ratings among the public are close to Obama’s – both men stood at 49% unfavorable in a CNN/ORC poll from early March. But Democrats seem convinced the vice president can do more good than harm in the coming contests.

The Democratic National Committee revived Biden’s old twitter handle, @JoeBiden, earlier in April, hoping to amplify the party’s message to his 600,000 followers.

“Dusting off the Twitter handle for a big midterm election year. Let's get to it, folks,” he wrote in the first message on the account in a year.


Filed under: Joe Biden • President Obama
soundoff (115 Responses)
  1. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Keep trying to stir the pot Lil Fox.... You won't divide us. It's going to be Hillary.

    April 17, 2014 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  2. Lynda/Minnesota

    Goodness. A great deal of nothing in this article. One assumes there must be a hidden agenda ... the article itself is quite lengthy for there not to be an agenda. Yeah. I know ... I know.

    Hmmm. A yawn factor? X10

    At any rate, the photo of both men together? It's a keeper.

    April 17, 2014 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  3. rs

    The Democratic Party simply should not get drawn into a protracted 2016 election cycle just because the GOP (once again) wants to commit political suicide on TV by displaying their anti-patriotic, "I am more insane that you" agenda and fight their civil war out in the media.

    There is plenty of time to chose up candidates. Frankly if the GOP were smart (yeah!), they'd work on doing something (anything!) positive for the majority of Americans so that they can point to something as an accomplishment in 2016.

    April 17, 2014 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  4. Sniffit

    "'Guys' trip' raises questions about Obama's 2016 choice...again"

    MSM's irrationally obsessive desperation to begin speculation and the horse-race narrative about the next POTUS election immediately following the last one raises questions about Obama's 2016 choice...again.

    FIFY

    April 17, 2014 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  5. sonny chapman

    Joe Biden has served & will serve the Dem. Party & America well. Heck, he IS Middle Class America. P.S.-so are most Dem. leaders. Bill Clinton & Barrack Obama didn't come from "Royalty" like the Bush Dynasty.

    April 17, 2014 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  6. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA - Take Back the House

    Trying to create news again Fox Jr.? How about some news coverage on the investigation into Gov. Perry? Will the real journalists please stand up.

    April 17, 2014 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  7. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Frankly if the GOP were smart (yeah!), they'd work on doing something (anything!) positive for the majority of Americans so that they can point to something as an accomplishment in 2016."

    Not going to happen. Their irrational hate against Obama has clouded their "compassion" past the point of no return. They can't ... simply can't ... get over themselves and their hate towards this one man.

    Six years, rs. Six long drawn out years of anger built up from the haters.

    Never in my lifetime have I witnessed such gnashing of GOPerville teeth.

    April 17, 2014 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  8. emskadittle

    Hilary will win the nomination in 2016, Clinton/Booker 2016

    April 17, 2014 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  9. Chris-E...al

    Hillary Clinton / Anthonny Weiner 2016

    April 17, 2014 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  10. Bill from GA

    Barry: “I think Hillary will go down as one of the finest secretary of states we've had,”

    i wish he would elaborate on that. I'd like to know why he feels that way.She didn't impress me at all. Just flying around the world, capitalizing on the good will generated by Obama, and the recent parting of W from the White House.

    Hill is now pushing income equality. I remember after her failed run for the Presidency in '08, that she was begging the common man (and woman) to help her pay off her campaign debt, as Hill and bill were racking in millions. That was low class.

    April 17, 2014 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  11. smith 1

    I would be happy with either Joe or Hillary. Look at the alternative . Vote all repos out in 2014 or it won't matter weather it is Joe or Hillary. The repos will just block everything like they have done for the last 5 years.

    April 17, 2014 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  12. Bill from GA

    Lynda/Minnesota – "...Never in my lifetime have I witnessed such gnashing of GOPerville teeth."

    Don't blame the ignoratti of our Country. Their brains (I use the word loosely) have been enslaved by the Right Wing Propaganda Machine. They can't turn it off. They can't turn away. Pity the fools.

    April 17, 2014 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  13. Name. willard

    Keep out of clinton hillary 2016 so she was too old her health right

    April 17, 2014 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  14. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    It's sad isn't it Lynda? I knew it was going to be bad but even I underestimated the level of hate and anger from day 1. I guess I was naive, I didn't realize they hated him more than they loved their country. They haven't done one thing to move us forward, yet the MSM continuously ignores that.

    April 17, 2014 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  15. Wes

    Clinton/Rev. Wright 2016

    April 17, 2014 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  16. Lynda/Minnesota

    Bill from GA
    Lynda/Minnesota – "...Never in my lifetime have I witnessed such gnashing of GOPerville teeth."

    Don't blame the ignoratti of our Country. Their brains (I use the word loosely) have been enslaved by the Right Wing Propaganda Machine. They can't turn it off. They can't turn away. Pity the fools.
    -----------

    Yes, indeed. I can't imagine having that much hate in my life day after day. I pity their frustration, Bill. I pity their constant inability to see beyond their hate. I pity their continual whining. I pity their need to tune into a "news network" or radio "talk show" that propagandizes their fears and insecurities.

    @ Wake Up

    I too underestimated the level of hate and anger. Having spent the weekend forced to confront that anger personally, I can do nothing more than shake my head and feel thankful these "acquaintances" of my husbands are of a once a year occurrence.

    April 17, 2014 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  17. Donna

    Well if Obama is the greatest President ever, and Biden is the great VP ever, and Hillary Clinton was the greatest Secretary of State ever, why the heck is the economy a wreck with no jobs and the entire world on fire with Putin taking over countries?

    Is all that "success"??? No wonder things just keep getting worse and worse!! In typical Democrat leftist fashion, up is down, down is up and failure is success!! Wake up America!!

    April 17, 2014 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  18. tom l

    There is a difference between "hate" and "frustration" and "anger". Hate is a term that is used mostly by children.

    April 17, 2014 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  19. O'drama ya Mama

    Out of the many high ranking officials in our government(both Dem and Rep), Joe Biden's income has pretty much stayed the same. That goes to show where his priorities are and it shows he isnt out to make a quick buck at the expense of the tax payer.

    April 17, 2014 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  20. BiteThePillow

    Hillary represents everything people dislike about big business Democrats.
    She's Pro-War, Pro-Drug War, Pro-'Growth' and Anti-Environment.

    I sincerely hope we choose someone else before 2016, but I am afraid the wheels are already in motion.
    Not looking forward to the meager, meager gains we've been tossed over the last 7 years, being eroded.

    Marijuana will be recriminalized, the failed War on (some) Drugs will be started back up again. Etc etc etc...

    April 17, 2014 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  21. Rudy NYC

    Lynda/Minnesota

    "Frankly if the GOP were smart (yeah!), they'd work on doing something (anything!) positive for the majority of Americans so that they can point to something as an accomplishment in 2016."

    Not going to happen. Their irrational hate against Obama has clouded their "compassion" past the point of no return. They can't ... simply can't ... get over themselves and their hate towards this one man.

    Six years, rs. Six long drawn out years of anger built up from the haters.
    ------------------------------------
    I think that they consider repealing the ACA, impeaching Pres. Obama, etc. to be noble goals to accomplish.

    April 17, 2014 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  22. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    I love those constantly referring to our Harvard educated POTUS as dumb and all the other adjectives they use to describe him, when the majority of them are as grammatically challenged as 5 year olds. They have no idea that the first letter of a sentence should be capitalized and the first letter of a proper noun or name should too. It's hilarious watching them try to demean him, when 90% of them can barely string a sentence together.

    April 17, 2014 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  23. Sniffit

    "There is a difference between "hate" and "frustration" and "anger". Hate is a term that is used mostly by children."

    Lame pouting is for children. Calling hate behavior "hate" when we see it is adults accepting reality for what it is...often ugly, irrational and entirely misinformed.

    April 17, 2014 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  24. Get Real

    If BIDEN was GOOD enough to be HIS 2-term VP, SHOULDN'T the choice be OBVIOUS???? Makes no sense he spent 2008 blasting Hillary, and now everything is good? If he endorses her, I will not vote ANY of the Ds

    April 17, 2014 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  25. just sayng

    where was the list of all those hillary clinton accomplishments??? i guess we can scratch off the only thing she did while at the state dept., the infamous russian reset policy. turns out obama and clinton reset russian relations back to the 70's and 80's. so now not only did her incompetence get 4 people killed in benghazi, her cluelessness is costing 48 million people their country. yeah, just what we need in the white house. more clueless buffoonery.

    April 17, 2014 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
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