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

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

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

Not quite.

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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. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    @ smith and tom l
    Allow me to be perfectly clear:
    I've been coming to this thread for 6 years.
    If folks were calling Bush racist names, or referencing him in thinly veiled racist terms I DO NOT CONDONE that.
    Regardless of all the bad decisions that our ex president made I would never condone having anyone refer to him in racist derogatory terms.
    Since my arrival on this thread I have been witness to folks referring this President in such a manner.
    This is an indisputable fact.
    If folks were making negative comments about Bush because of the poor decisions that he made I have no problem with that. I've done that.
    The fact remains that there is a certain segment on this thread and in the general population that refer tho THIS President in not so thinly veiled racist terms; and they object to his every single move , and decision.
    They resent him being in the Oval Office, travelling on Air Force One, and having secret service protection.
    I've read their comments I've seen their placards.
    I will repeat you cannot compare the way Bush was treated to the way THIS President has been and continues to be treated.
    I won't even reference congressional behaviour and folks voting against things they were always for as soon as THIS President decides he's for them as well.
    So please, in the lexicon of the day, do not get me twisted.
    Let's not play bait and switch and strive instead to keep honest lines of communication open.
    Have a great evening gentlemen.

    April 17, 2014 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  2. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    smith – I`ve got friends on both sides but my dem friends aren`t calling my repub friends racist.
    You probably have the same type of repub friends that I have, sensible patriotic folks who are more concerned about moving this country forward than pitching a tent with the lunatics that have absconded with the Party they belong to.

    April 17, 2014 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  3. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    @ rs
    Your jump ins are always welcome!

    April 17, 2014 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  4. goblackhawks

    already is a movie .. it's called Dumb & dumber ..

    April 17, 2014 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  5. Kendall


    President Obama and Mr. Biden – 2 leaders who have a whole lot to be proud of!

    This President is likely the best of my lifetime, and that goes back to JFK.

    No Wars! Record stock market, 401K and housing. Killed America's #1 enemy of all time.

    Good times for America. I'm sure enjoying them – under Obama my house value is up $500,000, and my 401K up 50%.

    We are viewed as weak by the rest of the world...thanks to Obama
    Stock Market....nothing to do with Obama...you can thank Bernanke
    Bin Laden would die regardless of who was in office....Obama didn't pull the trigger
    Your 401K...propped up by the Fed artificially stimulating the economy...enjoy it now, what goes up WILL come down.

    April 17, 2014 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  6. Tom l

    There is no doubt that there are many people that disagree with every single issue with regards to this president. However it's difficult to accurately assess what relation that has to Pres. Obama's skin pigmentation due to the fact that you weren't on the boards when Bush was president. I can guarantee you because I lived in California that there were people that opposed every single thing that Bush did. It's the policies in most cases. The problem is that the conclusion that is always leapt to is racism when it comes to opposition of Obama. I'll be honest, and maybe I'm wrong. However the usual suspects that are on here I don't believe have a problem with Obama's skin color I think they have a problem with his policies. Maybe I am blind to it but since I'm Jewish I certainly have had my fair share of racism against me.

    April 17, 2014 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  7. smith

    @rs-I have to disagree with your scale theory. If you hate or talk smack on a potus its double standard to complain when someone else does the same. This theory that everyone who disagrees or dislikes Obama is racist has no merit. Obama has said the same thing.

    April 17, 2014 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  8. Marcus (from...?)

    Sour grapes, much?
    Let's see...
    How the USA are viewed by the rest of the world... depends om where you look at – Iranian, North Korean, Venezuelan and Russian governments either haven't changed at all or haven't De Facto changed since 2001, and they still don't like the USA. And as for th rest of the world they generally upgraded their view from the USA (no longer standing by a bully-like 'Either you're with us or against us' foreign policy helps a lot!)
    Stock Market – Bernanke gets most of the credit, sure, but deny any of the recovery (or plunge) as a consequence of the economic policies of anygovernment is to insult the reader/listener of opinion's intelligence.
    Bin Laden – You remember that the guys that pulled the triggers had to invade a friendly nation, that can't explain to this day if they knew or not what was he doing and how he came to live in a city filled to the top with military personnel, in order to do so. and who gave the 'I take full responsability' (as if he could avoid it if anything had went wrong) order to do that? Any general or admiral in the Pentagon? Or the Commander-in-Chief? Any president who had given that order would deserve the same credit that Obama do deserves.
    401K – It will fall, eventually, and it will come up again, but the chances to fall that hard again as it did in 2008... unless you have an ilegally obtained behind the scene information, do you?

    April 17, 2014 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  9. NateOLYWA

    One question..Bin Laden would die regardless of who was in office….Obama didn’t pull the trigger. Then why didn't Bush get him in the 8 years that he was in office?

    April 17, 2014 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  10. bcrunner

    @Kendall: :We are viewed as weak by the rest of the world...thanks to Obama
    Stock Market....nothing to do with Obama...you can thank Bernanke
    Bin Laden would die regardless of who was in office....Obama didn't pull the trigger
    Your 401K...propped up by the Fed artificially stimulating the economy...enjoy it now, what goes up WILL come down.

    Actually we were hated around the world and only in your mind and McCain's mind we are viewed as weak.. So... all the way till now you have put the blame on Obama for the economy and the unemployement... So, now it's not his fault that it took this long to get better? And, if Obama had not pulled the trigger, where would Bin Laden be? And, if you found out that the president took no action, what would you say? I know... "he is weak".. I shouldn't have wasted my time to respond to you...

    April 17, 2014 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  11. Spgfld Tom

    Putin massing troops on the borders of the Ukraine, Iran working 24×7 to build a nuclear bomb, armed agents of BLM sticking guns in the faces of women and children in Nevada, 60% of the nation believes the POTUS lies to further his own agenda........and all Obama and Biden want to do is post selfies on instragram. Dark days for the Republic, Sparky. I miss the decisive leadership of Jimmy Carter.

    April 17, 2014 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  12. Ted

    Obama has become so popular, that only Joe Biden wants to do a selfie with him, and soon he too will bail.

    April 17, 2014 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  13. plain & simple

    It would be beyond amazing for ONE just ONE Obama hater to admit as to exactly why they spew so much venom! Blind hatred has no cover, and it's disturbing how the few,actually fear the good that has been accomplished . Education will prevail and the fear mongers will be silenced by the long lasting good of the ACA implementation. Obama will let history be his judge! Not the narrow view of the few.

    April 17, 2014 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  14. Marcus (from...?)

    Me and my typos... OOOOOOPPPPSSSS
    It's 'but deny any part (at least) of the recovery (or plunge) as a consequence...' – Sorry guys and ladies.

    April 18, 2014 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  15. Edward Neal

    Obama was and is the best elected U.S. President for our times. When the U.S. was at the brink of another depression, Obama made some tough calls in the midst of opposition to recover the American economy. I only have these questions: " What If "? . . .what if the GOP did not filibuster or oppose every decision which was made by Obama pertaining to our economy? What if Congress had decided to be a "Yes" Congress instead of becoming a " NO " Congress.

    April 18, 2014 05:59 am at 5:59 am |
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