(TheConservativeNews.org) – In a return to the White House by former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama to see the unveiling of their official portraits, it was not without major controversy, according to a published report.
The event was hosted by President Joe Biden, who served eight years as Obama’s vice president, and first lady Jill Biden. During the ceremony, Obama praised his former wingman.
“The country is better off than when you first took office. And we should all be deeply grateful for that,” Obama claimed.
But according to a report in the Washington Post, the outward chumminess between the two actually masks deep-seated and “long-simmering tension, and even some jealousy, between the circles around Obama and Biden,” particularly after Obama in April jokingly called him “Vice President Biden.”
Biden aides “saw the quip, intentional or not, as part of a pattern of arrogance from Obama and a reminder of the disrespect many felt from Obama’s cadre of aides toward Biden,” the Post reported.
The so-called “bromance” between the two men was a facade, according to aides who spoke to the Post. They added that Biden and his team also felt some “resentment” toward Obama for reportedly wanting to replace him with Hillary Clinton ahead of his successful 2012 reelection bid.
Some Biden loyalists are resentful that Obama didn’t throw his weight behind Biden’s presidential aspirations, complaining that even now Obama’s team does not fully respect Biden. Obama loyalists are frustrated that Biden’s aides regularly boast of how they have avoided the mistakes of the Obama White House, such as failing to sufficiently tout the president’s accomplishments.
Democratic leaders say they urgently need both presidents to bolster party turnout in the upcoming midterms. Obama is revered by many in the Democratic base, while Biden retains a strong appeal to Democratic centrists and has drawing power as the sitting president.
Current presidents hosting the unveiling of official portraits at the White House have been ongoing since 1978, when then-Democratic President Jimmy Carter invited former GOP President Gerald Ford for his unveiling. However, likely stung by the phony ‘Russiagate’ investigation that began during Obama’s tenure, then-President Donald Trump shunned the tradition, which set up the Wednesday event, the Post noted.
For most of Obama’s presidency, the two men were hailed as close, sharing lunch once a week and Obama calling Biden “the best vice president America’s ever had” at one point.
“I think they had a very rich partnership during the Obama administration,” David Axelrod, a former senior adviser to Obama who attended Wednesday’s event, told the Post. “I think it would be a mistake to suggest otherwise.”
But, the Post noted, “aides say the ‘bromance.’ was always exaggerated.”
“The two had a strong working relationship and a personal friendship, but aides also noted that the men come from different generations (a 19-year age gap), different backgrounds (Biden served 36 years in the Senate; Obama served less than four) and have different styles (Obama is a gifted orator and deep thinker; Biden is the consummate retail politician who often goes off script),” the paper added.
The tension actually began early in Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, when the gaffe-prone Biden said, “You’ve got the first mainstream African American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.” Biden would later apologize for the remark.
Also, Obama refused early on to back Biden’s candidacy, and in fact, tried to talk Biden out of running in 2020.
This clip from the show “Watters’ World” reveals more details on the controversial bromance.
Now with plenty riding on the 2022 midterms. Democrats could lose their majority in the House and Senate. Former President Barack Obama will hit the midterm campaign trail this fall to help Democrat candidates, while some embattled candidates have avoided campaigning with President Joe Biden.
Obama will campaign with Democrats up and down the ballot, potentially including House, Senate, gubernatorial, and secretary of state candidates.
It seems most Democrats consider Biden political poison–perhaps more so after his divisive “red light” speech.
If Biden didn’t resent Obama before, this is a punch to the gut, candidates would rather have the backing of a former President than the current one.