A new book about Joe Biden portrays the president as someone whose middle-class upbringing has helped to nurture resentment at the intellectual elitism that has shaped his political career and sometimes caused tension with his one-time boss, Harvard-educated Barack Obama.
Biden, who served eight years as Obama’s vice president, told a friend that according to “The Last Politician: The Fight for Joe Biden’s White House and America’s Future,” Obama couldn’t even swear properly.
The book, published Tuesday and written by Franklin Foer, a staff writer at The Atlantic, says that Biden said Obama failed to produce an “f– you” “with proper vowel elongation and consonant hardness required”; That’s how they were supposed to curse in the ivory tower.”
Now, as the president is running for reelection, former President Donald Trump, a top Republican, can sometimes resent the perceived elitism of Washington’s political class; which points to some overlap with Biden.
This anecdote may also resonate with Democrats. Both Biden’s and Obama’s ardent supporters remember fondly when, during the signing ceremony of Obama’s signature health care bill, the then vice president said to Obama, “This is a big deal,” in a private margin recorded over a fiery microphone. in 2010.
Foer’s book offers an in-depth review of Biden’s first two years in office; The author describes that the president covered many “attacks” before he began to solidify his legacy through his signature policy achievements and “creative diplomacy” that helped rally the world behind Ukraine. against the invasion of Russia.
Biden, 80, continues to face questions about his age, and Foer describes it as “striking” for Biden to attend several meetings or public events before 10 am. In private conversations, Biden “admitted to his friends from time to time that he felt tired.” says.
Last week, a reporter asked White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, citing an early excerpt from Foer’s book, if personal fatigue could help explain why Biden’s morning schedule is often light. She replied: “That’s a ridiculous assumption.”
Jean-Pierre touched on this exchange during his briefing with journalists at the White House on Tuesday and offered his updated comment, saying that administration officials now “see the context of the quote”. He said the book actually praised Biden for helping to get major laws passed through Congress and to consolidate global support around Ukraine.
“This seemed to point to the opposite point in how the value of his experience and wisdom resulted in his bringing the free world together against authoritarianism,” he said.
Jean-Pierre also said that “there will always be a series of books on every administration” containing “various claims”.
“This is not unusual. This happens all the time,” he said. “And we’re not going to sue here.”
Foer’s book also chronicles Vice President Kamala Harris’ previously well-documented struggle to assume a role for herself as Biden’s Number 2. But Foer suggests that Harris may have hurt his own case in that area, initially asking to be responsible for relations with Scandinavia because it is “out of sight”.
The book reports that the vice president was initially excited about helping the administration resolve the root causes of immigration that had caused the large numbers of Central American immigrants seeking asylum to arrive at the US-Mexico border, but eventually came to accept the traditional view that this was the case. an ungrateful task.
Foer’s book says that Biden tried to treat Harris with more respect than he felt that Obama usually treated him like vice president, calling him “vice president” rather than “vice president”. But in his first days in office, Biden gathers his team to fight the coronavirus epidemic, while Biden meets the nation’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. He joked that Anthony Fauci should take the vice presidency.
“The Last Politician” describes the chaotic US withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021. “Give me a moment!”
It is also reported that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton personally intervened to help many women who became potential targets of the Taliban because of her work in Afghanistan. He ordered a group to wear white scarves so they could be recognized by the U.S. Marines guarding the Kabul airport, and unilaterally contacted world leaders to find out where the eventual evacuation flights would land.
In the book, Clinton’s call to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy caused a personal scolding by Sullivan, Clinton’s former close adviser, and Sullivan asked him, “What are you doing calling the Ukrainian government?” is said to have said.
According to Foer’s book, Clinton replied, “I wouldn’t have to call if you called.”