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Obama Quipped He Would Prefer Being Shot Instead of Hearing Biden Speak

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Former President Barack Obama was so turned off by his then-vice president, Joe Biden, that he once said he would rather take a bullet than hear Biden speak.

That’s according to an excerpt from New York magazine national correspondent Gabriel Debenedetti’s book “The Long Alliance: The Imperfect Union of Joe Biden and Barack Obama,” The Daily Mail reported.

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The quip came during confirmation hearings for then-President George W. Bush’s nominee for secretary of state, Condoleeza Rice.

At the time, Obama was a Democratic senator from Illinois, and Biden had long served Delaware in the upper chamber. Apparently, Obama sent a note to a staffer that said: “Shoot. Me. Now.”

“Joe Biden is a decent guy, but man, that guy can just talk and talk. It’s an incredible thing to see,” Obama would later tell his advisor, David Axelrod, according to the excerpt.

The book “reveals that the former and current President did not have a cozy ‘bromance’ during their nearly 20-year conncection, as many believe,” the Daily Mail reported. “Biden, who served as Obama’s vice president during both his terms as president, was accused of ‘betrayal’ for announcing that they both supported gay marriage before his boss did.”

Debenedetti also claimed in her book that Biden would not grovel to Obama, stating at one point, “My manhood is not negotiable.”

The outlet adds:

The lack of faith in Biden went so far that Obama thought about replacing him with Hillary Clinton as his running mate in 2012 because he thought it would boost his chances of reelection.

And in 2020, Obama reluctantly supported his former Vice President in his own run for the Presidency after overcoming fears his candidacy could be ‘unthinkably painful.’

Debenedetti also said that Obama held out special animosity for his eventual successor, former President Donald Trump, claiming that the 44th president retained a “special kind of fury” after concluding he would bring about an “amoral coarseness” within the country.

The book claims that when Obama arrived in Washington, D.C., in 2005 after being newly elected to the Senate, Biden felt “slightly annoyed” at all the headlines and attention the junior senator was getting.

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Still, the author claimed that Biden wanted to get to know Obama anyway, and discussed dining out at a simple Italian restaurant on Capitol Hill, indicating it was “nothing fancy.”

But Obama balked at that, Debenedetti wrote, responding that “we can go to a nice place, I can afford it.”

That put Biden on the defense, she said, adding that the Delaware senator “detected more than a hint of arrogance and a hefty serving of presumptuousness.”

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The meeting between the two ended on a “sour and uncomfortable note,” with no dinner get-together scheduled.

Meanwhile, Obama’s first impression of Biden was that he was “old school,” while being “condescending at best, borderline offensive at worst.”

The two eventually were together on the Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee, with Obama noting of Biden that he tended to “ramble, clearly loving every minute of it.”

That led Obama to remark to Axelrod that Biden was a talker. He also said he believed that Biden’s generation of senators had “overseen Washington’s decline into impracticality.”

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According to the book, “The biggest insult to Biden was how little his input mattered to Obama’s inner circle. Biden could hardly shake the suspicion that Obama’s eggheads saw him as a foolish distraction they couldn’t fully trust.”

There were other times when Biden spoke out of turn, strayed off-script, and even once briefed reporters that he would have made a better candidate than Obama — which, of course, set the Obama people off.

“Obama’s aides responded by stopping Biden from taking questions from the press and greeting voters only at rope lines – and gave him a teleprompter so he didn’t stray from the script,” The Daily Mail reported, citing Debenedetti’s book.

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