Courtesy of NYT:
In 2016, Mr. Obama quietly pressured Mr. Biden to sit out the race, partly because he believed Mrs. Clinton had a better chance of building on his agenda, and partly because he thought Mr. Biden was in no shape emotionally following the illness and death of his son Beau in May 2015.
By now, the line between heart and head, between the personal and political, so clear a decade ago, has blurred completely.
The two men spoke at least a half dozen times before Mr. Biden decided to run, and Mr. Obama took pains to cast his doubts about the campaign in personal terms.
“You don’t have to do this, Joe, you really don’t,” Mr. Obama told Mr. Biden earlier this year, according to a person familiar with the exchange.
Mr. Biden — who thinks he could have defeated Donald Trump four years ago — responded by telling Mr. Obama he could never forgive himself if he turned down a second shot at Mr. Trump.
Mr. Obama has said he will not make an endorsement in the primary, and has offered every candidate his counsel. But he has taken an active interest in the inner workings of his friend’s campaign, to an extent beyond anything offered to other candidates.
In his interactions with Mr. Biden — the pair had a quiet lunch in Washington last month — Mr. Obama has hammered away at the need for his campaign to expand his aging inner circle.
He has communicated his frustration that Mr. Biden’s closest advisers are too old and out of touch with the current political climate — urging him to include more younger aides, according to three Democrats with direct knowledge of the discussion.
In March, Mr. Obama took the unusual step of summoning Mr. Biden’s top campaign advisers, including the former White House communications director Anita Dunn and Mr. Biden’s longtime spokeswoman, Kate Bedingfield, to his Washington office for a briefing on the campaign’s digital and communications strategy with members of his own staff, including his senior adviser, Eric Schultz.
When they were done, Mr. Obama offered a pointed reminder, according to two people with knowledge of his comments:
Win or lose, they needed to make sure Mr. Biden did not “embarrass himself” or “damage his legacy” during the campaign.
As you might imagine the conservative media is having a heyday with the Obama quote suggesting that Biden has nothng to prove.
Similarly, they really like the part where Obama is worried that Biden will “embarrass himself.”
It would seem that they have purposefully glossed over the main point of the article which was to illustrate the deep love and friendship between the two men.
In my reading of the article, it appeared that the careful and rational Obama took some time to warm up to the gregarious and effusive Joe Biden, but was eventually won over by his charm and intelligence.
It did not seem that Obama was concerned about Biden’s ability to do the job, but rather that he could damage his reputation by failing to win the nomination, or, if nominated, the 2020 election.
That is simply what anyone would expect from their best friend.