Biden and Obama’s ‘Odd Couple’ Relationship Aged Into Family Ties – by Peter Baker – The New York Times

” “Dealing with President Obama was like traveling on a one-way street — it was his way or the highway,” said former Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia, the House Republican leader during the Obama administration. “When you dealt with Joe Biden, you actually had the opportunity to be heard. He was interested in understanding your viewpoint.”

That did not always sit well with congressional Democrats, who at one point barred the vice president from budget talks for fear that he was not holding fast enough. And the president’s team often seemed more skeptical of Mr. Biden than of their own boss. Heading into the 2012 re-election campaign, Mr. Obama’s political advisers secretly explored replacing Mr. Biden with Mrs. Clinton on the ticket.

But Mr. Obama brushed off the idea. Not only would it call into question his judgment in putting Mr. Biden on the original ticket, but also the vice president was a useful surrogate in working-class communities where he connected with voters more than Mr. Obama did.

“He was able to go and campaign in places where it just didn’t make sense to send the president,” said Anita Dunn, an adviser to the White House.”

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