Obama vs Biden

A really interesting article at Politico on Obama and Biden. Basically it looks at how Obama was somewhat reluctant of a Biden candidacy, but also very much about how they have very different political styles.

There is a lot of focus on how Biden can be so, well, unfocused. But also about his ability to negotiate:

Aides recall that Obama and Biden took almost polar-opposite approaches to policymaking, Obama always seeking data forthe most logical or efficient outcome, while Biden told stories about how a bill would affect the working-class guy in Scranton, Pennsylvania, where he was born. When a deal was finally made, Obama would bemoan the compromises, while Biden would celebrate the points of agreement.

“Biden doesn’t come from the wonky angle of leadership,” said a senior Obama administration official. “It’s different than the last two Democratic presidents. Biden is from a different style. It’s an older style, of Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson of ‘Let’s meet, let’s negotiate, let’s talk, let’s have a deal.’”

Republicans who negotiated with the administration often came away finding Obama condescending and relying on Biden to understand their concerns.

“Negotiating with President Obama was all about the fact that he felt that he knew the world better than you,” said Eric Cantor, the Republican House majority leader from 2011 to 2014. “And he felt that he thought about it so much, that he figured it all out, and no matter what conclusion you had come to with the same set of facts, his way was right.” Biden, he said, understood that “you’re gonna have to agree to disagree about some things.”

A former Republican leadership aide described Obama’s style as “mansplaining, basically.” The person added that Biden “may not be sitting down talking about Thucydides but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a high level of political intelligence.”

I’ve read many articles that have said much the same – Obama was too lecturing to the Republicans to get an agreement, but Biden could.

Things are even more polarised today, so if Biden does win and the GOP retain the Senate, will be fascinating to see what they can agree on.

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