President Barack Obama, right, honors Vice President Joe Biden during a ceremony in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, January 12, 2017. Obama surprised Biden and presented him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Joe Biden is out with a TV ad that looks exactly like an endorsement by Barack Obama. Except that … Obama has scrupulously stayed neutral in the Democratic presidential primaries.
The ad is cobbled together from parts of a speech Obama gave, with Biden standing by his side, awarding Biden the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2017, just before they both left office. It talks about all of Biden’s fine qualities and concludes, “The best part is, he’s nowhere close to finished.”
The “endorsement” ad is obviously calculated to reinforce Biden’s already formidable support in the black community and among others who admire former President Obama.
This deception, sadly, speaks volumes about the characters of both Biden and Obama.
Given the closeness of the two men, it’s inconceivable that Biden and his campaign did not check with Obama as a courtesy before creating this ad. And it’s also inconceivable that they would have gone ahead with it, had the former president objected.
A Politico story quotes a Biden spokesman saying that the former president was “made aware of the ad” and quotes an Obama spokesman saying that his team had “raised no objections.” It’s not clear whether Obama actually viewed the ad personally.
If Obama was asked, he should not have consented—unless he meant to explicitly change his stance and endorse Biden. Otherwise, he should issue a disavowal.