Obama Froze Biden Out After Gay-Marriage Gaffe

Image: Obama Froze Biden Out After Gay-Marriage Gaffe

Friday, 28 Feb 2014 08:10 AM

By Melanie Batley

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Vice President Joe Biden's role in the administration was virtually frozen after he angered President Barack Obama in 2012 by announcing his support of gay marriage while the president was still on record opposing it.

In a profile of the 71-year-old in Politico Magazine, the presumed 2016 presidential hopeful talked about how he had been given "every s*** job in the world" from the start of the Obama presidency, but detailed how relations with the president came to a virtual standstill after the gaffe-prone politician pre-empted Obama's announcement that he had "evolved" on the issue.

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"When the president asked me what portfolio did I want, I said, 'Base it on what you want of me to help you govern,'" Biden said he told Obama.

"'But I want to be the last guy in the room on every major decision … You're the president, I'm not, but if it's my experience you're lookin' for, I want to be the last guy to make the case."

But everything changed in 2012, after Biden announced his approval of gay marriage before the president took a public stand, the Politico report says.

Biden's announcement forced Obama to make his own public statement about gay marriage earlier than he would have liked.

Despite attempts to apologize to Obama that he did not intend to upstage the president on the issue, the president's inner circle suspected otherwise and became increasingly hostile toward him.

Biden started to be excluded from strategic planning meetings, while his schedule of public events was curtailed and in some cases canceled. Aides went so far as to interfere with Biden's staffing decisions, blocking two of his selections for chief of staff, according to the magazine.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Biden's top possible rival for the presidential race, appeared to step into the breach. Clinton, for example, appeared alongside Obama during the president's first television interview of his second term. The Biden team was also disgruntled that the White House didn't strongly refute the rumors that Clinton would be selected to replace Biden.

As Biden considers a bid for the presidency, Clinton's lead is the widest ever recorded for a presidential frontrunner. The latest Washington Post/ABC Poll showed Clinton leading Biden by 73 percent to 12 percent.

Biden, however, continues to be coy about whether he has made a decision to throw his hat into the ring, but according to Politico, every one of the dozen friends interviewed by the magazine predicted he would not decide to run in 2016.

"He's driven, that's the best way to put it," Bruce Reed, Biden's former chief of staff, told Politico. "He wants to be part of it all … It's not really ambition in the traditional sense. It's a restless energy, the desire to keep going … You never know what you are going to get."

"I honestly don't know what I'm going to do," Biden told Politico. "I'll make the decision after the [2014] midterms. I've got a lot on my plate."

Urgent: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama's Job Performance? Vote Now in Urgent Poll

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