From the Washington Post editor and author of Kennedy and King, a vivid and inspiring account of the “bromance” that developed between Barack Obama and Joe Biden, which captured Americans’ imagination and was unlike any President-Vice President relationship in American history.
The extraordinary partnership of Barack Obama and Joe Biden is unique in American history. The two men, their characters and styles sharply contrasting, formed a dynamic working relationship that evolved into a profound friendship. Their affinity was not predestined. Obama and Biden began wary of each other, as senators each eyeing a run at the presidency. Obama was an impatient freshman disdainful of the Senate’s plodding ways; Biden was a veteran of the chamber and proud of its traditions. But gradually they came to respect their competitor’s values and strengths and rode into the White House together in 2008.
Side-by-side through two tension-filled terms, they shared the day-to-day joys and travails of leading the most powerful nation on earth. They accommodated each other’s quirks: Biden’s famous miscues kept coming, and Obama overlooked them knowing they were insignificant except as media fodder. With his expertise in foreign affairs and legislative matters, Biden took on an unprecedented role as chief adviser to Obama, reshaping the vice presidency. As Obama and Biden took Americans through events like the dire economic crisis, a racially charged arrest of a black Harvard professor, and the president’s change of heart on gay marriage, they weathered strains on their own relationship and experienced joy and sadness together, including the death of Biden’s son Beau.
In the Trump era, as many Americans look back at the Obama presidency with a nostalgic eye, Barack and Joe offers a new look at this administration, its absence of scandal, dedication to truth, and respect for the media. Based on original interviews, media reports, memoirs, and other accounts, it is the first book to tell the full story of this historic relationship and its substantial impact on the Obama presidency and its legacy.