WASHINGTON — Perhaps in this brave new era where nobody is a traitor anymore, it’s not such a big deal how badly President Obama is screwing over his vice president.
But it is fairly extraordinary considering how much Obama owes his presidency to Joe Biden.
Obama picked Biden for his unmatched foreign policy expertise to offset his own haunting lack of foreign policy experience. Biden was the seasoned steady hand on the wheel during the campaign. Probably no one ever in the history of the universe has had more experience campaigning for president than Joe Biden.
Without the avuncular, “aw shucks,” back-slapping, truth-speaking pol on the ticket, who knows if Obama could have won Ohio, Florida, Indiana, Virginia, or North Carolina?
So what does Obama do now that he has wrung every last drop of personal use out of old Joe Biden? He dumps him and endorses his most tenacious mortal enemy from the campaign, Hillary Clinton.
But, you say, President Obama has not officially endorsed anyone yet for 2016. Perhaps not using mere words. But in terms of imagery–the only language this White House speaks–the president most certainly has endorsed Hillary Clinton.
The picture posted this week on the official White House photo page says it all. Obama and Clinton sitting at a picnic table for a private lunch in the bushes–just one-on-one. Both are relaxed and laughing. Obama is demurring, looking down. Clinton is dominating confidently, gazing directly at Obama with a pleasant smile on her face.
The White House message is clear: this is a woman who is so capable, so in charge and so likable, she might even be a better president than the current one.
So where is Biden? Virtually nowhere, at least if you are looking for him in pictures on the White House’s official photo stream.
Sure, in the early years, Biden made it into plenty of official pictures, especially when Obama still needed him for re-election. But now? They are not even faking it.
In a review of more than 100 of the most recently posted official pictures, Biden cannot be found but four or five times. One was just posted Tuesday, the first picture of Biden to make the feed since June 13.
Otherwise, there is a near total absence of Biden from the official photos chronicling this administration. Big meeting of top officials in the Oval Office? No Biden. High-level scary meeting with everybody down in the Situation Room looking serious? No Biden. It is like they waited for him to run to the can to snap the picture.
You see pictures of Obama with Republicans like John McCain, Chris Christie, and even George W. Bush but hardly any with Biden.
It is not just Biden’s absence from the photo feed. It is also the pictures of him the White House does choose to include.
He is usually photographed with children, in large groups where he is unavoidable, or in some kind of unflattering light.
And when they do throw the old man a bone, it often comes at some price to his dignity, such as the picture they posted of Biden in a big boy meeting with Obama and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. But the picture is far from flattering: Obama and Clapper are blurred, while the focal point of the picture is Biden’s gnarled hand clasping a cup of coffee. It looks like an ad for an arthritis treatment.
In another picture where the White House is hosting illegal alien students looking for amnesty, all you see of Biden is his bald spot.
One picture captures the old man from behind sitting outside on the porch steps overlooking the Rose Garden, looking lost. A woman sits beside him as if trying to ask where he belongs.
Just as with the picture of Hillary Clinton, the message here is clear, too: Biden is old, doddering, lost, out-of-touch, and should not be president.
If this is how Obama treats the elderly people he knows personally, just imagine what he plans to do to older Americans under Obamacare. All Sarah Palin’s talk of death panels sound more and more possible with every passing White House photo.