Ahead of November’s presidential race, many critics of then-Democratic nominee Joe Biden predicted that, if elected, he would effectively usher in a “third term” for former President Barack Obama, under whom he served as vice president.
That speculation has now apparently been confirmed, as Obama himself revealed during a recent interview.
According to the Washington Examiner, Biden touted the Biden administration as one that is “finishing the job” and “building on the policies” he began during his time in the White House.
“Building on the policies”
Obama weighed in on the current administration as part of an interview published on Tuesday by The New York Times.
At one point, the former president responded to a question about the continuation and survival of some of his most consequential achievements in office, particularly in light of a political divide that has only widened in the years since his administration.
Obama pointed to factors like a recession during the beginning of his first term as roadblocks in the pursuit of his agenda, asserting that his actions and policies had proven effective over time.
Reiterating prior claims that former President Donald Trump inherited the growing economy he helped create, Obama lamented that too few Americans agree with that assessment.
“It’ll be an interesting test”
Had 2016 presidential nominee Hillary Clinton or another Democrat been elected instead of Trump, Obama argued, progressive policies might now be seen as the cause of economic growth. Nevertheless, he holds out hope that such a national revelation could still be in the cards.
“I think that what we’re seeing now, is Joe and the administration are essentially finishing the job,” Obama said. “And I think it’ll be an interesting test. Ninety percent of the folks who were there in my administration, they are continuing and building on the policies we talked about.”
Specifically, he referenced the Affordable Care Act, environmental policies, and increased access to community colleges as beneficial issues promoted by his administration.
“If they’re successful over the next four years, as I think they will be, I think that will have an impact,” Obama said, noting that it would not change everyone’s minds, but “at the margins, if you’re changing 5% of the electorate, that makes a difference.”
In July 2019, Biden said that his campaign was “not a continuation” of the Obama years and would address “new problems” that had arisen in subsequent years. Just one day prior to the election, however, the Associated Press reported on the many ways Biden was poised to continue Obama-era policies.