President Joe Biden continues to face fierce criticism for his handling of the U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, though those who know him best might not be surprised by his abject failure.
Former President Barack Obama, for example, reportedly warned fellow Democrats ahead of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary not to “underestimate Joe’s ability to f*** things up.”
A “complicated” relationship
Following a chaotic evacuation effort and a deadly terrorist attack near the Kabul airport in recent days, it appears that Obama was right about the former vice president.
Politico reported about a year ago that the “friendship” between Obama and Biden was “complicated,” pointing to the former’s warning as evidence of the tenuous alliance.
That article centered on Obama’s apparent dearth of confidence in Biden’s chances of running a successful presidential campaign.
A subsequent report by the Washington Free Beacon recounted Obama’s alleged warning and shared other anecdotes in which the former president is said to have cautioned others against placing too much faith in Biden. Obama reportedly went so far as to discourage Biden from throwing his hat in the ring altogether.
One book documenting Biden’s electoral victory claimed that Obama “worried that his former vice president would embarrass himself on the campaign trail” and that Biden’s aides would be unable to save him from such self-inflicted political injuries.
“Wrong on nearly every major foreign policy”
Outside of Biden’s own family, there are likely few individuals who know him better than the president under whom he served two terms.
As such, it is worth taking note of the admonitions Obama allegedly delivered in private to his partisan allies. Although any disparaging remarks should be taken with a grain of salt, many Biden voters might now be regretting that the former president’s warnings largely went unheeded.
Of course, Obama is not the only prominent Democrat who has criticized Biden’s abilities as well as his performance thus far in the White House.
Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who served during Obama’s first term in office, openly questioned how Biden might handle major international events if he were elected as president.
In a 2014 memoir, Gates expressed many of the concerns now being voiced by critics in both parties, writing that Biden had been “wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.”