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Tags: biden | obama | president | friends

Confidants Insist Biden, Obama Remain Close but Apart

joe biden stands in front of barack obama
(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 08 July 2021 11:11 AM EDT

President Joe Biden and former President Barack Obama haven't seen each other in person since the inauguration and only speak "from time to time," The Hill reported.

The two men, who say they're close friends, live about 10 minutes apart. However, The Hill said they're not expected to meet with each other until Obama's portrait unveiling at the White House this fall, and only speak on the phone "as needed."

"It's not daily, weekly or even monthly. It's as needed," said a Hill source, who added Biden and Obama "have a great relationship."

Another source told The Hill, "there's an open door" between the two men.

Biden and Obama both recently took part in a virtual event to promote more sign-ups for Obamacare.

"Love you, man," Obama said at the end of the three-minute Zoom chat, The Hill reported.

"I’m still going to call you for advice," Biden said with a grin.

The Hill reported that sources close to Biden and Obama insist COVID-19 has been the primary reason the two mean haven’t met, and play down any suggestions of aloofness or unease.

Biden administration officials have promoted social distancing during the pandemic, and Obama has mirrored the coronavirus concerns. At times, to help keep virus spread under control, people have been discouraged from visiting the White House.

The Hill reported that Biden and Obama, off camera, rarely have met privately over the years – despite their loyalists statements, due to the complexities in their relationship.

The two men don’t go out of their way to socialize in their free time, with The Hill saying, "there was a distance between the gregarious Biden and the more studious Obama during the White House years."

Earlier this year, Biden told CNN he never visited Obama in the residence when he was vice president.

"I had been in the Oval Office a hundred times as vice president — more than that — every morning for the initial meetings, but I had never been up in the residence," he said.

In 2016, Obama supported former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton instead of this then-vice president. The former president then remained neutral as the 2020 election approached, privately questioning some of Biden’s campaign decisions, according to The Hill.

Obama eventually endorsed Biden in April, when the nomination effectively had been wrapped up.

Although Biden said he told his former boss not to endorse him at the time, sources close to Obama say that did not happened.

During the campaign against then-President Donald Trump, Obama campaigned hard for Biden.

Now, ex-Obama officials such as chief of staff Ron Klain are seen in the Biden administration.

The Hill, citing one White House source, said the respective Biden and Obama teams have "closely coordinated" on a variety of domestic and foreign policy areas.

"The two, I would say, keep in touch and talk regularly about work stuff," the source said, adding the two men "have personal catchups just to chat."

Officials from the two Democrat administrations have collaborated on efforts surrounding COVID-19, as well international topics, such as the final military troop withdrawal from Afghanistan by September.

Obama heralded the Afghanistan change as "bold leadership in building our nation at home and restoring our standing around the world" in a release.

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President Joe Biden and former President Barack Obama haven't seen each other in person since the inauguration and only speak "from time to time." The two men, who say they're close friends...
biden, obama, president, friends
Thursday, 08 July 2021 11:11 AM
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