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Barack Obama did his level best to nudge Joe Biden out of the 2016 presidential race, after concluding that Hillary Clinton was more electable.
The then-president 'gently pressed' his vice president during a series of weekly lunches, according to a report in The New York Times, tapping him toward the conclusion that he wasn't up to the grueling task of running.
Hammer - Aide - David - Plouffe
And then came the hammer: Obama sent political aide David Plouffe to talk him out of it.
It worked. Biden scrapped an announcement speech he had drafted. Instead, he declared alongside Obama in a Rose Garden speech that the time he spent grieving the death of his son Beau from brain cancer had closed the path forward.
Age - Biden - Time - Days - White
Now, at age 76, Biden has decided his time has come. But days after he launched his third White House run in earnest, an Obama endorsement still seems a great distance away.
The former vice president gamely responded to the lack of a legacy-nod by telling reporters on Thursday that he wanted it that way.
President - Obama - Day - One - Campaign
'I asked President Obama not to endorse me,' he claimed during a Day One campaign stop.
'He doesn't want to – whoever wins this nomination should win it on their own merits. Welcome to Delaware.'
Obama - Objections - Place - Moment - Ben
Obama's objections in 2016 came 'from a good place, from wanting the best for him in that moment,' Ben Rhodes, a former White House national security spokesman, told the Times.
But Biden's 'head was just someplace else' in the wake of losing his son, he recalled.
Events - Day - Iowa
'And if you're going to do three or four events a day in Iowa, it's just hard...
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