April 26, 2016

Three Reasons The Biden-Clinton Tensions Are Likely To Linger

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would like the Democratic primary to be over yesterday, with the party united firmly behind her. A new report in The Hill emphasizes the tremendous effort it will take for Clinton to accomplish that task.

The Hill forecasts how the “tensions” and “continuing frustrations” between Vice President Joe Biden and Clinton could prevent a smooth reconciliation within the party:

“Democrats say Biden could be a major figure, along with President Obama, in helping Clinton generate excitement over her Democratic presidential campaign… The potential problem, say observers, is that Biden and Clinton might find it difficult to get past the tensions that bubbled up last summer and fall as Clinton’s campaign wavered and supporters of Biden openly pressed him to take her on in a primary.”

Biden has a well-earned reputation of saying what he truly thinks, consequences be damned. A look at some of Biden’s comments about Clinton and Sanders show that the tension between Biden and Clinton are very real and ongoing.

Below see three of the biggest flare-ups between Biden and Clinton this year.

Biden and his supporters are still sore over how “Team Clinton boxed” Biden out from running for President:

“Democrats loyal to Biden and some of his advisers felt Team Clinton boxed them out of the Democratic race. They argue it is natural for the sitting vice president of a two-term president to consider running for the White House as an heir-apparent candidate. ‘Going back a few months, it bordered on this intense rivalry, and there was a resentment about all the establishment support that fell behind Hillary,’ a Democratic donor said.”

While Clinton has attacked Sanders’ ability to deliver on his idealism, the Vice President “defended” Sanders’ “big” vision:

“Clinton supporters point to public comments made by Biden that appeared to telegraph a preference for Sanders’s idealism over Clinton’s pragmatism. ‘I like the idea of saying, ‘We can do much more,’ Biden told The New York Times. ‘I don’t think any Democrat’s ever won saying, ‘We can’t think that big — we ought to really downsize here because it’s not realistic,’ he added. ‘C’mon, man, this is the Democratic Party! I’m not part of the party that says, ‘Well, we can’t do it.’”

Finally, Biden downplayed Clinton’s history of fighting income inequality. The significance of Biden’s comment can be seen at the Clinton campaign’s fierce pushback to Biden’s dig at Clinton:

“In January, after Biden said Clinton was ‘relatively new’ to the income inequality issue, a Biden aide fielded a call from Jennifer Palmieri, Clinton’s top communications adviser, who said his comments were ‘wrong,’ according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.”