Joe Biden Is Like the Second First Lady

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For the past four years we've watched the media portray of the Obama-Biden ticket as politics' Odd Couple, and thanks to Mark Leibovich's profile on Joe Biden in The New York Timeswe now know how hard it is for an alpha dog like Biden to be Obama's sidekick. 

Part of the intrigue surrounding Leibovich's profile is the timing, as the story follows Biden's recent assertion of Obama being cool with gay marriage and David Axelrod working double-time in trying to spin those comments and pick up the pieces. If you read the whole profile (which you should), Leibovich sets the table for that Biden moment by going over his four years of learning (read: struggling) to play sidekick to Obama and how the vice president has had to tone down his "manhood" for the good of administration. "Being a vice president is kind of like being a first lady,' Secretary of State, and resident badass Hillary Clinton told Leibovich, hammering home that point of how difficult and how real Biden's emasculation has become.

And if you weren't already sympathizing with Biden this kinda sad, "aww" moment where Leibovich writes about Obama worried about hurting Biden's feelings at Nerd Prom:

“Four years ago, I chose Joe Biden as my running mate,” Mr. Obama was to say, according to people familiar with early drafts of the planned remarks. “Four years later, I’m almost positive I’m going with Joe again.” He would then affect an exaggerated wink for the audience. But the president instructed his speechwriters to cut the line, figuring it would only inflame speculation from Beltway busybodies about his vice president’s standing.


This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.