Now that the first term of Barack Obama and Joe Biden is ending, it is worth a few moments to recognize the extraordinarily close relationship that exists between the President and the Vice President.
When one looks back on such relationships in the past, it is clear that no other relationship has been quite as close, as warm, as personally friendly, since the time when Jimmy Carter utilized Walter Mondale as practically a “co President” from 1977-1981.
Vice Presidents never really mattered or were close to a President until the 1950s, when Richard Nixon made the office of Vice President a significant office. But President Dwight D. Eisenhower was not very happy, a lot of the time, with his Vice President, and there were hints that he would have preferred a different running mate in 1956,
The John F. Kennedy–Lyndon B. Johnson relationship was not close at all, and neither was the Johnson–Hubert Humphrey relationship.
The Richard Nixon–Spiro Agnew relationship was not much better, and Nixon with Gerald Ford was only a brief period where the two men avoided contact with the other during the Watergate crisis.
Gerald Ford and Nelson Rockefeller were closer, but Ford chose to drop Rockefeller in favor of Bob Dole for the 1976 Presidential race to please the conservative wing led by Ronald Reagan, and years later, Ford expressed regret that he had allowed himself to dump Rockefeller.
Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale were extraordinarily close, with Mondale being treated as an absolute equal, and the two men remain close friends now after nearly 32 years out of office, the longest lasting Presidential-Vice Presidential team, breaking all records for longevity every day.
Ronald Reagan was not very close to George H. W. Bush personally, and Bush did not take Dan Quayle very seriously at all as a Vice President.
Bill Clinton and Al Gore were friendly and close until the Monica Lewinsky and impeachment issues arose, and then Gore stayed away from Clinton during his own campaign for President in 2000, which very well may have harmed his ability to win, despite a popular vote majority of about a half million votes.
George W. Bush relied on Dick Cheney a great deal, but their closeness, if it ever existed, dissipated in the second term over various matters.
The Obama-Biden friendship and closeness seems not at all affected in any way by events, or Biden’s well known problem with gaffes, and he has played a major role as an adviser on so many issues, domestic and foreign. One can see in so many situations and photos that the two men are close, and have a very warm, personal relationship with each other.
This could create a problem for President Obama IF both Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton decide to run for President, as the President owes a lot to both of them, as well as to former President Bill Clinton, for having worked so hard for his reelection, and giving what many consider the best speech for Obama at the Democratic National Convention as well.
The best situation for Obama then, would be to remain neutral, but with the hope that maybe one or both would decide ultimately, because of their ages and long careers, not to run for President in their 70s (Biden) or nearing 70s (Clinton).