November 25, 2013, 10:59 am
Biden says he's grateful for Obama
By Justin Sink
Vice President Biden said he was grateful for his "personal relationship with the president" in a Thanksgiving compilation of responses from notable Americans who were asked what they were appreciative of this holiday season.
"I guess it’s a funny way to say it, but it is personal," Biden told TIME. "There’s a real friendship between us, and I have a great deal of respect for him."
Biden said he appreciated that Obama had "entrusted me with some significant responsibilities."
"And I’m proud that this year we’ve been able to guarantee middle-class families that their taxes won’t go up," Biden said. "Those things matter."
The relationship between Obama and Biden had become the source of some speculation following the publication of Double Down, in which journalists Mark Halperin and John Heilemann reported that then-White House chief of staff Bill Daley, spooked by the president’s drooping poll numbers in the fall of 2011, ordered campaign staffers to poll and conduct focus groups on the impact of switching Biden for then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the Democratic ticket.
During an interview earlier this month with NBC News, Obama said he never considered switching the two and had spoken with the vice president to clear the air.
"I genuinely believe that he has been one of the best vice presidents in our history," Obama said.
"He also happens to be a friend. He also happens to be one of my most important advisers on domestic, foreign policy. I like him. When my back's up against the wall, he has my back."
First lady Michelle Obama also participated in the feature, writing that she was appreciative of military families this holiday season.
"The answer is simple: military families don’t complain," the first lady said. "They’re proud of their service and more than willing to make the sacrifices that come with it. And no matter how tough it gets, because they’re so strong and resilient, they somehow keep everything together."