Is there a rhythm to it that feels good? How does it sound aloud? So in that sense, I think there will be some consistency. But this is part of why it was important to pick up the occasional novel during the presidency, because most of my reading every day was briefing books and memos and proposals. And so working that very analytical side of the brain all the time sometimes meant you lost track of not just the poetry of fiction, but also the depth of fiction.
Fiction was useful as a reminder of the truths under the surface of what we argue about every day and was a way of seeing and hearing the voices, the multitudes of this country. Are there examples of specific novels or writers? Fiction can leap — It bridges them. I struck up a friendship with [the novelist] Marilynne Robinson, who has become a good friend. And I loved her writing in part because I saw those people every day. And the interior life she was describing that connected them — the people I was shaking hands with and making speeches to — it connected them with my grandparents, who were from Kansas and ended up journeying all the way to Hawaii, but whose foundation had been set in a very similar setting.
It exercises those muscles, and I think that has been helpful. What are some of those books? The scope of it was immense. So that was fun to read, partly because my day-to-day problems with Congress seem fairly petty — not something to worry about.
Aliens are about to invade. I loved that structure. Yeah, and it was really well executed. I like those structures where you actually see different points of view. Which I have to do for this job, too. I would say Shakespeare continues to be a touchstone. And that, I think, is foundational for me in understanding how certain patterns repeat themselves and play themselves out between human beings.
Is that sort of comforting? It gives me a sense of perspective. Naipaul, for example. And yet, there are times where it feels as if that may be true.
Reflecting the intensity of the two candidates, Mr. McCain and Mr. Obama took a page from what Mr. Bush did in and continued to campaign after the polls opened. Bush won four years ago but where Mr. Obama waged a spirited battle. These were symbolically appropriate final campaign stops for Mr. McCain, reflecting the imperative he felt of trying to defend Republican states against a challenge from Mr.
McCain said in Grand Junction, Colo. Volunteer, knock on doors, get your neighbors to the polls, drag them there if you need to. Obama flew from his home in Chicago to Indiana , a state that in many ways came to epitomize the audacity of his effort this year. Indiana has not voted for a Democrat since President Lyndon B. Obama made an intense bid for support there. He later returned home to Chicago to play basketball, his election-day ritual. Biden, whose first run for the White House had blown up in a plagiarism scandal in , jumped into the race, too.
But he could hardly compete with Mr. Nor could Mr. Biden discipline his own tongue, committing a gaffe on the very day he announced his campaign when he described Mr. Biden said. When the comment blew up, Mr. Biden expressed regret and called Mr. Obama, who publicly let him off the hook. He had no problem with Joe Biden on the hustings, either, easily outpacing the older man among Democratic voters. As Mr. Biden could not muster even 1 percent of the vote, forcing him to drop out.
By summertime, after Mr. Obama dispatched Mrs. Clinton to clinch the nomination , Mr. Biden came back on the radar screen as his first choice among three finalists for running mate. When Mr. Biden resisted, Mr. Obama persisted. Image A campaign rally in in Florida. Once in the White House, Mr. Biden was to play the sage mentor, helping an unseasoned president navigate the treacherous politics of the capital.
Obama hoped to reassure voters concerned about his inexperience and, perhaps, his racial background. It was an odd choice, too, for Mr. Biden, who had never really worked for anyone else. But his family pressed him to say yes. It was not until they won that they really began to spend time together and get to know each other. But the first months were difficult. The two crossed wires more than once. Obama told reporters. Biden was peeved and raised it at their next private lunch.
The president agreed to not diminish his partner in public. But they were still on different wavelengths. At meetings, there was usually a good deal of eye rolling when Mr.
Biden began one of his long monologues. James B. Comey, then the F. After listening and patiently waiting, President Obama would then bring the conversation back on course. Biden was given some of the highest-profile assignments of Mr.
Biden grew frustrated by Mr. But he was careful to defer to Mr. He was also the in-house skeptic on the use of force, arguing against a troop surge to Afghanistan, military intervention in Libya and the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. That put him on the opposite side of many debates with Defense Secretary Robert M.
Obama did not see it that way, but as Benjamin J. Biden argued against sending 40, troops requested by the generals on top of 68, already deployed, and he promoted a more limited counterterrorism strategy. Over months of debate, other officials concluded that Mr. Biden was deliberately taking a more aggressive position to let the president keep his own thoughts to himself.
In the end, Mr. Obama gave the military most but not all of the troops requested while setting a two-year timeline for withdrawal. Obama later said, was useful. Image Mr. Biden in at a campaign field office in Ottumwa, Iowa.
Heading into the re-election campaign, Mr. Biden with Hillary Clinton on the ticket. Obama brushed off the idea. Biden became the human face of an administration led by a president known for robotic stoicism.Biden began weighing a campaign, the president had long since concluded that Hillary Clinton had the best chance. Uh, duh. A reward was maybe pizza night or some ice cream of winning in. And I was very intense, and sort of humorless.
During his inauguration speech, Obama summarized the situation by saying, "Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real.
But the more important thing was where you were going in your career.
And so I would come home from work, and I would write in my journal or write a story or two. Panetta, who succeeded Mr. In return, the U. Biden and Mr. Instead he's frequently criticized the former president, rolled back significant elements of Obama's agenda, and privately obsessed about comparisons between himself and the man he replaced.
It's up to us, through action and example, to sustain the international order that's expanded steadily since the end of the Cold War, and upon which our own wealth and safety depend.
But this is part of why it was important to pick up the occasional novel during the presidency, because most of my reading every day was briefing books and memos and proposals. In June , President Trump banned ship and commercial airline travel into Cuba. Capitol building. Biden Jr. Michelle and I wish you and Melania the very best as you embark on this great adventure, and know that we stand ready to help in any ways which we can.
However, Ryan withdrew from the race in June following public disclosure of unsubstantiated sexual deviancy allegations by his ex-wife, actress Jeri Ryan. But know this, America: They will be met. Obama cut taxes for working families, small businesses and first-time home buyers. Did you feel pressure being the first Black family? But then on the flip side, you see the world and the challenges that the world is facing. Those difficult days in the seventh year of their partnership illustrated just how far the two had come — and the limits of their alliance, as well.
The election ended what by any definition was one of the most remarkable contests in American political history, drawing what was by every appearance unparalleled public interest. For feminists, or anyone frankly with a 21st-century grasp of gender equality, it is a highly troublesome concept. Sasha actually tried one day—Sasha and Malia both.
We moved there in the s.
Capitol building. In Chicago, people started lining up outside 57th Street Books at on the morning of Mr. Order Reprints Today's Paper Subscribe. First of all, we had to convince our base that a Black man could win. Yes, the bigger problems of the world were important.
I am like a lit match.