One of the more poignant moments of Barack Obama's eight-year presidency came at the very end. It was January 2017, just days before Obama left the White House, and he awarded his vice president, Joe Biden, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
You may remember it. Obama spoke at great length about their friendship, their personal friendship. He praised Biden's leadership. And in response, Biden said he knew that, no matter what happened, Obama would always be there for him.
"It was eight and a half years ago that I chose Joe to be my vice president," Obama said. "There has not been a single moment since that time that I have doubted the wisdom of that decision. Joe's candid and honest counsel has made me a better president and a better commander-in-chief."
And Biden said the following: "Mr. President, you know as long as there is breath in me, I'll be there for you. My whole family will be and I know it is reciprocal. "
You didn't have to be an Obama partisan to appreciate that moment. There was something sweet about it.
It was all fake, though, it turns out. In the end, Obama is not going to be there for Joe Biden. In fact, his eternal friendship has already ended. It didn't even make it through the next presidential term. Instead of helping his trusted friend run for the presidency, Obama has refused to endorse Joe Biden. According to some reports, Obama repeatedly urged Biden not to run. "You don't have to do this," he warned Biden.
Obama, it turns out, cares about one thing -- himself. He is obsessed with his political legacy. Every day that Biden stays on the campaign trail, he is detracting from that legacy. Why?
Weeks ago, we told you not to believe the polls. The polls say that Joe Biden is the front-runner for the Democratic nomination. And, in fact, as of today, he still is. The polls tell you he has got a very good chance of being the president.
But that's not real. Biden officially is still in the lead. And yet, let's be completely honest, Biden's campaign is not a real campaign. It's a zombie effort. It lurches from one blunder to another until finally, some catastrophe will put it out of its misery.
Even Biden's own allies want him to stop speaking in public so often. Why? Because when people actually see Joe Biden, they realize he's not a distinguished elder statesman. He is, sadly, a fading one. He thinks Cory Booker is the president of the United States. He believes that truth outweighs the facts. He thinks he was vice president last year during the Parkland shooting, saying to reporters recently, "I watched what happened when those kids from Parkland came up to see me now as vice president -- and some of you covered it."
Moments like that don't make Joe Biden a bad person. But they do make his campaign look like what it actually is -- a joke, not a serious play for the White House.
Still, if Biden were offering something real, a compelling message, he could get elected anyway. But he is not. He is, in fact, a Democratic fossil. He is running for leadership of a party that sees him as too male, too pale and stale.
Biden is old enough to have held public views prior to the year 2008, year zero in American politics. And that makes his old policies totally unacceptable to the party's voters.
In 1995, Joe Biden supported all kinds of things current Joe Biden would never admit to supporting -- a secure border, traditional marriage, drugs off the street, criminals in prison even.
"We have predators on our streets that society has, in fact, in part because of this neglect, created," Biden said back then. "Again, it does not mean because we created them, that we somehow forgive them or do not take them out of society to protect my family and yours from them. They are beyond the pale, many of those people -- beyond the pale."
"Beyond the pale." Now it is Biden himself who is "beyond the pale." The current Democratic Party believes in freeing criminals, protecting criminals, celebrating criminals.
If Biden were offering something real, a compelling message, he could get elected anyway. But he is not. He is, in fact, a Democratic fossil. He is running for leadership of a party that sees him as too male, too pale and stale.
In the new reality, Biden is suspect. In fact, worse, he is a relic of the past. All the energy is with the other candidates -- insurgents, people like Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris. One of these three is going to rise above the rest and take the nomination. It will not be Joe Biden. Almost everybody knows that now.
And that's all bad news if you're Barack Obama, and if what you really care about is your own cherished legacy. Joe Biden is explicitly running as a continuation of Barack Obama's agenda. The only problem: That agenda has been completely eclipsed by a far more radical political agenda.
Now Democrats are demanding single-payer health care, which will be given for free to illegal immigrants, the ones streaming over our open border with Mexico. Candidates are advocating reparations based on skin color -- the abolition, basically, of America's history. They want to remake gender relations from the ground up.
Obama could be seen as the one who paved the way for all of that. Thanks to his friend, Joe Biden, though, he is becoming the Democratic president that kept it from happening even sooner.
Adapted from Tucker Carlson's monologue from "Tucker Carlson Tonight" on Aug. 19, 2019.