- The Washington Times - Friday, February 28, 2014

Vice President Joseph R. Biden admitted that President Obama and other White House staffers practically froze him out of all internal discussions and wiped their hands clean of him after he made a political gaffe about gay marriage.

His flub was that he announced in 2012 his approval of gay marriage prior to the president, Politico Magazine reported. Mr. Biden’s announcement pressured Mr. Obama to make his own public statement about gay marriage earlier than he would have liked, the magazine reported.

At first, the two maintained a workable relationship, Mr. Biden said, explaining that he offered to do all the less glamorous assignments — so long as he was physically included in all major White House decisions. In Mr. Biden’s words: I agreed to take on ‘every [expletive] job in the world,” he said.

“When the president asked me what portfolio did I want, I said, ‘Base it on what you want of me to help you govern,’” Mr. Biden said, The Daily Mail reported. “But I want to be the last guy in the room on every major decision. … You’re president, I’m not, but if it’s my experience you’re looking for, I want to be the last guy to make the case.”

Mr. Biden said Mr. Obama upheld the deal most of the time — but that a chill set in when Mr. Biden made his gay-marriage announcement, the article reported. Mr. Biden later apologized to the president in person. But White House insiders suspected Mr. Biden of making a strategic political move to support the progressive movement, over the president, The Daily Mail reported.

The president’s staffers began to treat Mr. Biden with coldness, Politico Magazine said. They kept him from attending planning meetings and booted him from key private dinners with fundraisers — and even tried to stymy his attempt to name a new chief of staff, The Daily Mail said.

They also limited his public appearance schedule and failed to refute as strongly as Mr. Biden would have liked the rumors that he was going to be replaced by Hillary Clinton, the newspaper reported.

Mr. Biden and Mr. Obama have worked things out somewhat, Politico Magazine reported.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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