CNN might have finally told the truth by mistake. It happened on a recent broadcast of the Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, when reporter Jeff Zeleny mistakenly called Joe Biden “Joebama.”
Zeleny was talking to Blitzer in a live segment about Biden’s campaigning efforts to get fellow Democrats Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff elected in the upcoming Georgia runoff elections.
Zeleny is CNN’s senior White House correspondent and has a Pullitzer prize from his time working at the Chicago Tribune as a newspaper reporter. When letting Blitzer know how Biden’s campaigning has been going in the Peach State, however, he slipped up, saying:
“President-elect Joebama — uh, Joe Biden, rather — did finish speaking here just a short time ago.”
— America🇺🇸AF (@Madra) December 16, 2020
The Joke’s On You
In the full video Blitzer can be heard laughing out loud in the background when Zeleny makes the mistake.
Despite being a veteran journalist who’s been recognized with the top awards in the business and who knows politics well, Zeleny – like many Americans – realizes at least subconsciously that Biden is basically just another version of Obama.
Biden was Vice-President under Obama between 2009 to 2017 and is bringing on many of the same people as there were under Obama’s Administration. Did you love President Obama and his time in office? Then you’ll love a Biden-Harris Administration.
Some of Biden’s continuation of Obama era people include Anthony Blinken (State Department), Janet Yellen (Treasury Secretary), Alejandro Mayorkas (Department of Homeland Security) and Denis McDonough (Department of Veterans Affairs). Even though he’s switching around their positions he’s keeping a lof the same people, including Chief of Staff Ron Klain.
Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.
How Much Direct Influence Will Obama Have in the Biden Administration?
It’s hard not to notice that after being mostly out of the spotlight during the Trump Administration, Obama has been back all over the news cycle the past few months. There’s his new book A Promised Land not to mention his appearance on various shows such as with alleged comedian Stephen Colbert who sat and giggled over him like an excited schoolgirl. The former president is clearly feeling like “his team” is back in power and it’s a good time to loosen up a bit and flex his muscles on the political scene.
It all brings up the question of how much direct influence Obama will actually have in the Biden Administration. Obama has plans for a presidential center that’s going to cost $500 million on Chicago’s South Side (just what the struggling city full of shootings needs, right?). He also has noted that he wants to spend more time with his wife and enjoying life now that he’s no longer president.
Still, Obama has said he’ll be able to help Biden “in any ways that I can,” but added “I’m not planning to suddenly work on the White House staff or something.”
Obama has declined the idea of taking any position in the administration, but it’s clear that the former president still holds enormous sway in the progressive world and will be someone that Biden takes seriously when it comes to how he will weigh in on issues that are happening. Even if Obama stays behind-the-scenes, it is hard to imagine that he won’t want his opinions and voice heard when it comes to big decisions and policy directions going forward.
One of Obama’s former speechwriters David Litt says that “you’re going to see more continuity among staff than you might otherwise because so many people worked in the Obama administration and then on the Biden campaign and presumably will join the Biden administration.”