Joe Biden snubbed as Barack Obama decided he was ‘too old’ for Saudi role

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Mr Biden is neck and neck with his rival President Donald Trump today, as the presidential election results come in. In the run-up to voting day, the Democratic nominee has often leaned on his eight years as Vice President under the Obama administration to back up his proposed policies during his campaign. For instance, he has promised to expand Obamacare, reverse Mr Trump’s decision to withdraw the US from the Paris climate agreement and has shown his support for NATO.

Many of his advisers have come from the Obama White House, too.

Yet, in the 2020 book, ‘MBS’, about Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, author Ben Hubbard claimed that those who helped elevate Mr Biden to the top picked up on one supposed flaw — he was “too old”.

Mohammad bin Salman is currently Saudi Arabia’s deputy prime minister. When he started to move up the political ranks within the nation, the US even considered forming a strong international bond with the promising figure.

Mr Hubbard explained: “There was talk inside the administration of finding an ‘MBS whisperer’ who could mentor the young prince.


“John Kerry [former Secretary of State] was suggested but was too busy.

“Ash Carter, the Secretary of Defence was MBS’ natural counterpart, but he wasn’t interested.

“Vice President Joe BIden was discussed, but deemed too old.”

The Biden campaign did not respond when asked for comment by Business Insider.

However, Mr Biden’s age has been a fundamental part of Mr Trump’s attempts to undermine his opponent.

He has called the Democrat “sleepy Joe” and played on the fact that Mr Biden turns 78 later this month.

Mr Trump even told Fox News that his rival was “mentally gone” and tweeted a meme of the Democratic candidate sitting in a wheelchair in a nursing home, surrounded by the elderly.

Seventy-four-year-old Mr Trump currently holds the record as the oldest person to be sworn in as US President, but, at four years his senior, Mr Biden could overtake his record if the election swings his way.

Ronald Reagan was the oldest person elected prior to Mr Trump’s victory in 2016 — he was 69 when elected and was often mocked for his memory lapse when in office.

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Conscious of the criticism, Mr Biden’s campaign even released a medical report in December last year which said he was “healthy” and “vigorous” as well as “fit to successfully execute the duties of the presidency”.

Mr Trump’s health was also briefly a cause for concern when he tested positive for coronavirus — because is both in the vulnerable age bracket and clinically obese — but he has since recovered and claims he feels “like Superman”.

However, Mr Biden’s age did actually help him get into the White House as the Vice President back in 2008.

Last year, The New York Times reported: “Mr Obama was also deeply worried about a backlash against a black man at the top of the ticket and believed that an older white running mate would ease fears in battleground states like Pennsylvania, Michigan and Indiana.”

Mr Biden also reassured Mr Obama’s aides that he would “never have to worry” that he may consider another presidential run.

The New York Times’ Glenn Thrush explained: “He was too old, he told them, and he viewed his new job as a capstone, not a catapult.”

However, both Mr Obama and Mr Biden took that promise to cover just the time the Democratic President was in office.

Mr Obama has also reportedly warned Mr Biden’s campaign that his close advisers are “too old and out of touch with the current political climate”, according to the report, and was concerned how that would affect voters.

‘MBS: The Rise to Power of Mohammad bin Salman’ by Ben Hubbard was published by Penguin Random House and is available here.

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