President-elect Joe Biden is looking to distance his incoming administration from any likeness to the Obama years, as some critics are calling his presidency comparable to that of a third term for former President Barack Obama.
"This is not a third Obama term because we face a totally different world than we faced in the Obama-Biden administration," Biden told NBC News in an interview this week. “President Trump has changed the landscape, it’s become ‘America First,’ which meant America alone.”
The comparisons come as the president-elect has tapped quite a few individuals for his administration who also served in the Obama White House. Biden said these people were selected because they represent the spectrums of both the American people and the Democratic Party.
During the Democratic primary, some of Biden’s challengers went after him for running on Obama’s legacy despite the fact that circumstances had changed drastically since 2008. He routinely defended the former administration’s stance on issues ranging from health care to immigration.
Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg said Democrats would lose again to Trump if they were perceived as “replicating a system that let people down,” which is what he claimed led frustrated voters to elect Trump in the first place.
Even Obama acknowledged in his endorsement video for Biden that if he were running in 2020, his platform would be different than what he previously ran on.
“The world is different – there’s too much unfinished business for us to just look backward,” Obama said. “We have to look to the future.”
As for the ongoing transition, Biden says that he has not heard any information directly from Trump but he believes staffers on their respective sides have been in contact.
Biden did say that doesn't expect the slow start to his term to impact his ability to carry out his agenda as planned.