Former President Donald Trump seized on rumors and unverified conspiracy theories that Barack Obama is America’s shadow president, during a campaign appearance, and called him “Biden’s boss” during a speech in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire on Wednesday.
“It’s never been worse than it is now under crooked Joe Biden and, frankly, his boss, Barack Hussein Obama,” Trump told the crowd at his campaign stop. “I think it’s his boss.”
This can be seen as an effort by Trump to get into Biden’s head and to get him to react.
Obama’s decision to remain living in Washington, D.C., after leaving office has contributed to this line of reasoning.
Obama’s Talk About Being a Shadow President
“I used to say if I can make an arrangement where I had a stand-in or front-man or front-woman and they had an earpiece in and I was just in my basement in my sweats looking through the stuff and I could sort of deliver the lines while someone was doing all the talking and ceremony, I’d be fine with that because I found the work fascinating,” Obama told comedian Stephen Colbert in 2020.
Obama biographer David Garrow noted in an interview with “The Tablet” that Obama’s political operatives currently control the Biden administration’s agenda. That of course leads to questions as to the former president’s role in influencing the current administration’s policies.
From the Biden administration’s desperation to make a deal with Iran to its overturning of Trump-era rules about transgenders in the military, the Obama advisers’ impact can be seen clearly.
Trump: Biden Not Running White House
Trump also argued that Biden is not the man running the White House.
“I don’t believe he’s smart enough to be doing this stuff,” Trump said during an Iowa campaign stop on Oct. 1. “I believe it’s the people that are surrounding him.”
NBC News dismissed Trump’s claim, saying that there has not been any evidence showing that Obama has done anything beyond offering Biden advice during meetings with his successor and former Vice President.
Trump is not alone in asking who is in charge.
“Even with all these clues, the Washington press corps—fresh off their years of broadcasting fantasies about secret communications links between Trump Tower and the Kremlin—seemed unable to imagine, let alone report on, Obama’s role in government,” David Samuels wrote in The Tablet in August. “Instead, every few months a sanitized report appears on some aspect of the ex-president’s outside public advocacy, presented within limits that are clearly being set by Obama’s political operatives—which conveniently elide the problems that are inherent in having a person with no constitutional role or congressional oversight take an active role in executive decision-making. Near the end of June, for example, Politico ran a long article noting Biden’s cognitive decline, with the coy headline “Is Obama Ready to Reassert Himself?”—as if the ex-president hadn’t been living in the middle of Washington and playing politics since the day he left office.”
Trump’s fight here is aimed more at delegitimizing Joe Biden’s presidency and at convincing American voters that he is a puppet. It’s easy to dismiss Trump as a conspiracy theorist, but when you have someone like Samuels asking that question, it causes one to stop and think who pulls Joe Biden’s strings.
John Rossomando is a defense and counterterrorism analyst and served as Senior Analyst for Counterterrorism at The Investigative Project on Terrorism for eight years. His work has been featured in numerous publications such as The American Thinker, The National Interest, National Review Online, Daily Wire, Red Alert Politics, CNSNews.com, The Daily Caller, Human Events, Newsmax, The American Spectator, TownHall.com, and Crisis Magazine. He also served as senior managing editor of The Bulletin, a 100,000-circulation daily newspaper in Philadelphia, and received the Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors first-place award for his reporting.