A spokesman for Vice President Joe Biden tells Politico they're just "rehashed rumors" and that the authors didn't check with Biden's staff on the accuracy of their claims. Regardless, Politico says there are "eye-opening" anecdotes in the new book Game Change by journalists Mark Halperin and John Heilemann about friction and clashes between then running mates Barack Obama and Biden during the 2008 presidential campaign.
The book comes out this week and Politico is among several media outlets that found copies on sale early. It writes today that according to Halperin and Heilemann:
When Biden, at an October fund-raiser in Seattle, famously predicted that Obama would be tested with an international crisis, the then-Illinois senator had had enough.
"How many times is Biden gonna say something stupid?" he demanded of his advisers on a conference call, a moment at which most people on the call said the candidate was as angry as they had ever heard him.
According to Politico, the book claims that as the campaign continued Obama and Biden rarely spoke and that Biden was included in some campaign conference calls
The first stories about what's in the book focused on the news that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said of Obama during the Democratic primary campaign that he is "light skinned" and "with no Negro dialect." That part of the book was detailed late Friday by The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder. Reid has since apologized for his comments and Obama said yesterday that he accepts the senator's apology.
Also yesterday, New York magazine posted an excerpt from the book. It focuses on then-Democratic presidential contender John Edwards and his wife Elizabeth. Neither comes off well in the telling.
It's also probably no surprise that Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton get considerable attention in the book. Ambinder says that:
The authors write on page 50 about the "war room within a war room" that Hillary Clinton put together to deal with questions about her husband's "libido."
And Republicans aren't ignored by the authors. As we wrote on Friday, CBS News' 60 Minutes tonight reports on some of the concerns that aides to Sen. John McCain reportedly had about running mate Sarah Palin, then the governor of Alaska. Halperin and Heilemann will be on the show to tell some of the tales they picked up on that score.