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In a recent interview with Ezra Klein of the New York Times on the legacy of his presidency, former President Barack Obama praised President Biden and his administration for “essentially finishing the job,” adding credence to the critiques of those who’ve argued that the Biden administration seeks to pursue the same policies that led to the Trump backlash in 2016.
During the hour-long interview, Obama admitted the Biden administration is an extension of his own presidency, saying “90 percent of the folks” in his administration are now working for Biden.
“They are continuing and building on the policies we talked about, whether it’s the Affordable Care Act, or our climate change agenda, and the Paris [climate accord],” Obama said.
Indeed, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, and Biden’s top domestic policy adviser Susan Rice all served high-profile positions in the Obama administration.
Obama also took shots at Trump, comparing the backlash against his own presidency and Trump’s corresponding rise to “the rise of the K.K.K.” after the United States’ Reconstruction era, while also blasting his administration for “completely ignoring science.”
While Obama caricatured Trump as a racist but then also attempted to take credit for Trump’s economic success, claiming that “Trump interrupts essentially the continuation of our policies, but still benefits from the economic stability and growth that we had initiated.”