Early on in his first term as vice president, Joe Biden asked for a private meeting with Defense Secretary Robert Gates. Gates had been appointed to the job by President George W. Bush in the shake-up after the 2006 midterm election, and President Obama kept him on for continuity. Biden had abstained from voting for Gates’s confirmation under Bush, making him one of only five senators who hadn’t voted to confirm him.
Besides shoring up Obama’s reputation as a man who could work with longtime moderates in the Democratic Party, Biden’s addition to the ticket was meant to give Obama …
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