‘That’s what I do,’ he said, delighted, as Joe Biden – with whom he was campaigning – looked on from the sidelines in a gym in Flint, Michigan.
Obama then collected the coffee and aide offered him and acknowledged the admiring gasps from his staff.
Biden, 77, shuffled away behind Obama, grinning like a proud grandfather and saying: ‘All net! All net!’
After the event, Barack Obama tweeted this picture from the high school gym with a Halloween message
Gang back together: Barack Obama and Joe Biden got together in the gym after speaking in Flint, Michigan
The amusing incident delighted the internet, but also drew awkward comparisons between the two men.
Obama, ‘retired’ at 59, still fit and full of energy.
Biden, who if elected will become the oldest president in U.S. history, beating the record set by 74-year-old Donald Trump four years ago, mocked for forgetting his train of thought.
Obama’s sudden burst onto the campaign trail on October 21 has delighted his fans – the former president retains a rockstar appeal among the Democratic faithful – but also served as an at-times painful foil to the man who is actually running for president.
Obama’s knowing, relaxed, urban cool is in sharp contrast to Biden’s rambling, folksy demeanor – bringing the former president back was, in some ways, a gamble.
Social media response showed how the megawatt Obama could effortlessly outshine the man supposed to be in the spotlight.
‘Sweet. Suave. Swagger,’ said one woman on Twitter, with the hashtags: #ShootYourShot #AllNet #CantTouchThis #BestPresidentEver.
‘You have to smile when you look in the mirror!’ enthused another.
‘I would expect nothing less of you! Thank you for that great speech today and the other in Florida. So good!’
Another added: ‘Is what I particularly loved about this man, #BarackObama; ran the country like he was in a game: my coach used to say “Basketball is a thinking man’s game.” Already out the door before the ball sank in the bucket! #halfmanhalfamazing’
Some, however, were aware of the potential problem.
‘Joe Biden is my brother. I love Joe Biden and he will be a great president,’ he said.
‘That sense of decency and empathy. The belief in hard work and family and faith, the belief that everybody counts, that’s who Joe is,’ Obama said.
‘I can tell you that the presidency doesn’t change who you are. It shows who you are,’ he said.
He attacked Trump’s leadership, saying it led to racism in the country and brought out the worst in people.
‘There are consequences to his actions. This is not just a joke. It’s not funny, those actions embolden other people to be mean and defensive and racist,’ Obama said.
Obama then pivoted to attack Trump, using the attack lines he has dropped in his previous appearances for Biden in Pennsylvania and Florida.
On his way: Barack Obama went to a high school in Flint for his appearance with Biden. Flint’s African-American Democratic voters did not turn out in enough numbers for Hillary Clinton to bear Donald Trump in 2016
‘You know, I said this before – I never thought Donald Trump would embrace my vision, I understood he didn’t agree with my policies, but I did hope for the country’s sake that he might show some interest in the job,’ he said.
‘He hasn’t shown any interest in doing the work, or helping anybody but himself and his friends, or treating the presidency as anything more than a reality show to give him the attention that he craves,’ he said.
He attacked Trump’s handling of the coronavirus’ pandemic, an area where voters have given Trump low marks.
‘COVID COVID COVID – he’s complaining. He’s jealous of COVID media coverage,’ he said as coronavirus cases are on the rise across the country, hitting more than 9 million infections.
‘And now he’s accusing doctors of profiting off this pandemic. Think about that. He said this just yesterday said doctors are overblowing it because they’re gonna make money off, doctors, he cannot fathom. He does not understand the notion that somebody would risk their life to save others without trying to make a buck,’ he said.
‘Now they might as well be saying let America get COVID,’ Obama said of the Trump administration.
‘Cases wouldn’t be reaching new record highs across the country, some of the places he owes rallies have even seen new spikes after he leaves town,’ he said.
This guy: Barack Obama gave Joe Biden a direct personal endorsement with the campaign engagement, their first joint appearance on the trail
Elbow bump: Barack Obama offered Joe Biden his elbow at the end of the former vice-president’s speech. Biden had to run back to the lectern for his mask after celebrating with Obama
Thanks to Barack: Joe Biden paid tribute to his former boss as he spoke in Flint
Biden came running out to meet Obama after the former president introduced him to the crowd as the cars at the drive-in rally honked and supporters cheered. He wore a black face mask he removed to speak to the crowd.
While Obama used his speech to tear into Trump, Biden sought to use the feel-good nostalgia for Democrats evoked by Obama when he spoke.
‘It kind of reminds you how good it can be, doesn’t it, listening to him,’ Biden said.
‘It reminds me of when we can be when you have a president of character, a president respected around the world.’
Obama and Biden attempted to maintain social distancing during their event, but came close at the end even leaning in like they were going to bump elbows, but Biden reached over to pat Obama’s shoulder instead. The two stood next to each other as they waved to the crowd.
Obama was wearing his face mask but Biden had forgotten his. He had taken it off to speak and returned to the podium to put it on so the two could walk off stage together.
As they walked back into the building behind the rally location, Obama gave Biden a pat on the back.
Together on the trail: Barack Obama and Joe Biden appeared for a joint event in Flint, Michigan, their first joint appearance of the campaign, with the former president praising his vice-president and tearing in to Donald Trump’s record on COVID
No mask: As the two were about to leave the stage, Joe Biden realized he did not have his mask on and appeared ot look for it among his notes
Got it: Joe Biden had to go back to the lectern when he realized he was maskless, found it in a pocket and held it up