(CNN) – Before he accepted Barack Obama's offer to join his presidential ticket, Joe Biden got a promise from Obama: that he would be there for "every critical decision," Biden said in an interview broadcast Sunday.
Speaking to ABC's "This Week," Biden said he believes the vice president's role is to provide "the best, sagest, most accurate, most insightful advice and recommendations he or she can make to a president to help them make some of the very, very important decisions that have to be made."
When Obama talked to him about being his number two, "I said, 'I don't want to be picked unless you're picking me for my judgment. I don't want to be
the guy that goes out and has a specific assignment... I want a commitment from you that in every important decision you'll make, every critical decision,
economic and political, as well as foreign policy, I'll get to be in the room.'"
Biden said President-elect Obama has kept the promise, having Biden in the room for all of his decisions about who will fill key posts in the administration.
In what ABC billed as Biden's first interview as vice president-elect, Biden also discussed the role he played in helping Sen. Hillary Clinton decide to accept Obama's offer of serving as his secretary of state.
"She's one of my close friends. And when this came forward, I did talk to her. She sought me out. I sought her out as well, to assure her that this was real," he said, adding that "there was a lot swirling around" at the time.
Biden said he does not know whether he played a "key" role in helping Clinton make her decision. "It wasn't so much convincing, but I - they wanted
to know my perspective, and I gave my perspective."
Biden will have a specific assignment at first. On Sunday, Obama's transition team announced the new "White House Task Force on Working Families" – a major initiative targeted at "raising the living standards of middle-class, working families in America." Biden will chair the task force.
"It is a discreet job that's going to last only for a certain period of time," Biden said, vowing that the task force will "use as a yardstick of economic success of our administration: Is the middle class growing? Is the middle class getting better? Is the middle class no longer being left behind?
And we'll look at everything from college affordability to after-schoolprograms, the things that affect people's daily lives."