(CNN) – Vice President Joe Biden is trying to put to rest those pesky rumors that he and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton might switch places ahead of the next presidential election.
"Here's the deal - the president and I - there was never any serious talk ever that anyone ever heard about me not being on the ticket with him or her not staying at State," Biden told CNN's Larry King in an interview Thursday.
The scenario – whereby Biden and Clinton would exchange posts – has been bandied about by political observers for months, seen by some as a potentially savvy strategy to gin up excitement among what could be a depressed Democratic base in 2012. The move would likely revive excitement among that faction of the party that vehemently supported Clinton and lobbied for her to get the No. 2 spot as well as place Biden in a post he appears naturally suited for.
The rumor took on a life of its own last month when veteran journalist Bob Woodward told CNN the idea is "on the table" and some of Hillary Clinton's advisers think it is a real possibility.
"Bob backed off a little bit on that," Biden said. "What he basically said was when she was being considered for Secretary of State, it was suggested by one of her pollsters she should take it because maybe there would be the opportunity to be vice president."
"Hillary has made it clear right from the first time I came out, 'Joe, I don't want to be vice president. The president has made it clear, Joe, I expect you to be on the ticket. I want you on the ticket.' So it was really, kind of - you know, sort of a Washington parlor game.
Turning to the subject of Sarah Palin – who has increasingly given signals she is considering a presidential bid – Biden said he's unsure what kind of opponent the former Alaska governor would make in 2012.
"Well, you know, my mom used to have an expression, 'Be careful what you wish for, Joe, you may get it.' So I never underestimate anyone. And - but I think, in that race, it would be a clear, clear choice for the country to make, and I believe President Obama would be in very good shape."
The vice president added he finds Palin "an appealing person" who has "turned out to be, and she is, a real force in the Republican Party."