October 6th, 2010
08:15 AM ET
12 years ago

White House denies Obama-Clinton ticket in works

(CNN) - White House spokesman Robert Gibbs is pouring cold water on the red-hot speculation, fueled by journalist Bob Woodward in a CNN interview, that President Obama may create a so-called "dream ticket" of Obama-Clinton in his 2012 re-election battle.

"No one in the White House is discussing this as a possibility," Gibbs told CNN Wednesday morning.

The speculation that Obama may dump Vice President Joe Biden as his running mate and shift him over to the Secretary of State job in favor of Clinton was sparked by Woodward in an interview Tuesday night with CNN Chief National Correspondent John King.

"It's on the table," Woodward said on John King, USA. "Some of Hillary Clinton's advisers see it as a real possibility in 2012."

Obama advisers outside the White House note privately that it's significant that Woodward attributed the theory to Clinton advisers and not White House aides or Obama advisers, signaling this may only have traction among Clinton supporters hoping she would move one step closer to the Oval Office and be set up as the likely Democratic nominee for president in 2016.

Woodward, author of "Obama's Wars" that takes a close look at deliberations between Obama, Biden, Clinton and all of the other top players inside the White House over sending more U.S. troops to Afghanistan, suggested Tuesday that Obama will need his Secretary of State to bring the party together in two years.

"President Obama needs some of the women, Latinos, retirees that she did so well with during the [2008] primaries and, so they switch jobs, not out of the question, and the other interesting question is, Hillary Clinton could run in her own right in 2016 and be younger than Ronald Reagan when he was elected president," he said.

Clinton will be 69 years old and three months in January 2017. President Ronald Reagan was just shy of his 70th birthday in January, 1980.

"Now you talk to Hillary Clinton or her advisers and they say 'no, no there's not a political consideration here,'" Woodward continued. "Of course the answer is, you point out to them that her clout around the world when she goes to Europe, Asia, anywhere is in part, not just because she's Secretary of State or because she was married to President Clinton, that people see a potential future president in her."

Back in 2008, Biden also suggested that as former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee his dream job was Secretary of State. But Democratic officials privately say that after getting a taste of the No. 2 job as vice president, they find it hard to believe Biden still wants to be Secretary of State, which would now be seen as a step down.

At an off-camera briefing with reporters later in the morning, Gibbs added of the speculation, “it’s just absolutely not true.”

Gibbs said Biden is doing an “extraordinary job” with all of the various responsibilities the president has tasked with, which ranges from overseeing implementation of the Recovery Act to trying to help forge political reconciliation in Iraq.

“The decision to pick Joe Biden was one of the best decisions” the president has made in the last couple of years, Gibbs added, trying to snuff out any suggesting Obama is not happy with his running mate.

- CNN's Alexander Mooney contributed to this report

Filed under: Joe Biden • President Obama
soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. Right Leaning Independent

    Adding Hillary would be the only way that Obama can prop up his presidency in 2012! If Hillary wants to be President, 2012 will be her best chance because she would blow away Obama... it is going to get interesting for the Dems....

    October 6, 2010 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  2. Jack the Slack

    Obama needs to do something about the economy.

    October 6, 2010 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  3. terry, va

    Hillary would be a fool to play second fiddle to that fool. If she wanted to do that she would have 2 years ago. Her best bet would be to quit her job in 6 months and run against Obummie. She would be twice the prez obummie is.

    October 6, 2010 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  4. Cosmo

    The White House answer should be "we are focusing on winning this the 2010 electionss o we can continue to move America ahead, in the face of strong GOP and corporate lobbyist attempts to return this country back to the near meltdown that it left it in after the last adminstration's irresponsible actions in domestic and foreign affairs and we have no internion of fueling the media's attempt to make news about an election that is over two years away. Now get out of here, we have serious work to do."

    October 6, 2010 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  5. Stop Soros

    Too bad, I was hoping to see them both swept out of politics.

    They both have amassed enough money to buy an island and move far away from the USA–this way, Obama and the Clintons can create their own socialist utopia without screwing up 270M people's current freedoms. (Hopefully, Kerry, Pelosi, Reid, Watters, Boxer, Gravel, Howard, Barney Frank and the rest can join them).

    October 6, 2010 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  6. Four and The Door

    It's kinda like listening to executives at Pontiac discuss whether or not they were going to redesign the firebird. Dudes! The brand is dead! It doesn't matter! Maybe you can revive it in 10 years, but the speculation is pointless and academic.

    October 6, 2010 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  7. Annie SW Mo

    I was actually watching when Woodward made this claim. It seems to me that the Clinton people want this, but there is nothing that says that it is "on the table" coming from the WH. Woodward is smart enough and been around for a long time. He knows that for it to be "on the table" it needs to be coming from someone in the WH. It is more like he and the Clinton people are trying to put this out there to force President Obama to "make a choice." Of course, a comment like that will help keep him in the news for a few more days, and maybe help him sell more books. Gee, you think someone might be trying to "make news" to benefit his own pocket?

    October 6, 2010 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  8. sfopine

    I think Biden has done a good job as VP; I like the guy. But an Obama/Clinton ticket is going to be hard to beat. I would be very happy to see this happen.

    October 6, 2010 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  9. Diane

    This is probably Obamas best move to date for a chance of staying in the White House. I just hope if she's runs on the ticket in 2012, Obama can stay alive long enough to fufill his term!

    October 6, 2010 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  10. Mike Johnson

    Funny that the title of this article wonders if Clinton is "to be made vice-president." Only the Amercian voters can "make" her the vice-president. Obama can name her as his running mate in 2012, but I'm willing to bet that whoever he names is not going to become the veep, because I think and hope that America is done with him and his policies.

    October 6, 2010 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  11. DIANA

    Don't get our hopes up if it's not true. I love our current vice president but a Obama-Clinton ticket would be a dream come true!

    I could just see the Republican's countering that with a Palin/Bachman ticket or a Palin/O'Donnell ticket.

    October 6, 2010 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
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