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. Pollwatcher

    Hillary is awesome, but Obama doesn't need her in 2012. Look at who the Rethuglicans have as front runners. He can have Bo as a running mate and still WIN.

    October 6, 2010 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  2. Fed Up

    When Hillary dropped out for '08, I felt there was this type of a deal in the making. And, of course, Obama would not lie about anything, so we know that that whatever he says is true. Whatever! Guess we'll find out soon.

    October 6, 2010 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  3. YoMama

    Hillary is trying to elbow her way into a co-Presidency (yes, officially her title would be Vice-President, but she would expect real power) and Obama would be a fool if he caved into this nonsense. Obama's problem isn't his Vice-President, its 10 percent unemployment and putting Hillary on the ticket won't change that.

    October 6, 2010 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  4. Mark L.

    Well now, I most certainly do declare, if President Obama should decide to bring Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton, on board as his Vice Presidential running-mate, it will be a CLEAN SWEEP for us liberal Democrats in 2012. Of course, I am more focused now on the midterm elections. Apparently, the vast majority thinks by voting in the Grand Ol' Plunderers (GOP) back in office, taking over the majority in both the House and Senate, it will do the country good. HASN'T ANYONE LEARNED ANYTHING FROM THE OL' BUSH / CHENEY ADMINISTRATION YET?? If the Re'crook'licans take back the majority in Congress, it's going to lead to another GREAT RECESSION or maybe even a repeat of the 1929 Stock Market Crash / GREAT DEPRESSSION !! Come on People – Do You Really Believe the Grand Ol' Plunderers (GOP) are going to create jobs and bring unemployment down?? LMAO...{:o) GIVE ME A BREAK !!

    October 6, 2010 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  5. Brian in MD

    Obama is such an economic lightweight that Hillary won't be able to save him now. The economy is still getting worse. Hillary is Obama-lite.

    October 6, 2010 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  6. Danny

    I really don't think Hillary would except a number 2 position. She may change her mind after the democratics take a spanking in November.

    October 6, 2010 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  7. Kirsten

    Joe Biden as Secretary of State? Are we just asking for trouble? The guy can't get his facts straight as it is, why would we unleash him on other countries?

    October 6, 2010 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  8. diridi

    It is good. But now, all the Democrats need to stay together intact. GOP thugs misuse the opportunity and mess this nation like a hell like before in Bush and Reagan era...GOP are full of thugs...and criminals...karl rowe needs to be investigated by IRS, audit all GOP thugs on taxes................Good luck,

    October 6, 2010 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  9. Marc in Virginia

    Great news if this is true. Hillary should already be President.

    October 6, 2010 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  10. Baby Boomer

    I'm glad to here the White House put a stop to this rumor. It was basically just something on Bob Woodward's wish list. I for one do not want VP Biden replaced nor do I want President Obama's presidency marginalized by switching VPs. (i.e., As if the only way he could win a second term is with Hillary Clinton on the ticket.) I wish old WHITE men on the right and left would stop trying to marginalize the sitting President of the United States. For goodness sakes, show some respect for the office even if you can't seem to show some respect for the MAN in the office.

    October 6, 2010 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  11. Steve Oehmen

    I can see Biden leaving the White House, and I can certainly see Hillary as VP. What I CAN'T see is Biden anywhere at State. With his lack of brain-tongue interconnect, he would be a disaster. I wouldn't put him in a Guard House at an embassy much less S of S!

    October 6, 2010 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  12. Dawn

    Obama better do something quick, because his approval ratings are going down. I think he should dump Biden and pick up H. Clinton for his running mate for 2012. It sounds like a great idea!

    October 6, 2010 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  13. Can't We All Just Get Along?

    This would be a dream ticket to top all dream tickets!

    Imagine - two competent individuals in the two highest offices in the country, both understanding why we have a Constitution and who support it, two people who want to do what's right for the American people - Obama/Clinton!

    October 6, 2010 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  14. JK Ashburn, VA

    "...in the White House..." he said. Perhaps out on the back porch, or at the DNC, or in Air Force One, but not in the White House.

    October 6, 2010 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  15. T'SAH from Virginia

    Woodward is trying to sell books. Have you noticed that LATELY??? Everyone of TV that wants to predict something are writing books!

    If Obama/Clinton becomes a TICKET – it would be a LANDSLIDE!!! Clinton will show ALL far-right FEMALES how a campaign should be run; intelligently, intelligently, intelligently, classy, intelligently, knowledgeable, intelligently, professionally, intelligently, without baggage (she' been there and done that!!!!), intelligently, intelligently, without witchery, intelligently, without a piercing voice, intelligently, no off the wall comments about chickens-mice w/human brains-Katie Couric moments, intelligently, intelligently and more intelligence!!!

    Obama/Clinton 2012; Clinton/Obama 2016 – YES WE CAN on the Democrat side present the first AA for President; first AA-Vice President; first WOMAN for President; first WOMAN for VP.................. That's ONLY because we’re more diverse and believe in giving EVERYONE a chance!! We will also elect the first GAY for president; first REAL Muslim for President; first AA Woman for President/VP and so on and so on and so on!!

    This is T'SAH from Virginia and I approve this message!!

    October 6, 2010 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  16. Ernie

    I wrote about this a few weeks ago, Biden wants out he dosen't want to be Vice President he finally figured it out that it was a bad decision and he should've listen to his wife and taken the Sec. of State position, but he didn't. He probably feels that Obama is not listening to him concerning foreign affiairs. This is the new scenario, if Obama appoints Biden as Sec. of Sate and nominates Hillary a Vice President he takes Hillary out of the mix. Meaning Hillary would not be able to run for President. Obama wants to eliminate all the competition with Hillary locked in as Vice President Obama thinks this is a winning ticket well he doesn't have a wining ticket. Thse two couldn't get elected "Dog and Dog Catcher" all the damage has been done. Believe or not Hillary didn't have a thing to do with all of Obama failed policies. She made sure that she was globe trotting while Obama and Congress were spending the tax payer's money like drunk'n sailors. She would be smart to listen to Bill and not become Vice President. She should stay and finish being Sec. of State it pays better and the bennies are better. Obama is starting to see that people who he as picked are starting not to like him. All the Czars and advisors and starting to jump off the "Good Ship LollyPop". After November 2, Obama is goiing to see a stack of resignations on his desk the last time this happend was duing the Carter administration. I't's going to happen again.

    October 6, 2010 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  17. NVa Native

    Obama/Clinton would be un-beatable. But so will Obama/Biden and Biden has been great. Why wouldn't Clinton prefer doing it on her own, either way next time she will be a lock.
    So sad – Repubs, you got nothin ..... except Max Headroom from a religion you deem a cult.
    See what that ultra-conservative (Puitains) in an ultra-small pup-tent gets you .... the soon to be extinct narcisitic selfish teabaggers. It's worse than a fad, it's a burp (mouth-throw-up) on the history of our Democracy.

    October 6, 2010 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  18. rdepontb

    Foreign Relations is what Joe Biden is tailored for. He can speak the truth without making it personal, he is known for his rationality, he is known the world over. He, the President, and Hillary Clinton have set the US on an honorable path with our allies and non-allies alike, meaning he could step in as Secretary of State with the minimum of disruption in their ranks and in our intenational stances. He has the faith and admiration of the American people.

    October 6, 2010 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  19. American doc

    Obama and Clinton would be an amazing dream team ticket... For president and vice president of Burma! Or Cuba! Or the ACLU! But please, anyone with two healthy neurons to rub together, let's never take a democrat seriously again. They have proven to represent "the global community", not the USA. We used to lead the world, now we just lead them to the bottom while we ask permission to speak at the table.

    October 6, 2010 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  20. ryan

    Please God let this happen......Conservatives will roll you dem's.

    October 6, 2010 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  21. Steven P

    I look forward to reading those who disparage Ms. O'Donnell look at Ms. Clinton's séance in the White House.

    An Independent

    October 6, 2010 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  22. Stephen Tsukuda

    It would be lovely to have these two great political minds working together. Sadly though in this country, people are too narrow-minded to finally see that the country is ready for this. I know back in 2008, some people were afraid to see a black man; no let me rephrase, that a multiracial man in office just because they think the world was going to end. It shows that we still have racism still alive and well in this nation today. If people knew there was a chance to have a multiracial/black President and a 1st woman Vice President, people wouldn't be able to understand nor take it. We still show racism towards other races and sexism against women. It doesn't show much change has come since the days of Civil Rights for other races and women.

    October 6, 2010 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  23. joeamerican

    It's a possibility only because B Huessein Obuma is destroying the USA. Our worst enemies could not have done a better job.......the american people now realize this fact. This unqualified imposter needs Hillary to even have a chance next election.

    October 6, 2010 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  24. Kenneth Krieger

    Why would an intelligent woman want a job that an idiot man can do? Leave Joe Bidden Vice President. Hillary should run for President. Ken Krieger Cape Coral, Florida

    October 6, 2010 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  25. Fair is Fair

    If Minister of Propoganda Robert Gibbs is denying it, there's a high probability of it being true. If it's true, Hillary should have her head examined. She's far too bright.

    October 6, 2010 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
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