November 19th, 2010
08:14 AM ET
10 years ago

Biden talks switching places with Clinton

(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."

Related: Biden: 'Take the training wheels off' in Afghanistan

"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."

Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Joe Biden
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Biden is correct about Obama being good shape - to trounce Palin in the case she becomes the GOP nominee. She has no real ideas of her own. She has such limited understanding and expression of a nuanced world view it would hurt her chances of doing anything very well as a president.

    November 19, 2010 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  2. Rich

    Belief in an age of doubt:
    While the world sleeps, we are rapidly approaching the end of time.
    There are only six months left.
    I'm sorry.

    November 19, 2010 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  3. Marie (Portland, Oregon)

    I would love to see Joe take on the House GOP on blocking unemployment benefits to millions of Americans. Don't think this is what they voted when they said they wanted Washington to get things done. Deny unemployment. Repeal health care. Stall nuclear treaty. What's next...cut Medicare?

    November 19, 2010 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  4. Don't do it, Hillary!

    If Hillary Clinton demurs to the #2 spot with Obama, I will NEVER, NEVER support or vote for her again. As a frequent Republican voter, I vehemently supported her with energy and money during the primaries - and as far as I'm concerned, if she DID have any balls, she would have spat in Obama's face considering the way he and the Dem party treated her and HANDED the presidency to that empty suit.

    Also, Hillary, for heaven's sake cut your hair. You look like a wannabe teenager (pretty sad!).

    November 19, 2010 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  5. linda

    Either choice is a good one. I would like to see Hillary get her chance to run for President. Being the VP would give her a heads up start. But if VP Biden stays on the ticket...great choice too...I have always liked him.

    November 19, 2010 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  6. Fair is Fair

    "'Be careful what you wish for, Joe, you may get it.' So I never underestimate anyone."

    I can't believe it. Biden actually said something of merit. Go buy some powerball tickets, Joe... today's your lucky day!

    November 19, 2010 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  7. Dave

    Obama is a sinking ship. Hillary is too smart. She is checking off Sec of Defense on her resume and keeping a distance from Obama. No way she takes the VP job.

    November 19, 2010 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  8. I Back Obama

    How about an 2012 Obama-Pelosi ticket.

    November 19, 2010 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  9. Chris C

    I think this is a brilliant idea. It would definitely get me energized to vote. I was a Clinton supporter and I hope she does run for president again. I believe Obama has a better chance with Clinton by his side as opposed to Joe Biden. Does anyone know what Al Gore is upto?

    November 19, 2010 09:40 am at 9:40 am |

    clinton wants the top spot, not the vp
    remember her running for the senate.............2 weeks after being relected..............groups people for campaign for president

    joe may have a tough job i'll admit that but he has to know that he is a mistake.............always has been.......and most likely always will guess is that he will fade fatster than ol' al gore, or at least one can only hope

    November 19, 2010 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  11. RichP, easton, pa

    OH MY, Joe as SoS, so I guess they did find a cure for foot in mouth disease.

    November 19, 2010 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  12. Monster Zero

    Clinton stays undercover during the biggest Conservative sweep of the House in nearly a century...why, so she can slide in as Obama's running mate in 2012 at an attempt to keep the Party of Liberal Progressives in power. Poor Old Joe, the token white boy, clueless as to what is going on right under his nose...the real problem will be that second fiddle would not cut it for Hillary and Obama would be very naive to have someone like Hillary and Bill Clinton as his successors to the throne...kind of like telling your ex-wife that you cheated on with her sister that she is the beneficiary on your 100 million dollar life insurance policy while teaching her to fire a handgun you just purchased for her.

    November 19, 2010 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  13. Ernie

    Do you really think Joe "Bit Me Biden" is going to admitt to anything. He should've listen to his wife but he didn't now he is in a position he doesn't like because Obama thinks Biden is useless. You better believe that there is going to be a switch. But it won't help Obama. For what I hae seen and read there are still a lot of people who don't like Hillary. If Hlllary does join Obama and becomes his Vice Presidentail running mate both of them are "Beatable". If Obama keeps on going on the road of "Failures" which he seems to be pretty at "Joe the Plumber" could beat him. It you remember when "Slick Willy" was President Hillary want to change "Health Care". But it never happened. The only reason why Hillary is Sec of State is to keep her out of Obama's hair. As for "Bit Me Biden" this guy can't wait for 2012 to tell Obama "Happy Trails".

    November 19, 2010 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  14. ric

    This proves what a loser obama has become on his own merits. Liberal's have got to be the dumbest people on the planet.

    November 19, 2010 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  15. Bob in PA

    Some of the elite media would like to see this happen, so they spill a fake story that they hope will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. It's what Progressives do, just a little slight of hand.

    November 19, 2010 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  16. Big June

    It dosn't matter, i'm gonna be king anyways! Signing out Big June

    November 19, 2010 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  17. Dave

    Hillary wants to be, and should be the Dems presedential nominee in 2012.

    November 19, 2010 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  18. Four and The Door

    It's interesting that when Obama took office, Jow as VP would be the guy in the administration ,"...looking out for the middle class."

    Since the last 2 years have been among the worst ever for the middle class, what has Joe been up to? Has he been asleep at the wheel? Or were those job assignments in 1'09 just political fluff? My guess is on political fluff.

    November 19, 2010 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  19. gary02

    way to go mr vice president .. yes to everything good job

    November 19, 2010 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  20. jules sand-perkins

    NO! Not Biden as Secretary of State!
    He never knows how to speak!
    That's what the SOS does: talk, negotiate, put people together, etc.
    A SOS can't do that with gaffs.
    Also, not Hillary as Vice President: Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee for PRESIDENT!

    November 19, 2010 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  21. Baby Boomer

    VP Biden needs to remain the VP on the 2012 ticket. That's all...

    November 19, 2010 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  22. Hi7777

    Not happening! Hillary in 2012 running against Obama. Obama needs Hillary but Hillary doesn't need Obama.

    November 19, 2010 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  23. Peace

    Am one of those who are extremely excited to see the battle between the Queen of Alaska and the President, if at all it will ever happen.
    I can imagine how the the media is very, very hungry to eat her alive, and there is no way she can avoid it if she has given herself to occupy the peoples house and lead the world.
    It will be something of its kind and no one will opt to miss it even for a moment!

    November 19, 2010 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  24. Nancy Pelosi, the wicked witch of the west, the DemocRAT gift that just keeps on giving

    Crazy Joe isn't going anywhere, al least for 2 years, then the unemployment line. Hillary isn't stupid enough to tie her horse to Obozo's broken down wagon. He's a one term disaster and she knows it. Why do you think she is laying so low and letting Slick Willy rack up all the political favors with his campaigning?

    Bottomline is that NOBODY can save Obozo from getting tossed out on his arse in 2012. Most Americans would rather have their garbage collector in the Whitehouse than this idiot.

    November 19, 2010 10:32 am at 10:32 am |

    If Hillary did that link herself any further to OBAMA all she would do is totally ruin any chances she might have of becoming President.

    November 19, 2010 10:51 am at 10:51 am |