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White House Denies Biden-Clinton Switch in 2012 *updated*- Secretary Clinton Denies Rumors

October 6, 2010

Damn.

But of course if they were considering it, they couldn’t actually come out and say so publicly, could they?

At this point I’m not sure what Biden provides for the ticket in 2012 and I don’t think anyone really has an interest in him being the nominee in 2016- he’s run several times and each time his campaign never really gets off the ground and it’s over before it begins.

From 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 Barack 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 — moving current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the VP slot — was sparked by Woodward in an interview Tuesday night with CNN’s 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

But didn’t Woodward indicate in his book that it was an option that was considered on the table by the White House? Or is Woodward just playing games to generate buzz for himself and create attention-grabbing headlines?

This is what he had said [in part] on Larry King a week ago:

Larry King asked about the possibility that President Obama would move Vice-President Joe Biden to the Secretary of State position and ask Secretary Clinton to run beside him in 2012.

“That’s one of the calculations by the political advisers,” Mr. Woodward said. “It’s possible. It would be a tough ticket; depends on who the Republicans put up.

Which political advisers? Obama’s?

You can see the Woodward clip here– I had written about the Woodward-Larry King interview and included the video.

UPDATE: This morning Secretary Clinton addressed the rumors and flat-out denied them. You can see the video here (I can’t get it to embed) but here is an excerpt of what she said:

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton dismissed rumors on Wednesday that she will replace Vice President Biden on the 2012 ticket.

“I have absolutely no interest and no reason for doing anything other than dismissing these stories and moving on. We have so much to do and I think we’re both happy doing what we’re doing,” Clinton said at Fortune magazine’s “Most Powerful Women” summit.

The rumors began Tuesday after Bob Woodward said in a CNN interview that the possibility is “on the table.”

“With all due respect, I don’t believe anything I read in the press,” Clinton said in response to a question from Ann Moore asking her to confirm or deny the rumors.

“I think the Vice President is doing a wonderful job. He’s a great friend of mine. We work closely. He’s an expert on foreign policy. I have absolutely no interest and no reason for doing anything other than dismissing these stories and moving on. We have so much to do and I think we’re both happy,” she said at the event at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Washington, DC. “We have a great relationship.”

Well, while I still would love it if she were on the ticket in 2012, ultimately I respect whatever choice she makes, period. She shouldn’t feel pressured by others, that’s for sure (which clearly seems to be happening if you look around the blogosphere). If she does decide to run in any capacity at any time, I’ll be there to help out in any way I can but ultimately it’s up to her.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. PYW permalink
    October 6, 2010 11:05 am

    Frankly, I wonder if Clinton advisers even told Woodward this. Why would they be in touch with him? His most recent book was about the Obama White House, not the 2008 campaign.

    Even if Hillary isn’t VP in 2012, that doesn’t mean she won’t run in 2016, if she’s interested. i’ll support whatever decision she makes.

  2. PYW permalink
    October 6, 2010 11:08 am

    And to me, Woodward means Obama advisers in that Larry King clip. But I suspect Woodward is just generating headlines.

    • October 6, 2010 11:58 am

      Yeah, I agree. Woodword is being cagey and vague. If I were interviewing him I would ask “you have said a Hillary-Biden switch is on the table for 2012, are you saying that the Obama administration is actively considering this and if not, who is saying it is on the table?” If he says “her aides” then they should follow up with “her current aides in the State Dept?”

      Journalists tend to treat Woodward like he walks on water and lobs softballs at him. I respect Woodwards past journalism (exposing Watergate) but these days it seems like he’s more of a stenographer- it’s not really investigative journalism in that if he wants access, he’s got to give something up to get that access. The question is, what? The truth? He has a tendency to really flatter his subjects in these books- I’ve read most of his books on Bush and it wasn’t until the very end that he seemed to become critical of the Bush admin.

      • Pilgrim permalink
        October 6, 2010 12:40 pm

        Someone at the Confluence made the crack that the best switch would be Clinton with Obama.

        But we clearly aren’t living in an idea world. Far from it.

      • Pilgrim permalink
        October 6, 2010 12:44 pm

        i.e., ideal world

  3. PYW permalink
    October 6, 2010 3:13 pm

    Hillary’s response was great. I like how she praises Biden and says she doesn’t believe anything she reads in the press, lol. She’s such a class act. I suspect this was all a tempest in a teapot and Woodward was just thinking out loud.

  4. October 6, 2010 9:03 pm

    I’m glad that Hillary appears to not be serious about this possibility (that the media doesn’t want to see die). As someone who never understand the craze for Obama, I don’t want to see her VP to Obama. Let Obama and Biden earn re-election!

  5. Carolyn-Rodham permalink
    October 7, 2010 12:23 am

    Maybe I just want to see the switch happen badly enough to read anything into anything, but I must say I found her answer, well, not a definitive no. She just said she had no interest in discussing the rumor.

    • October 7, 2010 5:45 am

      Politicians in general never seem to just come out and say “yes” or “no.” She could have said something like “under no circumstances will I be on the ticket in 2012, etc. etc.” but she didn’t. I think most politicians like to keep their options open and of course all last night cable news was parsing her words and saying that it wasn’t an outright denial.

      The more I think about it though the more unlikely it seems that Biden (and his ego) would be willing to step down and take a job demotion or retire altogether. It could also open Obama up to criticism that he is so unpopular and desperate that he was willing to throw Joe Biden under the bus. Unless of course Biden wants to be SOS or retire. I’m not saying it’s not a possibility and I still hold out hope but it seems like a tricky move that would have to be handled very deftly and thus far I am unimpressed with Obama’s WH advisors, who seem woefully incapable of delivering a consistent message or understanding the public mood.

  6. plural permalink
    October 7, 2010 8:43 am

    I don’t know; it sure looks like a “no” to me.

  7. HillaryFan permalink
    October 7, 2010 9:06 am

    Ultimately it doesn’t matter what she says because people will continue to speculate. People will view the issue based on what they want. Just go to Facebook for a while to see evidence of that. It doesn’t matter that thinking that Hillary would challenge Obama in 2012 is almost insulting to her there are still a bunch of people who are trying to “draft” her to run as though that’s a real possibility. I think it’s more about them than her quite frankly. To each his or her own though I guess. I can’t help but think Hillary must find that annoying. She’s moved on from 2008 but a lot of people haven’t. She can certainly run in 2016- there’s nothing stopping her. But to try to pressure her to run in 2012 seems pointless.

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