Axelrod, WH deny Hillary-for-Biden swap in 2012

posted at 9:30 am on October 6, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

You knew it was too good to last:

A tantalizing notion has gained steam around Washington in recent months: President Obama will toss Vice President Biden off the ticket in 2012 and replace him with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The most recent perpetrator of the idea was Bob Woodward, who said in a CNN interview Tuesday that the possibility is “on the table.” The logic, according to Woodward and many others – mainly pundits – is that Obama could energize the Democratic Party in 2012 and install an heir apparent for 2016 if he engineered a job swap between Biden and Clinton, thereby making the most of his former rival’s stratospheric approval ratings.

But there’s a problem with this scenario: Despite all the chatter, no one has offered any evidence to suggest it’s true. The White House, not surprisingly, flat-out denies it.

“There’s absolutely nothing to it,” senior adviser David Axelrod said Tuesday night. “The president is blessed to have a spectacular vice president and an outstanding secretary of state. They’re both doing great work, and he wants to keep them on the job.”

Actually, anyone who has listened to these kinds of rumors for the last 20 years knows that they’re always more about selling papers than serious analysis.  Supposedly, George H. W. Bush was going to dump Dan Quayle to revive his flagging re-election fortunes, but didn’t.  George W. Bush was going to have Dick Cheney claim health problems to dump him for Condoleezza Rice, a rumor that persisted all the way to the 2004 convention — and at the convention.  Neither turned out to be true, and Bush 43 won re-election anyway over John Kerry.

The truth is that few people vote for the Vice-President in any election.  The vote is almost entirely about the top of the ticket.  There is no upside to dumping a running mate, and plenty of downside.  Dumping a sitting VP is such an admission of failure that it has been decades since any President has been tempted to do it.  FDR was the last to actually do it, dumping John Nance Gardner — the man who famously said that the office wasn’t worth “a bucket of warm spit” — for Henry Wallace in the 1940 election, and then dumping Wallace for Harry Truman in 1944.  Spiro Agnew resigned in office in 1973, but only after Richard Nixon’s re-election and only to avoid getting impeached on matters entirely unrelated to Nixon’s Watergate woes.

Joe Biden may be a joke, but he’s Barack Obama’s joke now.  Besides, as a court jester, Biden is rather useful to Obama, as the Washington Examiner points out:

For many Democrats, Biden’s gaffe-prone, lovable-goof routine is a welcome contrast to Obama, whose remote, professorial airs the administration is struggling to counter with backyard and family-style campaign events.

“Everybody kind of accuses Obama of being too cerebral … and lacking empathy,” said Chris Reardon, a University of New Hampshire political scientist and pollster.

No one will accuse Biden of being too cerebral.  He makes more of an emotional connection than Obama does, but Biden is useful in other ways, as he proved the last few months.  Biden can push ridiculous spin campaigns like “Recovery Summer” while the economy stagnates, and the blowback mainly misses Obama himself.  Hillary Clinton is too smart to put herself in that position, and so her usefulness to Obama would be limited.

Update: Chris Renner reminds me that Gerald Ford “dumped” his VP in 1976, but I plead the excuse that Ford didn’t win his office through election, either.  Still, he changed from Nelson Rockefeller to Bob Dole for his 1976 bid.  As I recall, Rockefeller didn’t want to run for the office, refusing to join Ford in that election.


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I know this isn’t the gist of the article but I liked Sec. Rice better as National Security Advisor the Secretary of State. I am pretty sure moving Sec. Clinton wouldn’t change my vote. Anybody but Obama.

Cindy Munford on October 6, 2010 at 9:35 AM

Hillary wants as big of a gap between her and the Titanic as possible… It wouldn’t surprise me if she steps down prior to the 2012 election. Then she could try to run again in 2016 or 2020.

jeffn21 on October 6, 2010 at 9:38 AM

Joe Biden may be a joke, but he’s Barack Obama’s joke now.

heh! We’re not laughing with you Holmes, we’re laughing at you!!

ted c on October 6, 2010 at 9:38 AM

A tantalizing notion

Tantalizing to whom?

Good Lt on October 6, 2010 at 9:39 AM

No way PBHO wants a Clinton breathing down his neck during a campaign, and would Hillary really want to anchor herself to a loser who has no guarantee to win the election.

Bishop on October 6, 2010 at 9:39 AM

It’s a stupid idea that makes little sense. Yes, it may energize Democrat voters in 2012 to an extent. But ultimately if Obama is such a miserable failure that he feels he must replace his VP with Hillary, that doesn’t change the fact that the miserable failure is still at the top of the ticket. That won’t sway independents, and it sure as hell won’t attract conservatives or Republicans.

Now Hillary replacing Obama on the ticket is another matter entirely. That could conceivably save the Democrats in 2012, but the only way that happens is if Obama voluntarily steps down(ala LBJ in 1968). A primary challenge is suicide for the Dems because it would cost them the support of black voters. But let’s be honest. Does anyone see Barry actually walking away from the job? I don’t think his ego would allow it.

Doughboy on October 6, 2010 at 9:39 AM

No one will accuse Biden of being too cerebral.

No one will accuse Obama of being either patriotic or a capitalist either.

ted c on October 6, 2010 at 9:39 AM

Actually, I think many are questioning whether Obama is really too cerebral. I think “petty” is a better word for him.

Fallon on October 6, 2010 at 9:40 AM

The truth is that few people vote for the Vice-President in any election.

No, but the sad truth appears to be that people will vote against her. Or at least call her a fatal cancer on the party.

KingGold on October 6, 2010 at 9:41 AM

If the Midterms are a total Political Massacre, Hil might bail early to prepare her own campaign.

kingsjester on October 6, 2010 at 9:41 AM

Could also be a trial balloon. Which seemingly has failed.

rbj on October 6, 2010 at 9:41 AM

The games early 20th century progressives play …

tarpon on October 6, 2010 at 9:42 AM

The only way this would happen is if Team O felt she was a genuine primary threat. I still believe that is why she was given Sec of State, to keep her off the Senate floor causing problems for Barry’s agenda.

JamesLee on October 6, 2010 at 9:45 AM

The truth is that few people vote for the Vice-President in any election.

Well, here’s one of the few. In 2008.

Bat Chain Puller on October 6, 2010 at 9:45 AM

I hate to steal the coming announcement but Wiki has Hot Air as number two, right behind The Corner. Congratulations, gentlemen.

Cindy Munford on October 6, 2010 at 9:45 AM

Honestly, I believe this would, if anything, drive support down, not up.

Vashta.Nerada on October 6, 2010 at 9:46 AM

If the Midterms are a total Political Massacre, Hil might bail early to prepare her own campaign.

kingsjester on October 6, 2010 at 9:41 AM

This is more likely.

Vashta.Nerada on October 6, 2010 at 9:47 AM

Hilary is too smart, or perhaps cunning is a better word, to be part of the 2012 ticket with Obama. Seems like she has been remarkably dissociated from this administration compared to other Sec of State that I remember from the past. Enough distance to nullify much of the stench of failure.

coyoterex on October 6, 2010 at 9:49 AM

Sooooooooooooooooo, what will be the official slogan for Obama/Biden 2012, SECOND TIME’S THE CHARM!?

pilamaye on October 6, 2010 at 9:51 AM

The White House, not surprisingly, flat-out denies it.

It’s settled then: Ogabe/Clinton 2012

AubieJon on October 6, 2010 at 9:53 AM

Biden is somewhat old so he could plausibly step aside and retire for Clinton or indeed anyone else. But seriously, the real question is whether Obama will be in political health to run again. The VP issue, I suspect, will be moot.

jwolf on October 6, 2010 at 9:54 AM

The truth is that few people vote for the Vice-President in any election.

Palin was the only reason I voted for McCain.

AubieJon on October 6, 2010 at 9:55 AM

“Everybody kind of accuses Obama of being too cerebral … and lacking empathy,” said Chris Reardon, a University of New Hampshire political scientist and pollster.

LOL. The canard is perpetuated. Lacking empathy? Yeah, sure. Too cerebral? Gimme a break. This clown thinks family-practice doctors are cutting out tonsils and lopping off limbs to make more money. And he’s the guy still grinding his axe because 25 years ago his auto insurer wouldn’t cover collision damage to his beater when he’d insured himself only for liability coverage.

Repeat after me: Obama is a moron. Liberals can dress this POS POTUS up all they want. At best, he’s the dumbest smart person we’ll ever know.

BuckeyeSam on October 6, 2010 at 9:58 AM

“The president is blessed to have a spectacular vice president and an outstanding secretary of state.”

I thought it was Biden and Hilldog?

That takes some balls to make a statement like that with a straight face.

mudskipper on October 6, 2010 at 9:59 AM

I don’t understand the recurring theme that Obama is cerebral. For a man that constantly misconstrues the simplest concepts, I have never been able to understand that accolade.

Guardian on October 6, 2010 at 9:59 AM

No one will accuse Biden of being too cerebral.

“If I hear one more blogger insinuate that I am an ass clown, I am going to strangle them.”

Gang-of-One on October 6, 2010 at 9:59 AM

The truth is that few people vote for the Vice-President in any election. The vote is almost entirely about the top of the ticket.

Welll…..except for the 2008 election, when the majority of republicans like myself, voted for Sarah Palin…not John McCain.

tencole on October 6, 2010 at 10:03 AM

This is like swapping a blue bucket of crap for a red bucket of crap.

NoDonkey on October 6, 2010 at 10:09 AM

The only way this would happen is if Team O felt she was a genuine primary threat. I still believe that is why she was given Sec of State, to keep her off the Senate floor causing problems for Barry’s agenda.

JamesLee on October 6, 2010 at 9:45 AM

Timing all wrong though. Hillary has to make her go/nogo decision on a primary run this Spring. For Bammie to say now that he will dump BiteMe in a year and a half is a huge insult to him which Bammie won’t risk. If Bammie was to do it in private, ie promise Hillary the spot, she won’t trust him to make good on that, for good reason.

Anyway, why would Hillary tie herself to a boat anchor when there’s a huge storm coming? I say she resigns in the Spring and announces late Summer.

PS Remember we don’t know the history on this. Perhaps Hillary was offered in 2007 and turned it down. Maybe it was discussed and M’chell nixed it, which Hillary would have heard about eventually. Maybe Hillary asked for it and was refused.

slickwillie2001 on October 6, 2010 at 10:09 AM

Corrected Headline:
“Axelrod, WH deny considering Hillary-for-Biden Obama swap in 2012″

albill on October 6, 2010 at 10:10 AM

This voter pulled the lever for the GOP ticket in 2008 because of Palin.

OhioCoastie on October 6, 2010 at 10:12 AM

Everybody kind of accuses Obama of being too cerebral

Not me.

Cerebral people learn, listen to others, re-think their positions, persuade others and occasionally even accomplish things.

Obama has done none of those.

- Continually makes the same mistakes over and over again, as far as bad policy and atrocious political judgement
- Listens to no one, not even people who agree with him
- Has not changed course, even when the one we are on is disastrous
- Dismisses those who disagree with him rather than trying to understand why they disagree with him and then trying to persuade them
- Has accomplished nothing of value to the American peoople. His only accomplishments are career enhancements and signing horrifically bad legislation.

This is by far the least intelligent president in American history. No other president fails so miserably these basic tests.

NoDonkey on October 6, 2010 at 10:13 AM

Biden rumor yet to be denied: his place on the ticket will be taken by a ball and jacks set, a defective etch-a-sketch and a broken Chatty Cathy doll. He will return to Delaware in order to write his memoirs to be titled, “Recovery Summah Fever and Me – A Love Story”. ‘Love means you never have to say, “You’re hired”.’

ya2daup on October 6, 2010 at 10:16 AM

his place on the ticket will be taken by a ball and jacks set, a defective etch-a-sketch and a broken Chatty Cathy doll

If that’s what we get as an alternative, replace Obama too.

Far better choice. Barry can go search for the real economy killers on the golf course.

NoDonkey on October 6, 2010 at 10:18 AM

slickwillie2001 on October 6, 2010 at 10:09 AM

Good points! We don’t, and will likely never with any certainty, know what was or was not said behind closed doors, or what was offered or refused.

Either way, though, I’m suspecting this time might reasonably be Hillary’s last chance at a real run, due to age if nothing else. Problem is, though, that unless things drastically change in the next two years, I think the Democrat party will take the blame, and voters would likely not put a different player on the same team to the top spot.

JamesLee on October 6, 2010 at 10:30 AM

ted c on October 6, 2010 at 9:39 AM

BuckeyeSam on October 6, 2010 at 9:58 AM

Guardian on October 6, 2010 at 9:59 AM

Gang-of-One on October 6, 2010 at 9:59 AM

NoDonkey on October 6, 2010 at 10:13 AM

Add me to this list. Just because Biden is a clown, it doesn’t mean Obama is “cerebral”. Biden has zero power and is somewhat entertaining. Obama has all the power and is a dumbass that isn’t funny at all.

cartooner on October 6, 2010 at 10:32 AM

I never could picture Hilary basking in the shadow of The Won anyway. Obama’s shadow must be very oppressive.

jeanie on October 6, 2010 at 10:35 AM

“Everybody kind of accuses Obama of being too cerebral stupidand when lacking empathy TOTUS,” said Chris Reardon, a University of New Hampshire political scientist and pollster.

~ Codebreaker

Patrick S on October 6, 2010 at 10:43 AM

I think he hurt his book sales. *hehe

Ridikulas!

AnninCA on October 6, 2010 at 10:45 AM

This is a trial balloon sent out by the White House.

Nothing more.

portlandon on October 6, 2010 at 10:46 AM

I never could picture Hilary basking in the shadow of The Won anyway. Obama’s shadow must be very oppressive.

jeanie on October 6, 2010 at 10:35 AM

She looks awful to me, but I think that the campaign just knocked the stuffing out of her for good.

All these rumors are baloney. Hillary Clinton will not mount any more political moves.

And, this is her final act of service, too. SOS right now is plenty demanding, and she’s doing her best for the US.

But that’s that.

AnninCA on October 6, 2010 at 10:47 AM

This is a trial balloon sent out by the White House.

Nothing more.

portlandon on October 6, 2010 at 10:46 AM

I don’t even think it’s that. It’s a sympathizer, trying to build enthusiams. A lot of the stay-at-home Dems are definitely Hillary supporters. They did not move to the GOP. They also were told, “Get over it!”

They voted in the presidential election to be good Dems, but they sure could easily forget to vote mid-terms.

The sting was strong. Donna Brazille types brushed them off like they were a minor niche group, saying “Where else will they go?”

This election, stay home, is their answer.

AnninCA on October 6, 2010 at 10:50 AM

I hate to steal the coming announcement but Wiki has Hot Air as number two, right behind The Corner. Congratulations, gentlemen.

Cindy Munford on October 6, 2010 at 9:45 AM

Cindy, where might I find this information?

silvernana on October 6, 2010 at 10:51 AM

The REAL answer is that Michelle won’t allow it.

GarandFan on October 6, 2010 at 10:53 AM

Wow…where is everyone?

Is this site dying?

AnninCA on October 6, 2010 at 10:56 AM

silvernana on October 6, 2010 at 10:51 AM

http://gatewaypundit.firstthings.com/2010/10/sneak-peak-wikio-monthly-blog-rankings-%E2%80%94-gp-at-9/

Cindy Munford on October 6, 2010 at 10:57 AM

Hillary would look good with bus tire tracks on her back. I don’t think she’s that stupid to go for this deal. By 2016 she would be too old and witchy(more than now) looking to be considered. If she runs in ’12, it will be on her own.

Kissmygrits on October 6, 2010 at 10:58 AM

A Hillary VP move only would give the Democrats a temporary boost, since what would follow would naturally be questions to Obama about a ‘co-presidency’, similar to the fantasy the media was formulating for the Reagan-Ford ticket during the GOP convention in Detroit in 1980.

Unless he could somehow make the switch around, say, Oct. 25, 2012, any change from Biden to Hillary would naturally bring questions on “What is Hillary going to do that Biden wasn’t allowed to do?” Given that position, and the fact that Hillary is not going to allow herself to be placed in the same role Biden’s been in for the past two years, the administration will either have to admit they’ve screwed up in some area that requires Hillary to be on the ticket, or Obama’s going to have to voluntarily castrate himself, seeding certain areas of policy to Mrs. Clinton to justify why voters should re-elect him just because she’s now on the ticket. Hard to see that dysfunctional relationship working very well with Barack’s Chicago mafia, let alone how Michelle would take it.

jon1979 on October 6, 2010 at 11:06 AM

I don’t think it matters who his running mate is: Obama isn’t likely to be re-elected.

zoyclem on October 6, 2010 at 11:44 AM

Let them do it. I’m sure having Lady MacBeth as a running mate will work out real well. This is a hugely bad idea for all concerned, as rife with backfire potential as anything could be.

rrpjr on October 6, 2010 at 11:46 AM

I just don’t understand why Obama WOULD keep Biden around. He doesn’t bring anything to the ticket IMO.

Ampersand on October 6, 2010 at 11:58 AM

It Was PUMA bait – The Dems love to talk about how the TEA Party is hurting Republicans…well the TEA party have an ally in the PUMAS, who have stated, they are going to take their party back.

They didn’t vote for Obama in 2008, who thinks PUMAS will vote to keep the Democrats that vote with Obama in office come this November? And PUMAS organize.

Will they be swayed by this tactic maybe Hillary could be Obama’s VP? They believe that the Obama campaign stole the Primary from Hillary.

I still read where Democrats were upset about George W Bush winning the 2000 election. You know selected not elected…this was only 2 years ago, and they have long memories.

http://hillbuzz.org/2010/10/04/the-communists-and-socialists-had-a-rally-on-saturday-and-the-democrat-party-fully-embraced-them/

Daily PUMA has up a banner DRAFT HILLARY October 2010.

http://dailypuma.blogspot.com/

Of course this isn’t being discussed in the MSM.

What is the narrative in the MSM: Crazy Tea Party candidates.

Why isn’t the right pointing out all the nuts on the Left?
Remember Slaughter House Rules, and her constituent wearing her dead sisters dentures, Hank Johnson – Guam could tip over if we add more troops…Alvin (discharged from military for being low functioning)Greene, Al Franken elected thanks to lizard people….really why are all these people getting a pass, and O’Donnell, Paladino are getting hammered. Someone on the Right needs to turn the focus on the Democrat’s klowns running for and currently holding office.

tit for tat Paladino would never be described as “low functioning” he’s been very successful in private sector. But Alvin Greene who has a felony charge pending….is running for Senator from South Carolina because the voters in SC think they are voting for an R&B performer.

Voters are comparing candidates, and the Republicans aren’t pointing out the Left has it’s share of “Quirky” Candidates.

The Right is behind the curve, there is some juicy material going to waste. When the Left points a finger, they forget that’s three fingers pointing back at them.

Dr Evil on October 6, 2010 at 12:10 PM

I just don’t understand why Obama WOULD keep Biden around. He doesn’t bring anything to the ticket IMO.

Ampersand on October 6, 2010 at 11:58 AM

Weak and insecure candidates running for president tend to bring on weak and insecure running mates. They fear competition, someone stealing the limelight, perhaps challenging their authority. It’s the sign of a bad leader.

This is also why presidents tend to fail to ‘manage their succession’. In year seven they realize their error.

In business I have always noted that a manager who will not hire someone that is smarter than he is, is poison in an organization. Avoid them at all costs.

slickwillie2001 on October 6, 2010 at 12:16 PM

One intriguing rumor is the Torricelli Variation wherein Biden steps down and Obama appoints Hillary. Then, before the 2012 Election, Obama decides he wants to spend more time with his family.

SurferDoc on October 6, 2010 at 12:42 PM

One intriguing rumor is the Torricelli Variation wherein Biden steps down and Obama appoints Hillary. Then, before the 2012 Election, Obama decides he wants to spend more time with his family.

SurferDoc on October 6, 2010 at 12:42 PM

Nope. Bammie would rather see a Republican win than a democratic nominee other than himself. If he loses the primary he will not help the winner.

slickwillie2001 on October 6, 2010 at 1:48 PM

They will make him an offer he can’t refuse.

SurferDoc on October 6, 2010 at 2:46 PM

How about swapping Biden for Rice?

humdinger on October 6, 2010 at 3:32 PM

No one will accuse Biden of being too cerebral.

You underestimate the liberal punditocracy at your peril

tom on October 6, 2010 at 3:34 PM

Update: Chris Renner reminds me that Gerald Ford “dumped” his VP in 1976, but I plead the excuse that Ford didn’t win his office through election, either. Still, he changed from Nelson Rockefeller to Bob Dole for his 1976 bid. As I recall, Rockefeller didn’t want to run for the office, refusing to join Ford in that election.

Ford wasn’t the only one who was never elected to his position. Rockefeller himself was nominated by Nixon and confirmed by Congress to replace Spiro Agnew. So he was never Ford’s running mate, and never ran for VP at all.

BTW, I have a sneaking suspicion that your number of hits is going to go straight down until you do something about the slowness of the new commenting system. Even a Palin vs. O’Donnell atheism/evolution thread might not be able to help.

tom on October 6, 2010 at 3:47 PM

BTW, I have a sneaking suspicion that your number of hits is going to go straight down until you do something about the slowness of the new commenting system. Even a Palin vs. O’Donnell atheism/evolution thread might not be able to help.

tom on October 6, 2010 at 3:47 PM

My comments are going through more or less instantly, as always. I don’t get all the problems.

slickwillie2001 on October 6, 2010 at 5:54 PM

How about swapping Biden for Rice?

humdinger on October 6, 2010 at 3:32 PM

Same answer, who would want to chain themself to a sinking ship?

Right now, Hillary has as good a life preserver as there is in the democratic party. As the country falls apart, she is flying around the world with zero to do with domestic affairs.

slickwillie2001 on October 6, 2010 at 5:57 PM