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Former Obama Aide: We 'Looked At' Swapping Biden for Hillary on the 2012 Ticket


"‘What if?'"

Vice President Joe Biden introduces President Barack Obama during a campaign rally Oct. 23, 2012 in Dayton, Ohio. (Getty Images) Credit: AFP/Getty Images

The idea of replacing Vice President Joe Biden with Hillary Clinton for President Barack Obama's re-election campaign was "looked at," but never seriously considered, a former top Obama aide said.

Vice President Joe Biden introduces President Barack Obama during a campaign rally Oct. 23, 2012 in Dayton, Ohio. (Getty Images)

"Not for a moment was there a serious discussion or a belief that Joe Biden should be replaced, period," then-White House chief of staff Bill Daley said Friday on CBS News. "That doesn't mean issues were not looked at. Lots of issues in 2011 were looked at. But ... anybody who would have brought this idea into the president in the Oval Office, in my opinion, probably would have been thrown out immediately."

The new book "Double Down - Game Change 2012" by authors Mark Halperin and John Heilemann asserts that Obama aides secretly mulled a Biden-Clinton swap for the 2012 ticket, including conducting polling and focus group research in late 2011 when there was concern about the president's re-election chances.

"In 2011, part of my job, as I always saw, was to think outside the box and say, 'What if? And maybe we ought to look at this issue or that issue,' and it was looked at, but it was never seriously looked at in the sense that there was a belief that it ought to be done or needed to be done, and the truth is any research that was done confirmed the fact that that was not an issue that the voters cared about or thought that should be done, and the president, in my opinion, believed then, and I believe now, not for a moment would he ever consider that," Daley said.

Daley said there was research done "on all sorts of issues and people and whether or not this or that. And that's a legitimate thing that campaigns do all the time."

"But it was not done -- surely it was not done with the intent that this ought to be done and there was need to do it," he said. "But in 2011 ... it was a very difficult political year, and my sense was we ought to look at everything here because this is a very -- it was a very difficult period politically, but not for a moment, as far as I know, any of the senior people, surely including myself, thought that that was a good idea or needed to be done or should be done or whether the president would ever even seriously consider it if you thought it was the right thing to do. Nobody that I know of the senior people, including myself, thought at that point that it would be a good idea."

Clinton, who was secretary of state at the time, left the administration shortly after Obama's defeat of Mitt Romney. A separate forthcoming book asserts Obama unsuccessfully tried to convince Clinton to stay on for another year.



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