Jill Biden: Veep-Elect Was Also Offered Secretary of State Post
By Garance Franke-Ruta
On an episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show," taped this morning at the Kennedy Center in Washington, Jill Biden said that her husband, Joe, was offered a choice of posts last summer by then-candidate Barack Obama: secretary of state or vice president.
Mrs. Biden interjected: "Joe had the choice of being secretary of state or vice president." She then seemed to realize she'd said something she wasn't supposed to have said.
Her husband laughed.
Said Oprah, trying to continue the conversation, "You said, 'Joe...?' "
"I said, 'Joe, if you are secretary of state you will be away, I'll never see you,'" Mrs. Biden said. "We will see you at a state dinner once in a while. But I said if you are vice president, the entire family, because they worked so hard for the election, they can be involved. ... They can come to our home, they can go to events, they can be with us and that is what is important to us."
But was the discussion about a direct offer -- or about jobs the Delaware senator would have been qualified to do?
Elizabeth Alexander, a spokesperson for the incoming vice president, sought to clarify Jill Biden's remarks this afternoon.
"Like anyone who followed the presidential campaign this summer, Dr. Jill Biden knew there was a chance that President-elect Obama might ask her husband to serve in some capacity and that, given his background, the positions of Vice President and Secretary of State were possibilities," she said. "To be clear, President-elect Obama offered Vice President-elect Biden one job only -- to be his running mate. And the Vice President-elect was thrilled to accept the offer."
Posted at 6:16 PM ET on Jan 19, 2009
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