Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden? Obama says won't choose between them for 2016

WASHINGTON Thu Dec 5, 2013 7:05pm EST

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L) listens to U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden during a luncheon for China's Vice President Xi Jinping at the State Department in Washington February 14, 2012. REUTERS/Larry Downing

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L) listens to U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden during a luncheon for China's Vice President Xi Jinping at the State Department in Washington February 14, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Larry Downing

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama says both Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden would make outstanding presidents. And beyond that, he's staying out of the debate about who should succeed him in 2016.

That was the message Obama laid down in an interview on Thursday with MSNBC's "Hardball" program when host Chris Matthews asked him to compare and contrast the two.

"Not I chance am I doing that," he said.

"Both Hillary and Joe would make outstanding presidents and possess the qualities that are needed to be outstanding presidents," he said.

America's political world is a boil as to whether former Secretary of State Clinton will seek the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016. Similar questions are being asked about Biden, Obama's vice president.

Clinton, wife of former President Bill Clinton, leads most surveys of Democratic voters, and many analysts doubt Biden would seek the nomination if it put him up against Clinton.

But Clinton has steadfastly refused to say for sure whether she will run while making carefully selected appearances around the country and working on a book.

Even Bill Clinton, who works with his wife at the Clinton Global Initiative, is professing ignorance of her plans.

"No, I don't," he told Fusion television on Tuesday when asked if he knew about her 2016 plans.

"She's trying to finish her book. She's gotten several projects up and going with our foundation. And she believes and I believe that the four-year campaign mania is a big mistake," he said.

Obama said Clinton and Biden have "different strengths" but both would be outstanding.

(Reporting By Steve Holland; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)

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Comments (32)
rmkraussr wrote:
as usual Obama is wrong . . . . what a miserable choice . . . . which is worse . . . Biden? . . . or Clinton? . . . . if Biden were president, the USA would be the laughing stock of the world

Dec 05, 2013 7:48pm EST  --  Report as abuse
TheNewWorld wrote:
The Democrats are looking at the wrong woman. I would much rather have Warren than Clinton and they should too. There is a reason she lost in the primaries to Obama. She rubs people the wrong way. No one likes her sense of entitlement to the Presidency, her smugness, or her calousness. She has more baggage than any potential candidate on any side. Biden is funny and likable, but more like that embarassing uncle that won’t shut his mouth. Perhaps there are some good DNC governors that the press is overlooking. I am certainly tired of Washington insiders getting all the considerations.

Dec 05, 2013 7:52pm EST  --  Report as abuse
CDN_Rebel wrote:
Guys like rmkraussr make me laugh, the total amnesia about Bush43 and his ACTUAL making America the laughingstock of the world.

But I think honestly neither Biden or Clinton would be reasonable choices and the Dems might let what should be a gift election slip because they don’t really have any other candidates in the pipeline.

Dec 05, 2013 8:26pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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