Obama says Biden would make 'superb' president: New Yorker

WASHINGTON Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:30am EDT

U.S. President Barack Obama (L) and Vice President Joe Biden appear at an event in Biden's home town of Scranton, Pennsylvania, August 23, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Reed

U.S. President Barack Obama (L) and Vice President Joe Biden appear at an event in Biden's home town of Scranton, Pennsylvania, August 23, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Jason Reed

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama said Joe Biden would make a "superb" president, but questioned whether his vice president or potential rival Hillary Clinton would want to endure another campaign for the White House, a media report on Monday said.

Obama, in an interview with the New Yorker, said Biden "has seen the job up close, he knows what the job entails. He understands how to separate what’s really important from what’s less important. I think he’s got great people skills. He enjoys politics, and he’s got important relationships up on the Hill (in Congress) that would serve him well."

"Joe would be a superb president," Obama told the magazine in an article on Biden in its July 28 issue, which was published online on Monday.

But Obama also expressed wonder that either top Democrat would want to subject themselves to another bid for the presidency in 2016.

Neither Clinton nor Biden, both of whom ran against Obama for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, has officially announced whether they plan to run.

Clinton, 66, who served as U.S. secretary of state under Obama, has avoided direct answers about her potential candidacy while on media tour this summer to promote her new book, "Hard Choices."

"For both Joe and for Hillary, they've already accomplished an awful lot in their lives," Obama told the New Yorker. "The question is, do they, at this phase in their lives, want to go through the pretty undignifying process of running all over again."

Biden, 71, who trails Clinton by huge margins in most opinion polls, has said he will wait until after the congressional elections in November to make his decision.

"For all my skepticism about taking the job, it’s been the most worthwhile thing I’ve ever done in my life," Biden told the magazine, referring to the vice presidency. "I can die a happy man not being president."

Obama, who said he was grateful for Biden's loyalty through two terms as vice president, said: "You have to have that fire in the belly, which is a question that only Joe can answer himself."

(Reporting by Susan Heavey; Editing by Paul Simao)

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Comments (31)
prolibertate wrote:
Voters would be wise to stay far, far away from anyone the worst president so far of the United States endorses. Look how many of his appointments have been embroiled in scandals of their own making. Would you really want any of them to be holding the nuclear football?

Jul 21, 2014 10:02am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Bobo9 wrote:
So Biden’s quoted as saying he “can die a happy man not being president” ??
So can we Joe, so can we.
Can’t wait for your exit as Veep.

Jul 21, 2014 10:08am EDT  --  Report as abuse
COindependent wrote:
Where are Biden’s or H.Clinton’s leadership skills or track record.? Being a Senator is not a qualification as you are one vote out of 100–with zero accountability. We already have a POTUS who was never in a leadership position, so why would we elect someone with similar credentials (or lack thereof). And, after six years, we can see the ineptitude of one individual repeating itself as issues become more complex.

Each party needs to look to their governors as candidates. They have a track record they cannot disguise, and usually have the ability to work across party lines to get things done. Senators, at best, have a weak track record of success in the White House.

Jul 21, 2014 10:15am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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