Jill and Joe Biden made a surprise appearance on Oprah, but the couple inadvertently made some news on the touchy-feely show.
Jill spilled the beans that Obama offered Joe the choice of being either vice president or Secretary of State. That was met with a quick, “Shhh” from Joe. Oops.
Later, Biden’s spokeswoman backed Biden away from the idea that he was offered either job. “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,” Elizabeth Alexander said in a statement. “Dr. Biden’s point to Oprah today was that being Vice President would be a better fit for their family because they would get to see him more and get to participate in serving more. 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.”
On Oprah, Jill intimated that she preferred that Joe take the job that would keep him closer to home.
“If you’re secretary of state, you’ll be away, we’ll never see you, you know,” she said, per AP. “I’ll see you at a state dinner once and awhile. 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 all the time. And that’s what’s important to us.”
Biden “said he agreed after getting some assurances from Obama about his role. ‘This is a partnership,’ Biden said. ‘He’s president of the United States, but as I said to him when he asked me, I said, ‘Barack, don’t ask me unless the reason you’re asking me is, you’re asking me for my judgment. I get to be the last guy in the room before you make every important decision. You’re president. Any decision you make, I will back.”