Woodward: Obama-Hillary in 2012 Is 'On the Table'

Tuesday, 05 Oct 2010 06:56 PM

By David A. Patten

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The much-rumored Democratic "dream ticket" of President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is "on the table" for 2012, investigative journalist and author Bob Woodward tells CNN.

In an interview for the "John King USA" program, Woodward, of Watergate fame, tells King: "It's on the table. Some of Hillary Clinton's advisers see it as a real possibility in 2012."

Beltway wags have been talking for months that if Vice President Joe Biden and Clinton were to trade places, her presence on the ticket in 2012 would energize a Democratic base that heretofore has been mired in the doldrums.

In the interview, Woodward suggests White House advisers may have discussed the Obama-Clinton pairing.

"President Obama needs some of the women, Latinos, retirees that she did so well with during the [2008] primaries and, so they switch jobs. [It's] not out of the question, and the other interesting question is, Hillary Clinton could run in her own right in 2016 and be younger than Ronald Reagan when he was elected president," Woodward says.

If Clinton were elected in 2016, she would be 69 years and three months old when she took office. President Ronald Reagan was just a few weeks from turning 70 when he first took office.

Woodward tells CNN's King: "Now you talk to Hillary Clinton or her advisers and they say 'No, no there's not a political consideration here.'

"Of course the answer is, you point out to them that her clout around the world when she goes to Europe, Asia, anywhere is in part, not just because she's secretary of state or because she was married to President [Bill] Clinton, [but] that people see a potential future president in her."

It's certainly not the first time informed observers have speculated that Clinton might replace Biden to team up with Obama for a 2012 run.

In August, L. Douglas Wilder, the first African-American elected to serve as a governor of a U.S. state, wrote an Op-Ed for Politico urging Obama to jettison the gaffe-prone Biden.

"Can all the president’s political ills be laid at Biden’s feet? No," wrote Wilder, who served as Virginia's governor from 1990 to 1994. "But Obama must look through his administration and make a wholesale change. The vice president should not be immune.

"Clinton is better suited as the political and government partner that Obama needs," he concluded.

The White House has consistently denied rumors that Obama might seek to replace Biden.

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