It seems that Joe Biden is not the only Biden who is capable of uttering a gaffe. Joe Biden’s wife, Jill Biden, suggested on a recent appearance by the Bidens on the Oprah Winfrey Show that Joe Biden had been offered his choice of Vice President or Secretary of State.
On the Oprah Winfrey Show, Joe Biden can be seen trying to shush Jill Biden, his wife, as she informed the world of this. Later, the office of the Vice President attempted to clarify things:
“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. 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.”
The statement by the Joe Biden spokesperson was slightly contradicted by an October story in the New Yorker. The story recounts how Barack Obama asked Joe Biden whether he would prefer to be Secretary of State than Vice President. Biden was technically not offered the position of Secretary of State, but seemed to have been given the option had he wanted it.
A couple of things come to mind upon examining this story. Jill Biden may have committed the type of gaffe that consists of telling a truth that is better left unsaid.
First, one wonders what Barack Obama’s current Secretary of State designee, Hillary Clinton, reacted upon hearing the news that she was likely Barack Obama’s second choice. Hillary Clinton has already suffered a number of slights at the hands of the new President, including being beaten for that job and then being passed over for Vice President. Being second choice for Secretary of State and to Joe Biden of all people is likely not something Senator Clinton will take with equanimity.
Second, what kind of man prefers political irrelevance to being in charge of carrying our foreign policy? It is true that the office of the Vice President has had some degree of power, especially under Dick Cheney. However all indications suggest that Barack Obama would prefer that his Vice President occupy its more traditional role of being seen and not heard.
That last may be a quality that Joe and now even Jill Biden may do well to practice.
Source: Biden could have had State job, wife says, The Oval, January 19th, 2009