Washington Secrets

Hillary rejected VP slot to ready her own 2016 run

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Photo - Hillary Rodham Clinton (left) and former President Bill Clinton (Getty Images)
Hillary Rodham Clinton (left) and former President Bill Clinton (Getty Images)
Politics,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,Columnists

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was pressed by her husband and a top Obama aide to consider replacing Vice President Joe Biden just a couple of weeks ago, claims the author of the New York Times bestseller "The Amateur."

But Clinton, exhausted from four years of international travel and diplomacy, shrugged off the suggestion to lay the groundwork for her own 2016 bid with her husband at her side, according to author Ed Klein.

"As recently as a couple of weeks ago, the White House was putting out feelers to see if Hillary Clinton was interested in replacing Joe Biden on the ticket," Klein told Secrets. "Bill Clinton, I'm told, was urging his wife to accept the number two spot if it was formally offered. Bill sees the vice presidency as the perfect launching pad for Hillary to run for president in 2016."

He made similar comments Thursday night to CNBC's Larry Kudlow. The White House has dismissed speculation of a Clinton for Biden swap despite a string of recent gaffes by the vice president.

Klein, whose book is No. 2 on the NYT bestseller list, quoted unnamed sources who revealed that top Obama aide Valerie Jarrett put the vice presidency on the table during a lunch with the secretary of state. "The lunch was ostensibly about policy issues, but the subject of the vice presidency came up," he said. "Hillary told Valerie Jarrett that she was not interested in running as Obama's vice president."

Klein said she cited two reasons: If elected, she didn't want to be tied to Obama's left-leaning politics in her own 2016 bid. Second, if Obama loses, she would be tarred as a loser.

The State Department denied the lunch occurred, according to the Weekly Standard.

New on Friday: Klein told Secrets that Bill Clinton is working fast to get a 2016 Hillary for President campaign up and going. His sources told him that Clinton is sniffing around for a major donor to offer up a jet for the potential candidate to use. Also, Klein said, Clinton is looking for somebody to take over the Clinton Global Initiative "so that he can devote his full time to Hillary's campaign."

Klein has sources deep in the Clinton camp and he said that they said she is eager for a rest followed by a makeover. "She clearly is exhausted. She needs to lose weight and get her energy back for a four-year slog."

He added that Obama has never talked to Clinton about replacing Biden. The reason, said Klein, is that Obama was afraid she would turn him down and Bill Clinton would leak the snub to the media.

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