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White House denies Obama-Clinton ticket in the works

By Ed Henry, CNN Senior White House Correspondent
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Hillary Clinton to replace Joe Biden?
  • Gibbs says no one is discussing the possibility of an Obama-Clinton ticket
  • Woodward made the suggestion in a CNN interview
  • Biden had previously said he'd like to be secretary of state

Washington (CNN) -- White House spokesman Robert Gibbs is pouring cold water on the red-hot speculation -- fueled by journalist Bob Woodward in a CNN interview -- that President Barack Obama may create a so-called "dream ticket" of Obama-Clinton in his 2012 re-election battle.

"No one in the White House is discussing this as a possibility," Gibbs told CNN Wednesday morning.

The speculation that Obama may dump Vice President Joe Biden as his running mate and shift him over to the secretary of state job -- moving current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the VP slot -- was sparked by Woodward in an interview Tuesday night with CNN's Chief National Correspondent John King.

"It's on the table," Woodward said on "John King, USA." "Some of Hillary Clinton's advisers see it as a real possibility in 2012."

Obama advisers outside the White House note privately that it's significant that Woodward attributed the theory to Clinton advisers and not White House aides or Obama advisers, signaling this may only have traction among Clinton supporters hoping she would move one step closer to the Oval Office and be set up as the likely Democratic nominee for president in 2016.

Video: Hillary Clinton on VP speculation
Video: Woodward: 'Hard to be president'
Video: Parker: Obama-Clinton in 2012

Woodward is the author of "Obama's Wars," a book that takes a close look at deliberations between Obama, Biden, Clinton and all of the other top players inside the White House over sending more U.S. troops to Afghanistan. The journalist suggested Tuesday that Obama will need his secretary of state to bring the party together in two years.

"President Obama needs some of the women, Latinos, retirees that she did so well with during the [2008] primaries and, so they switch jobs, 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," he said.

Clinton will be 69 years old and three months in January 2017. President Ronald Reagan was just shy of his 70th birthday in January, 1980.

"Now you talk to Hillary Clinton or her advisers and they say 'no, no there's not a political consideration here,'" Woodward continued. "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 Clinton, (but) that people see a potential future president in her."

Back in 2008, Biden also suggested that as former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, his dream job was secretary of state. But Democratic officials privately say that after getting a taste of the number-two job as vice president, they find it hard to believe Biden still wants to be secretary of state, which would now be seen as a step down.