Biden tops Clinton list for U.S. secretary of state: reports

October 28, 2016 8:43 AM EDT

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden delivers a speech in Riga, Latvia, August 23, 2016. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins


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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Vice President Joe Biden tops a short list for secretary of state that is being compiled by the transition team of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, two media outlets reported.

Politico on Thursday night cited an unidentified source as saying Clinton and her aides were discussing how to approach Biden about the post, should she win the Nov. 8 presidential election.

Most national opinion polls show Clinton, who served as President Barack Obama's first secretary of state, leading Republican Donald Trump in the race for the White House.

Biden became a respected voice on foreign policy during his 36 years in the U.S. Senate, where he was chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee and at one point served alongside Clinton, when she was a senator from New York.

"He'd be great, and they are spending a lot of time figuring out the best way to try to persuade him to do it if she wins," the source familiar with Clinton's transition planning told Politico.

NBC News later confirmed that Biden was under consideration for the job of top U.S. diplomat.

Biden, of Delaware, had considered running for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016. He has campaigned vigorously for Clinton in her race against Trump, a New York real estate tycoon and former reality television personality who has never run for office.

The vice president said at a campaign event for Clinton in Pennsylvania this week that he is frequently asked whether he wished he had been debating Trump, who has insulted women, Muslims and immigrants and thumbed his nose at political norms.

"No, I wish we were in high school. I could take him behind the gym. That's what I wish," Biden said, prompting a similarly pugilistic retort from Trump a couple of days later.

In excepts from an interview released from CBS' Sunday program "Face the Nation," Biden made it clear he wanted to continue his public service.

"I'm not going away. I'm, you know, everything from this issue of violence against women, to income inequality, to the cancer moonshot, I'm gonna devote the rest of my life to this."

(Writing by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Paul Simao)



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