Obama endorses Biden, quiets replacement rumors

Neil Munro White House Correspondent
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Vice President Joe Biden is back.

President Barack Obama tweeted out a personal endorsement for his gaffe-plagued, smear-spewing, “unchained” attack-dog of a veep at the 9:14 p.m. on Aug. 23.

The tweet will likely end swirling rumors that Biden would be — metaphorically — thrown under Obama’s 2012 campaign bus and replaced bzy someone else, such as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

“Today marks four years since I chose @JoeBiden to be my running mate. Here’s to an outstanding Vice President and a great friend. –bo,” the tweet read.

The ‘bo’ is added to tweets said to come from the president’s own hand.

The tweet was not accompanied by any links or additional tweets that explained why Obama deemed him a outstanding VP or a great friend.

Obama’s late endorsement of Biden comes 11 days before the opening of the Democrats’ convention in Charlotte, N.C., and amid multiple polls showing Gov. Mitt Romney pulling closer to Obama in critical swing-states.

On Aug. 16, author Ed Klein said Clinton had turned down an informal offer of the veep’s slot. “She felt that if she were on the ticket with Obama and he lost, she would be tarred as a loser when she tried to run in 2016,” said Klein, who wrote, “The Amateur,” a best-selling book about Obama’s White House performance. (RELATED: ‘The Amateur’ author Ed Klein: Hillary dismissed VP possibility two weeks ago)

“On the other hand, if she was on the ticket and he won, and he continued his far left-wing socialistic policies, she’d have to defend those policies when she ran in 2016,” Klein added, on CNBC’s “The Kudlow Report.”

Obama’s endorsement was presaged by a pickup in Biden’s campaign-trail duties, following several weeks when Biden made few appearances.

A few hours before Obama’s tweet, his re-election campaign announced that Biden will be unleashed against the GOP convention; he will spend Monday and Tuesday in Florida, including one day in Tampa, barking out partisan claims.

For the last few weeks, he’s been busy getting in shape.

In August, Biden has said Republicans are “squealing pigs” and told an audience of African-Americans that the GOP “will put y’all back in chains.”

Republicans are trying to use Biden’s attacks to portray the Obama campaign as divisive and hateful, and very different from Obama’s 2008 “hope and change” theme.

In a mid-August speech, Romney urged Obama to “take your campaign of division and anger and hate back to Chicago.” Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus added that the Obama campaign “is one of the most hateful, divisive operations that we have ever seen in this country.”

That counterpunch is intended to sway Obama’s weak supporters, some of whom are looking for a justification to switch their 2008 vote for the first African-American to the GOP’s business-executive candidate.

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