President Obama heaped praise on his vice president during last night’s 60 Minutes broadcast and didn’t rush to the defense of Hillary Clinton, his former secretary of state.
“Joe Biden has been one of the finest vice presidents in history, and one of the more consequential. He has done great work,” he told CBS News’ Steve Kroft, while saying it’s up to Biden to decide if he runs for president.
As for Hillary Clinton, Obama described the controvesy over her keeping a private e-mail server through which passed classified documents as a “legitimate” issue while emphasizing the doe not believe national security was “endangered” and that the issue has been partly “ginned up” for political reasons. But he pointedly declined to comment on Kroft’s statements that both Bill and Hillary Clinton have said the e-mail scandal is “not that big a deal.”
Kraft then pointed out that “This administration has prosecuted people for having classified material on their private computers.” Obama’s response was not exactly encouraging for Hillary. “Well, I — there’s no doubt that there had been breaches, and these are all a matter of degree. We don’t get an impression that here there was purposely efforts to hide something or to squirrel away information,” he said. He then went on with a smile to say: “I’m gonna leave it to . . . Hillary when she has an interview with you to address all these questions.”
My translation of Obama’s comments: He didn’t know about the private e-mail server and isn’t happy about it. He is letting the FBI investigation of the e-mail server controversy continue without any interference and his attitude is ‘Let the chips fall where they may.’ Should they fall on Hillary’s heads, he would not be unhappy to see Joe Biden rather than Hillary follow him into the White House.