Daley defends Clinton-Biden flip talk

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Former White House chief of staff Bill Daley on Friday defended a decision to test replacing Vice President Biden with Hillary Clinton. 

Daley described the discussions as an example of "out of the box" thinking necessary during a campaign. 

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He also hastened to say that discussions about replacing Biden never got serious, a day after reports that the book Double Down will say top Obama aides seriously considered moving Clinton to the No. 2 spot on the ticket. 

“I think one of the jobs of chief of staff is to recommend lots of things out of the box but not for a moment was there a serious discussion or a belief that Joe Biden should be replaced, period,” Daley said on “CBS This Morning” on Friday. Daley is now a CBS News contributor. 

In an interview with The New York Times published on Thursday, Daley said he wanted to research what a switch in the vice president would mean for Obama, whose approval rating at the time was one of the lowest in his presidency.

“You have to remember, at this point, the president was in awful shape, so we were like, ‘Holy Christ, what do we do?’ ” Daley told the Times.

Double Down, which will be published next week, said the effort involved focus-group sessions and polling in late 2011, according to The New York Times, which obtained an advanced copy. 

Hillary Clinton knew this was being tested, the book says. On CBS News, Daley said he wasn't aware Clinton knew. He added there is bit of “overhype,” around the book.

The discussions about switching Biden with Clinton occurred in the fall of 2011, a few months before Daley stepped down as Obama’s top adviser in January 2012.