Oprah snub: Jill Biden shushed by husband Joe during interview with TV legend

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Oprah Winfrey, a prominent producer and television host, is one of the most influential women in the world. It is not surprising the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s first on-screen interview since leaving the Royal Family will be with her on March 7. The 120-minute primetime sit-down is attracting a lot of media frenzy, particularly after a trailer released by CBS yesterday shows Meghan Markle accusing “The Firm” of spreading falsehoods against her and Prince Harry.

Oprah has always had a way of opening her guests up, making them comfortable to share their true self to millions.

In 2009, Dr Jill Biden famously gave too much away during a sit-down with her.

Just one day before he was sworn in alongside Barack Obama, Joe Biden was forced to hush his wife in an interview with Oprah, during which she revealed that her husband had been given the choice of being Secretary of State or Vice-President.

She said: “Joe had the choice to be Secretary of State or Vice President.”

Her husband turned to his wife and with his finger to his lips said: “Shhhhh!”

Dr Biden said in her defence: “Ok, he did.”

The then Vice President-elect blushed, grimaced and gave his wife a hug while the audience continued to erupt in laughter.

He finally said to his wife: “That’s right, go ahead.”

Dr Biden said she told him Vice President would have been better for the family.

She explained: “If you’re Secretary of State, you’ll be away, we’ll never see you, you know.

“I’ll see you at a state dinner once in a while.”

After the exchange aired on television, Mr Biden’s spokeswoman Elizabeth Alexander issued a statement denying Dr Biden’s account.

The statement said: “To be clear, President-elect Obama offered Vice President-elect Biden one job only – to be his running mate.

“And the Vice President-elect was thrilled to accept the offer.”

While the statement denied that Mr Obama ever offered Mr Biden the Secretary of State job, it did not rule out that the two discussed the possibility.

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Hillary Clinton’s spokesman declined to comment about the suggestion that she was the second choice.

On Ms Winfrey’s programme, Mr Biden also revealed he didn’t immediately take the Vice Presidential offer since he wasn’t sure it was the best place for him to serve.

But Mr Biden, who ran against Mr Obama in the Democratic primary race, said he agreed after getting some assurances from the former US President about his role.

He said: “This is a partnership.

“He’s President of the United States, but as I said to him when he asked me, I said, ‘Barack, don’t ask me unless the reason you’re asking me is you’re asking me for my judgement.

“‘I get to be the last guy in the room when you make every important decision. You’re President. Any decision you make, I will back.’

“He said he wanted to have a confidant and somebody who wouldn’t be a yes man.

“He’s pretty sure about that last part.”

Twelve years later, Mr Biden became US President, defeating Donald Trump in an unprecedented election, gripped by a historic pandemic and a confluence of economic and social turmoil.

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In a recent interview with People, Oprah shared her thoughts on his and Kamala Harris’ victory, and spoke to the pivotal role black women voters played in delivering that victory.

Oprah said: “I felt like democracy was on a cliff, and black women helped pull it back from the edge.”

Oprah’s campaign also led to an unexpected exchange with the now US President.

Weeks before the election, Mr Biden called Oprah to thank her for her help in getting people out to vote.

That phone call reportedly lasted 27 minutes.

Oprah said: “I kept thinking ‘he’s going to ask for something’. I was waiting.

“Twenty-seven minutes later, it was just a thank you for what you’re doing in terms of voting support and calling people.

“I could not believe it that this man, with everything going on, had 27 minutes to call.

“My respect for Joe Biden went tenfold over that.”

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