Page last updated at 23:13 GMT, Sunday, 25 January 2009

Biden to be Obama's 'confidant'

Joe Biden (R) and Dick Cheney in Washington, 6 Jan
Mr Biden's approach to his role marks a break from that of Dick Cheney

Days into his new job, US Vice President Joe Biden says he sees his role as being a "confidant" and "adviser" to President Obama.

"I don't see myself as the deputy president. I see myself as the president's confidant," Mr Biden told CBS News programme Face the Nation.

"Hopefully I'm the last person in the room with every important decision he makes," the former senator added.

He said he sees his role differently from former vice president Dick Cheney.

Break with past

Mr Cheney was reputed to have been the architect of some of the Bush administration's most controversial policies, from the Iraq war, to interrogation tactics and an unprecedented spy programme.

Born in 1942 in Pennsylvania
Senator for Delaware since 1972
Ran for president in 1988, 2008

In contrast, Mr Biden, a 65-year-old long-time Washington insider, said his job is to act as an adviser.

"I said, 'Barack, I don't want to be on the ticket unless you're hiring me for my judgment'," he told CBS.

"So that's what I view my role to be, a confidant, an adviser, essentially the last guy in the room when he makes these critical decisions."

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