Washington, Nov.26 : Aides to US President-elect Barack Obama have said that they do not expect Vice-President Joe Biden to assume the kind of muscular role that Vice President Dick Cheney has played over the last eight years, although they will expect him to put out a number of fires.
"I'm sure that there will be discrete assignments over time. But I think his fundamental role is as a trusted counselor. I think that when Obama selected him, he selected him to be a counselor and an adviser on a broad range of issues," the New York Times quoted," David Axelrod, a senior adviser to the president-elect, as saying.
Biden has spent much of the three weeks since the election in Chicago, where he has worked closely with Obama.
Biden seems to be adapting. He has privately told people that he recognizes he will not be the point man on foreign policy in the wake of Obama zeroing in on Hillary Clinton for the post of Secretary of State.
Biden is also honing his economic credentials and keeping up with his outreach to foreign leaders. Two weeks ago he called the three leading candidates for prime minister of Israel, Tzipi Livni, Benjamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak. He has also reached out to President Alvaro Uribe of Colombia, President Mikheil Saakashvili of Georgia and Javier Solana, the foreign policy chief of the European Union.
Biden is spending most weekdays in Chicago, where he stays in a hotel and has lunch once a week with Obama.
During the days, Biden, Obama and a coterie of advisers are in the team's transition offices, going through possible hires. Biden has been involved in cabinet and policy decisions, offering advice to the president-elect, aides said.
Obama's aides said Biden has backed the decision to appoint Hillary Clinton secretary of state.
"If he had made an argument against it, it would have carried a lot of weight," a senior aide to the transition said. "He was totally in support of it."
As for the relationship between Obama and Biden, aides to both men insist that the relationship is strong, with each man settling into his role.
"I don't think there's any risk of Vice President-elect Biden being marginalized, regardless of who else is in the cabinet," said Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to Obama.
The candidates' wives, Michelle Obama and Jill Biden, hit it off immediately when they first met, aides said.
And Mr. Biden's grandchildren and the Obama daughters had a sleepover with pizza, popcorn and DVDs one night during the Democratic convention in Denver.