Obama begins search for VP (Update) Bill wants Hill as VP

Well, maybe she is, maybe she isn’t. It appears to me, at least, that she’s at the bottom of the list if she’s on it at all. Based on Michelle Obama’s feelings and the fact that I doubt Obama is going to want the Clinton shadow on him in the White House, I’m betting they’re looking elsewhere.

Report from Yahoo News:

WASHINGTON – Likely Democratic nominee Barack Obama has begun a top-secret search for a running mate, fresh signs that the general election campaign is well under way and the primary race against Hillary Rodham Clinton is basically over.

Obama has asked former Fannie Mae CEO Jim Johnson to begin vetting potential vice presidential picks, Democratic officials said Thursday. Johnson did the same job for Democratic nominees John Kerry in 2004 and Walter Mondale in 1984.

Obama refused to acknowledge Johnson’s role when The Associated Press asked the Illinois senator about it in the Captiol Thursday.

“I haven’t hired him. He’s not on retainer. I’m not paying him any money. He is a friend of mine. I know him,” Obama said. “I am not commenting on vice presidential matters because I have not won this nomination.”

The Democratic officials spoke on a condition of anonymity about a process that the campaign wants to keep quiet.

Vice presidential searches are usually closely held secrets, but Obama campaign officials say the effort is being handled by a particularly tight circle of advisers.

The campaign did not want to discuss the effort because they are still engaged in a fading primary campaign against Hillary Rodham Clinton, with three primaries left in Puerto Rico, South Dakota and Montana. The voting ends June 3. Obama has repeatedly declined to discuss possible running mates while the primary is ongoing.

“We’re not commenting about this process,” said Obama spokesman Bill Burton.

But they are taking behind-the-scenes steps to move toward the general election campaign, with just 61 delegates needed to clinch the nomination according to the latest Associated Press count. Obama has 1,965 delegates to Clinton’s 1,780, with 2,026 required to secure the party’s nod under Democratic National Committee rules.

A video report from ABC News:

I’m thinking the Obama campaign will feel somewhat compelled by Clinton supporters to choose her but honestly, I think there are choices which would make the ticket stronger. Such as, a governor with more executive experience perhaps.

Still, an Obama/Clinton ticket would be strong for the Democrats, however, I just don’t think it’s going to happen.

Update

Apparently according to this report, Bill Clinton is lobbying hard for Hillary to be Obama’s VP:

Clinton’s view, she has earned nothing short of an offer to be Obama’s running mate, according to some who are close to the former President. Bill “is pushing real hard for this to happen,” says a friend. Hillary is more opaque about what she might want, divulging little even to those who see and talk to her every day. “It’s as plain as the nose on your face that this whole thing has shifted to a different mode,” says a top Clinton strategist. “But I don’t know what she wants. I don’t know what she’s thinking.”

Even if Clinton is not on the ticket, the list of things she might want could range from a tangible move like help in paying off some of her campaign debt to a symbolic gesture of homage at the Democratic National Convention. Obama’s team knows that Clinton and her crew above all are likely to want respect to be paid for their efforts; beyond that, it is unclear what the tab will be. “There have been no discussions between the campaigns,” says chief strategist David Axelrod. “There’s been no back-channel negotiations. We’re respectful of her and her right to fight on.” But they know the time is rapidly approaching when the two campaigns are going to have to begin peace talks. And they anticipate, given everything they have learned about the Clintons, that the negotiations won’t be easy. “We’re expecting sort of the worst here,” says a top Obama adviser.

So Bill is much more keen on the idea of an Obama/Clinton ticket than Hillary is. Somehow that doesn’t surprise me since I think Hillary’s ambitions have been on the Presidency, not playing number “2” for someone else’s term. Interesting though that Axelrod denies any back channel negotiations, this is sort of counter to what the media has been speculating about. Obama’s campaign seems to be prepared to do anything for the Clintons, except give Hillary the VP spot, which she might not accept anyway.

  • Sam

    Biden for VP. Hes got zingers!

  • Biden would add experience but I don’t know what else. He’s got some skeletons in his closet that wouldn’t bode well in the general. Plus, he tends to be seen as a “New England liberal,” I’m not sure how he’d play in the Midwest. Obama needs someone more humble and appealing to middle America, like the current Ohio Governor Ted Strickland in my opinion.

  • Babs

    I know some think Bill Richardson should be on the short list, but if I read the election results correctly he got less than 1% of the vote in the primary in his own state. Wouldn’t that be a bad sign for him?

    I love this line from the Yahoo article: “Likely Democratic nominee Barack Obama has begun a top-secret search for a running mate,”

    TOP SECRET *ROFL*, yeah, all over the net. These media writers kill me sometime.

  • IndiMinded

    Specifically, Biden would add foreign policy experience, where Obama is viewed as being pretty weak. If the battle for the presidency is at all likely to be about Iraq and Afghanistan, than Biden would be an excellent man for the ticket. I don’t think there’s a democrat who can speak with more confidence and expertise on the subject than he can.

    But then I’d have preferred a Biden / Obama ticket myself. What sort of skeletons has he got hiding in his closet? The worst I’d read was mildly racist statements he’d made (which probably wouldn’t be a problem on that ticket).

  • Chad

    Biden is a capable guy but willhe bring many republicans or moderates in?

  • Jeff Edwards

    I think he should pick Ed Rendell (Governor of Pennsylvania) as his running mate because of two reasons.

    1. Rendell is a Hillary Clinton supporter so it would help to bring her side back into the fold for the Democratic election.

    2. He is the Governor of a state he needs to win and would help to ensure Obama does better with the “working class white people” which would also help him with Ohio.

    I don’t think he should pick Richardson as a African American and a Latino could alienate those “working class white people”.

  • Melvin

    Jeff,

    Very true but to quote a comedian if a black president is elected, having a latino VP would make sure he is never assassinated. 🙂

    Just thought I would add some levity today instead of always being so serious.

  • Babs

    Yeah, Melvin, but having a woman VP would make sure his shirts are always ironed. 😉

    Now THAT’S sexist!! *LOL*

  • Melvin

    LOL Babs that was a good one,

    but couldn’t you imagine the Presi-do list instead of the honey-do list. LOL

    In all actuality I do think she could be a good VP, or even a good President. I know I would want her on my side if I was planning to take someone out she has real experience in that area. 😉

    Though HIGHT UNLIKELY she will be asked I do feel a secretary of State, or highly coveted cabinet seat at minimum should be offered. I would hate to lose her experience even though I think she needs to gracefully draw the curtain on her presidential bid.

  • Stalin

    No way in heck is Obama going to have Hillary as his VP. Even in a VP role, Hillary and Bill will overshadow him and become a little too involved for comfort.

  • Debbie from Modesto, Ca 56yr young w/female

    What about Hagee!

  • Babs

    Hagee for Obama’s VP? I don’t think he’s on the short list. *LOL*

  • Melvin

    I think we should Hagee and Wright to Iraq for a while, and make them re-earn their citizenship.

    Just a thought.

  • Stalin

    Obama’s Administration:

    Secretary of State: Louis Farrakhan (knows how to piss off entire nations and religions)
    Commerce Secretary: Oprah (good at raising money)
    Attorney General: Tony Rezko (has a new understanding of the law)
    Secretary of Defense: Bill Ayers (good at making bombs)
    VP: Reverend Wright (well we can’t leave him out of this fine group can we?)

  • Babs

    And Parsley, and Ayers. Just another thought.

  • Debbie from Modesto, Ca 56yr young w/female

    But…, it would shut the Rebulcians up, and I believe would help Obama in the General. Just a thought. Hilary can’t run as VP. She is everything Obama wants to get away from.

  • Babs

    Shut the Republicans up? To run Hagee as Obama’s running mate? The Minister whose endorsement McCain just refused, the same Minister that the Democrats attacked as being worse than Wright? Good Lord, that would sew it up for the Republicans! *L*

  • Debi1208

    I myslf think Chuck Hagel would be a good choice.

  • I think Nate is right about executive experience. Kathleen Sebelius, the Governor of Kansas and an early supporter of Obama, is probably on his short list.

    He will have to consider executive experience, moderate values, and “red state” draws. The only difference between an Obama ticket versus a typical Democratic one, is that he can probably take the southern states outside of Florida, so the issue is how can he wrap up the big states that might not get (Pennsylvania being one of them).

    So Rendell for Penn., Sebelius for executive branch, and there are quite a bit more for moderate views. Like many here, I do not think Hillary is on his wish list.