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.