Obama looks to former Pentagon leaders as VP

Broadening his VP search beyond Hillary Clinton, who clearly isn’t on the top of the list, the Obama campaign is apparantly vetting former Pentagon brass with in an effort to fill in the foreign policy and military experience holes in his candidacy.

Story from Yahoo News:

WASHINGTON – Barack Obama is considering former top Pentagon leaders among his possible running mates, which would address his lack of foreign policy experience and balance the military bonafides of a GOP ticket led by a war hero.

Two senators who consulted Tuesday with the Democratic presidential candidate’s vice presidential vetting team said retired military generals were among the names they discussed.

“We talked about many names,” North Dakota Sen. Kent Conrad told The Associated Press, including “some that are out of the box, but I think would be very well-received by the American people, including former top military leaders.”

They discussed roughly 20 names with Conrad, who would not disclose any of them. Obama’s campaign has been keeping the process a closely guarded secret.

GOP candidate John McCain was a naval aviator during the Vietnam War and spent more than five years as a prisoner of the North Vietnamese after being shot down. Obama has not served in the military.

Obama has a three-person team managing the vetting process that includes former first daughter Caroline Kennedy, former Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder and Jim Johnson, the former CEO of mortgage lender Fannie Mae.

Holder and Johnson have been meeting with several Democratic lawmakers on Capitol Hill to get their input.

Beyond the vetting, Obama has been playing off questions surrounding the controversial VP selection team he’s assembled, video report from ABC News:

Meanwhile, one possible choice that I thought would be on the short list was Ohio Governor Ted Strickland. Today Strickland definitively stated he does not want the job and would not accept if offered, story from Fox News:

Barack Obama’s running-mate search just got a little bit easier.

Ted Strickland, the Democratic governor of the swing state of Ohio, attempted to rule himself out Tuesday, telling NPR’s All Things Considered he would “absolutely not” join the Obama ticket.

Strickland, who supported Hillary Clinton during the primary but has been floated as a potential Obama running mate, told NPR in no uncertain terms that he is not interested in the job, and would not take it if asked.

“If drafted, I will not run; nominated, I will not accept; and if elected, I will not serve,” Strickland said in the interview. “So, I don’t know how more crystal clear I can be.”

He added: “That does not mean that I am any less committed to helping Barack Obama become the next president.”

It makes sense he’s looking to add some serious military muscle to his candidacy, he will need it when standing next to McCain.