Obama stirs some intrigue over VP search

July 10, 2008

kennedy.jpgNEW YORK – White House hopeful Barack Obama had reporters in his entourage wondering on Wednesday if his search for a vice presidential running mate is intensifying.

While in Washington for some Senate votes, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee dropped by a Pennsylvania Avenue office building for some meetings but the campaign would not say what they were about.

The building happened to be the same one where former U.S. deputy attorney general Eric Holder works. Holder and Caroline Kennedy, daughter of slain U.S. president John F. Kennedy, are heading up Obama’s search for a No. 2.

The meetings were important enough that the Illinois senator was accompanied by his campaign manager, David Plouffe and his top campaign strategist, David Axelrod.

Obama is keeping his search close to the vest.

Pressed on what type of person he is looking for, Obama told ABC’s Good Morning America he wants “somebody with integrity” and who could competently serve as president and offer him “unvarnished advice.”

“Beyond that I haven’t talked about our vice presidential process, and I’m not going to until we actually select my choice as vice presidential nominee,” Obama said.

But Obama further stoked the curiosity of reporters when Caroline Kennedy and his former Democratic presidential rival Hillary Clinton joined him on a flight Wednesday evening en route to some fundraisers in New York.

Clinton is among a list of many people Obama will consider as a running mate, although some pundits think her chances of being offered the role are not very high.

But Obama is determined to try to heal the rift that opened in the party during the hard-fought primary battle. At a fundraiser with 1,000 of his supporters, he made a plea for the donors to contribute money to Clinton to help her retire the millions in debt she accumulated during the primary. But he made a small faux pas in initially forgetting to publicly call attention to the pledge sheets that had been set out on the donors’ chairs to encourage them to give money to Clinton.

After Obama spoke for 35 minutes about his aims in running for president, the Stevie Wonder song “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” blared over the loud speakers to signal he had concluded his remarks.

A minute or two later, he returned to the microphone.

“Hold on a second guys,” Obama said. “I was getting a little carried away. I’ve got one more thing that is important too.”

He made a pitch for the donors to fill out the pledge sheets for Clinton, saying it was “part of the process of making sure that we are unified moving forward.”

Click here for more Reuters 2008 campaign coverage.

Photo credit: Reuters/Mike Segar (Obama with Sen. Edward Kennedy and Caroline Kennedy in a February rally in New Jersey)


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I sincerely hope that those donors who can afford it will help Senator Clinton. We need unity and healing. As for me, I give Obama a few dimes, the DNC a couple of nickles, and from time to time, I throw a few pennies at moveon. I really cannot afford Hillary’s debt, with gas at 20 bucks a gallon, because I gotta buy some windmills, but quick. Hey, T Boone, can you spare a gallon?

Posted by Wanakee Hill | Report as abusive

Clinton’s debt should be easily paid off. Just let her 18 million supporters send her $2 each. Debt paid in full.

Posted by mari barosay | Report as abusive

Maria, your sarcastic comment is all too typical of the nastiness of many of Obama’s supporters. Not all of Hillary’s 18 million supporters have a computer and credit card. Many people who voted for her were older seniors who aren’t hanging out online to make cyber donations. Those who could afford to make donations already have done so and can’t afford any more. Her supporters aren’t rich, spoiled, university attending, SUV driving (while complaining about global warming) brats like many of Obama’s elite Starbucks crowd. Too many of the Moveon.org crowd are all for peace and love in Iraq but tear down their fellow Democrat brothers and sisters just because they preferred Hillary. Shame on them. By the way, getting Hillary’s debt paid off frees her big-money supporters to raise money for Obama, so it’s in his interest to aid her with her debt, not just a gesture because he’s such a caring guy.

Posted by Matthew | Report as abusive

Hillary as VP would be a disaster. The Clintons are not accustomed to play second fiddle to anyone, particularly someone whom they claimed was unqualified earlier. Barack, please “JUST SAY NO” to Hillary as VP.

Posted by Anyone but Hillary for VP | Report as abusive

Let”s see, Matthew, do you think only the Obama voters tear down their fellow Democrats? Look in the mirror! I don’t think I am a bad person just because I did NOT vote for Senator Clinton. I did attend college, I do care about the environment, I am not spoiled or rich, and I don’t think Senator Clinton would owe $23 million had she not stayed in the race when there was not a mathematical chance of succeeding. I will contribute to the cause, however, because it might keep her followers–and her–from causing the Democrats to lose the Presidency. My question to you is, “Would you donate to help Senator Obama pay off his debt had he lost the presumtive nomination?” No! I didn’t think so.

Posted by Doris | Report as abusive

“Beyond that I haven’t talked about our vice presidential process, and I’m not going to until we actually select my choice as vice presidential nominee,” Obama said.

I presume, Mr. & Mrs. Reader, that the preceding quote isn’t quite what Mr. Obama really wanted to say.

That is, I presume that HE will make the choice, not “we” (whomever “we” is).

I still say that if Mr. Obama wants “somebody with integrity” who can give him “unvarnished advice” (his words apparently)–that person is Senator Jim Webb of Virginia. However, it seems that Mr. Webb has ruled himself out. That’s too bad. I think that it might have had something to do with Mr. Webb’s past history of wrong speaking about women.

As regards Mrs. Clinton’s campaign debt (some 20% of which is owed to herself and her husband). I think that Mr. Obama is going to need every dollar he can raise for the general election campaign that he is waging against Mr. McCain. Besides, if Mr. & Mrs. Clinton can’t retire Mrs. Clinton’s debt, nobody can.

One last note, Mr. & Mrs. Reader…if Mr. Obama’s presidential philosophy is going to be anything like his senatorial philosophy (based on a couple of recent votes for unconstitutional bills that I’ve seen him cast), then I’m worried about my first and fourth amendment freedoms, rights & privileges, to wit:

Amendment I
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment IV
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

No vice presidential pick is going to take care of that monumental problem.

OK Jack

Posted by OK Jack | Report as abusive

I suppose you are talking about the flagrantly unconstitutional amendments to FISA, Jack? I agree with you on that note. Might as well take the Fourth Amendment out of the Constitution, as FISA and the Patriot Act tread on it, turning it into a bloody mess. But I digress. I believe that whomever is chosen as VP will have a unique position in the administration, one that will require a much more active role than many of the VPs in the past. That will require a deliberate system of elimination, as the youthfulness that would be in the White House may meet some resistance from the old codgers still hanging around in Congress.

Posted by Apostle Don | Report as abusive

I just donated to Hillary again. I strongly feel I cannot trust Mr. Obama. I feel more and more very day that he is just a politician as rev. Wright said – Obama will say anything and will flip-flop as often as required with the pretense he is ‘adjusting’ his point of view. I cannot vote for Obama and I won’t vote for him regrdless of who is VP may be (even if it’s Hillary).
I don’t like McCain’s – so what do I do?

Posted by ex-democrat | Report as abusive

Raise the Barr “Barr 08″ BHO and McCain are both typical politicians.

Posted by tess | Report as abusive

I am an Obama supporter who would have backed Hilary had she been the nominee.

Hilary supporters who now refuse to support Obama sound foolish on two
levels. First, you ignorance of policy position is exposed. The two were nominally different. If your political beliefs were firm and logically oriented, you would be supporting the Democratic nominee…whovever he/she was. Second, you betray your support of and belief in Hilary by not supporting who your candidate is now behind.

Posted by wendy | Report as abusive

Ha Ha, Doris…..I’m actually a lifelong Republican who would never vote for either Clinton nor Obama….where in my posting did I say I gave money to Clinton or even supported her? I was merely conducting an experiment to see if I could get you Dems to feud….how quickly you took the bait! …guess Unity is just a town in New Hampshire!

Posted by Matthew | Report as abusive

Matthew, Matthew, Matthew …

“Maria [sic], your sarcastic comment is all too typical of the nastiness of many of Obama’s supporters. Not all of Hillary’s 18 million supporters have a computer and credit card.”

They may not have a computer and a credit card, Matthew, but I am sure they have a checkbook, a pen, an envelope, and a first-class stamp.

Mari’s point is an excellent one, and without a whiff of sarcasm. No doubt you were just projecting your own nastiness onto others.

“[Clinton’s] supporters aren’t rich, spoiled, university attending, SUV driving (while complaining about global warming) brats like many of Obama’s elite Starbucks crowd.”

You left out “welfare queens.” What a maroon.

“I was merely conducting an experiment to see if I could get you Dems to feud….how quickly you took the bait!”

Perhaps you aren’t nasty, just deluded. Or, you subscribe to the belief that any disagreement is feuding, just like your fascist fathers in the Cheney administration preach, in which case you are both.

Posted by JBL55 | Report as abusive

who would give Hilary money, she’s got something like 130 million still.

Posted by solu | Report as abusive

For those of you who still believe that Hillary would make a good Vice President, they should read Carl Berstein’s biography of Hillary: “A Woman in Charge.” The book is extremely enlightening, very factual and quite objective, but it shows that this woman does not function well as a person second in command, not even to her husband. She caused Bill much grief in the early years of his Presidency because of her formidable, indomitable certitude that she is always right.

I’m not giving one more cent to Hillary because she has enough money at hand to pay off her own debt. But I do believe that we should all donate as much as we can to Barack to support his wonderful belief that the common, everyday American can elect their President rather than the big corporations and wealthy interests.

Some or his donors have stopped giving as much to Barack, I fear, because they don’t want him to give their money to Hillary. He is not going to give money to Hillary unless it is from a special fund-raising event where he clearly states the money from that event will go to Hillary.

If every one of Hillary’s 17.4 million donors will just send $1 each to her, that will pay off 17.4 million dollars.

Posted by Lyn Estelle | Report as abusive

Why doesn’t Hillary just have a ghost writer write another book to pay off her debt?

Hillary/Bill as VP would be a killer for Obama.

Posted by bushguiltyassin | Report as abusive

I do believe that Obama is holding out on Hillary. He
does not like the lady. I don’t know if it is women in
general, or just her…But I watch him very closely with
women, and it is almost like he hates to come in contact with them. I don’t see why her big donors doesn’t help
pay the debt, and then help Obama…If they are going to help him, help her 1st..Makes sense to me. This pondering about who is going to be VP is actually a game with him…
IF it was Hillary, he could wink or say Maybe and smile..
He stumbles around answering…If he can’t just shut everyone up about it, then he does not deserve to be #1…
WE common folks out here, on limited income can only donate once or twice a month a few dollars. If everyone gave a dollar or two, that would help her a lot..
Times are tough..WE want Hillary, and we know her debt
must be paid by convention time, or she will not be on
the ballot….

Posted by mshill | Report as abusive

Do hope Obama picks Clinton. It is the best way to unite generations. Lets put it this way. I am voting for Hillary Clinton in November. It can be as president (Write in) or as Vice president along side Obama (Obamas choice)

Posted by jheckerman | Report as abusive

As long as it’s not the “nightmare” ticket.



Posted by kat in your hat | Report as abusive

Historical fact
It was the womens vote that brought Adolf Hitler to power.

Posted by ly thornton | Report as abusive