Opinion: Breaking News: Barack Obama rejects VP idea


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Campaigning in Casper, Wyo., Friday night for the 12 delegates to come out of Saturday’s Democratic county caucuses, Sen. Barack Obama refused the notion of becoming the vice presidential candidate on this fall’s party ticket.

Obama was asked by a television reporter, ‘Can you ever see yourself on the same ticket as Sen. Clinton?’

And the freshman Illinois senator replied: ‘Well, you know, I think it’s premature. You won’t see me as a vice presidential candidate. You know, I’m running for president. We have won twice as many states as Senator Clinton, and have a higher popular vote, and I think we can maintain our delegate count.’

Many Democrats have long thought of Obama-Clinton or Clinton-Obama as a dream ticket, offering both the first serious female candidate and the first serious African American candidate for the nation’s top two political offices.


Clinton surprisingly broached the idea Wednesday morning after she won the popular vote in Texas and Ohio to regain some momentum after 11 straight ...

losses, though she still lags far behind in pledged delegates. She mentioned the possibility of a joint ticket again Friday morning during a campaign appearance in Mississippi.

Last night was the first time Obama commented on the idea.

It’s political protocol when presidential candidates are asked about the vice presidency to twist the question back around to the top office and avoid a direct answer. But Obama’s response last night was unusually direct and dismissive.

The 46-year-old candidate is expected to do well in Wyoming today, as he has done in virtually every caucus state. Wyoming, as The Ticket noted here in detail Friday, is not the most hospitable territory for Democrats.

Eleven months ago during an appearance on ‘The David Letterman Show,’ Obama said, ‘You don’t run for second place. I don’t believe in that.’ See his Friday statement for yourself on Billings TV station KTVQ, but only if you can sit through an interminable local vinyl fence ad with Danny, who seems strangely eager to hide his face beneath a dirty baseball cap.

(UPDATE: For the latest Wyoming caucus results -- Obama was victorious -- The Times’ Robin Abcarian has full details in her story from Cheyenne here.)


-- Andrew Malcolm