Opinion: Barack Obama begins his own quiet quest for a running mate


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While Republican potentials are tromping out to the desert this weekend for chats with John McCain about the Republican No. 2 slot, Barack Obama has already begun a quieter search for his own running mate.

And Obama has reverted to something of a Democratic tradition -- asking former Fannie Mae head Jim Johnson to head up the efforts. Though he’s got to be hoping the third time’s the charm -- Johnson played similar roles for Walter Mondale and John Kerry.

The delicate issue for Obama, of course is Hillary Clinton. There’s a lot of pressure from Democrats that, if the math holds and Obama becomes the nominee, he pick the former first lady (assuming she’d take it). But that could weaken Obama’s carefully crafted image as the guy from outside Washington.


The Atlantic’s Marc Ambinder, who first ferreted out news of Obama’s quiet efforts, offers a list of potential contenders, beyond Clinton. Feel free to add your own in the comments section.

Sens. Joe Biden, Bob Casey, Chris Dodd, Chuck Hagel and Jim Webb; former Sens. Tom Daschle, John Edwards and Sam Nunn; Govs.Tim Kaine, Janet Napolitano, Bill Richardson, Kathleen Sebelius and Ted Strickland; and former Rep. Tim Roemer.

-- Scott Martelle