Opinion: Jimmy Carter’s advice to Barack Obama: Forget Hillary Clinton as veep

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Former President Jimmy Carter, who endorsed Barack Obama on Tuesday night after weeks of acting coy, says picking Hillary Clinton as Obama’s running mate ‘would be the worst mistake that could be made.’ The reason? ‘That would just accumulate the negative aspects of both candidates.’

Carter told England’s Guardian newspaper that he believed an Obama-Clinton ticket would merge behind John McCain two groups: those who dislike Clinton -- he set her unfavorable rating at 50% -- and those who would not vote for Obama for a variety of reasons.

‘If you take that 50% who just don’t want to vote for Clinton and add it to whatever element there might be who don’t think Obama is white enough or old enough or experienced enough or because he’s got a middle name that sounds Arab, you could have the worst of both worlds,’ Carter said.

So who should Obama go for? Carter has a formula: ‘What he needs more than a Southerner is a person who can compensate for his obvious potential defects, his youthfulness and his lack of long experience in military and international affairs.’ Carter’s pick: former Sen. Sam Nunn, the onetime chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. Nunn also happens to be, like Carter, a Georgian.


-- Scott Martelle