Opinion: Obama did consider Hillary as VP but Bill Clinton’s presence quashed it, Obama ex-aide says


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Yes, it’s holiday book-buying time in the publishing industry. But before we get to Sarah Palin’s rogue book in two weeks, we have David Plouffe‘s audacious book.

You’ll remember him as campaign manager for that also audacious Illinois guy who creamed the Palin-McCain Republican ticket last year, talking about change to believe in and transparency.

Tempting little out-of-context pieces of the Plouffe book, ‘The Audacity to Win,’ are beginning to leak out (well, actually, in the book business, they’re pumped out by promoters).


Plouffe says he and David Axelrod, now an Obama White House advisor, were surprised how seriously their boss considered Hillary Clinton as his vice presidential running mate over the old Senate guy from Delaware he eventually chose just before the Democratic National Convention in late August.

Plouffe reportedly says Obama insisted her name be on the initial list after the Democratic primaries were settled in early June and kept it there into early August.

But, Plouffe writes, Obama then said to him, ‘I think Bill may be too big a complication. If I picked her, my concern is that there would be more than two of us in the relationship.’ Our concern is that this sounds rather stilted for real campaign chatter. But such a thought was also a prominent theme in media speculation at the time: Could the two recent competitors operate together with the ex-prez always in the background?

Judging by the energy and verve the former first lady shows in the State Department job she eventually got, talking politely and firmly to folks all around the world on behalf of the United States and Obama, things worked out pretty well this way.

Come to think of it, though, Plouffe’s account conflicts starkly with the latest version that ultimate choice Joe Biden told just the other day, as The Ticket reported here.

At a Democratic dinner in Pennsylvania 10 days ago, Biden said he initially turned down Obama’s VP offer. But, Biden recounted, the persistent future president asked him again two months later and Biden finally acquiesced after eliciting a promise that Obama really meant real change.


That version, however, would put Obama’s alleged opening offer to Biden somewhere around mid- or late June, when Plouffe has Clinton’s name on a longer list with others. Unless somebody is misremembering ...

-- Andrew Malcolm

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