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Breaking News: Barack Obama rejects VP idea

Campaigning in Casper, Wyo., Friday night for the 12 delegates to come out of Saturday's DemocratBarack Obama campaigning in Casper Wyoming March 7 2008 for the Democratic caucuses where he rejected the idea of accepting the vice presidential slot on a 2008 Democratic ticketic 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

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I fully agree why should Barack Obama want to be VP and have a joint ticket with Clinton. I

t s Barack as he points out who even after Ohio and Texas is still well ahead in the Delegate Count and No it is not necessary to change the rules that where agreed just to please Hilary with Michigan and Florida.

He had to put an end to the Clinton-Obama speculation -- and most of all Clinton's "maybe Obama will be my VP" gestures. He needed to force the choice: Clinton or Obama and not let voters weasel out of that choice by voting for Clinton on a two for one assumption.

Plus, do you really think he wants to be VP for someone who's just spent the last week telling everyone who will listen about how McCain is a better choice for president than him? I mean, let's get real: she's been saying Obama is manifestly unqualified for the office with one side of her mouth, and then she turns around and says with the other side of her mouth that Obama should be her VP -- a heartbeat away from the Oval Office and the red phone. the very things she was saying he is totally unqualified to handle!

She can't have it both ways. Neither can the voters. Obama just drew a line in the sand.

Why would Obama accept a VP nomination even if Clinton got the presidential one? He wouldn't even be able to pretend he had any influence in a Clinton administration. Bill will be acting VP and top adviser no matter who got the VP nod. Better to be in the senate and wait 4 or 8 years.

If, in the end, Obama has more of the popular vote and more delegates, but Clinton uses her political clout to gain the nomination, then the democratic party will have failed me.

If anything, Obama should be at the top of the ticket. But even when he wins it won't be Hillary. It will be either Richardson or Napolitano. Clinton and Edwards might get the sentimental support of some Democrats but even they will realize upon sober reflection that neither of those two get you a state you need. Part of the reason that Hillary's big state argument is so funny is that and aardvark with a D next to its name on the ballot could win in California and New York. No what we need is some Southwestern love and that means taking NM or AZ. With Iowa trending strongly towards Dems again we can get to 270 without the Ohios an Floridas (read broken)states

Obama should be honored to be chosen as a vice presidential candidate just as Hillary should be honored to be chosen as a vice president. I could see 16 years of a progressive White House if Clinton were president and Obama vice president. Then Obama could run for president from a position of even greater strength as a vice president. It seems really difficult to unseat a sitting president and a vice president running for president is very difficult to beat. In any order, I would like to see both of them on the ticket. Would hate to see an Obama and Lieberman ticket (I know, he would not pick Lieberman; but, what if he chose some other doofus with demo-conservative credentials?).

Arrogance. nothing else.
Barack is an empty rhetorical display of what a political sleaze is. No substance needed. Media darling. Hype maker and elite backed.
Hillary's been there done that, survived media savagery, resurrected after so many near deaths,victim of unpleasant marital scandal , withstood years of GOP crap and even a crappier FOX NEWS team, a Senate star, a kinder gentler face vs Michel or Oprah.
I prefer her. Obama is shallow. McCain is a Bush rehash.
And there is no darn perfect persona like Santa running.
And yes, do not put too much spin. Politics all around is crap.

If Hillary and Bill Clinton have been thoroughly vetted, then why don't we have answers for:

1. What sort of firewall will Hillary place between herself and her husband's Russian, Chinese, Indian, Kazakhstan, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Brunei et al clients?

2. Do the Clinton Foundation's and Clinton's income tax records show a proper accounting for the funds received for charitable, political and public purposes versus the Clinton's private income?

3. Unlike her husband who before leaving office pardoned of Viktor Bout's partner Marc Rich, will Hillary Clinton "reject" any pardon request for the merchant of death Viktor Bout if she becomes president?

Contemporary historians must be amazed at the genius and sheer audacity of the Clintons' performance as they repeatedly make fools of the public. However, as the records of the Clinton administration are revealed, it may be left to later historians to write about the lowly purposes to which the Clintons applied their genius.

Obama needs to reset the campaign. Hillary is tricky and wouldn't think twice about stealing the nomination any way possible. Obama needs a serious Pennsylvania plan. If he can take PA that may seal the deal for him.

The games HRC plays are sickening. First she says McCain would be better than Obama and then she wants him as a VP? Obama needs to clearly define himself. By casting BO in so many different roles, HRC succeeds in confusing the electorate, and if voters begin to wonder who he is they won't vote for him. BO needs to take back the narrative before it's too late.

I agree totally with Sen Obama. He is running for President not Vice President. As Vice President to Hillary he will have to kow-tow to her vision and compromise his, which she does not share. He is calling for a different way of doing politics. The only way he can realize that vision is by being President or waiting four years and trying again. And besides, why will he have to settle for VP to her when he is the more popular candidate, the one who is ahead in the delegate count, the one who has universal appeal and who can draw out sectors of the electorate that otherwise would not vote? If anything a compromise situation should be the other way around with him in the Presidential slot and she in the VP slot. But shouldn't a presidential nominate choose a running mate who shares his/her vision? The suggestion that he should be her running mate in the VP slot sounds to me like a ploy to get his supporters if not now, in November. I think by drawing the line clearly in the sand he is doing the right thing. He is not about personal aggrandizement at any cost even if it means sacrificing his vision. He is a leader, not a follower, and a leader with a world-changing vision and a firm belief that this change is possible.

I knew Obama would reject the idea of being Hillary's VP. It's one thing to even consider running with Clinton, it's another thing to be her VP.

Now Obama has to focus on finally defeating Hillary and sealing the Democratic nomination, which he has mathematically done, because let's face it: Hillary is acting like a spoiled brat, and less and less people want her for President. She wants things one way, then she flip flops and wants it the other way, she's worse than John Kerry!!!!

I truly believe that the only Democratic ticket that can win in November is either an Obama-Clinton or Clinton-Obama ticket. Only a ticket with both candidates can quickly re-unite the party and galvanize the broadest electorate for the general election. If both candidates sincerely want to bring change to America, they will swallow their pride and be willing to serve the party - as President OR Vice President - for the better of the county.

IF HC wants a threesome in the Oval Office should she not first consult both BO and BC?

After ridiculing the man, Clinton now wants to place him as VP! Poor judgment on her part if she thinks him so incapable!
What she is attempting to do is drag Obama supporters along with her! After her comments that won't ever happen!

The poster Callimaco hit it right on the nail. Obama should run with this. How can clinton say she and Ncain are quaulified and barack is not. The vice pres is supposed to be ready to step in on day one. Why would she select someone who is not qualified?? Answer that you Lesbian carbetbagger.

Hillary go away...if Obama agrees to run with her on the ticket, then he is just another corrupt politician like she is.

Hillary is the past, she still doesn't get it!....
Obama will do better without her, this Country will do better without Hillary.
People are going to vote in masses because for Hillary or McCain....just check the numbers.
People want to express their concerns, no just in the federal level, but in the State, Counties, cities.....too many corrupt people are in high places that think they are above the law (Mayor of Los Angeles, Los Angeles DA, Mayor of Detroit, Mayor of SF, Houston DA..and on and on) and moraly dishonest.
I am Republican, but I votes and I will vote for Obama. We need change in all levels...yes we can!

His arrogance is very unattractive. If he cannot unite on a ticket, then he is NOT a uniter and is bad for the party.

Barack should be number 1 on the ticket with Hilary and Bill as vice president. Hilary cannot claim independent experience apart from Bill as a wife is not a cabinet member. Bill's position as second vice president is close to the role he plays in the democratic party anyway.

Unusually direct??

All he said is he wants to focus on running for president, that all!

Direct response is, "No, I won't do it. Thanks for asking."

Apparently you obamanites can't accept that your candidate cannot even answer a direct question with a direct answer, so you make an indirect answer into a direct one in you heads.

(Did you really read the item? And you didn't see the lines that said: "You won't see me as a vice presidential candidate." Can't get much more direct than No.)

When elected Senator, Obama was asked if he was going to make a run for President. He begged off, saying he wasn't ready for the job. His initial judgement was correct. Obama would be a disaster as President. Ron Paul is the only straight talker around. Hillary is the second best man for the job. McCain is cannon fodder for the GOP. They know he will lose. No incumbent party is going to win with an economy in the toilet.
It will take a Clinton to clean-up another mess made by a Bush.

I guess most Republicans would agree if Clinton won the
Democratic nomination, Democrat would lose the
general election for sure. I for one will not vote for
Senator Clinton because she simply does not have the right quality for President.

Hillary doesn't know what she is talking about. Hillarysaid that Obama "was not ready to be President"....therefore he is not ready to be VP, right?.
I am fed up with the Clintons, and their 'double talk"...they think that American people are a bunch of ignorant individuals.
If Hillary becomes President...can you imagine the gridlock she will bring in Washington again. She claims she is a fighter....We don't need someone in Washington looking for fights...We need someone that bring all of us together and do things...Obama is the one , we need new blood in Washington, people with new ideas, with positive outlook about our future.....the Clintons's fear tactics are old dirty politics, we don't want that anymore...American people deserve better.

Hillary already has a vice president; his name is Bill.

The bottom line is, she CAN NOT win this nomination based on the reality on the ground. She can not catch up with Obama on the delegates count. Her only plausible way to the nomination will be to tear the democratic party assunder and pave the way for president John MCcain.

Hope, hope, hope, I just hope I could buy a mansioin, at least a house, by $300,000 less than its actual value with a free garden. I wish Obama could tell me how he did it. So I can save tons of money.

On the subject of a potential Obama administration (or Clinton II's), there is an interesting project in pure democracy just getting started on the web: automated and continuously updated 'approval style' voting on VP, cabinet, and major posts. Approval style voting means you can vote for as many of the choices as you approve. The site will remain open indefinitely for follow up research:
Phil Jamison (privacy alias)

He is young ,intelligent and with fresh ideas of change.Why on earth will OBAMA join up with an old faded CLINTON ticket ?? It will be a shame to be seen working with clinton dynasty. If he loses he needs to got away and re -orginise to take on John MCain in 2012 . Clinton will never beat Mcain . Can you imagin Clinton debating on Iraq with John Mcain , My messege to OBAMA is , stick to your plan ,Don't listern to the media , You are right on track , just keep on counting those delegates till August , the democratic Superdelegates will never decided against populer vote,

excel -- With these kind of statements, its apparent that you have, mostly likely, never met the man, Barack Obama.

You act like you know him but you know nothing at all about him, or would not be nod wisely but speak stupidly.

Have you undertaken any study of his life? Have you gone to see him in person? Have you shaken his hand, perhaps looked him in the eye as you asked him tough policy questions? I think not.

I have seen him at least 20 times, shaken his hand several times, and asked him difficult questions which he very adroitly answered. He is loved by his supporters, just as Hillary is loved, but he has intellect, morals, and a conscience -- the character traits of real substance!

HRC has an "out-of-control lust for power". Samantha Powers was right, and Howard Wolfson was right (so he, too, should resign!) -- let the interrogations and fact finding begin!

Hillary doesn't stand a chance against John McCain, because she is also Bush-lite. Our only hope for REAL change in Washington is Barack Obama. Read his books (not ghost written -- they're his own words); study the man and his character; check out what he's done already in his 11-years of being in an elected office. There is hope for you, but you must act quickly. The hour is late.

Robbie, Pedro, Patrick - right on. Skip the drama, vote for Obama.

Doesn't it give one cause for concern that many are voting for HC because she is a "great role model for our daughters". Regarding this "Dream Ticket" idea. Once again she will say and do anything to win. No doubt she has promised that and other positions in "her cabinet" as payment for her support. It's called POLITICS AS USUAL . Like Obama I feel those that want something better are in the majority. As an elderly white female I don't want or need someone to "fight for me". Would like to do what I can to make this a better place for my grand-daughters in particular and all woman in general. This is about US not about HER.

Few weeks back when the delegate numbers were on her side after Super Tuesday, she said only the numbers matter, not the momemtum. Now she has fallen behind, she says numbers doesn't matter. Anyway, what she got post Mar 4th is not momemtum but media hype.

It is simply arrogance to say that Obama should be her VP when the voters assgined him more delegates than her until now. Is she saying that these primaries doesn't matter and that she HAS to become the President because it was her right or because she waited 8 years and it was her turn now?

Obama should focus on winning the nomination and when he becomes the nominee, he should NOT pick her as his VP. Instead, he should go for a fresh face (possibly a woman) as his VP.

From the sound of Clinton lately, the dream ticket she is talking about is not Clinton Obama but McCain Clinton.

that woman is too much! she lies the minute she opens her mouth..tthe Clintons are shrewd criminals, nothing else. And tasteless ones too..It is sad to see that this great country buys into this....but then, every nation has the government it deserves..

Hillary Clinton knew full well that Barack Obama would not be VP when she started using it as part of her stump speech strategy. She is using the statement as a strategy of deception to get votes from the uninformed voters whose vote counts as much as the informed readers of this media. Deception has become the prevailing tactic of Hillary's campaign now.
Orion Culver

HRC is a uniter--if she is the Democratic candidate, the Republican party will be united almost instantly, and will be motivated just as instantly. She is the one Democrat who can bring the Republican party together.

BO must get back to his message of a vision for America. If not, he loses. I believe America is tired of living in fear, and is ready for a vision of the future, but fear is a tremendous motivator. The vision has to be clearer and greater than the fear. HRC is, like JM and GWB, a candidate of fear-- "The phone is ringing at 3am..." Be afraid... be very afraid America.

If we are afraid of the world (there be dragons...) then we have nothing to offer the world. What has made America great is our history of marching off into the unknown in the face of fear, not our withdrawing and hiding behind our walls. Along the way, we have lost ordinary people and heroes. Did our space program quit when Challenger exploded? We have always been willing to take risks, to live in the face of fear, but apparently America no longer has the courage to stand up and step out. We want to wrap up in our comfy security blanket, give all our freedom and liberty to the goverment to protect us. Wake up, America. You will not remain great unless you have the courage to get out of bed, leave your bomb shelter, and face the dragons.

Being Hillary's VP would be the worst job in the world. You would have nothing to do and they wouldn't even let you in the white house. Bill will be doing any VP tasks worth doing and you'd be stuck going to third world countries doing tea and cookie type events that in the past was done by the first lady. Going back to the Senate and being a party leader is a much better idea.

BO&MO would never settle for less than the top spot.
They believe it is owed to them.
MO has her sights set on the white house and if she cant have that she wont take anything.
She did not spend all that money on her Jackie K makeover to not play the role.
Just like the land they bought from Rezko they had to have it no matter what .
If BO gets the nomination no doubt MCCain will be our next president.
Would BO ask Hillary to fill the VP no way He and MO have no intention of anyone but themselves being in the spotlight
That is really what this is all about attention and power.
The media would follow Bill and Hillary around and report on them every day while BO&MO sat at the whitehouse getting their schooling.
Too much will come out on BO&MO and that is why none of that will really happen

I phoned my California Senators and said:
"If Obama wins the popular vote and the super delegates choose Clinton, I will stay home in November."

I hope the Democratic Party listens to
this very difficult, but very real, stance.

Obama is not winning the states we need in November and superdelegates are getting worried. Supers won't be stealing the election..they'll be doing what they were selected to do and that's make a decision when neither candidate reaches 2025. Having a 100 delegate lead doesn't mean you win. And Obama's strategy of going into GOP states and winning caucuses with small numbers of dems has given him a delegate lead, but it doesn't bode well for November. Again Obama is dismissive because he feels entitled. He's been dismissive of Hillary all along and that's the reason I won't ever vote for the guy. He's like every other man who thinks it's his because he's a man.

i can not believe people..who have been thru 7 years of bush..would want 4 more years of the clintons..clinton of course would want obama on the ticket..because she will lose to mccain if she didn't..obama does not..because they are so different in so many ways..and you get 2 for the price of one..clinton needs to release her tax returns..needs to release all transcripts of her days as first lady..i will vote for mccain if clinton wins..ohio.. really blew it tuesday..a few ads about 3am..a false report about the pledge of allegince..and ohio voters ..just are giving the presidency to mccain..lets just hope wy,mi and pa..can get it back on track.

Hispanics love Hilary as she has promised amnesty to every illegal for every possible reason. Plus she want them to bring their parents, grandparents, cousins, sisters, brothers etc and wants us to pay for each of their education and welfare and hospitilizaton.

Obama wants amnesty as a ploy as Hispanics wont vote for a black, so this is to urge them to do so.

So a vote for either one is a vote for the status quo. 40 million illegals costing us 1 million dollars each over their life here, plus 18,000 for every one of their children each year they spend in school, plus the cost of teaching them english for jobs they cant perform as they are illegal and cant be hired.

So if you want to allow the 41 million illegals here, vote democratic or vote for amnesty Mc Cain. Great chose we are left with. Three bums not worth a damn!

Billary has been waging a VERY negative campaign
despite Obama trying his best to stay above that
two things have turned me fully against her

1.the "mccain (a republican) is better for president than a fellow democrat was the ultimate in insanity for me

her trying to get those delegates now that she is behind is VERY sleazy

she will not win the nomination as she is behind
if she tries to use her political clout to persuade superdelegates to go against the will of the people
and gain the nomination I will personally vote for mccain as a protest vote


It appears a gross lie won Ohio for Mrs. Clinton, but her win has reinforced and laid bare three truths:

(1) Her inability to attract support on her own merits. Like a school-yard bully she has to trash others to improve herself and attract people to her ambitions.

(2) Her frightening lack of judgement in foreign affairs. For the second time in this campaign she has caused trouble in another country. In this case, Canada. In the previous case, Kenya, when she allowed her campaign to release photos of Barack Obama in Kenyan tribal costume with the sinister intention of suggesting a terrorist link.

(3) Her psychopathic inclination to engage in amoral behaviour without empathy or remorse: to knowingly or carelessly engage in or spread lies about her opponents to gain the edge. Like a cornered, whimpering dog, she viciously attacked Barack Obama, for sending out untrue pamphlets, then pulls off this Ohio NAFTA whopper.

She allowed her campaign to disseminate falsehoods about Barack Obama saying one thing to his public about NAFTA, while reassuring a foreign government, Canada, that his public position was just political posturing. She did not check the accuracy of the story; she released it with gusto. Her husband, complicit in the deceit, sent a boasting congratulatory e-mail to her supporters afterwards.

The Obama pamphlets were accurate, and it turns out the Canadian civil servant responsible for the NAFTA story leaked it about the Clinton double-edged NAFTA policy. As the leak moved down the media chain, it turned into an Obama story. Further investigation has revealed that, whoever the principals, there was no fabric to the tale in the first place.

"Vetted and ready," Mrs. Clinton? Heaven help us, if you win the Democratic nomination.

Obama knows that Al Gore was marginalized by the co-presidency of Bill and Hillary. If Hillary wins, Bill as co-president is not a comforting thought for anyone other than Bill Richardson or Wesley Clark.

The Clintons have so marginalized Barack and the popular movement that is funding his campaign, knocking on doors and reading his policy positions, that we will not be appeased by a spot on the ticket. Instead we will continue to build our movement until 20012. By that time the Clintons will be so wrapped up in scandals of their own making, that voters will be called upon the restore integrity to the White House for a second time. Hopefully they will not have to vote for another Bush to clean up behind another Clinton.

Dynasty politics destroys democracies. I can't wait to restore a two-party system now that the two-family system has resulted in the rearranging of the deck chairs on a sinking ship of state.

Mrs. Clinton needs to respect the intelligence of the American people just a little: this is another not-so-veiled "Jesse Jackson" swift-boating, except now it is to convey that he may be good enough for a VP position, instead of the seasonal ethnic candidate.

I wonder why the Democratic Party leaders are allowing this soap opera to continue, fully aware that she has no chance in hell to win the nomination. Is the leadership such a hostage to the Clinton machine?
Please spare us more of the blood sport the Clintons’ are playing.

I used to think an Obama-Clinton ticket or vice-versa would be ideal, the mudslinging, primarily on the part of HRC has compromised any such combo. An Obama-Clinton White House would be marred by a situation where he is undermined every step of the way and on every decision he makes to use as ammo to say, "I told you it should've been me." In a Clinton-Obama White House he would be a lame-duck figurine and only called upon to take credit for the administration's failures. I like to see Obama-Edwards. I think that the ideas of those 2 can mesh and would be a very formidable ticket to run against the Republicans. Edwards, though should step out of the shadows and endorse Obama, before he fades into political oblivion. Edwards is a very likable family man who has some great ideas and would be an asset to Obama.

I think HRC is neither for American people, nor her Democratic Part, but for herself (Read Clintonian Legacy). She should bow out to allow the party strategise for general elections. Double talking and at the end of day losing won't serve anyone's interests. She talks of being a fighter, is Washington a WWF ring or a remote battle field somewhere in Iraq? Americans wake up and show her an exit because she could still be asleep after the husband was evicted from the office.

The State of California released "official" election returns yesterday.

Obama gained some delegates.

Do I have to go to the "SACBEE" to get this news?

"I am running for President" seems pretty definite to me.

Daschle, today called on her to fire Wolfson for his Ken Starr comparison. Let's see how that goes.

If Obama wins the nomination, it will not be in his interest to choose Hillary as a VP because of her baggage.

On the other hand, if Hillary wins the nomination, it will be a plus for her to have Obama as VP.

Besides, he didn't lose Texas; he is now ahead in the caucus vote (40% in) and virtually certain to win majority of delegates. Clinton celebrated too early.

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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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