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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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It's ridiculous that people think Obama is "arrogant" just because he said he won't be VP. He's running for president and while he is ahead in wins, delegates and popular votes why should he consider it? Anyway, I don't see Clinton saying she would except VP even thought SHE is the one behind not him.
It's also ridiculous that people think he would have a shot at president if he was VP after a Clinton presidency. What, like chance Gore had? He benefited so much from the scandals of the Bill Clinton presidency. If Obama was VP with the Clintons there would be nothing but one scandal after another that Obama would be able to "benefit" from.

Obama should tell Clinton that he admires her brazen
behaviour. Her wanting him for VP when she is trailing
so miserably in the polls? Obama needs to lighten up a bit.
He must have a sense of humour. He should put it to work. Make her look foolish. Get people laughing at ( not
with ) her.

I am amazed that anyone can even contemplate that Obama could consider a VP spot on a ticket headed by Clinton. That would mean the absolute end of his career, and he knows it.

Clinton will never be elected President, with Obama on the ticket or without him. That Democrats cannot recognize this fact discourages me to the point of leaving the Party entirely and registering as an Independent.

Obama is the ONLY Democrat who stands a chance against John McCain. Clinton would be annihilated in the general election.

It is utter stupidity to think that Clinton will ever be elected to the Presidency, that the country would suddenly get amnesia and forget the legacy of America's First Family of Scandal, Sleaze and Slime.

The Republicans would rub Democrats' faces in the Clinton's old mud. They would have a field day at the country's expense, and we would be forced to endure not 4 nor 8 more years of Republican nation-smashing, but probably 12 or 16 more years of their destructive war-mongering and economic malfeasance.


As a lifelong Democrat, I am disgusted with the Clinton campaign's tactics, which seem to be modeled on those of former president Richard M. Nixon. Consequently, there is no way I would ever vote for Senator Clinton, should she win the nomination. Comparing Senator Obama to Kenneth Starr was really the point of no return.

Obama has shown nothing but hypocracy in painting himself as a 'hope & change' without any substance. By paining her as 'most secretive' politician, and painting ill picture of her only basis on the fact that her tax filing is not public yet, by the way, last time I checked, it's still march, he has shown he is no better than the rest. Hello, Hillary, most secretive, really? Last time I checked, Dick Cheney and his buddies are still in the office. If his lack of experience of judegement wasn't bad enough, his lack of judgements also lead me to believe, we will have another ill suited president in the office if he was nominated. I am tired of hype, I want substance, I am ready for change, and I am hopeful Hillary will be our next president.

I'm so glad that Obama didn't fall for that one. Stay focused on what he's trying to acomplish, and forget about the number two spot. What Hillary is trying to do is place the thought of compromise not in Barack's mind, but in the minds of voters in the few remaining primary/caucus elections. Some voters out there might find it easier to vote for Hillary if they thought she was going to put Barack on the ticket.

It's so evident that the two fo them together would be a great team. Of course, it should be Clinton-Obama. She's the strongest presidential candidate in terms of experience and knowledge.

Hillary Clinton is an alien in a human suit.

Barack Obama has the strength and moral fortitude to grow with America into a new era. Clinton has nothing but the same old tired politics we have lived with for far too long. She is the Rovian antithesis - opposite in parallel...the yin to the yang of the dark machine. I will vote against the democratic party for the first time in 20 years if she steals the nomination. I have voted for her family 3 times and finally saw the light when she chose the 'politically expedient' choice of voting us into Iraq. I've simply had enough. - Enough.

Barack Obama has the strength and moral fortitude to grow with America into a new era. Clinton has nothing but the same old tired politics we have lived with for far too long. She is the Rovian antithesis - opposite in parallel...the yin to the yang of the dark machine. I will vote against the democratic party for the first time in 20 years if she steals the nomination. I have voted for her family 3 times and finally saw the light when she chose the 'politically expedient' choice of voting us into Iraq. I've simply had enough. - Enough.

I fit into the Hillary Clinton likely voters...Woman over 50, Californian (big state), Lifetime Democrat. After the fear ad (the red phone ad using innocent precious sleeping children), the refusal to disclose all current and filed tax returns and all other 'experience' documents, using Ken Starr most recently has awakened me greatly into complete support for Obama for President. If my Democratic Choice in November is not Obama.....I will vote Republican and vote YES McCain. Forthrightness and Character matters at this critical time in America to me.

Hillary Clinton is making little sense by floating this idea of making Senator Obama her VP pick.

She constantly questions both his experience and his character. If she thinks he's unqualified to be president, why would he qualified to be her VP?

It's just an example of Clinton's willingness to say or do anything to steal this nomination away from Obama.

I would rather vote for a moderate Republican like John McCain than a shady couple like the Clintons.

Barack '16 Hillary '08!!

And the only way for Barack to do that is for him to be VP or Governor of IL.

The Guv part is hard though because that means going against Blagojevich who is another Rezko friend. Hmm maybe that would be a way of breaking free from all those dirty mobbish Chicago friends of his.

The only reason Hillary wants to be on a ticket with Obama is because she knows she can't win without him. After the way she's treated him, I'd wager a lot of his supporters will vote for someone else if she gets the nomination.

It's not a dream ticket; it's a manipulative ticket. She'll do anything to win. I will not vote for any ticket that includes Hillary. It's sickening how she says Obama isn't qualified; yet, she turns around and wants him as a running mate.

I will NEVER vote for Hillary, and I voted for her husband twice.

She is just one of the deceit monkeys that have become so prevalent and popular with the lemmings of the left in the democratic party. The current DNC is just as out of touch with America as the RNC is, and Hillary is a part of that status quo.

Obama is a breath of fresh air and I don't particularly care if he has a vast pool of experience, in fact, not having any is a strength because it means he won't be encumbered with traditional Democratic box-constrained thinking.

If the Democrats give Hillary the nomination, and thats what it would be because the general public doesn't want her, then I'll vote for someone, anyone, else.

Obama for President!

a clinton/obama or obama/clinton ticket is a dream ticket for the republicans - clinton's negatives are so damn high that she could never win in the general election no matter what position she is, prez or vice - as a democrat, I would never vote clinton and most of my democratic friends feel the same way... the clinton/bush dynasty must end NOW...

Obama has nothing.

His Iraq speech - he wont do what he promised, according to Samantha Powers who was fired after exposing the truth.

NAFTA - he tells one thing to you, another to the Canadians.

His speeches - recycled speeches from DeVal Patrick.

"Yes we can" - stolen from Dolores Huerta (after they dragged her in the mud in NV)

Stop the Drama, Stop Obama!

Hurray for Barack Obama who is standing by his core values. Why in the world would he want to run with a woman who is totally invested in the rich and the corporations, who sits on the board of the worst company in the world - WalMart, and who accepted almost a million dollars for her senate campaign from the wife of the crooked billionaire Marc Rich, a man her husband pardoned in the last few minutes of "their" presidency.

Obama was president of the Harvard Law Review, the most prestigious in the country. She was a mediocre law student who failed her Washington Bar Exam (yes, she did . . . look it up). I'm tired of being embarrassed by our presidents, and Hillary is an embarrassment. She's loud, she's crass, she's dishonest. Obama wants a new kind of political world, she just wants to win. He may well lose to her, but he's reaffirmed my belief in ethics,sincerity, and the goodness in mankind.

Hillary won Texas because of the crossover voting by the Republicans. They don't support her, they just want McCain to win in Nov. Obama has been nothing but honorable in the whole campaign. He will make a great Pres.

BTW: Experience does not make one good, only experienced. Just look at Cheney ...

The VP question was settled in a recent debate when both Clinton and Obama said: NO. Is she senile? She seems to forget everything she has said on just about any subject that has been discussed endlessly through what was it 21 debates and her "hundreds of thousands" speeches.

Day before election she backs McCain. Day after election she claims victory, but, now I changed my womanly mind and would not have Obama as VP. "Shame on you" Barack Attack? She is nuts. I bet his Hope Fund Political Action Committee never donates to her campaign fund again. (2004 election)

She also does not seem to realize people like me would never vote Democrat if she is on the ticket~even in VP spot.

I diasagree totally about a Clinton-Obama or Obama Clinton ticket. The people that vote for Obama do so because they don't want a sleezy politician like the Clintons in the White House or anywhere near there. Obama must choose a more conservative running mate to unite the country and then McCain will be toast. All of Obama's principles would have to fly out the window in order for him to work with Hilary.

Posted by: Tony S. | March 08, 2008 at 04:24 AM: Senator Obama was asked the VP question almost a year ago by a talk show host and has repeated his direct answer many times: I am running for President. You, Tony, seemed to have missed the debate where both Senators nixed a dual ticket.

Hillary is simply trying to create more drama to keep her in the spotlight and keep anyone from talking about her yes vote to the Iran Resolution, how we pay for Iran if we can not afford Iraq; our lack of troops and reality of bringing back the draft; her yes vote to cluster bombs in civilian areas; if it is legal to give Bill a 3rd term in the White House; a Bush/Clinton dynasty; Bill's pending lawsuit with Peter Paul; her constant lies; her past scandals (not to mention Bills).

Intelligent people are not voting for her and will not vote for her in November. The exception is her loyal friends, who I guess are intelligent; many elected officials and high power corporate types.

Obama can't possibly accept the vice presidenial spot with Hillary. He has spent the entire year portraying himself as an agent of real change & reform, and portraying Clinton as a representative of the kind of Old Politics he wants to eliminate. To join her ticket, especially in the second spot (where she would be responsible for making all of the key decisions) would be be seen at the height of hypocrisy, and would turn off his supporters (who, by now, are beginning to hate Hillary for her dirty trick tactics). He might be able to accept her as a vice presidential candidate, since he would then make the ultimate decisions, but even that runs the risk of scaring away voters - given Clinton's unique ability to arouse animosity in voters. And then there's the question of whether two "firsts" (the first woman and the first African-American) on one ticket is the politically smart combination this year. Either one might be better off sticking with a more traditional vice presidential candidate, to assuage more conservative voters.

Look, this isn't all that complicated. Anyone who runs for President has to have an prominent ego. It's shows up pathetically in McCain, it's well hidden in Obama, but it's painfully obvious in Hillary. It also happens that Hillary's coincides nicely with what corporate America wants.

She's a known quantity. Like Biil, she's a pseudo-liberal corporate shill from the word "Go." The corporate capitalists out of power hope to ride her candidacy back into the saddle.

McCain is also a known quantity. In spite of his sometimes eccentric behavior, McCain's Bush-Lite stances show he is a corporate warmonger and an enrich-the-already-filthy-rich conservative, which makes him appealing to the corporate folks already in power.

Obama has stated explicitly he isn't out to challenge corporate capitalism and "entrepreneurial spirit," but he is still largely an unknown quantity in spite of his rhetorical brilliance The corporate types are (probably unnecessarily) suspicious of his community organizing background, his anti-war stance, and his possible (though barely stated) affinity with the the concerns of Black communities, and by implication, the plight of the poor in general. The capitalists are not going to be willing to take a chance on him.

Therefore, Hillary's role has to become to try to ensure that Obama will not win the presidential race if she can't win the nomination. As I said, her ego corresponds with the corporate pressure on her. Don't expect her to stop trying to destroy Obama, especially with most of the economically powerful in both parties egging her on. It's her destiny to win the Presidency or to be sure Obama won't.

With all due respect, why would Barack Obama want to be one of 2 vice presidents...Bill Clinton already has a lock on that job.

Obama and Edwards--sorry Hillary exchanging House of Bush for House of Clinton will not be the fundamental change we need. Most importantly Hillary's corporate mindset and lack of true leadership on Iraq--VOTING FOR IT?! Puts the nail on her coffin

I am not sure that Hilarry Clinton know what she is doing,she has been saying all the bad things about Obama in recent weeks says that He is not quailified and she is now expecting such a person to be her running mate.May be peoples should make her realise that She can,t have a cake and eat it.
Obama is more open and transparent and we need a prudent leader in white house.She should present her tax return to America peoples and she should stop playing a dirty game that can not help her out

Hillary is old news,old ways,old,and business as usual which has gotten us into the mess that we are in. Out with the has shown the new world what it can do to for us...And in the the new and fresh....Don't be afraid as they want you to be....Vote Obama for CHANGE

All the other comments pretty well sum up what I had to add. Except what Clinton is saying is ,"If she can't win the Presidency she would just as soon a Republican win it."
Now what kind of party loyality is that?
Hillary Clinton is a carrer politican, out of touch with reality.
If Obama does'nt get the nod, he will the next election.

If Florida and Michigan are allowed to not follow the agreed rules and ,Barack does not come out on top in the end, McCain will win because AA's will feel there has been some back room trickery and they will not vote at all. I'm hearing that all over.We have already had 8 years of the Clintons and Whitewater, give some one else a chance.

Come everyone. Hillary never, never said that Obama is not qualified to be president. She has been saying that she is better qualified. Why do the Obama supporters want to twist what she is saying?

Also, if you think the Hillary campaign is playing hardball, just wait until the right winger in the Republican side go at him. Nothing Hillary says or does not say will change that reality. If Obama can't take Hillary's attacks, how can he stand up to the Republican spin machine?

If she does not win the nomination, Hillary will have at least helped to give Obama a good lesson in presidential campaign politics that he had better learn from.

The choice is simple:

One is a leader the other is a politician. One is about the future the other is about the past. One wants to win with the politics of hope the other with the politics of fear. One will unite the country, the other divide it even further. One refuses to use negative campaigning the other stoops in it.

Who are we going to make our leader and the leader of the world? Wake up America, this is not about personal likes and dislikes. This is about our future and the future of the rest of the world.

I am really' really glad that Obama does not want to be veep because if he is on the ticket with Hillary I will not vote. I believe that Obama is just a run of the mill Chicago politician playing politics "the Chicago way" and I do NOT trust him.

I'm really glad that Obama doesn't want to be Hillary's veep because if he was on the ticket I would have to refrain from voting. He is the consummate Chicago politician playing politics "the Chicago Way" and that makes me very uneasy.

Hilliary Clinton is NOT the leader for the U.S. Her spokesperson stated on Larry King live 3-7-08 that "Hilliary wants Obama to ride on the back of her bus as Vice President"! How insulting and revealing of her true sentiments of racism towards other americans. We don't need a leader like her to answer the Red Phone at anytime. If she's having a menopausal moment she could cry and say anything! Obama is the classiest candidate we've seen in decades and a true leader with a plan to unite and better the lives of all Americans.

This Alaska delegate's dream ticket is Obama/Richardson!

I'm really glad that Obama doesn't want to be Hillary's veep because if he was on the ticket I would have to refrain from voting. He is the consummate Chicago politician playing politics "the Chicago Way" and that makes me very uneasy.

Hi Californians, I'm from Texas. We did it too! Hillary won! Boy, we had to deal with the paid for media here aka "Bush Country" can you believe these same leading newspaper in Texas that helped put that "thing" in the White House not only gave Obama a free ride but even went as far as endorsing him. True, they had the upper hand (means) on attempts to knock Hillary of the race. But, we Hillary supporters knock them Out!!! Guess what? their now endorsing Juan McCain... slap/slap.

The veep thing is a shrewd political gambit by HRC, nothing more. Obama's right to reject.

And people here claiming that "oh, the Republicans will be so much tougher"..... BALONEY.

Nothing is tougher to defend against than FRATRICIDE. Which is, of course, what HRC is doing.

I find Barack Obama's comments about being Vice President quite correct at this stage of the Democratic Presidential Primary Race. He is leading. And he is running as the Presidential Candidate.

I am sadly disappointed the news media has seemed to turn negative all of a sudden against Barack Obama. What happened to Hilary Clinton's tax returns? When Bill Clinton ran for President taxpayers saw same scenerio of withholding tax returns. When tax returns were submitted reports indicated returns did not include any returns prior to 2000. Whitewater Scandal occurred during the years just prior. Whitewater was huge scandal. There was big coverup. Then taxpayers saw how Bill Clinton could lie regarding his wandering sexual practices. And Bill Clinton was impeached by aye vote of House of Representatives. I think Senate did not. .

What hapened to all those reports while her husband was in White House???? I know full well the reason for the delay. What about those tax returns??? I full understand the reasons behind this delay. No excuses can explain. Let's be fair and push to get these out!!!!! News media is not pushing for this. Why not!!!

News media instead has created a negative atmosphere for Barack Obama regarding comments made by those involved in his campaign. New media was reporting some negative's regarding Hilary Clinton and now they are quite lenient towards her.

I am quite tired of seeing Hilary Clinton present so many different faces to the public. I are tired of the usual Hilary Clinton's negative "tit tat".

I am registered Republican, but I am willing to cross party lines to vote for Senator Barack Obama. I will not vote for Hilary Clinton if she becomes the Presidential candidate.

People have me confused ! Can anyone please tell me why in the world ould anyone vote for Omaba ?
2 years as a senetor and he thinks he has what it takes to speak up for me ! I dont think so. How Dare he think he has what it takes to be a good president of thie Great Country.
I have nothing against a black person running for office, but something tell me that Obama is working for someone else. I cant believe how many American's are that dumb to follow his story.
If the US falls from the inside, it'll be a told you so. When you didnt read between this man's lie's.
GOd help us ! yes I'd pray with a Holy Bible and I wear an American flag pin.

Chris Dodd and Russ Finegold helped me make up my mind to vote for Obama and I am glad that Obama put H. Clinton in her place FOR SHE IS JUST a sock-puppet to Joe LIE-berman and he is running McCains campain and I am sure Obama wan't no part of that GROUP.

BO as a VP is rock!! 4 year for HRC as the head of the WH and then anothers 4 years for BO. At time he will have everithing he lacks know. yea! Let's put some pressue here.

I have to say, I am struck by the virulence of the Obama supporters. We have one of his key advisors calling her a monster, we have bloggers calling her every kind of foul name. With Obama supporters it is intensely personal. I don't get it. What is it about Obama that attracts these people? Of course, maybe they are just picking up on cues from Obama. His disdainful rejection of the idea of running on the same ticket as Hillary says that in his eyes she in unworthy.
I guess the great uniter is willing to unite with only certain people.

If Hillary does not win the elected delegates, but gets the nod from the super delegates, then I will send her a personal msg by voting for Mccain. I hope others see it this way also. If you don't stand up to politicians at this time then they will continue to walk all over you because they think you have no choice.

What if The Obama For President team started playing hard ball with Sen Clinton and ran those film clips of George W. Bush saying he has a new brother? When ask who? Bush said Bill Clinton. In election 2008,no one is voting for anyone,but millions will vote against Bush.

And last question,what if Clinton runs on a independent ticket like the worm from Conn. did?

Clinton and Obama on the same ticket. Isn’t that a clever way of hinting that she is more capable of being president than Obama. Nobody would take the VP role under Hillary. Hillary should not be in this race, the Clintons have too many secrets to be trusted back in the W/H. They have done enough damage to our country. Hillary claims she was “co-President” during Bill’s two terms in the W/H. “They” are after a third term. Bill has too many ties to other nations for his “charities”, so why isn’t it ruled a conflict of interest? Don’t non-profit organizations need to provide yearly returns with donors, donation amounts, payments, payees and amounts? RED FLAG: The charitable “donations” from foreign countries, but no disclosure. Red flags, in triple, for these ventures. Hillary often demonstrates her self-centered arrogance that “rules” only apply if she benefits. She proved while in the W/H how deadly she could be with “revenge” as her weapon. She has no soul, and tries to crush any opposition using any available means. When will the Clintons provide complete documentation of her years in the W/H? This time, will a lie detector test be required to guarantee that no documents were removed? RED FLAG: Sandy Berger had unrestricted access to highly classified terrorism documents at the National Archives. Failure to follow extremely strict security guidelines was a bonus for Berger, he was a familiar figure. He was eventually accused of stealing documents, but claimed that he borrowed a few copies to study, which he later returned. At his trial, the DOJ let Berger off on a misdemeanor charge and surrender of his license. He didn’t even submit to a lie detector test. RED FLAG, RED FLAG: It was later learned that the top- secret original NSC documentation, with hand-written notes (no inventory, no copies existed) covering the CLINTON ADMINISTRATION HANDLING OF THE TERRORISM THREATS were “MISSING” from the National Archives. The entire 9/11 Commission report was a waste of time and money, due to incomplete data. RED FLAG: We will never know the full truth about how 9/11 COULD HAVE/SHOULD HAVE BEEN PREVENTED. Guess whom Hillary has picked to be on her National Security Team? Give that man a cigar! It’s Sandy Berger.

I suspect "Billary" has started to campaign for the Veep spot for herself!

obama should say that he would not want to be associated with clinton because of the way that she is operating - not specifically what she's saying, but the fact that she's strategizing that way at all.

the media demand to know when obama will sink to that level and fight back, but isn't that the despicable attack politics the very thing that drives citizens away from the process in the first place?

Rejecting the VP slot is the right call for Obama. He's young and can stay relevant from a Senate seat. A Hillary Clinton presidency will generate excessive ill will that would merely squander Obama's political capital. More to the point, a Hillary Clinton administration will prove despairingly incompetent and divisive, setting the Democrats back for a decade or more, similar to the penalty paid for Jimmy Carter's poor showing. Obama can wait out a (likely only one-term) Clinton administration and even a Republican victory after that. Hillary Clinton will only burn his political capital.

Now, for the next obvious question: What about Obama/Clinton? No. Once again, Hillary adds nothing Obama lacks and only presents liabilities. She has no experience in the areas he's light. Bill Clinton, on the other hand.....

This campaign theme that Clinton is running with, positing some sort of "experience" that Obama lacks. Please don't insult us. She was First Lady and then a Senator. She's had none of the actual responsibility she implies.

I'm not sold on Obama as a President yet but I did vote for him in the primary because I am certain Clinton is bad for the country. I'm a lifelong Democrat. If Hillary Clinton gets the nomination, my vote goes to McCain. If Obama heads the Dem ticket, the general election campaign will give me the window into him that I'll need to decide. He'll have his chance to close the sale.

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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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