Top of the Ticket

Political commentary from Andrew Malcolm

« Previous Post | Top of the Ticket Home | Next Post »

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

Not good body language between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama during a debate in the Democratic primaries of 2008

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

Speaking of good political stories, click here for Twitter alerts of each new Ticket item. Or follow us   @latimestot  And we are also now on Facebook over here.

Photo credit: CNN (not the best body language between the future Democratic teammates during the 2008 primary season)
Comments () | Archives (4)

The comments to this entry are closed.

Honestly, does it matter? Hillary had little reason to accept the veep position anyway. Historically, the vice presidency has been the end of the road for political careers. You can be sure, despite her denials, she still has her eye on the oval office. It could well take a decade for the GOP to recover from its current identity crises. Hillary, as always, has positioned herself perfectly. Check-mate in 12.

Have you noticed that it is no longer Hillary Rodham-Clinton? Now it is just Hillary Clinton. I guess it makes it easier to ride his shirttails.

Obama and his wife would never have stood for the atention the Clintons would have gotten
America would have been looking to Bill for answers rather than bother with Obama
People now favor Hillary over Obama yet where were they when it mattered?
Hillary has been kept out of the media and sent on un reported things
That is exactly how Obama and his wife want it

Hilary never stood a chance of being the VP. Her name on the list was wholely cerimonial. Bill lost Hillary the election plain and simple. Bill was a horable president not to mention an American embbearessment.

Hillary is no prize ether look at how she kept the part divided all the way depite the fact that she was never going to win. But lets not let facts and logic to stand in the way of a Clinton.

The Clintons were power hungry criminals who had fools voting for them.


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...

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.
President Obama
Republican Politics
Democratic Politics



Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: