CNN is reporting that formal talks have begun between the Clinton and Obama campaigns, talks that "could" lead to the end of Hillary Clinton's time in the race. The report is based on sourcing from inside the Clinton camp, but is being denied by senior Obama staffers.
According to the network's Suzanne Malveaux, who reported the story, the Clinton camp sees three possible scenarios at the moment. The first is that Barack Obama offers the vice-presidential slot to someone other than Clinton. This, according to Malveaux, is unacceptable to the Clinton team, which warns of "open civil war within the party," but says that Clinton would campaign for Obama anyway, even if she were less than fully enthusiastic in her public appearances on his behalf. The second scenario is a face-saving maneuver for Clinton -- Obama would publicly offer her the spot as his running mate, and she'd decline. Members of Obama's camp, according to Malveaux's Clinton sources, aren't enthralled with this option, as they're not sure they trust her to keep her promise and decline. The final option is a push to arrange a face-to-face talk between the candidates so they could arrange some sort of concession and show of unity that could involve, for instance, Obama helping to pay the Clinton campaign's debts, or his supporting her for the position of Senate majority leader.
Clinton, Malveaux says, is aware of the discussions but is not even thinking about the vice presidency as she continues to run to head the ticket.
Video of the report, via Talking Points Memo, is below.