Clinton camp damping down veep talk

Some of her supporters are still making overt efforts to get Clinton on the ticket, but her campaign says it's Obama's choice.

Published June 5, 2008 10:08PM (EDT)

Earlier this week, some prominent supporters of Hillary Clinton's had been pressing hard for Clinton to get the slot as Barack Obama's running mate. Some, like Lanny Davis, still are. But now Clinton's campaign is backing off, trying to decrease the pressure on Obama as well as the perception that he's being forced into the decision, and some of her surrogates are following suit.

In a statement released Thursday, the Clinton campaign said, "While Senator Clinton has made clear throughout this process that she will do whatever she can to elect a Democrat to the White House, she is not seeking the vice presidency, and no one speaks for her but her. The choice here is Senator Obama's and his alone."

Some of Clinton's congressional supporters had been talking about writing a letter to Obama to urge him to put Clinton on his ticket, but they've now decided against it. In a statement, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., who was heading the effort, said, "It was felt that the letter was being misconstrued as a demand on Sen. Obama, and we've decided to communicate our views informally."

The Wall Street Journal's Jackie Calmes reports that it's unlikely Clinton will be chosen as the Democrats' vice-presidential nominee, and points to Bill Clinton as one reason why. Calmes says "Bill Clinton may balk at releasing records of his business dealings and big donors to his presidential library" and quotes an unnamed senior Obama advisor as saying, "The more this gets vetted the less likely it becomes."

And the New York Times' Adam Nagourney says that the efforts by Clinton's supporters may have backfired. "Aides to Mr. Obama said they were unhappy with the effort and some Democrats outside the campaign said that Mr. Obama could be portrayed as bowing to pressure should he choose Mrs. Clinton to run with him," Nagourney reports.

Pressed on the question during an interview with CNN, Obama was noncommittal.

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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