March 10th, 2008
01:00 PM ET
7 years ago

Clinton team: Obama could be ready by summer

Clinton's campaign said Obama could be ready to be commander-in-chief by the summer.
Clinton's campaign said Obama could be ready to be commander-in-chief by the summer.

(CNN) – Hillary Clinton’s campaign spokesman said Monday that Barack Obama was not yet prepared to serve as commander-in-chief – but might be able to cross that threshold in time to join the Democratic ticket this summer as a vice presidential candidate.

Over the weekend, Hillary Clinton, former President Bill Clinton and campaign surrogate, Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, all suggested that Barack Obama might make a good vice president.

On a conference call with reporters and several prominent military supporters of Clinton’s presidential bid, spokesman Howard Wolfson was asked: if Obama is not ready to lead in times of crisis, how can he be considered for the vice presidency?

“We do not believe that Senator Obama has passed the commander in chief test,” said Wolfson. “But there is a long way between now and Denver.”

He did not say what Obama might be able to do to get ready in the months before the Democratic convention this August.

In response, Obama spokesman Bill Burton e-mailed reporters the quote, along with the Clinton campaign press office number, and urged journalists to call and ask them what Wolfson’s statement “could possibly mean.”

Ret. Gen Joe Ballard – who joined Wolfson on the call, along with Ret. Gen. Wesley Clark and Ret. Adm. Joe Sestak - made the case that Clinton is more qualified to handle foreign crises than Obama, an argument her campaign has been stressing in recent weeks.

“When I look across the aisle at Senator Obama, other than a great speech, I do not see the same body of experience to deal with the issues,” said Ballard.

UPDATE: Obama said at a campaign event Monday he is "not running for vice president."

"I want everybody to be absolutely clear. We are in a tough battle," he said. "And I don't presume that I have won this election. Senator Clinton is fighting hard. She's tenacious. I respect her for that. She is working hard to win the nomination. But I want everybody to be absolutely clear. I'm not running for vice president. I'm running for president of the United States of America."

– CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand

soundoff (359 Responses)
  1. S. Roussi

    I hope Nader doesn't quit because if Clinton is the nominee I'm voting for Nader. Got that DNC? Nader before Clinton. She's dirty. Don't you people ever get it? She's the same old thing. Machine politics. She isn't even in the White House and she's spinning lies and hate.

    March 10, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  2. Sacramento thinking

    Are you wondering about Senator Clinton's experience? Read the above article again. People in the know ATTEST to that because they have been dealing with her at different levels and capacities for a long time. "Ret. Gen Joe Ballard – who joined Wolfson on the call, along with Ret. Gen. Wesley Clark and Ret. Adm. Joe Sestak — made the case that Clinton is more qualified to handle foreign crises than Obama, an argument her campaign has been stressing in recent weeks." Now, are you still wondering about her experience? Or do you just simply do not want to believe.

    March 10, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  3. hemnebob

    sorry...but serving as a first lady definitely doesn't certify hillary as
    commander-in-chief material...i mean anyone who believes that is
    as dumb as a rock. she and her staff must believe that we are a bunch
    of idiots to believe anything as far fetched as that notion...that would
    mean that laura and barbara and even jackie O were qualified and
    that just isn't the truth. hillary is no more qualified today than barack is
    which makes him the better choice anyways.

    BARACK OBAMA '08

    IMPEACH BUSH/CHENEY TODAY!!!

    March 10, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  4. clarity

    Clever Girl.

    With this move she:
    Eats into Obama's base for change.
    Gets perceived as the Democratic Party uniter.
    Shows initiative and leadership.

    It IS appropriate to say that a candidate is less suited for the top job, but better qualified for the supporting position. That is what usually happens to candidates that show the potential to blossom in the future.

    Clinton/Obama 08!

    March 10, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  5. Tyrone Brown, Seattle, WA

    Questions, questions, questions...

    Aren't we beyond the question of the "dream" ticket?

    Is this an act of desperation on the part of the Clinton campaign?

    Why am I not as excited about the "dream team?"

    What about Obama as President and Hillary as Vice President?

    Will this nomination process ever end?

    Will the Mississippi, Pennsylvnia and the superdelegates finally "put us out of our misery?"

    Is the Presidential election really an eterenity (I mean eight months) away?

    So, many questions. So few answers.

    ...but alas, I still have hope.

    Obama '08

    March 10, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  6. Lionel

    CNN and the rest of the MEDIA need to print that article "MAD IN TEXAS." Thank You.

    March 10, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  7. Stephen

    PLEASE DO US ALL A FAVOR AND SAVE THESE COMMENTS BY THAT WOMAN FOR APRIL 1st! HA HA HA

    Most of us are sickened by her rhetoric.

    March 10, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    what kind of experience that she is talking about since she can't even control her own campaign

    March 10, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  9. Audrey

    Tell us Hillary, what experience do YOU have?

    March 10, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
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