July 17th, 2008
07:10 AM ET
10 years ago

Bayh, Nunn dodge VP questions, but buzz rises


Watch Nunn and Bayh discuss the veepstakes.

(CNN) - Evan Bayh and Sam Nunn wanted to focus on Barack Obama's national security credentials Wednesday. The traveling press corps trailing the presumptive Democratic nominee’s campaign didn’t.

In a press conference following a campaign-sponsored roundtable discussion on emerging terrorist threats, Bayh and Nunn were bombarded by questions over reports both Democrats are on Obama's shortlist for vice president.

But Bayh, a senator from Indiana, and Nunn, a former senator from Georgia, revealed little about the Obama campaign's vetting process and their own ambitions for the job.

Veepstakes: Check out CNN's Political Market to see who's ahead

"I have never aspired to that office," said Nunn, who served in the Senate for 25 years. "It is always nice to have your name mentioned - it is an honor - but I have no expectation of being offered any office, and I am not in any way sitting on the edge of a chair ready to go back into government."

Nunn, one of the most respected Democratic voices on national security policy, seems to encounter vice presidential speculation every election cycle, given his appeal in the South and strength on issues where Republicans usually have the edge.

iReport.com: Share your picks for VP

Bayh, a former supporter of Hillary Clinton who also has red-state appeal, also brushed aside speculation he is being considered a spot on the ticket.

"I love serving the people of Indiana - and I think any questions about the vice presidential thing are understandable and it’s good for my ego, but I should probably let Senator Obama and his campaign address those kind of questions," he said.

One reporter asked the senator — whose father Birch Bayh ran for president in 1976 - if he was taking his name out of the VP running.

"I've got a plane to catch," he responded, chuckling.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Evan Bayh • Popular Posts • Sam Nunn
soundoff (306 Responses)
  1. Ex-mod-GOP for Obama

    Either would be a fine choice, although I personally lean toward Bayh. He was my pick for President this 2008 coming out of the 2004 election.

    July 16, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  2. Patty

    I'm sending the donation I can afford off to Hillary to help retire her debt since I'm donating zero to Obama. I really don't care who he puts on the ticket if its not Hillary. I'll either write or name in or not vote at all. I've never missed a presidential vote since the 60's

    July 16, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  3. Raymond Duke

    Obama can pick who he wants for vp and it is unimportant to me. I would not vote for Obama no matter who is on the ticket. It is more important to me who John McCain picks for vp. I will be voting for him even though I can't stand him.The best of two evils. In case John was not to make it through the four years of being president I want a good back up that is closer to my values and beliefs.

    July 16, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  4. Carolyn

    Anyone but Hillary!

    July 16, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  5. Jon

    As a fellow Hoosier as Senator Bayh whom I love and admire greatly is, I have a message for him and America....If Senator Obama picks him and not Senator Clinton to be his running mate, I will write Hillary's name on my ballot in November. HE CANNOT WIN WITHOUT HER!!!!!

    July 16, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  6. Rene D, Bel Air, MD

    Birch Bland, Sam None--pizazz, that is.

    Hillary or Colin, Barack. Stop dicking around and do it.

    July 16, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  7. Rob

    This guys has no national security credentials at all. He is a Joke! If he is really smart about security he should pick a general as his VP.

    July 16, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  8. What the..??

    This is for: Lisa July 16th, 2008 6:03 pm ET

    Lisa, based on your last dig, I am willing to bet you are probably a racist. I could be wrong, but I am not focusing on that now. Barack was tired of BEATING Hillary in every debate, and then listen to her whine afterwards about the order questions were asked and the format of the debate, etc. If she was whining about that, what hell do you think she would have done in the White House when faced with a tough situation??!? I lost a whole lot of respect for her then at a time when I was undecided. Barack realized that any smart American would recognize this (not you obviously) and didnt waste his time. He knew the nomination was in reach so he decided to focus on his campaign. Now, he will bury McCain in the debates as well...

    July 16, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  9. Astrid





    July 16, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  10. Paula

    Let me see Who you picked? You decided that the rules at the Democrat convention-Hillary's supporters- Will not be able from the floor put her nname into pot for a vote.
    Like you decided to spin after New hampshire primary- When the Husband was asked a question by someone not liking the answer about how that would turn out in South Carolina. ust answering a question on the reality of the Democrat base in that state. No racism involved, Now the NAACP has decided that who and what can and can't be said. They are running a campaign to make whatever Roosters are coming home to roost-PAYBACK. You can't read the comments and opinions back to Bill and Hillary–everyone else-US- as anything but that. So watch your stel and tongue.
    We hear in the breakroom at work from Blacks to whites. At least where I work.
    Obama's going to do what they haven't been able to get done before. They will now.
    You decided to help Obama's with your spin-against the Clinton's during the primaries-you have done it on the conversation of the VP position. Just where does her voters and suppprters- Get the vote-Respect of who they are.

    July 16, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  11. JIM...TX

    Larry WI...and just who is falling in line to be McBushes VP??? Nobody nobody:) There's not even anyone in the wings. At least we have a few possibilites..excluding HRC!

    July 16, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  12. Wendy Lance

    I feel the same as I did before on the subject of VP for Obama:
    Hillary should be his first pick. She has worked hard Campaigning
    for the nomination, just as much as Obama. I still feel that she is
    the backbone to complete his chances to win the election. I know
    that people have their feelings regarding the Clintons but Hillary is
    very qualified and she has earned a chance to be a part of this
    election. She is certainly well qualified and we know she is a determined individual and will follow through on anything she handles.
    She would definitely be important in helping our country get universal
    health insurance which is much needed in this country. And most
    of all she will help Obama win the election. People who have followed
    Hillary through the campaigning will be happy to vote for Obama if
    Hillary is given the job of Vice President.

    July 16, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  13. FEDUP

    The DNC will have more to say about Obamas' choice for VP then you idiots even know. The party exerts a lot of pressure, as seen in the primaries.

    July 16, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  14. de

    these "shortlists" seem to get longer by the day.

    July 16, 2008 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  15. Frank, Missouri

    Mike, Syracuse NY July 16th, 2008 4:56 pm ET

    Both able to provide much needed adult supervision to junior.

    Mike, you yourself should not be using your parents' computer without their supervision. No go back and play with your guns.

    July 16, 2008 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  16. Florida

    I'm pulling for Bayh! No matter who he pick he easily beats McCain. The perfect storm is brewing and there is no way another Republican is elected President anytime soon. Thanks Bush/Cheney!

    Hillary supporters.....get over it – she lost.

    July 16, 2008 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  17. California Voter

    Obama/Clinton or NO Obama!

    July 16, 2008 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  18. Justin from West Haven, CT

    I have a feeling Obama is going to pick Bayh, a safe boring choice. Whatever though I can deal, as long as it isn't Hagel or Clinton.

    July 16, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  19. marty

    either which way he goes Obama cant win this election because he stands for nothing but platitudes and flip flops daily

    July 16, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  20. Shawn in Dallas

    Obama – Clinton = Smart Move
    Obama + Clinton = McCain 08

    Why? There are as many Repubs as Democrats. Independents are the key; Independents LOATHE Clinton. She's the Great Divider as proven in the primaries. Old and racist whites

    July 16, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  21. texas DEM



    July 16, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  22. gary


    July 16, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  23. al

    The BEST chance obama will be the next president is to pick hillary as his vp, and to pick anybody else will ruin his chance.

    July 16, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  24. susie

    Obama changed his mind, he will not debate McCain. What a flip-flopper!!

    July 16, 2008 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  25. M


    July 16, 2008 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
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