August 20th, 2008
09:00 AM ET
10 years ago

Did a missing pronoun send an important Obama VP message?

Did Obama drop a big VP hint?.

Did Obama drop a big VP hint?.

(CNN) - When is a pronoun more than just a part of speech?

A missing word in a standard response delivered by presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama Tuesday night sent political reporters scrambling.

The Illinois senator has been careful this campaign season to refer to his future running mate as “he or she,” to avoid sending unintentional signals about which party figures may or may not be in the running.

But asked at a North Carolina town hall meeting whether he would use a future vice president the same way President Bush has, Obama referred to just one gender. "Let me tell you first what I won’t do,” he said. “I won’t hand over my energy policy to my vice president, without knowing necessarily what he’s doing."

CNN Political Market: Make bets on who's going to be VP?

"…My vice president also will be a member of the executive branch," he added, "he won't be one of these fourth branches of government where he thinks he’s above the law."

His remarks were thorough, and included a full description of his prospective VP's personal priorities and demeanor. What they did not include was the feminine pronoun.

While the top three rumored finalists for the VP slot – Delaware Senator Joe Biden, Virginia Governor Tim Kaine and Indiana Senator Evan Bayh – are all men, reports have placed some women high on Obama’s shortlist this cycle, including Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius, and of course, former primary rival, New York Senator Hilary Clinton.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (182 Responses)
  1. Big Daddy

    Obama will pick General Colin Powell as Vice President.

    August 20, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  2. Barbara

    Sebrina, you said you are a "diehard" Hillary supporter and haven't been did you end up on this blog??

    Everybody's interested in what Obama's doing whether they admit it or not.

    Obama 08

    August 20, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  3. NObama

    Forget Hillary – ONCE and for all, will you? You old ladies have cats to care for, remember????

    August 20, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  4. Lisa

    CNN stop you all are getting ridiculous about this. I can only imagine what you would of done if he said SHE!!!!

    August 20, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  5. Jann, Denver CO

    CNN please find something relevant to write about!

    August 20, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  6. V London

    I like when ordinary blue and white collar americans criticize Obama for not knowing anything about the constitution.

    I guess harvard law and teaching at u of chicago don't quite qualify him.

    but the cube worker who reads CNN, now hes qualified to interpret the constitution!
    stop acting like your informed, when your clearly not.

    August 20, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  7. V London

    can someone please detail what judgement mccain has?

    Most companies have forced retirement of the CEO at 65. Yet here we have a 71 year old man who barely has the energy for multiple campaign stops on a single day.

    I'm pretty sure most dinner meetings don't serve the dinner at 4pm.

    August 20, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
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