August 22nd, 2008
06:23 PM ET
10 years ago

Did Clinton get snubbed?

Begala and Carville said some Clinton backers will be angry.

Begala and Carville said some Clinton backers will be angry.

(CNN) - Two prominent Democrats close to Hillary Clinton expressed frustration Friday over a report Barack Obama’s campaign never formally vetted the New York senator for the vice presidential spot, and predicted the revelation could further rile some of her most fierce supporters just as the party is set to kick of its national convention in Denver.

Longtime Clinton loyalists Paul Begala and James Carville, who have endorsed Obama's White House bid, told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Friday a Politico report claiming the Obama campaign did not officially consider Clinton for the coveted position would likely further anger some Democrats already wary of the Illinois senator. Both Carville and Begala are CNN contributors.

The matter is even made worse, Begala said, by the fact that Obama himself suggested to reporters earlier in the summer that he would consider Clinton, saying his one-time rival would be on "anybody's shortlist."

"There's two camps in Hillary land - there's the peacemakers and the PUMAs - Party Unity My Aunt Fannie," Begala said. "They're still not behind Obama. Some of them are stirring up a lot of trouble. I don't like it. I'm a peace maker. This story empowers the PUMA crowd because they see this, and I do too, as sort of disrespecting Senator Clinton and breaking Senator Obama's word.

"It's the one glitch in a beautiful process," Begala also said.

Carville, who along with Begala donated the maximum allowable amount to Obama's campaign immediately after Clinton exited the race, expressed particular frustration over reports Obama had not asked Clinton about her thoughts on who should fill the vice presidential slot on the ticket.

"I think we suffered a big blow today to the hard-liners," he said. "I don't think he's spoken to Senator Clinton about the vice presidency or even sought her counsel."

"We may be surprised if he picks her, but after that, it was pretty clear that not only were they not interested in had having her, they were not interested in her opinion," he added.

But former Clinton lawyer Greg Craig, who has supported Obama this election cycle, suggested Friday Clinton did not need to be formally vetted by the Obama campaign because of her lengthy stint in the public eye.

“I think that Senator Clinton is well known," he said. "Her service is well known. Her record is well known. And she herself said to the world that she's been vetted and ready to serve."

Meanwhile, appearing at the New York State Fair Friday, Clinton said she has never been interested in being Obama’s vice president.

I never said I [wanted the job],” she told reporters. “I have always said I will do whatever I can because I feel so strongly in making sure that we elect Senator Obama our next president.”

soundoff (72 Responses)
  1. Ann

    If that is the case, then I am staying home in November. Obama is a fool.

    August 22, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  2. anonmouys

    « Back to mainNext article:
    Fake VP announcements sent…even to White House press

    August 22, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  3. Ashley

    Oh here goes, let the Clinton supporters start filling these comments.

    Obama + Anybody But Clinton '08

    August 22, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  4. spoony

    we need mccain as are predient. he is a rich and hes white. i dont wont to be atacked by iran and the russians. i dont trust a black muzlim as presidnt. obama just wants to help poor black people and he does not care about whites.

    August 22, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  5. concern

    John McCain was born in Panama! Who really was born in the USA!

    Can he even run for POTUS!

    August 22, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  6. Denise

    I am eagerly awaiting the announcement so I can decide whether I will put my full support behind Obama or behind McCain. I am leaning McCain but if Obama picks Hillary I will feel obligated to support that ticket. I'd like to know so I can get started. But why am I not surprised that Mr. Self-Involved is dragging this out, wasting everyone's time. "I know but I'm not telling. Neener neener neener!" What a child.

    A diamond with a flaw is better than a pebble with none.

    August 22, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  7. Sarah- ARIZONA

    No she did NOT get snubbed.

    August 22, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  8. Amanda

    He snubs Hillary and all women...what else is new? He will go for the same old, same old – white guy and try to get votes with middle America. It will never work...most people are done with him. McCaine is up in the polls because they are sick of him! He won't be elected president in 08! Thank god!

    August 22, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  9. Sue

    No she didn't get snubbed. People have the right to make their own choices whether they are right or wrong to another person.

    August 22, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  10. Ron from Bel Air

    Obama's campaign falters again in the closing hours...not the Clintons' fault this time, is it?

    August 22, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  11. Joe Kiloz

    N A T I O N A L,,,,,,,G U A R D,,,,,,,,,,T O,,,,,,,,,R E D E P L O Y

    August 22, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  12. Theresa - Minneapolis

    Hillary is not entitled to anything, guys! Why is that so hard for so many to accept? I personally hope she IS chosen as the VP so that all these babies will finally shut up and get behind the party!

    My worst nightmare is to see McCain elected. I'd hope that would be the worst nightmare of any Democrat BUT Hillary supporters are not Democrats. They're Hillary-crats. I think that sucks...

    August 22, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  13. Captain Capslock

    They wouldn't be so angry if media types like Begala and Carville didn't keep throwing fuel on their fire.

    August 22, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  14. Mark R. Milwaukee WI

    If this all comes to bear, I'm devastated, and I think it spells defeat for us in November. Unfortunately, there is a big split in the democratic party over this. I will vote for Barack Obama because one more conservative supreme court justice would set us back DECADES. But if he hasn't chosen Hillary then he has chosen poorly. I can't imagine he would let a chance to unify the party slip through his hands.

    August 22, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  15. Mark R. Milwaukee WI

    If it's not Hillary then this race is going to be far closer than it needs to be. I don't know why you wouldn't choose to unite the party by picking her. I'll vote for Obama anyway because one more conservative supreme court justice would set us back decades. But it sure would be refreshing to not have a white man in the white house for once.

    August 22, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  16. Rob in Sacramento

    if she had run a campaign that enabled her to win, id be set to vote for her, no problem. thing is, she didnt. she didnt win & couldnt keep her staff remotely civil. she lost & her husband will be resentful over it til death. hillary allowed the attacks to get personal & poisoned the well with obama. after running a low brow campaign, her supporters have now resorted to accusations of gender bias, disenfranchisement & fraud.
    its 3am, your husbands with an intern & its goin to cost al gore the election & doom us all to 8 years of greed & stupidity. who do you want answering the phone? thats enough vetting right there..................................

    August 22, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  17. Cynthia

    No she did not get snubbed. One of the political analysts said that she had been vetted for 20 years so I would think she didnot. But, in any case, it is probably a blessing in disguise that she did not because nobody knows what would have come to light about the Clinton Library donors among other things. Sometimes it is best that we don't know the answer. Why stir up cow manure (not the word I want to use) – all it will do is make it stink.

    August 22, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  18. mm

    You can't spend months telling us that you do not believe the guys message, and that he's unprepared only to get upset when he doesn't want you on the team.

    August 22, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  19. Trina

    The Democrats' in-fighting continues to hand the Republicans an easy victory. This election was theirs for the taking. But ... nooooo ... Dems have to continue this schoolyard fighting.

    August 22, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  20. Nunya

    As far as the vetting, the talk at the time she suspended her campaign was how she wouldn't need to be vetted because she was such a well-known quantity and so clearly qualified. Undoubtedly the same people who are complaining about no vetting now instead would be complaining about how insulting vetting her was if he had done it. They just are looking for something to complain about in the situation because their candidate didn't win.

    And please... She could not have made it more clear that she wanted the slot, and now she tries to make it sound like she doesn't. Of course, neither position was expressed in straight-out explicit terms, so that she can claim that she never said that she wanted it and that she never said she didn't want it. So now it's Slick Hilly instead of Slick Willy.

    August 22, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  21. Adam

    Will these two guys please shut up! They are just mad that their canidate didn't win. Sore losers all around. PUMAS? you mean closet republicans. If they cared so much about Clinton they could have shown the country by getting her out of debt. Those two guys are the reason a lot of us democrats get a bad reputation as whiny. Also, Clinton said this was Obamas decision to make. Why should she have a say?
    Anyone who would vote for McCain because they didn't win are so selfish it's amazing. Think of the soldiers and sailors who will die if a democrat isn't in charge.

    August 22, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  22. MARYANN Oswego IL

    Hillary should be on the top of the Ticket...Obama is playing games with the AMERICAN people...sooner or later people will see right through this man. I just saw the segment on CNN about Obama's half brother living in poverty!!!! Barack cannot even get his whole family united and his followers think he will unite this party! I have always been for HILLARY CLINTON and I will not vote for Barack Obama...He lied to us saying that she was on his short list....he is just another George W Bush waiting for someone with experience to tell him what to do.

    August 22, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  23. Cck in Washington State

    PUMAs need to relax and considedr the fact that maybe Hillary did not want the VP slot. She said so herself that she never said she did want it. Perhaps in her meeting with Obama right after suspending her campaign, the two of them talked about other positions in the administration that she would prefer–attorney general? sec'y of health and welfare? One of these positions would allow her to pursue her objectives and maintain a high-profile position.

    August 22, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  24. Scott

    He's running the show now. Let him conduct it in his own way.

    August 22, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  25. smokey

    Personally I think iot is ridiculous to continue to delay the announcement. I really think it is having the reverse affect that was intended. Yes, the media is hyped but I think the voters are simply turned off.

    I also do not think it so important to have vetterd Hillary Clinton as her record and past has been well reviewed. I think it will be a major error to not select Hillary as the VP nomination and will very much divide the party. I simply do not understand how the Dems continue to shoot themselves in the foot....the Clintons have done so much for their party and country. If Obama has really disrespected the Clintons, he will very much regret his decidion.

    August 22, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
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