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. Upon Further Review

    She didnt have to be vetted you morons,the nominations did that,we the people vetted her and found her lacking.

    August 22, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  2. Hillary Lover

    We fierce loyalists are hopeless anyway. We snivel and whine all day on blogs and comment forums hoping somehow Hillary will rise from the ashes and smite down Obama and his millions of followers. We're old, crotchety people who can't let go. And the press keeps following all, what, 15 of us? The Puma convention was attended by about 20 people, for crying out loud. But, gosh, were we 20 angry!!!!

    August 22, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  3. Jackson

    If he don't pick Clinton ... he won't win!

    August 22, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  4. PG

    Do these people ever know how to accept defeat and move on?

    August 22, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  5. Independent Iowan

    Unbelievable. If they are so concerned about being peacemakers, then why are they fueling disunity by saying they feel like Obama was disrespecting her? And that is why so many people didn't back Clinton and her entourage here in Iowa: they were simply "unbelievable".

    August 22, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  6. Ok...

    All I know is that Obama and his follower's egos are going to be their downfall. They do not realize that they actually need the other half of the Democratic Party to win this election, and then some. But they continue to not only ignore their concerns, but taunt them. Good luck in November- I will not vote for McCain, but I won't vote for Obama either. I think I will just stay home this year.

    August 22, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  7. alfred

    Obama/Clinton ticket is without a doubt the best test possible! but how things are looking i' am going to vote for Mccain not because if hillary is not the vp but because he hasn't even made an true effort to pay Hillary's debt now thats the snub!

    August 22, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  8. Jared

    Most everything about her is public knowledge by this point, Obama fought against her in the primaries so its doubtful that he would have to formally vet her if he was interested in having her as his VP. This story is only being reported by the Press to stir up more news stories about "outraged" Hillary supporters.

    August 22, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  9. Democrats No Matter What!!

    Oh boo hoo. Cry me a river!

    ONLY in America could a black man win an election and have people try to FORCE him to take the loser as his partner. Only in America!

    And for the record, she has NOT been vetted! She never released last year's tax return or the names of the contributor's to Bill's library. Not to mention that she was a proven liar on the campaign trail by her story of ducking sniper fire. She's not vetted and if supporters wanted her in office, she would be the nominee.

    The media is amazing in this whole process. Y'all have lost your minds this year and that's saying something.

    August 22, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  10. George

    At this point it seems to me that Paul and James are fanning embers of division within the party. Even if Hilary is not chosen for VP, she could still help Obama and the Party in a whole lot of different ways, provided some of her supporters would stop driving this wedge. It doesn't help Hilary a bit if Obama loses, because democrats will remember all these come the next election.

    August 22, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  11. Shannon

    Obama is a self serving empty suit, and as a Democrat, I can't wait to vote against him and for HIllary Clinton. He voted for FISA, he voted for the Cheney Energy bill, he isn't a democrat, he only cares about himself, and he has a catch phrase that caught on with the media. Hope and change, what a joke. Hillary Clinton still beats him in the latest polls, we need a leader, not a wannabe rock star!

    August 22, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  12. cj

    Obama is a flip-flop.... I don't trust this guy at all.

    August 22, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  13. John



    August 22, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  14. Helene, GA

    She may have told him she didn't want the job. How do we know what they talked about during their private meeting at Feinsteins's home? We dont' know. I think the pundits should stop causing trouble.

    August 22, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  15. Roger Raines

    Obama is the only person in the world who could get someone like John Mcsame Elected. I don't want that too happen but I guess it will. I feel sorry for the country but the Dems did it .Some people never learn that you have too listen too your voters every now and then.

    August 22, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  16. Phyllis/ PA

    Hillary for President. She would have to have Obama as her VP only because the democratic party is split. Maybe as her VP he could gin the experience that at present he totally lacks.

    If Hillary is not nominated, I am one of the many that will vote for McCain.

    August 22, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  17. Proud Democrat

    What is the big deal? Obama is the nominee and he has every rights to have his consultant for his VP. I still have lot of respect for both Hillary and Bill but they are losing that respect very quickly due they can not get over it. Remember, Obama was the victim during the primary. It was Hillary who attacked Obama for not ready to be commander in chief, using Osama Bin Laden in ad, dispute the Michigan and Florida delegates which she was agreed to. At last, I am very disappointed that both James Caville and Paul Begala are frustrated. I like you guys very much but you are not helping the cause at this point. You can express your frustration after 11/4/08

    August 22, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  18. John Oross

    My feeling is that Senator Clinton would be much more valuable as a cabinet member than as VP. Here she could focus upon health care reform! Heaven knows we need it.

    August 22, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  19. Dan

    I hope that this story fizzles out...

    It's stories like this that make me continue to question Obama, just as I feel I'm embracing him.

    I don't want to be the one reminding Obama supporters that they were the ones who said they didn't need the Hillary supporters if we lose...

    August 22, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  20. s

    only articles like this, would give reasons for former clinton supporters to get angry- AGAIN!

    it's a shame CNN as resulted to brining up drama everytime. you guys need to start reporting on the latest news and stop focusing on the past. who cares whether she was vetted or not. apparently the obama campaign has reasons they chose not to vet her. let it go.

    dem 08

    August 22, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  21. Lisa

    Don't worry we will get the last laugh in November!

    August 22, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  22. Chryssa

    She WAS vetted – remeber the primary season? That was enough for Obama to know she's not the one for VP.

    August 22, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  23. mrspeel

    Are you stooping to National Enquirer level now??

    Since this statement came from an "unnamed" Democratic "insider", I put NO CREDENCE in it at all. Anyone with half a brain can figure out that it's just a Hill-Raiser trying to stir things up at the Democratic Convention next week, hoping that it will create chaos for Barack Obama!

    Why does the MSM buy into anonymous statements? Isn't it your job to verify before you report? You're just repeating a rumor that you haven't substantiated.

    August 22, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  24. Robert Bauer, Sonoma County, CA

    This is ridiculous conjecture on the part of two people who really know nothing first-hand about the topic at all. Nobody but Obama and Clinton know anything first-hand about what has gone on between the two of them. And, they are both being supportive of each other. So, what happens? Two bored buttonheads with nothing better to do, get on the news and create a story, which underneath the surface, is nothing more than an exercise in self-absoption.

    August 22, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  25. Jeremy

    CLINTON 2012!!!!!

    August 22, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
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