June 10th, 2008
08:15 AM ET
15 years ago

Obama's VP team raises 'a lot of names' on Capitol Hill


[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/09/art.johnson.ap.jpg
caption="Jim Johnson and other members of Obama’s VP search team took to Capitol Hill Monday."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Members of Sen. Barack Obama's vice presidential search team had a "good, long discussion" with top House and Senate Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill over potential running mates Monday, one participant said.

Two members of the team, James Johnson and Eric Holder, met with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for just over 30 minutes before heading over to speak with House leaders, a senior Democratic aide told CNN. They wrapped up their sessions Monday evening after a meeting with House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emmanuel, leaving without answering reporters' questions.

But House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said he had a "good, long discussion" with Johnson and Holder and added, "They mentioned a lot of names."

"What they're doing is talking to, I think, a lot of people about the alternatives and views that people have about the alternatives," said Hoyer, D-Maryland. Asked whether anyone raised the possibility that Obama's former rival, Sen. Hillary Clinton, could be on the ticket, he responded, "I think it would be reasonable to assume that all of the alternatives were considered."

One aide described the meetings as a chance for the Obama campaign "to show respect for party leaders and ask advice." The aide downplayed the significance of the meetings, noting there have been similar consultations in previous elections.

Obama, the Democrats' presumptive nominee, told CNN last week that he will not rush the selection of a running mate. He said he will "be deliberate and systematic about it, because this will be my final counselor when I am making decisions in the White House, and I want to make sure I get it right."

In addition to Johnson and Holder, Caroline Kennedy is on Obama's vice presidential advisory team.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (134 Responses)
  1. Monica for Obama in Indiana

    That's the way to go 'Obama' just take your time. It's your time to take

    June 9, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  2. Casey

    Well, if he's reading CNN, here's one supporter's suggested short list:

    Rep. Chuck Hagel
    Dem. Joe Biden
    Dem. Bill Richardson
    Dem. Claire McCaskill (except it would remove a democrat from Missouri, so don't)

    June 9, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  3. JIM...TX

    Let's hope this isn't as drawn out a process as the primaries and a decision is made one way or another very soon. The Party needs to get on with fighting against McSame not ourselves!

    June 9, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  4. California Voter

    Obama cannot win without Hillary on the ticket. Hillary would bring in at least 18,000,000 voters to the table. Another person on the ticket would be backstabbing Hillary supporters.

    June 9, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  5. Darth Vadik, CA

    Jim Webb for VP

    June 9, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  6. Independent-woman-4-Obama

    Good. I am glad that they are going through a thoughtful process, even though I believe that Sen. Clinton will either be Sen. Obama's VP or his Secretary of State.

    Sen. Obama needs to choose wisely, this will be his first true, presidential decision.

    God bless & guide him.

    June 9, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  7. Slected not Elected

    Hillary is far too knowledgable and experienced to run with Obama. She is to good for him. Maybe he should get a running mate that is as dumb as he is and they would get a couple of votes. I will never vote for Obama.I don't want the future generations growing up without christianity.

    June 9, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  8. Jesse


    Fact of the matter is Obama would soar like an eagle if he chose Governor Kathleen Sebelius.

    Governor Kathleen Sebelius is a well liked person and a team player and would be able to fill the void of Clinton

    Barack Obama / Kathleen Sebelius 08

    Barack Obama / Kathleen Sebelius 08

    June 9, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  9. Donna

    Hillary for VP. I cannot support a ticket without her. If anyone in this VP search is thinking they will see: 18 million votes, key democratic states, experience, great track record for NYS. It's a no brainer.

    June 9, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  10. eam

    already siding with the Kenndeys, doesn't sound like change to me. if he really is for change he should not include the royal families of america they are the ones that have put us where we are.

    June 9, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  11. A Clear Thinking Indepedent Voter - Ohio

    Looking forward to hearing names for the administration that speak to change.

    Certainly we know the most famous names but who are those 2nd & 3rd round draft picks not on the tip of America's tongue?

    June 9, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  12. swalker3237

    As long as its NOT Hillary I'm fine; and to all her supposed super feminist follwers that plan to vote for McCain in revolt, you are idiots. You will be voting directly FOR some the policies your movement strongly opposes. However, if you are so emotionally strung that you want to shoot yourselves in the foot; go right ahead. I am a liberal who doesn't believe in abortion... and can't wait until he overturns Roe v Wade and see your stupid faces afterwards!

    June 9, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  13. Mike Cobb, Palo Alto, CA

    This is a critical choice for Senator Obama, and I submit that he shoud seriously consider General Wesley Clark. Clark, a decorated retired general who was the Supreme Commander of NATO, who was there for the Bosnian war and its aftermath brings a great deal to the table, including an attractive personna, outstanding foreign policy knowledge, a successful military track record to take some of the attention away from from McCain's military past, and good administrative experience (see NATO, above) ... plus he is a good speaker and from the South. I sum, he is highly capable, he complements Obama, and he takes some advantage away from McCain. I have heard Clark speak on foreign policy in the Middle East, and he has considerable knowledge and makes a great deal of sense. The next best choice would probably be Senator Webb, for many of the same reasons (including putting VIrginia in play), but i think we need him in the Senate.

    June 9, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  14. Tom

    Hillary Clinton is a fine senator and she was very close to claiming the Democratic nomination for president. However, she would be a poor choice as a running mate and at this point, it seems only the media are trying to keep that type of speculation alive.

    Let it go.

    She will not be in the VP slot on the Democratic ticket. The obvious reasons are too many to list.

    June 9, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  15. Chicagoway

    I believe bill richardson would be a great choice for obama with his great reputation regarding national security and foreign policy issues.

    June 9, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  16. Perla

    What an honor it will be for whoever gets to be #2 to President Obama.

    June 9, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  17. Grace

    Bill Richardson for VP

    June 9, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  18. Vernon

    I'm quite sure there are so many qualified VP candidates to choose from.Sen Clinton included.Me personally I would take a long hardlook at Sen.Jim Webb of Virginia...He represents change and also brings strong military experience to the administration.Gov.Sebelius of Kansas is also a strong candidate.

    June 9, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  19. Trudy

    Great, Barack is still creating excitement. I can't wait to vote for him in November, no matter who is VP is.

    Go Obama, yes we can.

    Obama 08

    June 9, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  20. annie

    How about giving the vp to dean, reid or any of the dnc members after all they selected the nominee. How about pelosi ,who has accompolished nothing, other than to urge Sen. Clinton to drop out over and over and over and over and over. There is only on logical choice and that would be Sen. Clinton since she got just a little bit more of the popular vote than the selected candidate did. But that won't happen 'cause obama is too chicken to have a REAL running mate. He might have to put some substance in his speeches.

    June 9, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  21. Doris,Memphis,TN

    Please, Please,Please, No Hillary Clinton!
    Her style of politics does not match Obama's.
    Please Al Gore come back and help Barack Obama!
    We must win the White House back!

    AL Gore is the only person that heal the party!
    If only for one term!!!!!!!!

    June 9, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  22. Nava-Canada

    It will be a tricky decision for Senator Obama to make. The short list
    to be presented by the advisory team may not Have Hillary Clinton's name on it as the party is 'bitter' about the way she conducted the campaign but If senator Omaba wants to win, he should have Hillary on his ticket as she polled 18 million votes against a formidable
    candidate,Obama and she is the second most popular Democrat. but Senator Obama has to talk it out with Hillary about her sincrerity towards him, the would be president. He should make it clear to her that no infighting will be tolerated. Her supporters want her to be vice
    President and they may not like her accepting any other position, to give their votes to Obama,hence Hillary Clinton should be offered the position of VP with conditions. The advisory team should realise that
    if Hillary decides to lie low until 2012 elections, without participating in the campaign, physically, Senator Obama could lose and senator Clinton will have a second chance to be the President of United states of America.

    June 9, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  23. Dan (Redmond, WA)

    I'm a huge Obama supporter but if he chooses Hillary Clinton as his running mate, I'll vote for John McCain!!!

    Sound ignorant to you? Good, because thats what all of you 'bitter' Clinton supporters sound like.

    June 9, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  24. joseph

    Good, it sounds like the dems are going about this the right way. There is no need to rush to select a VP. They should discuss several names and then formulate a short list. Presumably HRC would be on the short list and should be given consideration because it would show that Obama is magnanimous, gracious and diplomatic. Other names to consider would be Webb, Sebelius, Richardson and Pelosi. Everyone on the list should be vetted. The pluses, minuses, strengths and weaknesses of all the short list candidates should be considered. How each potential candidate could help with the electoral map and restore party unity should be considered.

    June 9, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  25. Sam Houston, GA

    Take your time, folks. No hurry. Just be sure to get it correct the first time.

    Don't let ANYONE HOLD US HOSTAGE in this. Thanks, folks.

    June 9, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
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