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. samantha (obama intern)

    Although I'd rather not see Hillary on the ticket, I'm worried it's something that needs to be done in order to win over bitter, Hillary supporters.

    June 9, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  2. gman

    Governor Kathleen Sebelius is the best pick. She will fill in all of Obama's weaknesses and balance the ticket.

    Obama/Sebelius 08/12

    Sebelius/?? 16/20

    June 9, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  3. Georg

    Obama should choose Hillary!

    June 9, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  4. An Independent Hillary

    If Obama does not chose Hillary, myself and a lot of others will chose McCain

    June 9, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  5. frank farrell

    Sorry obama you have to convince Hillary to be your VP. oTHERWISE YOUR ELECTORAL HOPES BECOME GREATLY DIMINISHED. This is not any other election year. You stole the show but Hillary got a honorable mention. She convinced voters in states like Indiana, West Virginia, and many others to vote for her even though her campaign was a lost cause. She has many supporters that will only go to you with her in the ticket. If you are the great change and uniter candidate than you will get her into the fold and forget the Kennedys and the like who are from a differnt era and still trying to get top billing.

    June 9, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  6. Thomas

    Obama / Webb
    Obama / Hagel
    Obama / Bayh
    Obama / Bob Graham

    June 9, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  7. Mary, Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin

    He needs a white male with military experience, who is more "middle of the road" than Obama. The candidate should probably not be a Washington-insider, so he can stay true to his message of "change."

    June 9, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  8. amelia

    I question why an aide feels the need to say "to show respect for party leaders and ask advice". It would be helpful to readers if CNN would print the name of the individual or who's aid rather than say "an aide".

    June 9, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |

    Obama should choose Hilary to save the Party and to eliminate the third Bush–Mc Cain.
    However, this lady must be tamed because she is a poison to Obama based on all what she said during her campaign

    June 9, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  10. hjecd6

    I think it is good that Obama is taking his time choosing a vice president. I am not quite sure if he should put Hillary on the ticket but I think she could fit in his cabniet.

    June 9, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |

    I Will Trust Your Judgement On Your Selection For Vice President. I Have A Couple Of Favorites In Mind. . . And One That I Would Really Hate To See On The Ticket! You Have Shown Sound Judgement In My Mind So Keep At It!

    June 9, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  12. allie

    Please do not choose Hillary. She is the reason why her supporters are so divisive and now stupidly say they will vote for McCain. If she had run a cleaner campaign, they would want to unify except the racist ones – those are ignorant and backward. If Obama loses, I blame Hillary!!!!

    June 9, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  13. IowaisFirst

    Anon- you are definitely ahead of the learning curve.

    By choosing Senator Clinton, Senator Obama will achieve his goal of "change". You are absolutely quixotic in your thought process. Those that believe in such nonsense have been ostriches buried in the sand while these two campaigns have relentlessly torn one another apart. Lets unite as a Democratic party and for vantage, lets not look behind but towards the future. There ARE more qualified veeps other then Senator Clinton and the selection process will show that fact.

    June 9, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  14. westerner22

    I hope the result of this systematic search by the committee will be a real dream ticket, where the VP would enhance Senator Obama's candidacy without the baggage that Senator Clinton on the ticket would bring as well. Senator Clinton is not a candidate of Change and would undermine the message of Senator Obama. His supporters are furthermore suspicious of her, due to her choice of negative campaigning, by which she had lost. She started from much better position than Barack Obama, and that included her husband's name. The way she campaigned indicates lack of true management skills. She is left with enormous debt now. And as simple as that: there are better women candidates that Clinton, but can democrats risk and pair two non-traditional choices on the ticket. Governor Sebelius of Kansas is one of these women, but she is also young enough to wait to run for presidency in eight years.
    Zbigniew Brzezinski last week about Hillary Clinton as a VP: “government in waiting”.

    June 9, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  15. Sue Ann

    We need Jim Webb on the ticket. A former Republican, a war hero, Secretary of the Navy under Reagan, from the swing state of Virginia, against the war in Iraq. Obama-Webb '08. Now, that's a winning ticket!

    June 9, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  16. Ken Pittsburgh

    obama should choose who he thinks will be the best choice for the party and if he wins the best chice for the country

    June 9, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  17. AnybodyBut Hillary

    Why do we want to load the boat with damaged goods ?
    eg. Hillary's arrogance and Bill's baggage ?
    Can't we get a woman VP without so much baggage ?
    For example governors Kathlen Seibellus from Kansas or Janet Napolitano from Arizona ?

    June 9, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  18. Iam4mycountry

    I am glad that Obama is not giving into pressure. He should choose whom ever he thinks is best. If that is Hillary then great; If not then I am sure he will choose the right person for him.

    June 9, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  19. Frank in Tampa

    Obama needs to pick someone he is comfortable with and can TRUST. He does not need a co-president, and if he picks Hillary, he gets two for the price of one!

    June 9, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  20. Dave

    The VP will be offered to Hillary and she will decline.

    June 9, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  21. Jay

    Obama should select the candidate that best supports his policies and ideals. A lot candidates should be considered including Hillary.

    June 9, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  22. Bam

    wouldn't hurt.

    June 9, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  23. No McCain

    Good way to do it Obama.... search systematically and thorougly... without being pushed around by media or anyone else... it is about the future of America to choose the right person as ur VP. I trust your judgement.

    June 9, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  24. Jan

    Hillary should never take 2nd spot to that phoney!

    June 9, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  25. just call me right

    They're wasting their time.
    Obama will never be elected no matter who else is on the ticket.
    They might as well take the summer off and get suntans.

    June 9, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
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