[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/19/art.obamaplane0619.ap.jpg caption="The Obama campaign says a VP candidate's ability to carry a state won't be a factor."]
(CNN) – With debates raging over who strategically would be the best vice presidential picks for the candidates, Barack Obama’s campaign manager said Wednesday the Illinois senator's choice would not be based solely on geography.
“I think Barack Obama will pick someone first of all who he believes is most qualified to be president,” David Plouffe told reporters. “Whether someone helps you in an election I think is kind of a side benefit. You certainly want to pick someone who doesn’t hurt you.”
Plouffe pointed to Dick Cheney and Al Gore as examples of VP candidates who weren't necessarily chosen to help win states.
“I don’t think that that’s going to be a factor in the selection,” he added.
Obama vice presidential vetters Eric Holder and Caroline Kennedy were seen leaving the Democratic National Committee headquarters shortly before Plouffe’s press conference began.
“That’s unfortunate,” Plouffe joked regarding the press' sighting.