July 11th, 2008
02:00 PM ET
13 years ago

Wolfson says Clinton not being formally vetted for VP

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/11/art.ticket.gi.jpg caption="A former Clinton adviser says Obama is not formally vetting the New York senator."]

(CNN) - Is the so-called Democratic 'dream ticket' off the table?

Despite speculation that Barack Obama's presidential campaign is seriously considering Hillary Clinton for the No. 2 spot on the Democratic presidential ticket, a former senior advisor to Clinton said Thursday he doesn't think the New York senator is being formally considered for the job.

Howard Wolfson, the former Clinton campaign communications director, told Fox News Thursday he isn't aware of any official effort on behalf of the Obama campaign that suggests the Illinois senator is considering his former rival for his running mate.

"Not as far as I know," Wolfson said when asked if Clinton had been "asked to participate in the vetting process for VP."

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But the longtime Clinton confidante quickly added there is more information available in the public record about the former presidential candidate "than just about any public figure in America."

"She's been vetted now for a long time - she's got thirty years of taxes in the public record and financial disclosure forms. She ran for president for 18 months and every news organization in America had multiple teams of reporters look at all aspects at her career and her biography," he said. "So there's a lot of information out about her that I know Senator Obama is privy too, that may be sufficient for him to make whatever decision he wants to make."

iReport.com: Whom do you see as VP?

The comments come amid reports the Obama campaign has asked other public officials to hand over information about themselves as part of a formal vice presidential vetting process, including former presidential candidate Chris Dodd.

The five-term Connecticut senator said Thursday that he has been asked to provide "a lot of stuff."

“There’s been some inquiries, yeah,” he told the Associated Press. “They ask for a lot of stuff. I’ll leave it there." The Obama campaign and Dodd’s Senate office have yet to comment on the report, though the Republican National Committee has already leveled attacks on Obama for considering the Connecticut senator, in light of accusations he received preferred loans from Countrywide Financial – the same attack that led to the resignation of the original head of the Illinois senator’s vice presidential search team.

The Obama campaign also reportedly approached Virginia Sen. Jim Webb about the job, followed by an announcement from the freshman senator that he had officially taken himself out of the running.

Other potential candidates for the position are remaining far more circumspect about their interaction with the Obama campaign.

"The decision and timetable for the best person to help Sen. Obama lead the country is entirely up to him. All of us who support Sen. Obama have been asked to direct questions about his choice for vice president to the campaign," Kathleen Sebelius, the popular Kansas governor said in a Thursday statement.

"I'm not going to talk about it," longtime Obama supporter and freshman Missouri senator Claire McCaskill said Wednesday.

UPDATE: Adam Parkhomenko, the founder of Voteboth.com, said Friday it's time Clinton is asked directly if she is being vetted for VP.

"It's time to ask Hillary if she is being vetted. It's not responsible to assume she is not being vetted because a former campaign adviser said he does not know," he said.

soundoff (189 Responses)
  1. Lisa

    So Clinton is formally thrown under the bus, who's next?

    July 11, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  2. Luke Brown, Charleston SC

    Obama needs to pick someone who has actually governed something... like a governor.

    1. Governor of Kansas (best choice)
    2. Governor of North Carolina
    3. Governor of Ohio
    4. Governor of Pennsylvania

    July 11, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  3. P.Madrid

    Thank GOD Obama is smart enough not to pick Clinton as his VP! I just don't trust her.....never have, never will.

    Obama/Clark 08

    July 11, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  4. PUMA

    He just lost my vote..

    July 11, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  5. All For Change

    Sen. Obama has quite a few strong candidates that he could select to help shore up his vulnerable points. Here are a few that I think would be good VP's along the reasons why:

    1. Chuck Hagle- Very strong on the foreign policy front, excellent millitary service record, and can help win undecided moderate Republicans.

    2. Colin Powell- Former Secretary of State, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and doesn't have baggage the Republicans could use against the ticket.

    3. Evan Bayh- Relates well with voters in the rural areas of the mid-west, and takes away the elitist tag the Republican's will try to use.

    July 11, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  6. JJ from Arizona

    Pick Joe Biden and be done with it.

    July 11, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  7. SID P

    CLINTON IS A GOOD PERSON, MAY HAVE MADE SOME MISTAKES OVER HER LIFE. HERE IS WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW, SHE IS HIS CHOICE YOU CANNOT DENY THAT, EVEN THOUGH I DONT LIKE HER, I GOT TO ADMIT THEY LOOK REALLY GOOD TOGETHER AND I CAN LIVE WITH THAT. OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER HE HAS ONLY THREE CHOICES

    1-BLOOMBERG EXCELLENT
    2-CLINTON 50/50
    3-BIDEN 80/20

    MY CHOICE IS THAT HE WILL PICK CLINTON AND ULTIMATELY END WITH BLOOMBERG AFTER CLINTON TELLS HIM NO. AS A REPUBLICAN I AM TRULY SORRY WE COULD NOT PRESENT A BETTER CHOICE I SEE WHY BUSH WON TWICE OVER THIS GUY HE NEEDS ME AS HIS MANAGER-

    July 11, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  8. Fred

    I hope this isnt true. But it may change if we get closer to the election and Obama isnt up more in the polls.

    July 11, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  9. Lenore Z.

    This is up to Obama and everybody– everybody- else should stay out of it.

    July 11, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  10. bob j

    i am going to vote for sen obama for president regardless of who is the vp but i would love for hillary to be on the ticket i think the team would be unbeatable and good for our country it would bring all of her supporters on board obama clinton 08

    July 11, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  11. Cinton for VP

    If Hillary doesn't get VP, Obama will NOT get my vote. I wont vote for McCain though. I will just stay home.

    July 11, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  12. Sam

    Hillary shouldn't be vice president. The vice president position is mostly ceremonial unless the president goes down for the count.
    Hillary would have much more power and be able to do much greater things for the US if she was in one of the powerful cabinet positions.
    This would also allow her to run against Obama in 2012. If she is his VP, she can't run against him (without huge political fallout). Hillary's core mandate has always been healthcare. Let's get her into a position where she can actually push the national healthcare system through. Give VP to some spokesmodel type politician (pretty boy, but not much substance), like Dan Quayle was for Bush senior. Put the people with real horsepower (Hillary) in positions where they can get good work done.

    July 11, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  13. K, Florida

    That's okay, he wasn't getting my vote anyway.

    July 11, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  14. Major Michael Lorton, Virginia

    And believe me, Hillary will continue not to be considered. Too much uncertanties; too much baggage; and a whole lot of non-sincerity. Her 18 million vote card is also about to expire and she will remain with a 30 million campaign debt.......truly defeated......by her own hands.

    July 11, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  15. Mark

    As a Hillary Clinton supporter, it pains me to see how the Obama's campaign has disregarded the value of Hillary and the 18 million people who voted for her. The day he announces that Hillary Clinton will not be his VP, there will be a good number of people in this country making up their minds about voting republican or deciding to not vote at all in the presidential election.

    Obama is acting like George Bush acted after the Florida election, acting as if he won by landslide. The only act of courage that could redeem him, as far as I'm concerned, and would gain him my vote is by selecting Hillary Clinton as Vice President.

    Also, his choice of Carolyn Kennedy as part of the VP search committee only showed his out of touch style, another Bush trait. When was the last time Carolyn Kennedy did anything for the coutry, other than his biological connection to President Kennedy?

    I'm a very disilussioned Democrat, a Latino Democrat, who is now a gegistered independent. Will never vote for Obama, unless Clinton is part of the ticket.

    I know I'm not the only one who feels this way in my community.

    July 11, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  16. todd

    Oh no, the PUMA idiots will be out in full force with this article.

    If you morons were really Hillary supporters as you say you are, you'd be following her and voting for Obama to make sure we have a Democrat in the white house and not a continuation of the same failed Bush policies that have sent this country down the toilet these past 7 years.

    July 11, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  17. proud army and navy mom

    Make no mistake. wolfson is cold and calculating and knows exactly what he doing. He wants the so called hillaryites to get up in arms again and start trying to strongarm Sen Obama into picking her as VP.

    Bill and Hill has the same old plan of making sure Obama doesn't win so old girl can run in 2012. after that, she will just be too old.

    could someone be that calculating, you ask. We are talking about slick willie, aren't we?

    July 11, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  18. Britton, LA

    I agree with Wayne. After you've been in power for so long, it's hard to give up the crown. All Clintons and Bushes need to go away and give someone else a turn. We can survive without a Clinton or a Bush in the White House. Who does Hillary think she is, Evita?

    Sa no, hell no to Hillary.

    July 11, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  19. Ron

    Then he's lost my vote. Without her on the ticket....I'll abstain

    July 11, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  20. PUMA for BARR

    It's over for Hill. That's sad, but not news. She will be great in a cabinet post.

    July 11, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  21. Peter of Oregon

    Whether or not Barack Obama decides to pursue Hillary Clinton as a running mate is 100% up to him, and him alone. He will not bow in to pressure and trying to pressure him will most likely have a negative impact on her chances.

    There are many viable candidates for VP, and it appears that Hillary Clinton doesn't have her arms around her former supporters and so the case being made about him needing to make her a VP in order to secure their support is a weak one.

    If her 18 million supporters had raised more than the $100,000 they have so far to bury her campaign debt, I would have sensed their continued support in her future. Since they haven't, I do not.

    July 11, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  22. Roofin Reality, Houston, Tx.

    I'm an avid supporter of Senator Obama,
    I'll go with whomever he deems helps him the most to win the election and in turn, change the direction of the country. Right now, more than 70% of Americans say we're on the wrong track.

    If he goes with Senator Clinton, that, in my mind, will be a great choice.
    I do ask the former Clinton supporters this.
    How would you respond, as if you're Senator Clinton, when asked,
    How do you respond to the fact that you said previously that you, quote, had experience and Senator McCain had experience, and with respect to Senator Obama, you'll have to ask him." OR
    Sen. Clinton, you said you had this and Sen. Obama gave a speech?

    Again, I'm all for her on the ticket if Senator Obama feels she gives the Dems the best chance to win this November. I just don't know how to answer these questions, and other ones surely to come up.

    Biden or Bayh are two excellent choices. And with Obama running well right now in Indiana, Bayh makes sense. Except that he loses that Senatorial seat. So, Biden makes sense because the Dems would likely keep that seat.

    Then again, maybe Clark as Obama wouldn't have to worry about losing a seat. Who knows? Come last week of August, we'll have a better idea.

    July 11, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  23. Rudy NYC

    Wolfson is an complete idiot to make such a public comment. Why speculate publicly on such a touchy issue when you have absolutely no facts to draw on?

    This demonstrates the lack of insight and forethought that contributed to Clinton's primary loss. He's not showing any concern beyond his own concerns, or what he thinks are his only concerns. I have two words for him to consider the next time he wants to open his mouth.

    "What if.....?"

    July 11, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  24. Ms. RDS

    People can give this up b/c I don't think she is going to be the VP. She and Bill (more Bill) have too much baggage attached to them. If she is picked the republicans will bring up all the scandals of the Clinton administration and garner up support for those who utterly despise the Clinton, and believe or not there are some people who still hold resentment towards them. His pick will of course be somebody with extensive military experience, that's a no brainer. Hillary will be in his cabinet over Health Care or something to this extent. Can you image a White House with Barack and Bill and Hillary in it...yeah that aint happening anytime soon.

    July 11, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  25. jrzshor

    picking her would be a mistake. BUT not picking her would be a bigger mistake!

    July 11, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
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