July 16th, 2008
12:30 PM ET
14 years ago

Two potential VPs join Obama

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/16/art.bayhnunn.gi.jpg caption="Nunn and Bayh are joining Obama Wednesday."]

(CNN) - Who Obama is campaigning with Wednesday just might get more attention than what the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate says.

The Illinois senator is set to be joined on the trail by Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh and former Georgia Sen. Sam Nunn - two Democrats widely believed to be on the shortlist for the vice presidential spot.

Election Center: Who's on Obama's shortlist

The two are set to join Obama at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana for a discussion on national security issues - a forum that is designed to set to stage for the Democratic president candidate's overseas trip next week.

Specifically, the three are set to discuss nuclear non-proliferation, bioterrorism, cyber security and emerging national security threats.

Bayh, who comes from a powerful Indiana family and once served as governor of the state, remains a very popular figure there. His aggressive campaigning on behalf of Hillary Clinton during the state's Democratic primary is widely seen as a chief factor for the New York senator's narrow victory there. He briefly flirted with his own presidential bid late last year but ultimately ruled against it.

Nunn remains one of the most respected national security and foreign policy experts on the national scene. The former senator has a serious, no-nonsense demeanor that would add instant gravitas to the ticket, and he is a popular figure in Georgia - a state the Obama campaign hopes to make competitive this cycle.

Veepstakes: Check out CNN's Political Market to see who's ahead

Both Nunn and Bayh have remained tight-lipped when it comes to the VP slot, though Bayh did acknowledge last month he would take the position if asked.

"I don't think it's the kind of thing you say no to…the answer to that is yes," he said in June. "If you care about serving your country, that is the kind of thing that you do,"

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (338 Responses)
  1. Kevin

    I am a FL voter, who CNN keeps censoring, and I am going to be voting for McCain unless Hillary is on the ticket. There is no way I am voting for these two that is for sure!

    July 16, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  2. Mark Ramsey MD Milwaukee WI

    I will vote for Obama if he chooses Clinton as his running mate. If he doesn't, I just won't vote. Half of the voters in the democratic primary said they want Clinton. It would be a George Bush-style move if he chose someone else. He keeps talking about unity...he needs to unite the party.

    July 16, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  3. Don in CA

    It's either going to be Clinton as VP in 2008 or Clinton as president in 2012 because Obama doesn't stand a chance without her.

    July 16, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  4. Kevin Leo (Jonesboro, GA)


    The reason that there have been far more Democratic stories over the past several months than Republican is because McCain wrapped up his nomintion earlier than Obama...simple facts!

    July 16, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  5. gary


    July 16, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  6. dormar206

    I just love them both

    July 16, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  7. Hillary Clinton Supporter

    Sam Nunn is a homophobe and Evan Bayh has the personality of a potato, but he seems like a nice guy. Nunn will make the Democrats lose the the liberal gay vote, and Bayh will not even bring Indiana. They are weak choices.

    July 16, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  8. kcmookie

    When did competency become optional to the Republican party regarding their Presidential candidates?

    July 16, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  9. Sean from Orlando

    If Obama does not pick Hillary me, my family, my friends, and the thousands of people who have recently become members of websites like Dems for McCain and NoBoma.com (just two name two out of the hundreds that have popped up) will be voting for McCain this year and Obama will lose. There are exceptions of course, but I ask everyone I encounter here in FL, and about 7 out of ten people I ask here will not choose him unless he picks Hillary because Obama and the DNC are both responsible for Disenfranchising FL votes of their votes and MI voters of their votes. He let people be counted as half voters, not at all, or even have their Clinton vote switched to him just to win. Obama counted on being able to win us Hillary supporters over, that is not going to happen, he should have stood up for voter's rights if he wanted that support, and he would have stood up for voters rights if he was sure that he could win with the FL and MI vote counted as it should have been. Instead he let voters be punished with their voice for the actions of their party leaders, actions the voters had no control over, but the government still taxed us to have our primaries. Obama thought that Hillary could sway us to his side and he was wrong about that too, because this is not an issue of sides, it is an issue of voter’s rights. I will not vote for Nunn or Bayh, and not many people in FL will. Tons of people here plan on taking our votes back from the DNC and Obama by voting McCain unless Clinton is on that ticket, and Obama is making this even easier for us to want to do by poor VP choices like these two, flip-flopping on just about every key issue, and supporting Bush policy. The other thing is, I simply do not trust any of Obama's VP choices particularly these two and Richardson, but not really any of the others either. Obama has not given us enough time to learn, know, and get to trust any of them. We have learned everything about Hillary and over a year that trust has been built, there is no way we are going to have time to learn any of his VP choices in just 2 months. We know with Chaney that it is very important to trust our VP and to be honest I trust Romney more than I trust these guys. If Obama picks these two or any of his other choices besides Clinton, he is going to divide the Democratic Party and half our votes are going to go to McCain.

    McCain 2008

    July 16, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  10. shirley.roybal,surprise,az.

    McCAIN IN 2008!!!!!!! HILLARY IS IN 2012!!!!!

    July 16, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  11. John in Columbus Ohio

    Indifferent about Nunn. Sure hope it isn't Bayh. Nunn is a little more of a conservative then I'd like, but that may be what Obama needs to kind of balance out the ticket.

    July 16, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  12. Independant Vet

    His choices , are not even close to what a 5th grader would pick .

    Makes no diff. for he will Flip Flop some more this day.

    Once a Liar,, an even published it in his book, where he lied. Patritisom No . A Flip Flopper , Yes . A Muslim , Yes .
    Good for the Country, NO.

    Good for TV> No. Sure glasd we have remote controll . Getting tired of seeing his mug , an Uh. Huh . Sorry NOOOOOOOooo Obama

    July 16, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  13. Buddy

    Rev. Wright is his best pick so far. Oh I for got he's under the bus',

    July 16, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  14. skippy

    fine. obama won;t get elected this way.

    July 16, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  15. Charley

    Bulldog, Obama has the judgement...McCain doesn't.

    July 16, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  16. Austin Chuks, Lagos, Nigeria

    How I wish that Americans would get over chidish politics and be serious with the harsh realities confronting them, which affect other countries.

    I would say to Americans: Come on, Just Grow !

    Obama's choice of VP is to complement him in areas of challenges. How else could he do it!!!

    Obviously, Obama is the next President of United States of America!!

    July 16, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  17. katiec

    I have enough faith in Barack Obama to know he will select the
    person who will best serve our country for a VP.
    I do not know who he should pick as do not know very much
    about many of the contenders, but do know for the future
    of our country we Democrats, Independents and fed up
    republicans must unite and vote for Barack if we want to
    We do not have room for prejudice, bias, gender, radicals,
    and the distorted media in this election.
    We are the United States of America and must Unite to
    rid our country of the decision makers who have
    put us into many crisises that will take decades to
    dig out of.
    We CANNOT support McCain/Bush.

    July 16, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  18. Lolita

    Sen. Obama has always been correct about the Iraq war. Pres, Bush went into Iraq which did resulted in making us less safe. This resulted in Okeida comming into Iraq and perpetuating the violence in Iraq. The surge in Iraq had cut down the violence in Iraq but it has done nothing in solving the terorists attack. Iraq truly was a distraction from the true terrorists who is Bin Laden, Okeida, and Taliban. Sen. Obama from months ago had maintain that we need to go into Paskistan and Afghanistan and destroy Okeida's base. Had this approach been used, we wouldn't have had to send a surge into Iraq which resulted in more American soldiers being killed. I believe the violence in Iraq would have been decreased long time ago. The Iraq war resulted in strenghtening the Okeida groups and the taliban . I believe as Sen. Obama that the key to ending this terror attacks is going after Bin Laden, Okeida and the Taliban and destroying their core base. After all, it was Bin Laden and Okeida that attacked the U.S. took down the world trade centers .
    I do remembver that Sen. McCain had misspoked when he said Pres. Bush went into Iraq for oil. I also remember that Scott McClellan said that Pres. Bush went to war to spread democracy in Iraq. I remember the Bush admistration was criticising Scott McClellan. Well, in the speech Pres. Bush said on July 15 , he unintentional confirmed that the War on Iraq was to spread Democracy. To sum up, it is apparent to me that Pres. Bush purpose for continuing the War in Iraq was to gain controll of the Oil reserves and to spread Democracy in that country. This has been distrastrous to the economy of the United States and has been a deadly distraction from our fight on terrorism which should have been bringing Bin Laden and other Okeida leaders to justice. Pres. Bush policies has resulted in the deaths of so many of our soldiers and innocent Iraqees. Sen. McCain's perception that this war has made America more safe from terrorists attacks is naive. To me increasing the surge or not increasing the surge didn't really matter because it did nothing in terms of stoping the growing strenght of the terrorist groups. The terrorists moves from one front to another resulting in America chasing them from place to place. Had we listen to Sen. Obama and attack the base of the terrorists groups which is Bin Laden and the Okeida, we wouldn't be in the situation we are in today. I believe the violence in the Iraq war was mostly fueled by the Okieda and this is the reason for why the Iraq war lasted so many years. I believe Sen. Obama had a much better judgement on this matter and I believe he would make a better commander in chief. Sen. Obama does not have the experience of actually serving in the Military but he definitely has a much better common sense judgement about the war than Sen. McCain and Pres. Bush.
    Word to the wise, you don't have to use drugs to know the damaging effects drugs have on people .

    July 16, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  19. Charley

    McCain just has a military biography and not judgement...

    July 16, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  20. Nicole in NE

    Everyone should read Kim from Dallas's post.

    What an educated person! Thanks Kim!

    Obama 08'

    July 16, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  21. Aaron

    I will not be voting for either of those two guys for VP! If Obama does not pick Hillary Clinton then it will be my first time voting for a Republican. Obama lost me really when he supported Bush wire-tapping and I just do not trust these two guys. Hillary I know and trust! So for me and many people my vote has already been decided, I am just waitng to see who Obama picks. If he picks someone besides Hillary then I am going to join the large number of Dems that I have seen online who plan on voting for McCain this year.

    July 16, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  22. David from Ohio

    Um, Obama was not "selected" by the Democratic Party leadership. He won more delegates than Hillary. Hillary was the one that the Democratic Party leadership wanted as the nominee, but voters like me disagreed. These Hillnuts baffle me. Do you really think that there is any chance that we Obama supporters would back Hillary at any point in the future if you Hillnuts prevent him from winning this fall? Bayh would be a solid choice for Obama given that it would deliver Indiana to the Democrats. Nunn is too old and has been out of the mix for a while. I doubt he could deliver Georgia. Consider him for Secretary of Defense. Hillary should however, be on the short list.

    July 16, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  23. Roofin Reality, Houston, Tx.

    Um, make that 284 electorals, and that doesn't include Virginia, Ohio or Missouri, all states that Obama currently leads or is virtually tied in.
    Oh, and let's not forget Montana or North Dakota. Heck, even Arizona could be somewhat in play.

    All that to say is that Senator Obama is currently in a better spot than Senator McCain. That could change, but I like where he is today.

    Deb at 9:48, I agree totally with your sentiments. But, he has to be smart about it, kind of like Ahnald two days ago.
    Instead of Obama throwing out the names, which then makes him "appear" to be arrogant or cocky, I think those are the two words we've heard lately to smear him, he can alert those people that he's wanting them in certain positions and then they can drop it themselves. And, also alert some of the press of the record and then the press can ask those respective persons who can answer like Schwarenegger did two days ago.

    Hey, some of you won't like that because it seems sneaky, but you also know that as soon as he says something prospective about an Obama administration, you will say he's full of himself.

    July 16, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  24. doc stone

    its Hillary for the win, if not i'm going to pigeon hole my vote for a democratic congress and a repug pres. check and check mate to all you liberals and Howard Dean and his internet intelligencia.......

    July 16, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  25. Susan

    My only hope is that the delegates and superdelegates wake up and do the right thing (not what the DNC has mandated) and nominate Hillary as the presidential candidate and then she can make HER choice for VP. HRC is the candidate that the Republicans do not want to face. As the summer wears on, it seems depressingly clear that Obama is not the candidate for this moment in history. Anyone remember when Muskie was the presumed Democratic candidate and all of a sudden Nixon is running against McGovern?? Too familiar to be funny.

    July 16, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
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