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. Glenn

    Obama can stand on his own two feet. He has the disposal of the Dems at his fingertips. This crazy notion that Hilary or bust is complete arrogance. The US will be fine without Hillary or a Bill in the White house. Mc Cain should be more worried about who he needs, especially who is gonna operate the computer for him, who will keep his day planner and not loose it and also who will help him prepare for his first debate with Obama in sept. He is gonna need more than his tortured experience against Obama. I dont think he can cry his way to a win like Hillary

    July 16, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  2. Daryl

    What are you talking about Election watcher? You sound confused indeed

    July 16, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  3. Elariia

    Can the media just let us know when Obama has picked someone? The endless speculation is wearying.

    July 16, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  4. lucyna

    I have faith in Obama's decision. He is smart and I am certain that whoever he will pick, he/she will be the right person for VP.

    July 16, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  5. Bob Indianapolis, IN

    Very Nice! Bye Bye McSame!

    July 16, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  6. crazy bastages

    there is still time. vote libertatian. bobbarr2008. com check out the issues

    July 16, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  7. David, Silver Spring, MD

    Rather than picking a VP out of fear that the Republicans will call Obama soft on defending the country, I'd rather see him pick a VP that will help make this a country worth defending. We need a VP that is strong on economic, environmental, and educational issues. Let the Republicans chase the Democrats for a change.

    Bill Richardson for VP.

    July 16, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  8. BHO Not my candidate

    John Edwards will get it.... 2 AMERICAS REJOICE

    July 16, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  9. Michael Lorton, Virginia

    Although on the short list, I don't think that either of these individuals are going to add the "political ump" that Obama needs. Bayh is a political cameleon; changes with the political environment and Nunn, out of time and outdated. Obama would be wise to consider his additional options.

    July 16, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  10. Independent

    "Who Obama is campaigning with Wednesday just might get more attention than what the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate says." – Why?

    CNN, it is your responsibility to report the issues. Obama gave a major speech on foreign policy yesterday, and that should have been your lead story. Instead for a large part of the day your website lead was about Obama's response to the New Yorker cartoons. You should respect the intelligence of the American people more and provide those people who were not able to watch the speech with more detail as to what it contained.

    July 16, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  11. jim r georgia

    If we dont get Sen. Clinton back on the presidetial ticket we are not goung to have any one to vote for

    July 16, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  12. Robert NYC & Miami

    I agree with Bill from Florida.

    Obama needs Hillary Clinton!

    I hope she does not take it though, I want him to sink by himself.

    July 16, 2008 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  13. Raman Chopra

    The Election for the US President is never only about the USA it affects the World. Hillary Clinton is Obama's ONLY HOPE. McCain is looking better by the day. I am a Canadian Citizen originally from India. I am saying Hillary has more clout than Obama anywhere in the World. To get elected one has to have name recognition, charisma and strength. The Clintons have a proven record on all of them. Is it the Clintons' fault that they are more name recognition and charisma than anybody else ? Yes they are polarising and that is good. That is how the base gets energized. They vote and get the votes out. Can you imagine a ALI Vs Frazier ? Once the Clintons are involved then it is Republicans vs Democrats. Otherwise it is just teh Republicans vs Rats ( Bill Richardson for example being one of them ) amongst many. Hilary, hillary, hillary...

    July 16, 2008 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  14. Godwin

    I think Hillary should be secretary of state in Obama administration. I love her but if Obama picks her as VP, he won't be able to campaign onChange and Hope anymore.

    July 16, 2008 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  15. Joe Issano

    Florida is just wild about OBAMA. Most of our Hispanic residents are supporting OBAMA including myself. Time for a change. Go bama.

    July 16, 2008 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  16. pip

    Hillary needs to hold out for Supreme Court. My fantasy ticket: Obama & Colin Powell. He had the integrity to get out from under the Republicans – now let him really serve his country.

    July 16, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  17. linty

    I agree.. i don't know why he is wasting time with other candidates when its clear that he needs to add Hillary to the ticket. I fear it will end badly for Obama if he chooses anyone else besides Hillary. He is too close in the polls with McCain, anything can tip in McCains favor.

    July 16, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  18. Angela

    yep he still needs Hillary on the Ticket!

    July 16, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  19. Tired of W, OH

    Nice summary, Bulldog. That puts it in perspective. So-called experience matters less than good judgment and that is something that Obama has in abundance.

    July 16, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  20. TF

    As much as I disliked her in the primary. I hope he picks Hillary. This way she get down and dirty attacking (sorry pointing out the truths about) McCain. While Obama pushes parties vision.

    Obama & Clinton '08 & '12

    Clinton & C. Clinton '16 & '20

    C. Clinton '24 & '28

    McCain & However = End of the World

    July 16, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  21. Frank

    Do you people actually want the Democrat agenda. Which is...higher taxes (repeal Bush's tax cuts), no drilling for our own resourses (in bed with extreme environmentalists – including Al 'Carbon Credits' Gore, Amnesty for illegals (Obama wants drivers licenses for illegals and our kids to speak Spanish), pull out of Iraq (when we have Iran boxed in to pressure them to give up nukes), Nationalized Health Care (when the Fed Govt has botched so many other programs including Social Security), ....the list will grow.

    July 16, 2008 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  22. Bernardho

    These no-names would be poor choices, BHO should choose either Hillary, Edwards, or Richardson.

    July 16, 2008 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  23. Wood


    It's OVER, Bill, OVER,.. get over it, and get over yourself... A ticket w/Hill is disasterous, not to mention, he'd need a food taster ....

    July 16, 2008 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  24. Bob (Maryland)

    I predict Evan Bayh for VP. Nunn is good too, but he'll be 70 years old in September - not a good contrast to McCain's age.

    July 16, 2008 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  25. 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.

    July 16, 2008 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
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