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. Chuck

    Does it really make any difference who it is? However people like Debbie who will vote republican to advoid Obama is crazy. Your reason for voting republican only goes to show you are republican.

    July 16, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  2. Jamaican

    The more this election keeps rolling the more he will need the powers of a Hillary Clinton.

    Can you imagine if she is named to be on the ticket, the push in the polls he will get.

    July 16, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  3. Vote McCain

    I really don't think Obama needs Clinton on the ticket anymore. He is ahead in the states Clinton "claimed" he could not win. That throws her whole non-electability argument out the window.

    July 16, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |

    I liked Gen Clark, or Webb, but since they are out, Now I would pick Biden. I do not like Bayh, but I have confidence in Obama to pick the right one. Change We Can Believe In. Obama for Prez 08-16.

    July 16, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  5. Southern view

    Bye Bye Bayh, not a good choice. Another young poster boy for liberals, not good. Obama alreadyhas the young and cute vote. Nunn is much better choice.

    July 16, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  6. Can we just be American?

    Obama 2008 okay!!!

    I have faith that whoever Obama picks will be the best choice... I am so sick of the speculation though... can we just chill until the process is over? I must note though that all of Obama statements towards how to deal with the Middle East are being implemented by Bush... now McSame must flip flop and change is thinking.... gosh we are sending someone to talk to Iran??? Yep read that somewhere and this is the administration that doesn’t talk to anyone right? For a Jr. Senator it appears that the Republicans are taking his message and running with it as quietly kept as they can... Rock the vote & stick to the issues and there will be no doubt that Obama is America's best choice for President!

    July 16, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  7. Roofin Reality, Houston, Tx.

    If you look at the curretn state of affairs, Senator Obama is really close (withiin 1 or 2 points, or even ahead by the slightest margins) in Indiana. So, if his first order of business is to ensure a win, I can't think of a better way than to take a red state like Indy and turn it blue. Then, with Iowa, Colorado and New Mexico, along with Kerry's states from 2004, he already wins with 280 electorals.
    And, Bayh makes sense in terms of gicing Senator Clinton a little consolation that he asked one of her main supporters.

    And while I agree with Pepou at 9:50 that he does have that playboy look, that's exactly something that will add some non-issue voting women to vote for Team Obama.

    Sam Nunn brings unquestioned credentials to the ticket in terms of foreign policy. He also helps Obama by NOT taking a current Dem senator out of the senate, whereas helping his legislative agenda get further down the road. Lastly, he could help put Georgia into play, especially since Obama is down 4 points there right now. But, other things would have to take place as well in order for his presence to have an affect in that state on Nov 4. However, with Georgia "in play", Senator McCain would have to make a decision on whether to put $$ there or not. That's a big gamble if he doesn't. So, if he does, then he can't put that money in Michigan or Iowa or Colorado or New Mexico or Pennsylvania or New Hampshire, and dare I say in Florida.

    So, two interesting options. As I've said before, Obama and his team have gotten to this point (winning the Dem primary and currently out front in the general by a small margin) by being very smart and prudent. Since I'm sitting at a computer typing this versus standing in front of cameras making speeches or in the backroom helping strategize and make policy, I'll go with what he and his team decide.

    Btw, it looks more and more like Romney for Senator McCain. We'll see if that changes anything, especially for those fundamentalist Christians who don't want to see a Muslim, or a Mormon, in the White House. Incidentally, people, one of the main characters DOES NOT practice a religion that people allege, while there is another character who is avowed follower of the religion. Just thought you'd want to know.

    July 16, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  8. Ken from Kansas


    In all seriousness, however, I don't think either of these men have the name recognition to pull off the veepstakes win. However, I also don't see Obama choosing someone to fill the traditional "attack dog" role. Frankly, Obama's campaign has been run different from the beginning, so the conventional rule book can be thrown right out while we're speculating.

    I do like Colin Powell, and I think Hillary certainly deserves a seat at the table. Frankly, there are many viable options for Obama, so he must weigh each one carefully. I don't think any potential veep should take their nonselection as a "snub": there are just many highly qualified people out there for the Democrats.

    July 16, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  9. Gregora

    WOW! If Obama is intent on telling Clinton supporters to go to hell, then he could not have picked two more properly offensive men to consider inviting onto the ticket. Sen. Obama, if you don't want anything to do with Hillary supporters, then we certainly won't offend you by going to he polls in November! Nor will those of us who have spent years blockwalking, calling and driving folks to the polls correupt your campaign with our interference. This is the first time in my life I just don't think I can support our nominee. If Hillary does not deserve a spot on the ticket. Then, Sen. Obama does not deserve my vote. I won't vote for McCain and I won't stay home. But, I will write Hillary's name in for President and encourage everyone I can think of to do the same. Unless, of course, I am able to vote for both Sen. Obama and Sen. Clinton.

    July 16, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  10. bernard, macon, ga.

    Being from Georgia, i think that Sam Nunn is a great choice. Very smart and well liked man. He did wonders for the state of Georgia and I know he would be a great help to President Obama.

    July 16, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  11. Willow, from Iowa

    I'll be glad when Obama picks his VP choice. And I hope its not Hillary. We don't need to pay off Hillary's campaign debts. She's asking people to move their donations to her 2012 Senate re election campaign. She is obviously not worried about her small vendors in the 08 primary season.

    Let Obama's search committee find his VP choice. That's what he hired them to do.

    July 16, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  12. Elly

    I think in the years to come the vice presidential role will become
    more effective in many areas
    there are many issues a vice president could tackle and should have the right to do so
    I am kind of shocked William Cohens name has not been brought to the fore front more than it is
    He is a very bright intelligent and fair individual with an excellent foreign policy back ground with a beautiful black american wife
    They would add a lot to Obamas campaign
    Another name is Gov Bill Richardson who has much foreign policy behind and a great diplomatic record to boot!! He has went to many countries brokering for the release of captives
    Educate yourselves on these people...you might be surprised on what you can learn!

    July 16, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  13. Foxxy FL

    I will vote for an Obama/Clinton ticket, or I will vote for McCain. I am a half-black FL voter, and I will not vote for either of these guys for VP as I do not trust them anymore than I really do Obama anymore. I just do not like all the Obama flip-flops. his support of Bush policy, or the fact that he let voters here in my state have their voice stolen.

    Obama/Hillary 2008 or maybe McCain 2008

    It just depends on Obama!

    July 16, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  14. John McShame, Obama Is Going to Tax You & Cindy, but Not Me & 95% Americans Making < $250,000/Yr

    Hillary can kiss my behind goodby, together with her 18 million voters..........she will be a veepee, NOT!!!!!

    Hillary will be a president, NOT!!!

    Not This Time.

    Not in 2012!

    Not Ever, Never!


    Obama '08/12! – President of the United States!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 16, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  15. The Oracle

    Maybe evan bayh, but I'd hafta see him more on the trail to be sure. But not Sam Nunn, he's to old. And he would fit the mold of an advisor more.

    July 16, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  16. Auntie Coosa, Blairsville, Georgia, USofA

    First of all, under the Freedom of Information Act, application has been made to the Hawaii Dept of Vital Statistics for a copy of Barry Dunham Soetoro Obama's Official Birth Certificate to prove his is a US Citizen. The BC on his website is a fake. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to check on pixels and where they came from and when they were changed. Or to be able to compare a real Hawaii BC to the one on Barry's website.

    Why would Lolo Soetoro sign him into school in Jakarta, Indonesia, as Barry Soetoro, Indonesian Citizen, Religion Islam? Why would HE have reason to lie about that? Did he adopt Barry or was Barry really born in Indonesia? The ONLY living person who can answer these questions is Barry's "white folk" grandmother who raised him, but he refuses to allow her to be interviewed. WHY is that, do you suppose?

    It won't matter WHO Barry Obama chooses for his running mate if he doesn't meet the Constitutional requirements to be POTUS.

    Why don't you Democrats pressure him and his handlers to release his birth certificate and access to his white grandmother so that these questions can be answered since you're so sure that Barry Obama is a US Citizen and his white grandmother won't be his undoing?

    July 16, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  17. Kathleen Kenney

    Hillary is the best qualified of those on the short list. And she will bring 18,000,000 votes with her.

    July 16, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  18. Frank

    This takes Obama in the right direction. He needs to do something safe and conventional in picking his VP. He is enough change for the average voter all by himself. So he should just find someone who can nail down a crucial swing state for him.

    And while we are on the subject of choosing talent for an Obama administration, let me suggest that he do what FDR did. Put Republicans in at State and Defense so the opposition has to blunt its partisanship and stick to the facts.

    Otherwise, they will accuse the Obama administration of treason morning, noon, and night. Hate-mongering is all they know how to do, so you can't really expect them to stop.

    July 16, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  19. arc, Lugano CH


    Spot on, Mate. Well done.

    ...and a refreshing change from the usual isolationist fear rants and failed attempts at concealing ones’ age-old bigotry that make their way on these posts everyday from primarily the bitter Hillary Supporters and a small handful of McCain voters.

    July 16, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  20. Dan , TX

    Hillary does not want to be VP, she wants to be the leader of the Senate and Lord knows we need her there. Take her out of the Senate? She has much more power and influence as a Senator. Making her VP is the same as putting her out to pasture and getting her out of the way.

    July 16, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  21. kevin

    Sam Nunn? an anti-gay biggot. We progressives made a big mistake throwing our support to Obama, who supports warrantless searches, the death penalty and gun rights. I voted for him in the primary, but will not do so again.

    July 16, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  22. Jeff

    Either one would be a better President than Obama. Obama is all ego and hot air.

    July 16, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  23. Florence Nelson

    If Senator Obama does not have Senator Clinton as his running mate I am going to do a write in vote in November.

    The only reason I will go vote is for the Democratic candidates running for congress.



    July 16, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  24. Billy Johnson

    Just another reminder: Don't believe all these so-called Hillary supporters, they are right-wingers trying to get Hillary on the ticket. They know if she gets on that Obama cant win.

    July 16, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  25. Marguerite, NYC

    I really would like to see Chuck Hagel on the short list for VP, but I do think he'll get a cabinet post – maybe Secy of Defense – I think Richardson will get Secy of State and he should – Nunn is good & so is Bayh so I have no objection to either of these two – I really think HRC might be offered Atty General

    July 16, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
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