July 17th, 2008
07:10 AM ET
14 years ago

Bayh, Nunn dodge VP questions, but buzz rises


Watch Nunn and Bayh discuss the veepstakes.

(CNN) - Evan Bayh and Sam Nunn wanted to focus on Barack Obama's national security credentials Wednesday. The traveling press corps trailing the presumptive Democratic nominee’s campaign didn’t.

In a press conference following a campaign-sponsored roundtable discussion on emerging terrorist threats, Bayh and Nunn were bombarded by questions over reports both Democrats are on Obama's shortlist for vice president.

But Bayh, a senator from Indiana, and Nunn, a former senator from Georgia, revealed little about the Obama campaign's vetting process and their own ambitions for the job.

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

"I have never aspired to that office," said Nunn, who served in the Senate for 25 years. "It is always nice to have your name mentioned - it is an honor - but I have no expectation of being offered any office, and I am not in any way sitting on the edge of a chair ready to go back into government."

Nunn, one of the most respected Democratic voices on national security policy, seems to encounter vice presidential speculation every election cycle, given his appeal in the South and strength on issues where Republicans usually have the edge.

iReport.com: Share your picks for VP

Bayh, a former supporter of Hillary Clinton who also has red-state appeal, also brushed aside speculation he is being considered a spot on the ticket.

"I love serving the people of Indiana - and I think any questions about the vice presidential thing are understandable and it’s good for my ego, but I should probably let Senator Obama and his campaign address those kind of questions," he said.

One reporter asked the senator — whose father Birch Bayh ran for president in 1976 - if he was taking his name out of the VP running.

"I've got a plane to catch," he responded, chuckling.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Evan Bayh • Popular Posts • Sam Nunn
soundoff (306 Responses)
  1. Anonymous

    Frieda in NY: "...almost everyone seems to be reluctant about becoming Obama's VP."

    Yes, they are being coy, but that's common. After all, if they actively pursue it and then are not chosen, it makes them look bad. So they make non-committal statements publicly and don't look so bad if they are not chosen. If they are chosen, then they can do the beauty pagent surprise look, as if they're shocked and had not expected it but are oh-so grateful to be chosen.
    More to your point, though, I've heard only one person give a Shermanesque declination (i.e., I do not want it and will not accept it). Neither Nunn nor Bayh have done so. In fact, Bayh has said he would accept if asked. Therefore, your statement is inaccurate.

    July 17, 2008 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  2. Michelle, PA

    Enough already! Everybody with any political experience knows it's the epitome of bad manners to look like you're campaigning for the VP slot. Potential running mates have to be coy, and should be coy, about the VP job even if a deal has been sealed behind closed doors. It is the nominee's show and his decision who, when and how – NOT the potential running mate's. Only Mitt Romney doesn't know or care about the dance. Look out for more of the same, because for anyone serious about the position it is an unanswerable question.

    July 17, 2008 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  3. Melissa

    I have come to one conclusion: We all argue about the canidates and the VP choices. We argue policy and morals, we speculate on future oil prices and the economy. We complain about illegal immigration and taxes.

    What everyone MUST realize is that it doesn't matter who is president next- AMERICA IS LOST!!! Our major corperations are owned by foreign investors, our unions are broken (thank you Pres. Reagan), our debt is owned by China (and other countires that don't like us)

    Some day real soon America won't be America anymore- the foriegn investors will own us AND THEY WILL COME TO TAKE POSSITION of their property. Then they will tell us what our laws will be.

    Think I'm wrong- do some checking for yourself. find out who owns the big employers in our nation (Budwieser just sold out, DICK Chenney moved Halliburton to Dubi) and who is loaning us money (China, France, Dubi). Tell your kids to learn to speek Chineese- they will own us soon. And our "law makers" aren't doing anything about it.

    July 17, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  4. Linda from Prescott AZ

    Both are good hard working Democrats.

    July 17, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  5. Tony

    If those are the two Obama is considering then he had better go with Evan Bayh if he wants to win.

    Obama is a fool for not choosing Hillary or Joe Biden. Too many still pi**ed off at him regarding Hillary and from the people I personally know who say they will not vote for him if Hillary is not the V.P. mean what they say. I've known most of them to sit out an election before.

    This time is too important because whomever the next president is they will more than likely get to appoint as many as 3 justices to the Supreme Court ........................and it would be terrifying and devastating to the country if that person were to be John "McBush" McCain.

    July 17, 2008 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  6. Let the truth be told

    Obama/Sinclair '08

    July 17, 2008 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
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