August 22nd, 2008
06:23 PM ET
14 years ago

Did Clinton get snubbed?

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Begala and Carville said some Clinton backers will be angry."]

(CNN) - Two prominent Democrats close to Hillary Clinton expressed frustration Friday over a report Barack Obama’s campaign never formally vetted the New York senator for the vice presidential spot, and predicted the revelation could further rile some of her most fierce supporters just as the party is set to kick of its national convention in Denver.

Longtime Clinton loyalists Paul Begala and James Carville, who have endorsed Obama's White House bid, told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Friday a Politico report claiming the Obama campaign did not officially consider Clinton for the coveted position would likely further anger some Democrats already wary of the Illinois senator. Both Carville and Begala are CNN contributors.

The matter is even made worse, Begala said, by the fact that Obama himself suggested to reporters earlier in the summer that he would consider Clinton, saying his one-time rival would be on "anybody's shortlist."

"There's two camps in Hillary land - there's the peacemakers and the PUMAs - Party Unity My Aunt Fannie," Begala said. "They're still not behind Obama. Some of them are stirring up a lot of trouble. I don't like it. I'm a peace maker. This story empowers the PUMA crowd because they see this, and I do too, as sort of disrespecting Senator Clinton and breaking Senator Obama's word.

"It's the one glitch in a beautiful process," Begala also said.

Carville, who along with Begala donated the maximum allowable amount to Obama's campaign immediately after Clinton exited the race, expressed particular frustration over reports Obama had not asked Clinton about her thoughts on who should fill the vice presidential slot on the ticket.

"I think we suffered a big blow today to the hard-liners," he said. "I don't think he's spoken to Senator Clinton about the vice presidency or even sought her counsel."

"We may be surprised if he picks her, but after that, it was pretty clear that not only were they not interested in had having her, they were not interested in her opinion," he added.

But former Clinton lawyer Greg Craig, who has supported Obama this election cycle, suggested Friday Clinton did not need to be formally vetted by the Obama campaign because of her lengthy stint in the public eye.

“I think that Senator Clinton is well known," he said. "Her service is well known. Her record is well known. And she herself said to the world that she's been vetted and ready to serve."

Meanwhile, appearing at the New York State Fair Friday, Clinton said she has never been interested in being Obama’s vice president.

I never said I [wanted the job],” she told reporters. “I have always said I will do whatever I can because I feel so strongly in making sure that we elect Senator Obama our next president.”

soundoff (72 Responses)
  1. FL Obama Supporter

    Key point of this article:

    Clinton did not need to be formally vetted by the Obama campaign because of her lengthy stint in the public eye.

    August 22, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  2. Shaik

    Carville and Begala need to grow up....they are acting like all the tired PUMAs. Enough already.....making all these statements when you DON"T REALLY KNOW whether his VP committee vetted her or not is not helpful.
    *Your* candidate will not be the nominee....face it, and rally around the real candidate and stop all this nonsense!

    August 22, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  3. Ann, California

    And so now, Obama needs to be seeking Hillary's opinion as to who he should choose. PULEEEZ give me a break! This has gotten way, way too ridiculous for words. But I've got plenty. These so-called peacemakers, as Begala, Carville and others like to call themselves, are nothing more than wolves in sheeps clothing masquerading as Obama supporters when in fact, they would like nothing more than to see him fall flat on his face. They are fanning the flames of division, hoping it will catch fire and destroy Obama's bid. This is treason and extraordinary hypocrisy. As they say, keep your friends close but your enemies closer. . .

    August 22, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  4. Proud to be American

    Why, why, why do we need to start this mess.... Obama has been more then too nice to Clintons ... even after all the mess they put him through.... see folks keep this crap up and the cheater and lier and the father of illegitimate child will be your next President and his pill poping wife will be the first lady..... pick the best canidate and HRC supporters JUST STOP what you are doing as it is simply wrong.... and is not doing anyone any good... lets unite the party and vote the best man in.... I do think HRC will be the secretary of health....

    Thank you!

    Obama 08

    August 22, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  5. Sherry, Atlanta



    August 22, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  6. Steven,VA

    I have say that there many Hillary backers that are acting like Republicans! It is not about me, me, me! It is about us! So what if Sen. Clinton is not picked eventhough this is who I may have wanted. I am more worried about my electric bill, the price of gas, the price of food, and how this impacts my family. We have to get the republicans out of office as I am not in the top 5% and that party does not care about my family's Unite Democrats, Unite!

    August 22, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  7. Tess

    While I really don't want to see Clinton as Obama's VP, the very idea of the unvetted Obama vetting Cli nton is as ludicrous as everything else he's done.

    August 22, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  8. Fred Atlanta GA

    Let those clinton backers that want to be angry BE ANGRY just move out the way for the real clinton backers that have WAY MORE SENSE!!
    We will WIN without them TRUST ME!!!!!!!

    OBAMA 08/12 YES WE CAN & YES WE WILL!!!!!

    August 22, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  9. diane

    First of all–Yes–Wolf–it is getting Old–the non stop talk today-re VP for Obama-any minute–how about AMMA–you can guess the last 2 letters.

    So–even Bill Maher on Larry King is upset with Obama's inconsistency and whole heartedly thinks that Clinton would be the best VP chocie to win in Nov. Even Karl Rove says that Clinton is the best choice.

    So we will see. If Obama does not pick the one who received more popular vote than he did; then he will have himself to blame if he doesn't win in November. Let's see if he can put Party unity and November ahead of his Nuances and Recalibrated vanity. Post this CNN–you have not posted my thoughts in a long time–I have almost given up of even sending them as they are not in the tank for O.

    August 22, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  10. larry

    Why would Obama care about her opinion on the VP? Do they really think Hillary would have asked Obama about his opinion on her VP. Paul and Carville are a bunch of crybabies.

    August 22, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  11. Jane, IL

    I have 1 house and 1 vote. My vote will go to Barack Obama.

    I love the protest that's going on in front of McCain's Arlington, Virginia home.

    Obama 08

    August 22, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  12. Upon Further Review

    These two morons is why she lost. If she had stayed out their gutter politics she could have won.

    August 22, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  13. Joe Kiloz

    P R E S I D E N T---B U S H--R E A S S I G N I N G--C O M B A T

    T R O O P S-–T O --D E N V E R--R I G H T--A W A Y

    August 22, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  14. The Canadian

    Hillary stated she never wanted the job and she was more focused on being in the Senate!

    Do the PUMAs ever listen to what their Candidate ever says?

    First they dont support her with money, now they dont even pay attention when she states she DOES NOT want to be VP!

    What she DOES want is cash to pay her bills, about the PUMAs focus on that instead of attacking the future Prez

    August 22, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  15. flicktick

    How come you don't have a photo of Obama this time?
    Are you slipping up?

    August 22, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  16. Barbara - NC

    Geeeezzzzz – this whole Dem. convention has to be about

    me me me me me me me me Hillary waaaahhhhhhhh me me me me me

    Will she be at the inauguration whining too? Or will it just be the media whining?

    Get over it people. mmmmmmmmeeeeeeee

    August 22, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  17. Psbro

    Of course he never had any intention to consider Hillary. Why is the MSM so shocked? I'm glad she's not going to be on the ticket, she needs to be as far away from this train wreck as possible.

    August 22, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  18. Donna

    You know..folks need to get over it...Obama does not OWE Clinton anything contrary to what her PUMA folks and supporters believe...this is HIS choice and should be done His one elses!!!

    August 22, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  19. VW

    So now you all know who is OB and where he will lead this country to.

    OB is nothing.

    August 22, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  20. H

    Hillary Clinton has been vetted and she made her opinion known when she [and her campaign] hunkered down with her supporters in the basement of a NY High School on the last night of the Primary when EVERYONE except her supporters already knew Obama had won the Nomination......James and Paul need to 'get a grip'! Oh...and, in case there is some misunderstanding, Hillary's opinion is this: 'Her way or the Highway.' Period. End of discussion....please!

    August 22, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  21. Stu, KY

    One House
    One Vote
    One America

    Obama 08

    August 22, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
1 2 3