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Clinton says she's open to being Obama's VP

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080603/ap_on_el_pr/clinton Clinton says she s open to being Obama s VP By BETH FOUHY and DEVLIN BARRETT, Associated Press Writers
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 3, 2008
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      http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080603/ap_on_el_pr/clinton

      Clinton says she's open to being Obama's VP

      By BETH FOUHY and DEVLIN BARRETT, Associated Press
      Writers 2 minutes ago

      WASHINGTON - Hillary Rodham Clinton told colleagues
      Tuesday she would consider joining Barack Obama as his
      running mate, and advisers said she was withholding a
      formal departure from the race partly to use her
      remaining leverage to press for a spot on the ticket.

      On a conference call with other New York lawmakers,
      Clinton, a New York senator, said she was willing to
      become Obama's vice presidential nominee if it would
      help Democrats win the White House, according to a
      participant who spoke on condition of anonymity
      because this person was not authorized to speak for
      Clinton.

      Clinton's remarks came in response to a question from
      Democratic Rep. Nydia Velazquez, who said she believed
      the best way for Obama to win key voting blocs,
      including Hispanics, would be for him to choose
      Clinton as his running mate.

      "I am open to it," Clinton replied, if it would help
      the party's prospects in November.

      Clinton also told colleagues the delegate math was not
      there for her to overtake Obama, but that she wanted
      to take time to determine how to leave the race in a
      way that would best help Democrats.

      "I deserve some time to get this right," she said,
      even as the other lawmakers forcefully argued for her
      to press Obama to choose her as his running mate.

      Joseph Crowley, a Queens Democrat who participated in
      the call, said her answer "left open the possibility
      that she would do anything that she can to contribute
      toward a Democratic victory in November. There was no
      hedging on that. Whatever she can do to contribute,
      she was willing to do."

      Another person on the call, Rep. Jose Serrano of New
      York City, said her answer was "just what I was hoping
      to hear. ... Of course she was interested in being
      president, but she's just as interested in making sure
      Democrats get elected in November."

      Rep. Charles Rangel, a devoted booster of Clinton who
      helped pave the way for her successful Senate
      campaign, said he spoke to her Tuesday and got much
      the same answer.

      "She's run a great campaign and even though she'll be
      a great senator, she has a lot of followers that
      obviously Obama doesn't have, and clearly the numbers
      are against her and so I think they bring all parts of
      the Democratic Party together and then some," Rangel
      said.

      Aides to the Illinois senator said he and Clinton had
      not spoken about the prospects of her joining the
      ticket.

      Obama effectively sewed up the 2,118 delegates needed
      to win the nomination Tuesday, based on a tally of
      pledged delegates, superdelegates who have declared
      their preference, and another 18 superdelegates who
      have confirmed their intentions to The Associated
      Press. It also included five delegates Obama was
      guaranteed as long as he gained 15 percent of the vote
      in South Dakota and Montana later in the day.

      Word of Clinton's vice presidential musings came as
      she prepared to deliver a televised address to
      supporters on the final night of the epic primary
      season. She was working out final details of the
      speech at her Chappaqua, N.Y., home with her husband,
      former President Bill Clinton, their daughter Chelsea,
      and close aides.

      Earlier, on NBC's "Today Show," Clinton campaign
      chairman Terry McAuliffe said that once Obama gets the
      majority of convention delegates, "I think Hillary
      Clinton will congratulate him and call him the
      nominee."

      Clinton will pledge to continue to speak out on issues
      like health care. But for all intents and purposes,
      two senior officials said, her campaign is over.

      Most campaign staff will be let go and will be paid
      through June 15, said the officials who spoke on
      condition of anonymity because they were not
      authorized to divulge her plans.

      The advisers said Clinton has made a strategic
      decision to not formally end her campaign, giving her
      leverage to negotiate with Obama on various matters
      including a possible vice presidential nomination for
      her. She also wants to press him on issues he should
      focus on in the fall, such as health care.

      Universal health care, Clinton's signature issue as
      first lady in the 1990s, was a point of dispute
      between Obama and the New York senator during their
      epic nomination fight.

      In a formal statement, the campaign made clear the
      limits of how far she would go in Tuesday night's
      speech. "Senator Clinton will not concede the
      nomination," the statement said.

      Clinton field hands who worked in key battlegrounds
      said they were told to stand down, without pay, and
      await instructions. Speaking not for attribution
      because they didn't want to jeopardize their jobs
      searches, many said they were peddling resumes,
      returning to their hometowns or seeking out former
      employers.

      Clinton officials have said they would not contest the
      seating of Michigan delegates at the convention in
      Denver this August. The campaign was angry this past
      weekend when a Democratic National Committee panel
      awarded Obama delegates it thought Clinton deserved.
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