Peninsula Poll backgrounder: Obama ridicules idea of second spot on Clinton ticket

  • Monday, March 10, 2008 11:37am
  • News

By Charles Babington, The Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Miss. — Democrat Barack Obama ridiculed the idea of being Hillary Rodham Clinton’s running mate today, saying voters must choose between the two for the top spot.

The Illinois senator used his first public appearance of the week to knock down the notion that he might accept the party’s vice presidential spot on the fall ticket. He noted that he has won more states, votes and delegates than Clinton so far.

“I don’t know how somebody who is in second place is offering the vice presidency to someone who is first place,” Obama said, drawing cheers and a standing ovation from about 1,700 people in Columbus, Miss.

Saying he wanted to be “absolutely clear,” he added: “I don’t want anybody here thinking that ‘Somehow maybe I can get both”’ by nominating Clinton as president and assuming he would be her running mate. “You have to make a choice in this election,” he said.

Obama aides said Clinton’s recent hints that she might welcome him as her vice-presidential candidate appeared meant to diminish him and to attract undecided voters in the remaining primary states by suggesting they can have a “dream ticket.”

Obama had never suggested he might accept a second spot on the ticket. But until today, he had not ridiculed the notion so directly, even if he did completely rule it out in Shermanesque terms.

Click on “AP News” at left for the full report.

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