Clinton, Obama meet privately in Washington

By | June 6, 2008

Hillary Rodham Clinton met late Thursday with Barack Obama, a day after saying she would end her quest for the Democratic nomination and endorse the Illinois senator.

“Senator Clinton and Senator Obama met tonight and had a productive discussion about the important work that needs to be done to succeed in November,” their campaigns said in joint statement.

The statement included no details of their talks, as pressure mounted for Obama to invite Clinton to become his running mate.

Robert Gibbs, an Obama spokesman, would not say where the former rivals met, except that it was not at Clinton’s home in Washington, as had been widely reported. Reporters traveling with Obama sensed something might be happening between the pair might when they arrived at Dulles International Airport after an event in Northern Virginia and Obama was not aboard the airplane.

Asked at the time about the Illinois senator’s whereabouts, Gibbs smiled and declined to comment. Clinton returned to Washington after the after the last primaries on Tuesday night, when Obama earned the 2,118 delegates he needed to secure the Democratic nomination. She planned to announce Saturday that she was ending her campaign and supporting Obama.

Clinton disavows VP pressure
The meeting followed Clinton’s disavowal hours earlier of efforts by some supporters who have urged Obama to choose her as his running mate. The push-back came a day after the former first lady said she would end her quest for the Democratic nomination and endorse the Illinois senator.

“She is not seeking the vice presidency, and no one speaks for her but her,” communications director Howard Wolfson said. “The choice here is Senator Obama’s and his alone.”

Clinton was planning an event in Washington Saturday to thank supporters and urge them to back Obama’s candidacy. But as she was bowing out of the race, supporters in Congress and elsewhere were ramping up a campaign to pressure him to put her on the ticket in the No. 2 spot.

Bob Johnson, the billionaire founder of Black Entertainment Television and a Clinton supporter, sent a letter to the Congressional Black Caucus Wednesday urging the group to encourage Obama to choose Clinton as his vice presidential pick. He said he was doing so with her blessing. Obama is seeking to become the first black president. Clinton has told other friends and supporters she would be willing to be Obama’s running mate. But her immediate task is bringing her own presidential bid to a close.

High stakes
In an e-mail to supporters, the New York senator said she “will be speaking on Saturday about how together we can rally the party behind Senator Obama. The stakes are too high and the task before us too important to do otherwise.”

Clinton expressed the same sentiment in a conference call with 40 members of her national finance committee, whom she urged to begin raising money for Obama and for the Democratic National Committee.

“She was in good spirits and totally supportive, without qualification, of Senator Obama and his campaign,” finance co-chairman Alan Patricof said of the call.

It was a shift in tone by the former first lady, who announced 17 months ago that she was “in it to win it.” Many of her supporters want her as the vice presidential candidate, in their minds a “dream ticket” that would bring Obama her enthusiastic legions and broaden his appeal to white and working-class voters.

But Obama indicated he intends to take his time making a decision.

“We’re not going to be rushed into it. I don’t think Senator Clinton expects a quick decision and I don’t even know that she’s necessarily interested in that,” Obama told NBC in an interview. – msnbc

Oh come on, you KNOW she is interested. She’d be the first female Vice President of the United States of America, after all… until something bad happens to Obama, then she’d be President.

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