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Clinton to New York lawmakers: I'm open to being Veep
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Published: Tuesday June 3, 2008

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Hillary Rodham Clinton has told congressional colleagues she would be open to becoming Barack Obama's vice presidential nominee, saying she would consider it if it would help Democrats win the White House, the Associated Press reports.

Clinton, a New York senator, made the comment on a conference call with other New York lawmakers Tuesday, according a participant on the call.

Politico's Ben Smith reports at his blog that "at least four members of congress on the call -- Nydia Velazquez, Jose Serrano, Gregory Meeks, and Carolyn McCarthy -- raised the prospect of Clinton running for Vice President."

The senator's remarks came in response to a question from Democratic Rep. Nydia Velazquez who said she believed the best way for Obama to win over 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.

Speculation about a so-called "dream ticket" has swirled for several months, and many observers see an Obama-Clinton pairing as the best way to unify the party. Clinton supporters have grown increasingly bitter in recent weeks as Obama almost certainly neared clinching the Democratic party's nod, and placing the former first lady on a ticket could help heal some of those rifts.

Barack Obama effectively clinched the Democratic presidential nomination Tuesday, based on an Associated Press tally of convention delegates, becoming the first black candidate ever to lead his party into a fall campaign for the White House.

Clinton reportedly will concede Tuesday night that Barack Obama has the delegates to secure the Democratic nomination, campaign officials told the Associated Press, effectively ending her bid to be the nation's first female president.

The former first lady will stop short of formally suspending or ending her race in her speech in New York City. She will pledge to continue to speak out on issues like health care. But for all intents and purposes, the two senior officials said, the campaign is over.

Clinton's campaign has pushed back swiftly against the AP report. Chairman Terry McAuliffe went on CNN within minutes of its release to call the report "untrue," and her campaign released a formal statement making the same point.

Talking Point Memo's Greg Sargent observes, "One of Hillary's most prominent supporters, Senator Dianne Feinstein, minces no words in saying that the race is over."

"I think after the campaigns are wrapped up today, it is in fact a moment of truth," Feinstein told CNN. "I think a decision has to be made about whether keeping this nomination wide open is in the best interest of winning in November. I do not believe that it is, and I'm a very strong supporter of Hillary being placed on ticket as a vice presidential candidate."

DEVELOPING...

With wire reports

 
 


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