Sunday, July 27, 2008
Obama: VP Pick Will Be About Work, Not Winning
Barack Obama said he’ll give his vice president substantive work and will choose his running mate based on ability to govern, not to help win a state in November.
Obama listed the qualities he’ll be looking for: “I’m going to want somebody with integrity. I’m going to want somebody with independence — who’s willing to tell me where he thinks, or she thinks, I’m wrong. And I’m going to want somebody who shares a vision of the country: where we need to go — that we’ve got to fundamentally change not only our policies, but how politics work, how business is done in Washington.”
In an interview taped in London for NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Tom Brokaw asked Obama about the “old rules” of picking a ticket mate based on electoral strength in some region, and “someone who is stronger in some policy area than you are.”
“I think the most important thing, from my perspective, is somebody who can help me govern,” Obama said. “I want somebody who I’m compatible with, who I can work with, who has a shared vision, who certainly complements me, in the sense that they provide a knowledge base or an area of expertise that can be useful. Because we’re going to have a lot of problems and a lot of work to do."
“I’m not interested in a vice president who I just send off to go to funerals,” he continued. “I want somebody who’s going to be able to roll up their sleeves and really do some work.”
Obama made complimentary remarks about both Clintons, even breaking his self-imposed rule of not talking about his “short list” for vice president.
“Hillary Clinton would be on anybody’s short list,” he said. “She is one of the most effective, intelligent, courageous leaders that we have in the Democratic Party. … I would love to have Bill Clinton campaigning for me.”
Obama indicated town halls with McCain are unlikely: “I think it’s important for us to have some hard-hitting debates. I think it’s also important for us to spend time talking to the voters directly, and that’s what I intend to do.”
Obama turns to the economy with an Ohio bus trip tomorrow, and revealed in an interview with Bloomberg News that he will meet with his own “Big Three” financial advisers — former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker and billionaire investor Warren Buffett.