Friday, August 1, 2008

Group Pushing 'Hillary For VP'

VoteBoth Closes Down

Nedra Pickler

WASHINGTON — An effort to urge Barack Obama to pick former rival Hillary Rodham Clinton as his running mate is shutting down under the assumption she is not a contender for the No. 2 spot.

The two former Clinton staffers who started the group Vote Both say Obama's decision to offer Clinton a prime-time speaking role at the Democratic Party nominating convention and other signals suggest Obama will not chose her.

"Because it seems that Senator Obama has made his decision to offer the slot on the ticket to another candidate, we believe that continuing to ask him to pick Hillary is no longer helpful to our party's chances of winning in November," Adam Parkhomenko and Sam Arora wrote in an e-mail they planned to send Thursday to the 40,000-plus supporters who signed onto their online petition.

Obama spokesman Bill Burton said the campaign won't comment on the vice presidential search and hasn't finalized the convention speaking program. Obama and Clinton advisers have said Clinton is likely to speak on the convention's second night, Aug. 26, which is the 88th anniversary of the ratification of the amendment giving the women the right to vote.

Parkhomenko and Arora have a combined 10 years experience working for Clinton. Most recently Arora was a press aide to her presidential campaign and Parkhomenko was executive assistant to former Clinton campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle, who is now chief of staff for Obama's yet-to-be named vice presidential nominee.

In an interview, Arora was coy about what makes them so confident Clinton won't be chosen.

"All indications we have from people close to Senator Clinton and Senator Obama are that Hillary is not on the short list," Arora said. "We're looking at how we can _ if we can _ use Vote Both to help him because we want a Democrat in the White House."

Obama said this week that he wants a running mate who will help him change how business has been conducted in Washington _ seen by many as an indication that he won't pick Clinton.

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