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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Amid Criticism From Clinton Insiders, Obama Surrogates Claim Clinton was Considered as Veep

With the new ad out by John McCain, highlighting the point that Hillary Clinton wasn't even given the courtesy of being vetted for the position of Obama's vice presidential running mate before choosing Barack Obama, Obama surrogates are trying to do some damage control.

CNN reports that "two sources familiar with Obama's VP search" say that Hillary Clinton was considered and just because she wasn't "formally" vetted (required to submit paperwork) does not mean that she wasn't seriously considered.

The other source said both Holder and Kenndey are very familiar with Sen. Clinton and that there was substantive and lengthy conversations among the Obama team with regards to Clinton as vice president.

This comes amid reports of "outrage" from members of Clinton's inner circle.

These Clinton insiders are described by CNN's Political Ticker as "furious" that Obama did not offer the appearance of serious consideration for Clinton or keeping her in the loop by consulting with her.

A former Clinton strategist told CNN, "Set aside that Obama said she'd be on anybody's short list, set aside anybody's feelings on whether she was deliberately snubbed and the pros and cons of whether it should be her. Focus on the politics of it and you have about a quarter of Clinton loyalists still not joining the caravan…for God's sake, not to even make a show of taking her seriously is flatly stupid."

Another Clinton insider, a former adviser expresses "outrage" and claims certain portions of the process should have been handled different, if just for the sake of "optics" and appearances and he goes on to say, "They thought her supporters were mad before? They are really mad now. We knew it was never going to happen but you would have thought they might at least make a show of it."

Paul Begala is a former Clinton strategist and he appeared on CNN on Friday night, in which he echoed the feelings of frustration that are being seen across a variety of Clinton supporting forums, blogs and even the media, when he stated, "I think there are a lot of Hillary voters who are going to say, 'Hey, wait a minute, man You said you were going to put her on the short list. You know, you didn't even vet her. You didn't call her. You didn't seek her advice. By the way, he didn't seek President Clinton's advice either. He's actually the guy who I think picked the best vice president in American history. You would think maybe you would sort of check in with him."

While much of yesterday was spent discussing the positives and negatives of Obama's choice of Joe Biden as his vice presidential running mate, one thing was clear from the second the news was announced to the reports coming out today-- For Clinton supporters, despite the fact that Hillary Clinton suspended her campaign two months ago, to them this is all very much still about Hillary Clinton.

According to the Chicago Tribune News blog, one-fifth of Clinton supporters are now supporting John McCain. Using the 18 million plus figures from Real Clear Politics, that is over 3.6 million votes taken from Obama and given to McCain unless something happens within the next 10 weeks to unite them under Obama.

With CNN's latest report, other media speaking to the lack of courtesy shown to Clinton by way of the vetting process, bloggers, forums, and websites speaking to the issue, and John McCain's new "Passed Over" ad geared toward those supporters, it is not clear if another two months will heal the wounds that Clinton supporters still feel.

Reigniting the Clinton supporters anger just a couple days before the Democratic Convention, which starts tomorrow and is fraught with tension from planned protests, could be reasonably considered not such a good idea, and might explain the damage control that Obama surrogates are attempting to implement by insisting that Clinton was, indeed, considered seriously.

The Washington Post is already saying that to an uninformed eye, it is hard to tell whether Denver is preparing for the Democratic National Convention or preparing to implement martial law.

With Hillary Clinton set to speak at the Democratic convention on Tuesday and and Bill Clinton set for Wednesday, the roll call to which Hillary Clinton's name is in nomination for, also on is very clear that this is all, still, about Hillary Clinton, even at an event meant to officially nominate Barack Obama as the Democratic nominee for president.

One thing can be said and it is generally agreed upon from both sides of the political aisle, whether people approve of how Hillary supporters are responding or not, diehard Clinton supporters are some of the most loyal political supporters seen in America in a very long time.