Clinton: The Process Is Obama's

Item: Through her chief spokesman, Sen. Hillary Clinton said today that she understands that Barack Obama, and Barack Obama alone will choose the vice presidency, and that only Clinton speaks for Clinton.

“While Senator Clinton has made clear throughout this process that she will do whatever she can to elect a Democrat to the White House, she is not seeking the vice presidency, and no one speaks for her but her,” Howard Wolfson, one of the campaign’s chief strategists, said in a statement provided to The New York Times. “The choice here is Senator Obama’s and his alone.”

Analysis: I read this on several levels. First, it's a statement of the obvious and acknowledgment that pressure, as a tactic, doesn't work. Second, it seems to reflect a desire to get out in front of reporting about outside efforts to draft Clinton or to force Obama to pick her. Those efforts include VoteBoth, which today added Lanny Davis as a senior adviser. VoteBoth is set to report a spike in their web traffic and a fairly hefty increase in online donations, according to a spokesman. Third, I read it as the standard denial of interest that all prospective vice presidential candidates have to make.

Guesswork: I really do not think, although I admit I do not know, that Obama will seriously think about choosing Sen. Clinton unless he is unable to unite the party before he is forced to make his choice.

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Marc Ambinder is an Atlantic contributing editor. He is also a senior contributor at Defense One, a contributing editor at GQ, and a regular contributor at The Week.

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