In a briefing with reporters here in Washington, Obama manager David Plouffe offered the campaign's first public comments on what criteria Obama would use to choose his vice presidential ticket-mate.

Responding to a reporter's question, Plouffe said that Obama would choose someone "qualified to be president and someone who'll be a partner in governing."

"We certainly don't want to pick someone who will hurt," he said.

He then referred to President Bush's choice of Dick Cheney as any example of a pick that didn't help Bush politically but didn't hurt him either.

And he noted that the pick of Al Gore didn't help Bill Clinton win Tennessee in 1992; without Gore, Clinton would have won anyway.

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