- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 5, 2008

Sen. Barack Obama’s search for the best right-hand man - or woman - will be done entirely in secret, the presumptive Democratic nominee said today.

Mr. Obama told reporters aboard his campaign plane this afternoon his new three-person vice presidential search committee is tasked with being both “careful” and “deliberative.”

More importantly he wants it to be done “outside of the day to day political pressures that inevitably start up.”

“The next time you hear from me about the vice presidential selection process will be when I have selected a vice president,” Mr. Obama said.

He added there is “no decision that I make that’s going to be more important before the November election. I intend to do it right and I am not going to do it in the press.”

Mr. Obama made his remarks shortly after Mrs. Clinton’s now winding-down campaign issued a statement regarding some of her supporters pushing her as a good vice presidential pick. “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,” the statement read. “The choice here is Senator Obama’s and his alone.”

“She inspired millions of people, she inspired the best from me,” he said. He added that he understands her supporters have raw emotions and repeated that she opened doors for his two daughters with her historic bid.

“We’re going to speak to them but also listen to them and get advice,” he said of Clinton team members and supporters. Mr. Obama added he would “welcome” former President Clinton should he want to campaign on his behalf and lauded him as an “enormous talent.”

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