- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sen. Barack Obama’s former presidential rival, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, threw her support Saturday behind his vice-presidential pick, even though some of her most ardent supporters were unhappy with the choice of Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr.

In a statement released just hours after Mr. Obama’s campaign announced his running mate, Mrs. Clinton said Mr. Obama “has continued in the best traditions for the vice presidency by selecting an exceptionally strong, experienced leader and devoted public servant.

“Senator Biden will be a purposeful and dynamic vice president who will help Senator Obama both win the presidency and govern this great country.”

Mr. Obama, 47, introduced Mr. Biden, a 65-year-old six-term senator from Delaware, as his running mate at a Saturday afternoon rally in Springfield, Ill.

The choice may be difficult to swallow for Mrs. Clinton’s most dedicated supporters, especially after news leaked to the media that she had not even been vetted for the job.



“There’s no doubt that some people are going to view this as she is not being accorded respect,” James Carville, a Democratic strategist with close Clinton ties, told CNN on Friday.

Costas Panagopoulos, a former Clinton aide, said he thought Mr. Biden was “a competent and dedicated public servant with strong foreign policy credentials.”

But “if Obama’s going to go for an entrenched Washington insider from a non-swing state, why shouldn’t he have picked Hillary Clinton? That’s something that diehard Clinton supporters are going to have trouble coming to terms with,” Mr. Panagopoulos said.

Geraldine Ferraro, a staunch Clinton supporter and the 1984 Democratic vice presidential candidate, downplayed Mr. Obama’s failure to consider Mrs. Clinton for the vice presidency.

“There was no need for” the vetting process, she told Fox News, adding that she had already been vetted in her run for the nomination.

Nevertheless, “you do see a good deal of anger,” said Mrs. Ferraro, the first woman ever on a major party ticket. Many Clinton supporters “felt she was dissed during the campaign by the media. They felt very strongly that Obama people had run a very negative, sexist campaign.”

Robin Carlson, spokeswoman for HillaryGrassrootsCampaign.com, told Fox News: “It would be demeaning for someone with more experience to take a back seat.”

“We love Hillary, and we love her commitment to the party,” said Ms. Carlson, but she added that her group is “committed to not voting for Obama.”

Mrs. Clinton’s latest campaign appearances on behalf of Mr. Obama this week have been described as tepid in their enthusiasm for her former rival.

A Wall Street Journal/NBC poll published last week found that only 52 percent of the 18 million people who voted for Mrs. Clinton in the marathon Democratic primary had so far decided to vote for Mr. Obama in November.

Twenty-one percent said they would vote for Mr. McCain, while 27 percent had not yet decided. One in three of the group said they found Mr. Obama “arrogant and cocky.”

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