- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Supporters of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton shifted their attention Tuesday night to the vice presidency by launching a petition drive asking presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama to place her on the ticket.

The “Hillary for Veep ‘08 Committee” is being headed by Lanny J. Davis, a former top adviser to President Clinton. He said he was acting on his own without permission from the Clinton campaign.

In a letter to Mr. Obama yesterday, he called Mrs. Clinton “by far the most qualified and strongest candidate to be your running mate.”

“Both you and Senator Clinton during this campaign have demonstrated strengths in different segments of the electorate and in different parts of our country,” the letter says.

“Together, you stand the best chance of making U.S. history not once but twice - the first African American president and the first female vice president since the founding of our great nation.”

Mrs. Clinton yesterday told colleagues in a conference call she would consider running with Mr. Obama if she can help the party win the White House.

Mrs. Clinton’s remarks came in response to a question from Democratic Rep. Nydia M. Velazquez of New York, who said she believed the best way for Mr. Obama to defeat presumptive Republican nominee Sen. John McCain in key voting blocs, including Hispanics, would be for him to choose Mrs. Clinton as his running mate.

“I am open to it,” Mrs. Clinton replied. Her direct quote was described to the Associated Press by two lawmakers who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak for Mrs. Clinton.

Plans for the initiative got under way as it became increasingly clear that Mr. Obama had clinched the Democratic nomination, ending his bitter primary fight with Mrs. Clinton.

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