Clinton insiders suggest ‘open civil war’ over VP spot

By David Edwards
Friday, May 23, 2008 7:06 EDT
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CNN’s Suzanne Malveaux reported that formal talks are underway between Barack Obama’s campaign and Hillary Clinton’s campaign which could end Clinton’s campaign for President and result in an offer of the VP spot to Clinton. Clinton insiders say if some type of compromise is not reached it could mean “open civil war” within the party.

Clinton later denied that any such negotiations were taking place.

In a report for CNN, Malveaux reported on three possible scenarios.

Partial Transcript

MALVAEUX: Sources inside of Hillary Clinton’s inner circle are pushing for compromise. They have reached out to the Obama campain and it’s all about saving face, a graceful exit strategy. They say it’s very difficult.

What they’ve done is they have reached out and presented Obama insiders with three possible scenarios. they say obama can ignore clinton and her supporters and make this vice-presidential offer to someone else, which several people say would be a total dismissal of her. It is considered unacceptable. One person told me this could mean open civil war within the party, and so they believe that this is scenario number one is going to have consequences.

They say it doesn’t mean that Clinton would not campaign for Obama, that she would, but she would do so like her husband did campaigning for Gore, quite aloof. They also say perhaps women’s groups will be less willing to raise money for Obama.

The second scenario that they’re looking at here is that Obama could publicly offer Clinton the VP spot knowing that she would reject it. Now, this isn’t acceptable to the Obama camp. They are afraid if Obama were to publicly make this offer to Clinton, that she would in fact accept it and the problem the Clinton insiders say is these two don’t trust each other. That’s something that’s been rejected by the Obama insiders.

Now, the third scenario is that both of these two could get in a room, try to talk it out, and emerge to agree to disagree here. Come up with whatever they find suitable and present it to the public. For example, Clinton could get her debt covered or Obama could pledge to support her in a run for the Senate Majority Leader position later on. These kind of things. But clinton, whether or not she even wants the job, is something that insiders say, look, she’s not thinking about. She’s aware of these discussions, but she’s still looking forward to all the contests. She’s still looking forward to the number one spot.

This video is from CNN’s American Morning, broadcast May 23, 2008.

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David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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