By Samantha Hayes, in Washington, D.C.
June 10, 2008
The search team isn't talking to reporters, but we know Barack Obama's vetting team has a list of names for possible Vice Presidential candidates and the pros and cons of each person are being discussed. Yesterday, that discussion took place on Capitol Hill.
Maybe it was more of courtesy call, but two members of Obama's team, James Johnson and Eric Holder, met with top Democrats in Congress. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said it was a "good, long discussion" and a lot of names were mentioned. As for whether Hillary Clinton is on the list, Hoyer said it was fair to assume that "all of the alternatives were considered."
CNN has found out more information about recent discussions from long time North Dakota Senator Kent Conrad. Conrad says he met with the search team and was asked about his "impressions" about people on the list. The vetting team wanted to know if certain individuals were respected and in good standing with their colleagues. As for whose on this list, no specifics, but Conrad says some are "top officials now" and others are "former lawmakers" and some are "former military leaders." And there are candidates being considered who are "outside the box."
There have been indications from Obama that this process may go on for months, and that he considers his Vice Presidential pick to be very important, and not just a strategic decision designed to help him win the election. Obama has said he will be "deliberate and systematic about it, because this will be my final counselor when I am making decisions in the White House, and I want to make sure I get it right."