Illinois Senator Barack Obama has selected a powerhouse three-person team to assist him in choosing his Democratic vice-presidential running mate for the November contest against presumptive Republican nominee John McCain.
Caroline Kennedy, former Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder and former Fannie Mae CEO Jim Johnson will make up the team, working with Obama to choose the best balanced candidate for the VP slot on his ticket.
Kennedy, along with her uncle Senator Edward ‘Ted’ Kennedy, endorsed Obama in January.
Caroline Kennedy is the daughter of the late President John F. Kennedy and has compared Obama to her father as an inspirational leader of the people.
Eric Holder served as Deputy Attorney General under the Clinton administration and District of Columbia Superior Court judge.
Former Fannie Mae CEO Jim Johnson assisted John Kerry in his search for a VP candidate in 2004 and Walter Mondale in 1984.
Although Obama expects to rely on his advisors for sound advice, the final decision will remain in his hands.
“Senator Obama is pleased to have three talented and dedicated individuals managing this rigorous process,” Obama spokesman Bill Burton said.
“He will work closely with them in the coming weeks but ultimately this will be his decision and his alone.”
Obama passed the required number of delegates to secure the Democratic presidential nomination on Tuesday following primaries in South Dakota and Montana.
However, New York Senator Hillary Clinton has yet to officially concede the race to Obama, saying instead that she need to consult with her senior advisors to consider her next course of action.
Hints from the Clinton campaign indicate she may be willing to consider a vice-presidential spot on Obama’s ticket for the fall. In a phone conversation earlier this week, Clinton reportedly stated she was “open” to the idea of signing on as Obama’s running mate.
Obama has not so far expressed any open interest in adding Clinton as his VP in White House bid.
In a brief pass-by on Wednesday at an American Israel Public Affairs Committee Meeting in the Senate, Obama and Clinton spoke briefly. After the conversation, Obama acknowledged he had talked with his rival, but gave few details.
“I just spoke to her today, and we’re going to be having a conversation in coming weeks, and I’m very confident how unified the Democratic party’s going to be to win in November,” Obama told reporters. Asked if Clinton had said if she planned to concede any time soon, Obama simply replied: “It wasn’t a detailed conversation.”
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