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Obama: 'I'm Going to Need Bill Clinton'

By Rick Pedraza   |   Thursday, 05 Jun 2008 02:06 PM

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama says he will put aside raw feelings from a fractious primary campaign and marshal all of the Democratic Party’s resources, including making significant use of the Clintons.

The Senator from Illinois says he has no hard feelings over the campaigning style of the former president, who made the case for his wife on the stump in terms that some Obama supporters considered insulting and demeaning.

“Look, there is nobody who is more talented or more gifted than Bill Clinton when it comes to understanding the broad crosscurrents of America,” Obama says.

Obama respects the former president for fighting so hard to preserve his own legacy, adding, “Understandably, he thinks that his wife would have been the best person to continue that legacy.

“My strong feeling is that moving forward, I'm going to need Bill Clinton involved in this [presidential election] process," he says. "He still is a transcendent political figure in this country. And I want him involved. And I’ll be looking for his counsel and his advice.”

Obama will not be drawn into specifying what roles he saw for the Clintons, sidestepping speculation that he might ask Hillary Clinton to join the ticket. He says, however, that he’s looking forward to having a conversation with Senator Clinton very soon. But after just completing a very hard fought contest, he thinks everyone should take a little breather before beginning the process of conducting a vice presidential search. He’s looking at a range of options and considers the vice presidential decision one of the most important he’ll make regarding how he wants to operate his presidency.

“I have nothing but respect for Senator Clinton’s singular accomplishments. She’s inspired my daughters and a lot of girls all across the country to see that they can do whatever they aspire to do,” he says”

Obama also says he won’t be rushed into a quick decision and doesn’t expect Sen. Clinton does, either…or if she’s even interested.

“I don’t think Senator Clinton expects a quick decision [on choosing a running mate]. And I don’t even know that she’s necessarily interested in that,” he points out. “I believe she loves this country and the Democratic Party, and I believe she’s going to be working as hard as she can to make sure the Democrats are successful in November,” he says.

“Her remarkable accomplishments would indicate that she would be on anybody’s short list. I’m sure by the time this thing is all over Senator Clinton and I will be working together to make sure the Democrats are successful and we take back the White House.”

On Bill Clinton’s role in his presidency, Obama says, “There is nobody who is more talented or gifted than Bill Clinton when it comes to politics and understanding the broad cross-currents of America,” he says.

“I, as much as Hillary Clinton, are building on the legacy of Bill Clinton, and we’d love for him to be campaigning for the Democrats in November.”

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Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama says he will put aside raw feelings from a fractious primary campaign and marshal all of the Democratic Party’s resources, including making significant use of the Clintons.The Senator from Illinois says he has no hard...
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