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Clinton may not be Obama's dream VP: analysts -

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Clinton may not be Obama's dream VP: analysts

The World Today - Thursday, 5 June , 2008 12:19:00

Reporter: Michael Rowland

ELEANOR HALL: To the United States now. A day after his historic victory over Hillary Clinton, the
Democrat presidential nominee Barack Obama has begun the formal search for a running mate.

Senator Clinton has still not conceded defeat and there is speculation that she is angling to
become the vice-presidential nominee, but the choice is Senator Obama's and there are many advising
him it would not be the dream ticket some Democrats suggest.

But analysts say the question of race is certain to be a vote-swinging issue in the general
election battle between the first black American to run for a major political party and the
Republican's John McCain.

Carol Darr is a former Democrat Party official and is now a lecturer at the Kennedy School of
Government at Harvard, and she spoke to our Washington correspondent Michael Rowland.

CAROL DARR: He's won less like a winner and she has lost less like a loser. She I think is milking
the end for all that it's worth. People wonder what she wants. Her campaign gives out a lot of
signals that what she in fact wants is the vice-presidency.

MICHAEL ROWLAND: Will Barack Obama offer her the vice-presidential slot?

CAROL DARR: I don't think so. I think there's too much bad blood between them. And somebody made a
comment this morning in the paper that I thought was dead on, and the person said, the White House
just isn't big enough for three people who think they ought to be President.

MICHAEL ROWLAND: The argument has also been made that, I mean there's obviously a lot of pressure
on Barack Obama to at least consider Hillary Clinton for the vice-presidential slot.

Will he seem weak if he's seen to be pressured into accepting his former rival as his number two?

CAROL DARR: I think she'll be seen by his supporters as weak for doing that. You know, her
supporters certainly want it, but I just don't see it happening.

MICHAEL ROWLAND: What strengths, just hypothetically, would Hillary Clinton bring to the Democratic

CAROL DARR: Well she has managed to get, you know, the vote of the working class and the blue
collar Democrats, but there's still a big issue whether she could bring them with her if he were at
the top of the ticket, regardless of whether she's on the ticket, or whether instead they would
default to McCain.

MICHAEL ROWLAND: Is it your view that Hillary Clinton should have conceded defeat last night when
it became clear that Barack Obama had the nomination?

CAROL DARR: It depends on whether she's looking out first for herself or first looking out for the

MICHAEL ROWLAND: Won't this continued refusal by Hillary Clinton in coming days, possibly weeks,
damage a party that's already suffered several wounds from this long and bitter Democratic
nomination battle?

CAROL DARR: Absolutely. Absolutely it will damage the party and damage Obama.

MICHAEL ROWLAND: Looking forward to November, how important will race be as an election issue, in
your view?

CAROL DARR: It will be a lot bigger issue than the Obama supporters think it will be. The academics
like me, the yuppies, the young people who support Obama, I think they vastly discount the amount
that race will play in the election for ordinary Americans, blue-collar Americans. There's a lot
more racism out there than they realise.

MICHAEL ROWLAND: Is it the case in your view that people tell opinion pollsters one thing about
whether they'd vote for a black American as president, then do something completely opposite once
they're in the ballot booths?

CAROL DARR: Yeah, in the United States that's even got a name. It's called the Bradley Effect,
after a guy who ran for governor in California, Tom Bradley. And generally what you find is, blacks
poll about 10 points higher, black candidates poll about 10 points higher than the actual vote when
it comes in. So you have to discount it by about 10 points.

MICHEL ROWLAND: Is this election the Democrats' to lose?

CAROL DARR: It still is but I think it is, in a lot of ways, out of the hands of both candidates
because it will turn as much as anything on the economy.

ELEANOR HALL: That's former Democrat Party official Carol Darr speaking to our Washington
correspondent Michael Rowland.