Bill Clinton: Hillary Never Wanted to be Obama’s VP

By Lindsey Ellerson

Sep 22, 2008 1:37pm

ABC News’ Russell Goldman Reports: Despite saying she would accept the offer to be vice president, Hillary Clinton never really wanted to be Barack Obama’s running mate, her husband former President Bill Clinton told ABC’s The View.

"Not really, she didn’t," Clinton said in response to a question from host Barbara Walters about whether Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y. wanted to join her one-time opponent on the Democratic ticket.

In June, soon after conceding the primary to Obama, Sen. Clinton told New York lawmakers that she would accept the veep slot if it was offered.

"I’m open to it,’ she told other New York lawmakers at the time.

President Clinton told The View that had Obama chosen his wife instead of Delaware Sen. Joe Biden it would have been "the best politically," and that his wife would have likely taken the job though she didn’t want it.

"It’s a very personal decision who should be vice president. I like Sen. Biden a lot. I think he was a good choice. [Hillary Clinton] would have been the best politically at least in the short run because of her enormous support in the country," he said.

President Clinton said Sen. Clinton would have felt duty-bound to accept the offer, but that she enjoys being a senator.

"She said, ‘if [Obama] asks, I’ll do it, because it’s my duty.’ She loves being a senator for New York and has more freedom to develop her positions on the issues and her things," the former president said.

Clinton said he believed sexism played a role in Hillary Clinton’s failed presidential bid and said he understood why people allow aspects of their identity – including race and gender – cloud their judgment when selecting a candidate to vote for.

"There is some [sexism] but a lot it is almost subconscious, that makes it more insidious," he said.  "Do I think there was some of it in the election? I do."

Clinton said he believed Obama would win the presidency, but spoke admiringly of Republican contender Arizona Sen. John McCain.

Clinton called Obama a "good man" and "smart candidate," whose chances were shored up by a larger and more diverse party than the Republicans. "I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t [win.]"

Clinton said McCain was instrumental his administration’s normalizing relations with Vietnam and said he had proven his worth to the American people.

"The American people, for good and sufficient reasons, admire him," Clinton said of McCain. "He’s given something in life the rest of us can’t match."

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