April 10, 2007 / 6:28 AM / 12 years ago

Obama not in 2008 race for second place

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama on Tuesday dismissed the notion he might consider accepting the No. 2 spot on the 2008 ballot — with Hillary Rodham Clinton at the top.

U.S. presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama speaks to television reporters after a town hall meeting at Marshalltown Community College in Marshalltown, Iowa, on April 6, 2007. REUTERS/Kevin Sanders

“You don’t run for second. I don’t believe in that,” the Illinois Senator said on the talk show “Late Night with David Letterman.”

“That would be a powerful ticket,” Letterman prodded.

“Which order are we talking?” Obama replied, drawing laughter and applause from the studio audience.

“Let’s say you’re the presidential candidate and Hillary is the vice presidential candidate. Now if she were sitting here, it would be different from that,” Letterman joked.

Obama, a fresh face on the national stage who has served just two years in the U.S. Senate, said last week he had raised $25 million (13 million pounds) this year, almost matching Clinton and solidifying his bid for the Democratic nomination to seek the presidency in November 2008.

Obama fell only $1 million short of the higher-profile New York senator, despite the huge fund-raising network she developed through her Senate campaigns and the White House races of her husband, former President Bill Clinton.

Asked by Letterman whether there were private discussions of the situation going the other way, with Clinton in the No. 2 spot, Obama said the contenders were all in the race to win the party nomination but were on the same team.

“Really, what we’re doing is we’re trying out for quarterback,” Obama said.

Letterman persisted, asking whether the senator might reconsider if it came to a point where the campaigns of the two front-runners were ripping their party apart.

Obama replied: “I think it is possible that in that kind of situation, we might have to have a brokered convention and, Dave, we might turn to you.”

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