Pascrell holds out hope for Clinton vice presidency

As the Hillary Clinton crowd decompresses after their champion ran up the white flag this week in her presidential bid, talk inevitably turned to vice-president.

And inevitably turned to Clinton.

“She has to be considered,” said Clinton supporter U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-8). “We can’t just dismiss 18 million voters because the pundits say she can’t do it.”

One of a number of other congressmen this week who advised Clinton to pull the plug on her campaign based on the numbers that add up in favor of Sen. Barack Obama, Pascrell said Clinton told him and others she doesn’t intend to campaign for the job.

But she’s still Pascrell’s first choice, and the first choice of Pascrell’s congressional colleague, U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-6).

“It would be such a smart thing for Obama to do, as it would eliminate the rift in the party and create a united front going into the November election,” Pallone said. “A Hillary Clinton vice-presidency would mean we wouldn’t have to waste any more time papering over any disunity.”

Both Pascrell and Pallone concur that presumptive Democratic Party nominee Obama needs to choose someone with whom he’s comfortable, and acknowledge for a variety of reasons the probability that his running mate won’t be Clinton.

Agreeing with U.S. Rep. Rob Andrews (D-1), Pascrell said his own personal second choice

for vice president would be Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA), a former Marine Corps boxer and Vietnam War hero who could neutralize presumptive Republican nominee Sen. John McCain’s (D-AZ) military cred.

“He’s tough, a straight shooter – the real straight talk express,” Pascrell said of Webb. “With his early opposition to the war and because as a freshman senator he’s new to the Washington scene, he could appeal to the change factor.

“I like Hillary first and Webb several notches down from that,” the congressman explained

Gov. Jon Corzine, one of the first governors to publicly declare his support for Clinton, today would not speculate on an Obama running mate.

“It’s still premature,” said spokesman Jim Gardner.

Pascrell encouraged Obama to take his time with his wife and the girls, and said even though he’s a Clinton-backer, he intends to work as work for Obama as he would have for Clinton.

In the end, he claimed, “The Republicans have done so poorly, we could put a hound dog up there as vice president, and we’d still win.”