updated 10/24/2006 3:56:35 PM ET 2006-10-24T19:56:35

Vice President Dick Cheney said Tuesday he thinks Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton could win the presidency. He said Sen. Barack Obama might be viewed by voters as too inexperienced.

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Cheney handicapped the Democratic field of potential candidates in an interview with conservative talk show host Sean Hannity.

"I think Hillary Clinton is a formidable candidate," Cheney said. "I think she could win. I hope she doesn't. I disagree with her on nearly all the issues, but nobody should underestimate her. She's a very serious candidate for president."

Cheney said Obama, an Illinois Democrat, was an "attractive guy. Don't know him well, met him a few times. I think at this stage, my initial take on him was he's been two years as a senator. I think people might want a little more experience than that, given the nature of the times we live in. But certainly, he's an attractive candidate. If he decides to run, he'll be a player on the Democratic side."

Obama said Sunday he was considering a run for president in 2008, backing off previous statements that he would not do so.

As for himself, Cheney said he would not budge from his oft-stated decision that he will not run for president. "It's firm, final, fixed, irrevocable," the vice president said. "I don't know how else I can say it. If nominated, I will not run; if elected, I will not serve."

Cheney also said he was optimistic about Republican hopes in the Nov. 7 elections.

"I think we'll hold both the House and the Senate." Last week, Cheney raised eyebrows when he sounded less sure about GOP prospects. "I think we'll hold the Senate and I also think we got a good shot at holding the House," he told Rush Limbaugh.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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