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Obama seeks info on Dodd in veep search

Image : Barack Obama and Christopher Dodd
Presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., left, shared a laugh and Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., as Dodd endorsed Obama in February.Rick Bowmer / AP file
/ Source: The Associated Press

Barack Obama's presidential campaign has requested information from Democratic Sen. Chris Dodd as part of its search for a possible vice presidential candidate.

The former White House hopeful and Connecticut lawmaker indicated Wednesday that he has been approached by the campaign. "There's been some inquiries, yeah," Dodd said. "They ask for a lot of stuff. I'll leave it there."

Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton and Dodd's Senate office declined comment Thursday.

Recent moves by Obama have stoked speculation about the search for the No. 2 on the Democratic ticket. On Wednesday, Obama made an unscheduled stop at the building housing the law firm of one of his search committee members, Eric Holder. Obama also traveled to New York with another member of the search team, Caroline Kennedy.

Dodd, 64, is a five-term senator with a lengthy foreign policy resume. A fluent speaker of Spanish, Dodd served in the Peace Corps and has had a strong interest in Latin American affairs throughout his career. A longtime member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he's been able to wield a heavy influence on U.S. involvement in the region.

Recently, Dodd, who chairs the Senate Banking Committee, has struggled with allegations that he got cut-rate mortgages from a leading offender in the subprime mortgage meltdown.

Amid speculation about potential vice presidential candidates, some have refused to comment while others have been coy.

On Wednesday, Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri shook her head and cut off a question about whether Obama or his team had asked her for documents to review. "I'm not going to talk about it," she said.

Responding to the same question, Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius issued a statement, saying: "The decision and timetable for the best person to help Sen. Obama lead the country is entirely up to him. All of us who support Sen. Obama have been asked to direct questions about his choice for vice president to the campaign."

A few others indicated they hadn't been approached, including Delaware Sen. Joe Biden. He said he is not seeking the job but also indicated he couldn't turn it down if asked. Still, he said: "I made it clear to him and everybody else, I never worked for anybody in my life. I got here when I was 29. I never had a boss. I don't know how I'd handle it."

Freshman Sen. Ken Salazar of Colorado said he had not been approached.

Recently, others thought to be on Obama's list have indicated they lack interest in the job. Virginia Sen. Jim Webb issued a statement Monday that said he had told Obama he intended to remain in the Senate and "under no circumstances will I be a candidate for vice president."