Book: Obama closely considered Clinton for VP

Image: David Plouffe
Former campaign manager David Plouffe wrote in his new memoir that President Barack Obama considered picking Hillary Clinton as a running mate more seriously than his top advisors initially realized. Charles Rex Arbogast / AP
/ Source: NBC News and news services

President Barack Obama seriously considered Hillary Clinton for the vice presidency, even though his top aides were not enthusiastic about it, his presidential campaign manager says in a new memoir.

"Neither Ax (top-level adviser David Axelrod) nor I were fans of the Hillary option," David Plouffe, who ran Obama's 2008 race, said in his memoir, portions of which were published by Time magazine Thursday.

"What surprised me was that Obama was clearly thinking more seriously about picking Hillary Clinton than Ax and I had realized," Plouffe wrote, describing a meeting the three had in early 2008 when it became clear Obama would be the party's standard-bearer.

Plouffe will appear on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday and NBC's "TODAY" next week.

By early August, Obama had narrowed his list down to Sen. Joe Biden — now vice president — along with Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana and Gov. Tim Kaine of Virginia, Plouffe wrote in his account.

One of Obama's chief concerns about picking Clinton as a running mate, Plouffe wrote, was that her husband, former President Bill Clinton, would prove to be "too big a complication."

In his memoirs, the former campaign manager also described Obama's response when GOP nominee Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., picked Sarah Palin, then governor of Alaska, as his running mate.

"When voters step back and analyze how he made this decision, I think he’s going to be in big trouble," he recalled Obama saying. "You just can’t wing something like this — it’s too important."