Obama not on the Short List for Hillary's Veep

Recent history would suggest that if Hillary Clinton, as expected, wins the Democratic nomination for President, she would choose as her running mate her closest competitor in the field. It has happened many times since 1960 when John Kennedy chose Lyndon Johnson as his running mate - most recently in 2004 when John Kerry selected John Edwards for the second slot on the Democratic ticket.

But Hillary may have other ideas:

Anticipating that Sen. Hillary Clinton will clinch the Democratic presidential nomination, some supporters are beginning to argue against her choosing her principal rival -- Sen. Barack Obama -- for vice president.

They maintain Obama provides no general election help for Clinton. As an African-American from Illinois, he represents an ethnic group and a state already solidly in the Democratic column.

This school of thought advocates a Southerner as Clinton's running mate. The last time Democrats won a national election without a Southerner on the ticket was 1944. Prominent Democrats from the South are in short supply today. The leading prospect: former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner.

There are a few interest groups who might have something to say about Warner being on the ticket rather than Obama. The black community, while showing only tepid support for the Illinois Senator's campaign so far, may feel that because of recent history, Obama deserves the second spot. Then there are the netroots who back Obama enthusiastically and may take issue with Hillary about choosing a less than liberal white southerner.

This trial balloon is a bold move on Hillary's part. Clearly, she feels that nothing can stop her at this point. But there is still nearly 5 months until the first caucuses and primaries and anything can happen between now and then.

Just ask Howard Dean.