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Groups Push For Clinton As VP, But Jimmy Carter's Not On Board

A day after Hillary Clinton told New York lawmakers she would be "open" to becoming Barack Obama's running mate, Clinton loyalist Lanny Davis has begun a petition drive to encourage Obama to create a unity ticket, The LA Times reports.

Davis, who attended Yale Law School with Clinton and helped defend Bill Clinton during the impeachment episode, has called on Obama to select Clinton since "she would be, by far, the most qualified and strongest candidate to be your running mate."

Davis isn't the only prominent Democratic voice who has launched an effort to persuade Obama to offer his former rival the vice presidential slot. Bob Johnson, the founder of Black Entertainment Television and owner of the Charlotte Bobcats NBA franchise sent a letter to Congressional Black Caucus Chairman and House Majority Whip James Clyburn calling on the Black Caucus to push for Obama to select Clinton.

"You can't find in an historic election two more dynamic, inspiring people who could lead this country and lead the Democratic Party for years to come," Johnson wrote.

Furthermore, CBS News chief political consultant Marc Ambinder reported last night that Clinton's campaign manager Maggie Williams a few weeks ago quietly endorsed an effort by two former Clinton staffers to launch a draft unity ticket called "VoteBoth".

But don't expect former president Jimmy Carter to get behind any of these efforts. Carter told the UK's Guardian newspaper that an Obama/Clinton ticket "would be the worst mistake that could be made."

Carter said he would have been just as much against a joint ticket had Clinton won the nomination but said that negative views of Clinton in wide swaths of the country would significantly damage Obama's chances in November.

"If you take that 50% who just don't want to vote for Clinton and add it to whatever element there might be who don't think Obama is white enough or old enough or experienced enough or because he's got a middle name that sounds Arab, you could have the worst of both worlds," Carter said.

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