Sam Nunn: If asked, I'd consider being vice president
Former Georgia senator says it's 'highly improbable' that Obama would pick him

Associated Press
Published on: 06/03/08

ATLANTA — Former U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn said Tuesday it's "highly improbable" that Barack Obama would select him as a running mate. But the conservative Democrat from Georgia didn't rule out accepting the No. 2 spot.

"It's not impossible but it's very unlikely," Nunn told reporters after a forum exploring ways to encourage Americans to volunteer.

J.P. Wilson/Bloomberg News
Sam Nunn, 69, said he would be ambivalent about returning to government more than a decade after he retired from the U.S. Senate.
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Nunn, 69, said he would be ambivalent about returning to government more than a decade after he retired from the U.S. Senate.

"I'd have a lot of thinking to do," he said.

Nunn's name has been in circulation recently as a possible running mate for Obama. Nunn has endorsed the Illinois senator and is widely believed to have national security credentials Obama lacks. When he retired from the U.S. Senate in 1996, Nunn was regarded as the chamber's leading authority on foreign and military affairs. He served as an influential chairman of the Armed Services Committee.

Nunn has teamed up with former Defense Secretary William Cohen for a series of round-table discussions focused on bipartisan ways to approach various issues. The two shared the stage in Atlanta on Tuesday. Afterward, Cohen, a Republican who served in the Clinton administration, talked up Nunn as "terrific choice" for vice president.

"I think if you can have someone with his stature and reputation that would add a lot of weight to Obama," Cohen said,

Cohen said Nunn's Georgia roots would bring geographic diversity to an Obama ticket, potentially making the GOP battle for a state that has been reliably in their pocket.

But Nunn — who represented Georgia in the U.S. Senate for 24 years — conceded Tuesday that Democrats will face an uphill battle in Georgia this fall.

"I think the state of Georgia has been trending Republican for a long time and I think it'd be very difficult for a Democratic nominee, no matter who it is and no matter who's on the ticket, to win Georgia."

South Dakota and Montana were holding primaries Tuesday, winding up a marathon contest for the Democratic nomination between Obama and Sen. Hillary Clinton, of New York.

A tally of convention delegates by The Associated Press on Tuesday has Obama effectively clinching the party's nomination.

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