Sebelius: Obama not 'picking out drapes'
Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, right, waves with Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., following a rally at Butler County Community College in El Dorado, Kan., Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2008. Gov. Sebelius endorsed Obama during the event. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
Howard Wilkinson reports:
It was family ties that brought Kansas governor Kathleen Sebelius back to her home town of Cincinnati Wednesday, but she found time to campaign for a presidential candidate many say she might end up running with on the same ticket this fall - Barack Obama.
The two-term Kansas governor spoke to a group of about 60 local Obama supporters Wednesday afternoon at the Laborers Union Hall in Evanston, where she was joined by her father, former Ohio governor John J. Gilligan.
Since her endorsement of Obama earlier this month in Kansas, home state of Obama’s mother, there has been much speculation that the 59-year-old Sebelius - as a woman and popular Democratic governor of a Republican state - might be a good match as Obama’s vice presidential running mate.
In an interview after her speech, she brushed aside the notion.
"It’s way to early to do anything but focus on the primaries in Ohio and Texas,’’ said Sebelius, whose own father was touted by many as a possible presidential or vice presidential candidate before he lost his race for re-election in 1974.
Obama, Sebelius said, "hasn’t been spending time picking out who’s going to be in the cabinet or picking out the White House drapes. He’s running hard for the nomination. There’s time for the rest of it later."
Sebelius said she has had no discussions with Obama or any of his campaign staff about the second spot on a Democratic ticket.
The Summit COuntry Day graduate came back to her hometown to be with her 85-year-old father when he was inducted into the ranks of "Great Living Cincinnatians" at a Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber dinner Wednesday night.
But, at the Laborers hall, she urged the Obama supporters who had braved the mid-afternoon snow squalls to take advantage of Ohio’s early voting system.
"You can go down right now, after this, and vote at the board of elections,’’ Sebelius said. "Please do."
Sebelius said that she support Obama rather than Hillary Clinton because the Illinois senator "is going to be the kind of transformational president this country needs right now."
"There can be no better match-up between the past and the future than a match-up between John McCain and Barack Obama,’’ Sebelius said.
In the interview after the speech, she spoke of the estimated 44 million Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 who could vote in this fall’s election - many of whom, she said, "have been inspired, fired up, to get involved for the first time by Barack Obama’s message."
If Obama were to fail to get the nomination, Sebelius said, "I would certainly hope those young people would still get involved. But I don’t know what they would do. They might become discouraged."