The search for running mates, and the distancing of potential candidates, continues apace — even for those who haven’t been the focus of any speculation.  Yesterday, former New Jersey Senator Bill Bradley announced that he would not serve if chosen.  That had to come as some surprise to the rest of the world, which hadn’t even considered him a potential candidate:

Just in case you’re keeping score, yet another Democratic politician has said he would decline to be the vice presidential running mate of Sen. Barack Obama.

This one was a surprise too because, to be honest, not one living soul on the planet had mentioned his name as a possible Democratic VP. …

He joins a growing list of folks who’ve said modestly, no thank you, in advance of being asked. (Obama wouldn’t want a pro showing him up with three-pointers anyway.)

Who knows why Andrea Mitchell suddenly asked Bradley the question?  Perhaps it was just force of habit.  Bradley hasn’t been relevant in national politics for years.  For that matter, neither had Sam Nunn until the Barack Obama campaign decided it needed some heft on military policy.  If it came down to Nunn or Bradley, it would mean that no one else wanted to be Obama’s running mate.

Andrew Malcolm notes that Obama confirmed that he told a prominent Hillary Clinton supporter that Hillary is still on his short list.  He had called Jill Iscol to “schmooze”, as Malcolm put it, but also mentioned a “complication” with Hillary.  “Complication” is apparently a euphemism for “her loudmouth husband”, whose presence both on the campaign and in the White House would certainly be awkward.

Malcom’s tongue-in-cheek solution would be more unconstitutional than awkward, though.  He suggests that Obama put Bill on the ticket instead of Hillary.  That would help him in the South and in uniting the party.  Unfortunately, Bill is ineligible for that role.  A VP candidate has to satisfy eligibility requirements for the presidency in order to be eligible for the vice-presidency, and Clinton’s two full terms make him ineligible for either office.  The 12th Amendment states, “No person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.”

Of course, running with an impeached former President on the ticket would have its own delicious, er, complications … but I’m sure that didn’t cross Malcom’s mind at all.  At least we won’t have to watch Bill stand up and issue one of those look-at-me denials.