(July 3, 2008)—Rep. Chet Edwards, D-Waco, wasn’t saying much Tuesday in Waco about being singled out by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as a potential running mate for presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama, but in a brief interview Wednesday on the Texas A&M University campus, he was more forthcoming.
"Would I serve if asked? Yes," he told the Bryan-College Station Eagle during a brief interview during a campus tour of research facilities for which he secured about $20 million this year.
"It is a privilege just to be mentioned,” he said.
Pelosi has twice made a pitch for Edwards as a potential running mate, first at an event honoring slain Democratic Sen. Robert Kennedy and again at her weekly press briefing last Thursday, during which she again singled out Edwards, whom she described as “one of the finest people I’ve ever served with.”
“I've always tried to encourage Mr. Edwards to run for leadership or something. I think he's an extraordinarily talented person,” she said.
“The Constitution says, that if the president cannot serve, we must have a vice president. And so I think Chet Edwards could fill that role, A. And B, I particularly admire the work he has done on veterans’ issues,” she said.
“He is Mr. Veterans in the Congress. With his leadership, we passed the biggest increase in Veterans benefits in the 77-year history of the Veterans administration. He would be a great addition to the ticket,” she said.
Edwards threw his support behind Obama relatively early, but he had been largely silent on whether he would consider a place on the Democratic ticket.
After news of Pelosi’s first comment about Edwards as a potential running mate, the veteran lawmaker issued only a brief statement in which he said he was humbled that he was even suggested as a potential vice presidential candidate.
Edwards said then he had not met with the Obama campaign regarding the nomination and that he “would not want to speculate on the names being considered.”
Edwards is a nine-term member of Congress who’s seeking re-election this fall.
Waco businessman Rob Curnock challenges him.
Even if he were to end up sharing the ticket with Obama, his name would remain on the ballot as a candidate in the race for the congressional seat.