John McCaslin

The previous time New York business leader and Democratic activist Bill Arnone surveyed some five-dozen of his fellow staunch Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton supporters, they indicated they would "either vote for McCain-Palin or for neither ticket, or were undecided, or would write in Senator Clinton's name."

Now the former volunteer adviser to Mrs. Clinton's campaign has asked the group of Democrats: Would you change your mind if Mrs. Clinton were to replace Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. as the vice-presidential candidate running with Sen. Barack Obama?

The results, which he forwarded to Inside the Beltway: Yes: 56 percent; No: 39 percent; Not sure: 5 percent.

Not surprisingly, many of those who responded "Yes" noted they could not "imagine such a scenario," which remains highly unlikely. Others said that while they would support an Obama-Clinton ticket, they were against the idea, as it would make the Democrats look "desperate."

Then there were those who emphasized they still strongly prefer that Mrs. Clinton head the ticket, even more than unlikely.

Finally, some of Mrs. Clinton's supporters indicated they would not vote for any Democratic ticket in November as a protest "against the Democratic National Committee," which created further division within the party when it would not allow some states' votes to count in the primary.

As for Mr. Arnone, who is with Ernst & Young, he spoke with Mrs. Clinton last month when she threw a thank-you reception for her supporters in Manhattan.

"If Hillary Clinton had looked me in the eye and said, 'Bill, do for Barack Obama exactly what you were doing and would have done for me,' then I would devote all of my energy to helping him and would encourage others to do the same," he wrote in a recent op-ed.

"Instead, what I heard was a candid acknowledgment that it is taking more time for some to transfer their enthusiasm to another candidate after so closely contested and contentious a campaign for the nomination.

"Senator Clinton did say that she preferred that we make as our top priority uniting to elect a Democratic president in November. She offered, however, as an alternative that we work hard to elect more Democrats to the Senate."


Starting bid on eBay for a rare 3-inch limited edition Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton "Unity in Unity" button pin from Unity, N.H., dated June 27, 2008: $24.99.

Number of bids submitted by the close of the auction at noon Monday: 0

John McCaslin

John McCaslin is a contributing columnist on and author of Inside The Beltway: Offbeat Stories, Scoops, and Shenanigans from around the Nation's Capital .

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