By Matt Friedman | February 2nd, 2008 - 5:22pm
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Will Bob Menendez make a play for a spot on the national ticket?Will Bob Menendez make a play for a spot on the national ticket?

U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez doesn’t seem to be gunning for vice president. But he won’t completely rule out the prospect either.

“I am just focused on two things: standing up for the families of New Jersey in the Senate, just as we’re doing with the stimulus package where we got higher rates for the rebates, and secondly making sure Hillary has a big win on Super Tuesday and beyond and becomes the candidate of the party,” he said. “Everything else beyond that is so speculative. I appreciate the flattering comments.”

Menendez’s name was first floated by Clinton National Finance Co-Chair John F.X. Graham, who called him the “most intriguing choice.”

So far, Democrats who back Clinton are amused by the prospect, but few take it seriously. While nobody mentions the ongoing U.S. Attorney’s investigation of Menendez – which most Democrats dismiss as inconsequential anyway – most cite New Jersey’s geographical undesirability for a candidate from New York.

But those present at the kickoff to today’s Clinton bus tour seemed warm to the idea.

“I think Bob would make a great Vice President,” said Rep. Albio Sires. “He has excelled himself on every position he’s ever held. The Hispanic vote is a vote that is going to determine this presidential election in many of the states, and Bob is a proven vote getter.”

Glorida Rodriguez, 74, of Jersey City sat at a table with her daughter and two friends, donning a homemade “Hillary for President” t-shirt. Rodriguez was luke warm at the idea of an Clinton-Obama ticket. But her eyes lit up at the prospect of a Vice President Bob Menendez.

“I’d like that a lot better (than Obama),” she said. “He’s always gotten my vote.”

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