Barack Obama’s vice presidential vetting committee has been meeting with lawmakers in Washington, so naturally a few names have started to filter out. Most were to be expected (Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Jim Webb and so on), but among them is someone you may not have heard of: retired Gen. James Jones, a veteran of the Vietnam War and former supreme allied commander of NATO. Of course it’s far too soon to place bets.

Obama himself has said that he will not talk about a vice presidential candidate until he has chosen one.


MSNBC / First Read:

From NBC’s Chuck Todd and Domenico Montanaro

So you think you know who’s on Obama’s veep short list? Well, think again. According to sources on the Hill, Obama veep vetters — specifically Jim Johnson and Eric Holder — have been asking Dem members of Congress this week their input about potential running mates. The conversations are free-flowing but one name the vetters are inserting in the conversations is one that is not a household name… Ret. Gen. James Jones, the former Marine-turned-NATO Supreme Allied Commander.

Jones, a Vietnam vet born in Kansas City, MO (swing state alert!), was a career military officer rising to one of the highest posts possible. Now retired, Jones has been critical of the number of troops currently in Afghanistan. He’s been appointed to independent posts by both the Democratic Congress and the Republican-run State Department.

Jones currently is the president and CEO of the Institute for 21st Century Energy, which is an affiliate of the US Chamber of Commerce, not exactly the type of organization a typical Democrat gets involved with. Potentially problematic is that he’s on Chevron’s board. He also serves on the boards of Boeing and Invacare, a manufacturer and distributor of medical equipment. (Invacare’s slogan, ironically, is: “Yes, you can.”)

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