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Clinton hints at Obama as possible running mate

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Energized by a series of wins that revitalized her presidential campaign, Sen. Hillary Clinton hinted on Wednesday at a possible joint Democratic ticket with rival Barack Obama.

In two television interviews, hours after she scored critical primary victories in Texas and Ohio that helped revive her presidential bid, Clinton was asked about a joint bid with the first-term senator from Illinois.

“Well, that may ... be where this is headed, but of course, we have to decide who’s on the top of the ticket,” Clinton said on the CBS “Early Show.” “And I think that the people of Ohio very clearly said that it should be me.”

In an interview on MSNBC, Clinton noted that both she and Obama had been asked if they would pick the other as their vice presidential running mate.

“Obviously, it’s premature for either of us to address it,” she said.

She added: “There is a lot of ... interest in that. Many Democrats are hoping for that. We have to sort through this nominating process to see ... who ends up as the nominee.

“But we’re going to put together a winning ticket. The most important thing is winning in November.”

Obama would not talk about a joint ticket. “I’ve said before I respect Senator Clinton as a public servant, a tenacious opponent. I think it is very premature to start talking about a joint ticket,” he told reporters before flying from San Antonio to Chicago.

At a debate in Los Angeles in late January, Obama and Clinton both smiled at the suggestion they run on an Obama-Clinton or a Clinton-Obama ticket.

“Obviously there’s a big difference between those two,” Obama said at the January 31 debate. “I’m sure Hillary would be on anybody’s short list.”

Reporting by Deborah Charles, editing by Alan Elsner