"So You Will Not Run for President or Vice-President in 2008?"

Breaking through the Sunday Morning Golden Oldies, Carville and Matalin on MTP and John Kerry (!) on ABC, was Barak Obama on MTP. The discussion was predictable and not worth repeating, but what, exactly, is accomplished by Russert forcing every guest with any national stature to declare if they will serve out their term in whatever office they currently hold. Obama fell for it and pledged to serve out his Senate term, which would mean not running for Veep in 2008. Obviously, this is written in pudding, but why can't people just reply that they will decide when it is time to decide and Tim will be one of the first to know (if he listens to the announcement on Imus).? Or better yet, why doesn't Russert just cut it out.

Today's gotcha exchange:

MR. RUSSERT: There's been enormous speculation about your political future, Senator. The man you succeeded in the Senate, Peter Fitzgerald, a Republican, said this recently. "I think there's a very good chance that Senator Obama is on the Democratic ticket in 2008 as the vice presidential nominee." Do you agree?

SEN. OBAMA: No. I can't speculate on those kinds of things. What I have said is that, you know, I'm not focused on running for higher office, I'm focused on doing the job that the people of Illinois sent me to do.

MR. RUSSERT: But there seems to be an evolution in your thinking. This is what you told the Chicago Tribune last month: "Have you ruled out running for another office before your term is up?" Obama answered, "It's not something I anticipate doing." But when we talked back in November of '04 after your election I said, "There's been enormous speculation about your political future. Will you serve your six-year term as United States senator from Illinois?" Obama, "Absolutely."

SEN. OBAMA: I will serve out my full six-year term. You know, Tim, if you get asked enough, sooner or later you're going to get weary and you start looking for new ways of saying things. But my thinking has not changed.

MR. RUSSERT: So you will not run for president or vice-president in 2008?

SEN. OBAMA: I will not.