February 7, 2008

"Is the job of Vice President to a Clinton worth having?"

Michael Duffy asks.
Al Gore learned that being No. 2 to Bill was really more like being No. 3 after you factored in Hillary, who had an office in the West Wing and a larger suite of rooms down the hall from the Veep in the Old Executive Office Building. Gore watched his priorities often take a backseat to hers in the first term—and his future run aground as they fought successfully to avoid impeachment and conviction. While she joked with David Letterman on his show that there is no doubt "who wears the pantsuits" in her house, there is little doubt that the Clintons intend to work as a team if Hillary is elected. "I'll be there, talking her through everything," Bill said in Napa Valley, Calif., last month, "like she did with me." One unaligned party wise man said, "Obama may look at the Clintons, at both of them—at that whole thing they have—and say, 'Jeez, that's just way too [messed] up to be a part of. That's just no place I want to be.'"
It's clear that Obama should not subordinate himself to the Clintons. He doesn't need it to set up his next run for the presidency. Vice Presidents haven't been doing too well running for President these past few decades. Obama will have already distinguished himself as the frontrunner. It would be a comedown for him, and he'd be saddled with whatever goes wrong in the Clinton presidency — or her failed campaign for it. And Obama's distinctiveness is that he offers a clean break from the politics of the past. Why on earth would he want to connect himself to an icon of the politics of the past?

And would Hillary Clinton agree to run for VP under Obama?

70 comments:

rhhardin said...

clean break from the politics of the past

The clean and articulate movement is recalled.

Paddy O. said...

If he doesn't win this time around he has a great chance in future years... but I think that would be helped by getting out of the Senate. At this point getting bogged down in the morass of Senate politics can only hurt him. He needs to show the hope and the leadership and all the things that people are telling us we can expect from him. Both staying in the Senate or running for VP along with Clinton would be bad.

Obama should run for governor. Get executive experience. Show leadership.

And would Hillary Clinton agree to run for VP under Obama?

Would he ask her? I can't imagine anyone asking Hillary to be their VP. Too much baggage. Too little contribution.

Sloanasaurus said...

I agree. If Clinton gets nominated she should offer the VP slot to Obama and Obama should turn it down.

Obama gains nothing from being VP to Clinton. He only gets saddled with the Clinton's partisanship - something he is trying to avoid. As VP he loses the lustre of being Obama.

As someone said before, it would be better for Obama to run for Governor of Illinois. After that he would be a shoe in for the nomination in some future year.

JohnAnnArbor said...

Having Hillary as veep would lend itself to all sorts of conspiracy possibilities!

peter hoh said...

No one in his or her right mind would ask Clinton to be Vice President.

I think Richardson would be willing to serve as Clinton's VP. Wes Clark is another option. But an aspiring young politician? Not advised.

Middle Class Guy said...

This was postulated before Super Tuesday. The consensus was that neither would consider the VP slot. Clitnon’s ego is too big and there is Bill to contend with. Obama would not profit as second banana under Clinton and would actually be harmed. Then, there is Bill to contend with.

Plus, who knows what the Republicans are going to throw at Clinton and that would also stick to Obama. Obama has a real chance here. He is tied with Clinton in votes and delegates. Unless there has been some corrupt back room deal to guarantee all the Super delegates to Clinton- we are talking about the Democratic Party here- Obama has a shot to make history. Hillary only has a shot to put us in a bigger mess than we are in now.

Roger said...

Somehow I don't see neither Obama nor Clinton as the other's running mate--for the reasons that the commenters above have already noted. Although having Bill as the Veep's spouse would really be the stuff of comic opera. Almost worth 4 years of an Obama-Clinton team to see that dynamic play out!

garage mahal said...

Yep, Hillary's campaign is a failure. That's if you count being ahead in delegates a failure. Obama is looking ahead so much he can't stop praising 30 yr old Republicans, and blaming his opponent's husband. Gloating over money raised is just icing on the Unity Cake. No problem though for Obama Fan -- sort of like a reformed smoker. Insufferable, unreasoned, and maddeningly sanctimonious

Fen said...

It's clear that Obama should not subordinate himself to the Clintons.

Hold on a sec. The last thread discussed Obama's mystical power to heal racial angst in this country. Can't he do that as VP too? And if you believe his words, doesn't he have a duty to step up? Or is all his talk just bs?

Remind me of John Kerry: "I have a plan that will save thousands of American lives in the war on terror, but I won't divulge it unless you elect me president"

Middle Class Guy said...

The candidates should take a play out of the Kennedy play book. LBJ was chosen by Kennedy for one reason, and one reason only- his power in the legislature. Kennedy needed someone who could ramrod his platform through the Senate and House. Johnson was the man to do that. History shows he was treated like dirt under a carpet by the Kennedys, as Bobby was the “real” Vice President. But, he was a good trooper and when Kennedy asked, LBJ delivered.

If the candidates on either side want their platforms to succeed, they need a legislative powerhouse as VP. Both Obama and Clinton are lightweights in that regard. Neither has been in office long enough to amass power or the considerable favor bank needed. McCain would not be a VP and Romney and Huckabee lack any sway in the legislature.

Ann Althouse said...

"Can't he do that as VP too?"

Under a President who beat him out for the position by a cynical play of the race card? Under a President who represents old-style partisan politics? I think he's more effective without getting any of that Clinton on him.

dbp said...

I agree, it would be crazy for Obama to accept the VP slot. Clinton might make a good VP choice: There would be a whole JFK/ LBJ thing going. Obama as the young idealistic leader, Clinton as the tough as nails VP.

As much sense as it makes, I just don't think Clinton can subordinate her ego and accept the number two spot ont the ticket.

Roger said...

dpb: nor could Bill--and of the two Clinton, his might be the bigger ego.

Roger said...

Middle class guy: your example of LBJ being treated badly by the Kennedy staffers reminded me of LBJ's revenge. LBJ is said to have had McGeorge Bundy brief him on a foreign policy issue in the bathroom while LBJ was defecating. It may be apocryphal, but it does sound like vintage LBJ.

Paddy O. said...

I agree that Wes Clark would be the best, and most likely, VP choice for Hillary. He has shown loyalty to them, he owes them a lot, and his experience balances out Hillary in a lot of ways. I'd be surprised if she picks anyone else.

Obama, I predict, will choose Kathleen Sebelius, governor of Kansas. She's very popular, has strong executive experience, seems scandal free, and her State of the Union response echoed a lot of Obama's qualities.

Obama/Sebelius would very likely be unbeatable.

Hillary/Clark could likely be taken by McCain, especially if he chooses a running mate that placates conservatives.

Simon said...

Ann said...
"And would Hillary Clinton agree to run for VP under Obama?"

And another question - for the reasons you point out, why would he ask her to be?

garage mahal said...

Under a President who beat him out for the position by a cynical play of the race card?

Yet Obama Fan can't really name that race card. And you can't either, can you. No worries, it's a Clinton, no explanation or proof needed.

PatCA said...

He should definitely not take the VP. Michelle O's comments already reveal the tension between the two in style and substance.

He should stick to the Senate and build a record. Yes, a record is something that can be attacked later, but it's better than being associated with Evita and her co-president.

Sloanasaurus said...

Obama/Sebelius would very likely be unbeatable.

Sebelius would be a moronic pick for Obama. Obama's biggest weakness is his lack of experience. He needs to pick someone with foreign policy and national experience. Sebelius is not this person. Bill Richardson would be a better pick for Obama (also because Obama is weak with hispanics).

Ralph said...

without getting any of that Clinton[shit] on him.
Is that what you meant to say?

Wasn't GHWB the first sitting VP to win since Van Buren? This just came up at JOM, too. VP Jefferson ran against P Adams in 1800 and won, but they were of different parties.

Has Edwards ruled himself out as VP nominee? Perhaps he wants to avoid the "repeat offender" moniker.

Bruce Hayden said...

Let me suggest to the poster who suggested that the nomination is in the bag for Hillary!, that that is essentially propaganda. Obama came out of Super Tuesday looking stronger, the next group of primaries and caucuses favor him, he has the momentum now, and he is raising money like crazy, and Hillary is not, apparently dipping into her own money. In this case, it ain't over until the fat woman sings.

The losing one as VP would be very good for winning in Nov., since they attract such different demographics. I was frankly surprised that Obama did so well in states with small Black populations, including a belt across the west that includes Colorado. There, a lot of the Democrats I talk to hate her almost as much as the Republicans do. They tend to be young, white, and highly educated. Adding this to the Black vote, and you get a significant chunk of the Democratic party.

I would suggest that there is a chance for a combination if Hillary! whomps Obama for the rest of the way, which doesn't look likely. The problem will be if he is close, or even wins the earned delegates, and ultimately loses due to the "Super" delegates, as seems very plausible right now. They are a reminant of the machine politics that the Democratic party is so known for, and are anathema to the populism that is driving Obama's campaign right now.

But in the end, neither is going to be the other's VP. Bill doesn't get back into the White House if Obama is the nominee, and he gains little except for the appreciation of the political powers in the party, while likely losing his ultimate chance at the presidency.

Roger said...

As Bruce Hayden notes above, (and I apologize for the paraphrase) this democratic race has a long way to go including the prospect of a brokered convention, fighting over Michigan and Florida delegates, and super-delegates shifting their support. At this point, I suspect the result of such a possible intraparty slugfest will be divisive rather than unifying. And it may be that the Republicans are better able to unify behind McCain, than the losing faction (and its ethnic allies) behing the ultimate democratic nominee. This is indeed going to be a fascinating spring for a political junkie like me.

garage mahal said...

Obama came out of Super Tuesday looking stronger, the next group of primaries and caucuses favor him, he has the momentum now, and he is raising money like crazy, and Hillary is not...

Really? I'm not surprised, but 6 million in 72 hours is not raising money? I find it odd the demography he is pandering to are not the ones voting for him. Sssshhhh, Gallup has her 52-39 nationally and rising as of yesterday. Do NOT talk about this. It will ruin the narrative they invented for you. Suckers.

peter hoh said...

Bruce wrote: I was frankly surprised that Obama did so well in states with small Black populations,

Andrew Sullivan posted a reader's interesting hypothesis about this phenomenon.

John Stodder said...

Under a President who beat him out for the position by a cynical play of the race card? Under a President who represents old-style partisan politics? I think he's more effective without getting any of that Clinton on him.

The question then would be, how much of a party man is Obama. Hillary would be grievously wounded as a candidate for the fall if she is perceived to have won this way, or by leveraging special interests to get enough superdelegates to overcome a slight Obama advantage in regular delegates.

The party chieftains would go to Obama and say, "Only you can heal this. Only having you on the ticket can stop a hemorrhage of black voters. Only you on the ticket can counter liberal and media claims that Hillary is unethical. We need you on the ticket as, in effect, a character witness. In short, only you can prevent the Republicans from keeping the White House. Oh, yeah, almost forgot. If you turn Hillary down, you'll get all the blame if she loses."

What does Obama do then? The success of her candidacy would be completely in his hands, which is an important matter to everyone he's going to need to court if he plans a future race.

former law student said...

Obama should run for governor. it would be better for Obama to run for Governor of Illinois. After that he would be a shoe in for the nomination in some future year.

This shows a serious disconnect from reality. If running state government is necessary, Obama should run for Governor of Texas or Arkansas. No Governor of Illinois has ever been President. The only Governor-nominee was Adlai "Egghead" Stevenson. Further, since the 60s, Illinois Governors (Kerner, Walker, Ryan, and now likely Blago) are infinitely more likely to go to Federal prison than the White House. In fact, associating with developer-donor Rezko is taking Blago down as it yet may take Obama down.

MadisonMan said...

I'm curious how Michael Duffy knows what Al Gore learned while being VP. Did Duffy talk to Gore?

(I agree it would be a poor idea for Obama to be a Vice Presidential candidate.)

former law student said...

stodder is treating Obama as a washcloth for Hillary to wipe her mud off with. How does Obama benefit from this?

Maxine Weiss said...

A VP is a bit more than a glorified First Lady.

Moreover, how good a First Lady, really was she?

If we're judging first ladies, she doesn't rate with Eleanor Roosevelt, Bess Truman, or even Nancy Reagan. Mrs. Reagan was all about her husband, and not for herself. I don't think we can say that about Hillary.

It's a little unfair to rate a position with no official job description, I realize. The job of First Ladies, is whatever, we, as a society expect of them.

And, yet Hillary is offering it up as valid experience.....and so if we must rate her as a First Lady, she really comes up lacking.

Right, Christopher?

Trooper York said...

Doesn't Obama know that the noble black side kick to the star is always the one that gets killed off in the second reel. What do you think, he never went to the movies?

former law student said...

I can see Obama as Lando Calrissian, but I knew Han Solo; Han Solo was a friend of mine, and you, Hillary Clinton, are no Han Solo.

Paddy O. said...

Sloan, idiotic to you and me. But we're not Obama supporters. As Ann noted in earlier threads, Obama is running on hope and the image of someone who can build bridges. This isn't a logical, intellectual list of his qualities and faults, for which he needs to find a balance. It's a persona, and a presentation. He's trusting that people look way past at his actual accomplishments and resonate with the message that something new is possible, in this nation and in this world.

Picking someone who magnifies that message pushes him farther.

Plus, you note Richardson. How sad is it that Richardson is one of the few credible foreign policy people in the Democratic field. He's great on paper, but his candidacy was embarrassing. He didn't establish himself as an expert or as any kind of boon. Outside of him Obama would have to start looking at former Bill Clinton administration folks, and they're loyal to Hillary and would reflect no change.

Obama is running on dreams and rainbows, hoping to inspire and renew not list his qualities and capabilities. People who are inspired will project abilities on him, and think he will inspire global peace and unity. I think Sebelius could bring in even more who might be swayed by such an eagerness for hope.

Republicans will have no ability to win on such hope and idealism so they will run on experience and policy. Young versus old. Insider versus outsider. And if Iraq continues to go well, then foreign policy won't be a major factor, and domestic will. Sibelius has a good record in Kansas and would be another face of change.

Just think of it! A black President and a woman vice president. Isn't America amazing! It's the American dream. It's overcoming the prejudices of the past and looking to a new, brighter future where boys and girls, children of all races, can achieve anything they want without fear of oppression or rejection. Everyone wins with Obama and Sebelius! The world wins! We are a beacon of hope and light once more!

Unless we vote for a cranky McCain and his corrupt collection of Republican stooges who the world already hates even before they get (back) into office.

The Drill SGT said...

Hillary/Clark could likely be taken by McCain, especially if he chooses a running mate that placates conservatives.

McCain and JC Watts for example

interesting to think what that would do to the demographic dynamics

Steven said...

Vice Presidents haven't been doing too well running for President these past few decades.

Actually, by historical standards, they've been doing much better in the last few decades.

In the first hundred and fifty-four years from the passage of the 12th Amendment, creating the modern system of election of vice presidents, exactly one sitting Vice President was nominated for the U.S. Presidency, and exactly one won.

In the fifty years since then, four elections have not featured incumbent presidents. In all four cases, sitting VPs have been nominated. One won, one won the popular vote but lost in the Electoral College, one came a hair's breadth from winning, and one lost — to a former Vice President running for President a second time.

Trooper York said...

I could never see Hillary running for Vice President because she could never be the Clinton in charge of vice.

spudchuker said...

Cactus Jack Garner was Vice President under FDR and was famous for saying the vice presidency wasn't worth "a warm bucket of spit," although reporters apparently changed the spelling of the last word.

Obama will not be VP under HRC.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I can see Obama as Lando Calrissian, but I knew Han Solo; Han Solo was a friend of mine, and you, Hillary Clinton, are no Han Solo.

Well we all know Han Solo got the Millenium Falcon by cheating Lando in a card game. Don't forget, Solo used to be an Imperial officer so his ties to the Darth Cheney/ Emperor Bush regime go way back. Don't let his relationship with Chewbacca fool you. He's just a token Wookie.

AJ Lynch said...

Senator Jim Webb is a very very good VP choice for whoever gets the Dem nomination.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Let’s also not forget that Han Solo’s role in the infamous ‘Falconhook’ scandal. Solo justified his rank of general in the Rebel Alliance to attempt to force himself on Princess Leia. C3PO was the star witness when he caught Solo trying to do the wild wookie dance with her Highness while they were on the run from Imperial warships. So rather than fix the Falcon’s hyperdrives and make good their escape, he was more interested in scoring from royal action. So we can add dereliction of duty to conduct unbecoming an Alliance officer.

Postscript: C3PO has been placed into protective custody on Yavin as he received several ‘deactivation’ threats as well as suggestions he would spend the rest of his days in the spice mines of Kessel due to his damning testimony of General Solo.

John Stodder said...

former law student said...
stodder is treating Obama as a washcloth for Hillary to wipe her mud off with. How does Obama benefit from this?


He doesn't. I think you misread me. It's the Democratic Party/Clinton campaign that will want Obama to serve in the "washcloth" role. If dirty tricks cause him to lose the nomination, only he can erase the fingerprints from his own body, so to speak. I'm not saying he should do it. I think he should not do it. But let's not underestimate the pressure he will be under to "take one for the team." It will be massive, and not entirely friendly.

eric said...

I'm sure it has been said, but VPs have done fine in recent decades - 1-1 since the 80s, and Gore did win the popular. Just because you didn't have a VP running in 92, 96, or 04 doesn't mean it's a bad idea.

Obama would be foolish to turn Clinton down. It would be an unbeatable ticket, he'd be moving up, rather than laterally, gain that executive experience everyone is (rightly) ripping him for not having, and he'd be the obvious leader of the party in 8 years. However, I've got a source on the Hill who told me Obama is too pissed at Hillary for a slight 2 years ago (something about her brushing him off after the talk of him running started). The guy said Obama carries a grudge like no one else up there (go figure). So the ticket is highly unlikely. Then again, if Obama is as smart as everyone says he is, he'll take it in a heartbeat.

As for Clinton as VP? Never happen. She wouldn't bring anything to the ticket. And she'd recognize her window was gone - she'd rather play the rest out as a great Senator. (Someone needs to lead the Senate in the next 8 years).

Perfect ticket for Dems is Clinton/Obama. And it would set up 16 years of dems in the Whitehouse...

Sloanasaurus said...

Just think of it! A black President and a woman vice president. Isn't America amazing! It's the American dream. It's overcoming the prejudices of the past and looking to a new, brighter future where boys and girls, children of all races, can achieve anything they want without fear of oppression or rejection.

yes, it is inspiring. But, the President is Commander and Chief. Would you want a doctor to operate on you because they are a good doctor or because you are inspired by them. I think most people will go for quality over inspiration.

IN the same way Obama is going to have to prove his quality. Obama is going to be standing next to McCain. He needs to sell to the American people that he can be Commander and Chief at age 46 with no executive experience and only a few years in the Senate. No person has ever been nominated with as little experience as Obama. The last person with as little experience was perhaps JFK, who was an officer in WWII, a war hero and had 10 years on Obama serving in Congress.

Im not saying Obama can't convince people, but its not going to be a cake walk.

AJ Lynch said...

Sloan:

I agree- Obama has glaring weakness in terms of real experience. So does Hillary for that matter IMHO.

Middle Class Guy said...

Sloanasaurus said...
He needs to sell to the American people that he can be Commander and Chief at age 46 with no executive experience and only a few years in the Senate.

By contrast, Hillary Clinton has no executive experience or documented experience of any kind, she only has a few years as a mediocre Senator, so all she has going for her is her age.

McCain has no executive experience and only a too long career in the Senate.

None of the candidates are really qualified by all of our standards. We have the lesser of two evils versus the lesser of two mediocrities.

Sloanasaurus said...

None of the candidates are really qualified by all of our standards. We have the lesser of two evils versus the lesser of two mediocrities.

What? Hillary has been involved in national politics for 16 years. Yes, maybe she wasn't actually the executive, however, she is far more experienced than Obama.

Sloanasaurus said...

I agree- Obama has glaring weakness in terms of real experience. So does Hillary for that matter IMHO.

As much as I despise Hillary, I think she is qualifed to be president. She is just a lot less qualified than McCain.

Paddy O. said...

I think most people will go for quality over inspiration.

This is the big question. I'm not sure they will. People are really in a mood to be inspired.

Ralph said...

McCain has no executive experience
He was a squadron commander for 2(?) years... over 30 years ago!

Fen said...

Just think of it! A black President and a woman vice president. Isn't America amazing! It's the American dream. It's overcoming the prejudices of the past and looking to a new, brighter future where boys and girls, children of all races, can achieve anything they want without fear of oppression or rejection. Everyone wins with Obama and Sebelius! The world wins! We are a beacon of hope and light once more!

Sarcasm yes? Its hard to tell the diff these days...

Hey, will we be allowed to criticize Obama's presidency without being labelled racist? The federal govenrment is already full of incompetents who can't be corrected by management because it will trigger a "discrimination" complaint. Mid-level management rountinely surrenders and avoids such confrontation, because a certain number of EEO complaints [no matter how fake] will end your career.

Just asking if we're extending that to the Office of President as well.

Middle Class Guy said...

Sloanasaurus said...
What? Hillary has been involved in national politics for 16 years.


Being First Lady, holding teas for the DAR or giving speeches to women’s group does not count as being involved in national politics. Being a campaign supporter for your husband is not being involved in national politics. She has been in the national spotlight for 16 years. That means nothing. As far as being a Senator, she has done good things for New York. Other than that, she has really been responsible for nothing.

Ralph said...

she has really been responsible for nothing.
She did have a West Wing office, and she was responsible for keeping Bill on track. We know how well that worked out.

somefeller said...

"Being First Lady, holding teas for the DAR or giving speeches to women’s group does not count as being involved in national politics. Being a campaign supporter for your husband is not being involved in national politics."

Perhaps not, but being a lightning rod for abuse from the Right from 1992 onwards, and still end up at the pinnacle of US politics in 2008 (whether she wins or loses this thing) certainly counts as being involved in national politics. And that doesn't count her activities before that. Don't kid yourself, she's been a player in this game for a long time, and has done it well.

By the way, it's interesting, we often hear from conservatives how Hillary has been this shadowy player with her Machiavellian hand in everything for decades (going back to the days she was in college writing about Saul Alinsky, by gum!), and then five minutes later we hear how she really has no experience and is basically a total neophyte when it comes to serious politics. And amazingly, the people who say that probably are genuine in their belief of both statements. Doublethink is an amazing thing to behold.

Anil Petra said...

shhhhh. i'll whisper because, it seems, no one is supposed to talk about this.

has anyone compared barack obama's resume to dan quayle's?

there, I said it.

Fen said...

Qualye is not the idiot the media made him out to be. So the comparison won't mean anything.

The Ghost said...

On the contrary, Hillary Clinton had a vital responsibility as First Lady that required vigorous attention. She failed at this utterly.

Sssshhhh, Gallup has her 52-39 nationally and rising as of yesterday. Do NOT talk about this. It will ruin the narrative they invented for you. Suckers.

Yeah, too bad half the country has already voted. Also, that Gallup poll has Obama behind by more than 10 for most of the last month. If polls like that generate results like Tuesday, I think Obama will take it.

Revenant said...

Obama should plan to run, and win, in 2012. Hillary will probably lose to McCain, and if she doesn't there is always 2016.

Paddy O. said...

Fen, a little bit. From me at least.

Though I'm not sure I'd call it sarcasm. More "what we should expect to hear".

Sloanasaurus said...

Being a campaign supporter for your husband is not being involved in national politics. She has been in the national spotlight for 16 years.

I disagree. It is well known that Hillary was pretty much involved of most of the decision making during the Clinton Administration. She has been there when decisions were being made - be they either good or for ill. This is great experience.

At the same time, however, she is also responsible for much of the corruption in the Clinton whitehouse.

That being said, 2008 is much different than 1993. The world is much more threatening than it was in 1993 both economically and militarily. A President Hillary would have no peace dividend to look forward to. Do you trust her? I don't.

Fen said...

It is well known that Hillary was pretty much involved of most of the decision making during the Clinton Administration

Wasn't Hillary the one who saved her husband's campaign after Paula Jones came out? I read something about the staff all moping around the day after, resigned to throwing in the towel. In walks Hillary and, of all people, tells them to get over it and get back to work.

Frame it another way: who would you rather have as a political enemy, Hillary or Obama?

The Exalted said...

what a load of bs.

i recall reading countless articles about how gore was history's most powerful/involved VP (pre-Cheney presidency of course)

now, because it suits the press to say otherwise, you get a story like this.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Under a President who beat him out for the position by a cynical play of the race card? Under a President who represents old-style partisan politics? I think he's more effective without getting any of that Clinton on him.

Which is exactly why he never wears a blue dress.

Middle Class Guy said...

I do not trust her. If she was involved in policy then where is the documentation and verification to prove it. If it existed, Bill would have a serious problem as she was not an apporved cabinet member. She had no legal authority to pursue, approve, or even consult on any policy issue. The First Lady is a title given to the wife of a president. Her position is purely ceremonial.

To be fair, she is more intelligent than Bill. He is a doofus who got lucky.

Ann Althouse said...

She is not more intelligent than Bill. Look at how the two of them handled law school and law teaching. And look at how Alan Greenspan describes Bill in comparison to all the other Presidents he's worked with. Bill is brilliant with ease. Hillary had to overachieve to get where she is. Even in high school, she had to work very hard just to get into the top 10 percent.

Ralph said...

Bill has an excellent memory, but even Stephanapolus said he was unable to come to a decision and stick with it. Is that a failure of reasoning power or of discipline? Hillary was/is apparently the decisive one, which may explain why '93 was so choatic--she had other things to do.

somefeller said...

"Hillary had to overachieve to get where she is. Even in high school, she had to work very hard just to get into the top 10 percent."

Even if that's true, so what?

former law student said...

Hillary's a grinder, a plodder. She's the one you want working for you in the back room, while Obama's the one you want on the dais.

Blake said...

It speaks well of her work ethic, somefeller, but not particularly her intelligence. (I think it's fairly well established that intelligence isn't the #1 criteria in making a good President, but the narrative seems to require contrasting Dems with the stupid, stupid Republicans.)

Also, somefeller, the contortions required by the anti-Hillary crew to claim that she has no experience and yet masterminded a conspiracy, isn't really any greater than those claiming that she wasn't working behind the scenes but should be credited with all the positive achievements of the '90s.

I think it's all kind of irrelevant. If we really valued experience, we'd never have passed the 22nd amendment.

Iapetus said...

AA says, "Bill [Clinton] is brilliant with ease." He definitely reminds me of the college student who never cracks a book the entire semester and then aces the final. Maybe I'm jealous, but the problem I have with such people is that they don't seem to be disciplined enough to harness their "brilliance" in order to accomplish anything substantial later in life. "Brilliance" itself can be overrated. Scientists who win the Nobel prize in Physics, for example, are unquestionably very smart, but by and large they are not what lay people identify as "brilliant." What these Nobel laureates tend to be is highly disciplined and extremely dedicated to their work. The formula is: brains + hard work = success. In Bill Clinton's case, the operative expression was: brains - horsing around = impeachment. I guess he just got the math wrong. Not smart at all.

former law student said...

If we really valued experience, we'd never have passed the 22nd amendment.

The Republicans wanted to prevent another FDR who would be elected time after time. Which was foolish because Ike could easily have won a third term, to the benefit of all. First, I think Ike was too smart to get us deeply enmeshed in Viet Nam, and second, that Khrushchev never would have dared send missiles to Cuba with Ike in charge.

recluserecluse said...

Past 5 decades (1958-2008)
Vice-Presidents Who Never Became President:Hubert Humphrey,Spiro Agnew,Nelson Rockefeller, Walter Mondale, Dan Quayle,Al Gore, Dick Cheney.
Vice-Presidents Who Subsequently Became Presidet:Richard Nixon, Lyndon Johnson,Gerald Ford,George Bush
Ratio 7:4