June 4, 2008

I went to bed last night thinking there's no way Barack Obama should pick Hillary Clinton as his running mate.

But I woke up this morning, turned on the TV news to see a rerun of her speech from last night and thought: He must pick her!

1. If she wants it, she's earned it. 18 million votes. Tireless campaigning over endless months. Supporters who really love her. You can't snub her and get away with it.

2. McCain is ready to embrace and absorb her supporters. All those women. All those flyover state white men that you disrespected.

3. Hillary looks positively radiant when she's down. She's at her best. If she has to take the second slot, she will look beautifully happy about it, and that will transform the mood of her disappointed supporters.

4. The 2 of you, united at last, will make the media ecstatic. They won't be able to say the words "dream ticket" and "historic" (and "woman" and "African American") enough times. You will produce fabulous pictures and press this week that will create a brilliant glow that will last all summer and make us forget about all the messiness of the last few months.

5. If you don't pick her — if she wants it, and you don't pick her — what will she do? What will she say? Even if she lies low and says nothing, every time anything goes wrong in your campaign, she'll be over there, representing what could have been — and you know how people are when they start projecting their dreams onto someone.

55 comments:

Ron said...

She might help Obama get elected, but a Clinton VP would be a working disaster for a President Obama. Even if she didn't try, the media would be consulting her over every thing, especially those things that may provide contrast with Clintons past and present. Imagine Obama doing something very different than Bill would do, and it goes badly. Just the media egging Hillary on alone could be a nightmare. Plus, the spouse of the VP would get photo ops galore!

Nothing but grief for Obama; not worth having her on the ticket.

rhhardin said...

I don't suppose there's any way to get a Canadian on the ticket.

Pogo said...

As Veep, even if she lies low and says nothing, every time anything goes wrong in your presidency, she'll be over there, representing what could have been — and you know how people are when they start projecting their dreams onto someone.

Brown Girl said...

HELL NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! After how HORRIBLY she has behaved and the Kennedy assassination comment? I wouldn't trust her with my back!!! She's to desperate for power to be trusted. ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!

However, I do think he would do well to choose one of the female stars of the Democratic Party ... after all there are 14 female senators and some female Governors, aren't they? Presumably one of them would make compatible, positive and powerful running mates.

It's time for Sen. Clinton to fade into the background (like all failed nominees be they democrat or republican) and let Sen. Obama get on with what he has to do. The question is, will her ego and sense of entitlement allow her to do so? I suspect not.

Slim999 said...

Considering that Hillary has endorsed John McCain in the race, it's hard to believe that Obama can pick her as his Vice-Presidential nominee.

Hillary: "In this election, we need a nominee who can pass the Commander in Chief test. Someone ready on day one to defend our country and keep our families safe. We need a president who passes that test, because the first and most solemn duty of a president of the United States is to protect and defend our nation.

"When there's a crisis, there is no time for speeches and on the job training.

"Senator McCain will bring a lifetime of experience to the campaign.

"Senator Obama will bring a speech that he gave in 2002.

I think that is a significant difference."

I predict that if offered the Vice Presidency by John McCain, Hillary would accept the job.

Meade said...

"Barry, I mean, President, sir, I've been thinking about our latest health care proposal to Congress and..."

"Uh, Hillary, can this wait until our meeting. Do you ever quit? My god! It's 3 AM!

gophermomeh said...

I like the idea for all those ideas you listed, plus (and this may be wrapped up in #1) - she brought in a lot of big states for the dems and could really balance out the attach.

The flip side I see (and I agree with Ron on this) is that the spotlight is going to continually come back to her(and Bill) - and that would get tiresome for everybody.

Kevin said...

John Wilkes Booth ... Lee Harvey Oswald ... Hillary Rodham Clinton ... don't trust a person with three names when they have a motive to whack you.

ballyfager said...

I don't pretend to know if he can be forced to take her but, if he chooses her of his own volition he's just putting his head in a noose. I'd have to think he's smarter than that.

And all this talk of the doughty, won't-give-up underdog makes me sick. She's a willful, petulant child and no more than that.

The nomination was hers to lose and she lost it. But being a willful, petulant child she thinks if she stamps her foot and holds her breath they'll still have to give it to her.

Many people could see through the Clintons in 1992. If you can't see through them now either you're not trying or you're not too bright.

Beldar said...

Let every pundit know, whether they wish Obama well or ill, that he shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, disown any friend, or embrace any enemy necessary to assure the survival and the success of his heroic destiny.

The question is whether this sales pitch will work to appease a certain key constituent:

"But, honey, just think how many times you, as First Lady, will be able to humiliate her, and put her and Bill back in their place, if she's merely the vice president!"

clint said...

Hillary doesn't really want to be the VP candidate. (If they lose, she's worse than a losing candidate-- she's a losing VP candidate; If they win, she's committed to taking the same risk in 2012, where again she might end up as a losing VP candidate; Her best path to the White House is still running in 2008 against President McCain and 12 years of GOP...)

And Obama can't possibly pick her. (He'd be overshadowed; he'd have a harder time running on Change with one of the Bush or Clinton names right there on his ticket; the people who voted for Hillary as a protest against Obama will not be remotely impressed...)

Conclusion: Her main goal is to make Obama turn her down. To really drive a wedge between Obama and her female and blue-collar supporters.

Her goal is to see Obama lose -- and she's already setting in place the "I was the stronger candidate" narrative, to carry her to an easy nomination in 2012.

clint said...

(that 2008 should be a 2012, obviously)

tom swift said...

Obama is a relatively timorous personality. (The guys who get stuck with loud, bossy wives usually are.) He would be eclipsed at every turn by Hillary, who is herself loud and bossy. If an Obama/Hillary ticket is elected, besides presiding over the Senate, Hillary would also be the POTUS, for all practical purposes. Obama, if he's half as sharp as the press keeps telling us, must realize this. His only rational move is to keep her as far away from the Executive as possible, or he's toast.

Bob said...

I am hoping that Obama swallows hard and offers her the VP slot. She would probably accept and, assuming they win, we get 4 years of watching the Gladiator match that will be Hillary, Bill, and Michelle. We'd be talking serious bloodsport!

SteveR said...

Not only would he have to deal with all the things she said already ("speech from 2002") but as VP candidaye that will be magnified. She's told us that she's better qualified and now she wants to work for the guy? That has ulterior motive written all over it.

Then you have the Bill factor, purple red faced finger wagging loose cannon. Some campaign staffer would have to send a memo to Michelle's body girl: No blue dresses until after the election.

Slim999 said...

"John Wilkes Booth ... Lee Harvey Oswald ... Hillary Rodham Clinton ... don't trust a person with three names when they have a motive to whack you."

Barak Hussein Obama.

Don't trust a person with three Islamic names when Islamic terrorists are driving airplanes into our buildings.

Charlie Eklund said...

Yesterday was the first day of Hillary's next campaign...the campaign for Veep. She controls 2000 delegates, many of them quite passionate, so she already has a near veto on the Veep pick at the convention. After all, the nominee for Vice President is selected by a vote of the delegates just as the presidential nominee is. Can Hillary force herself on to the ticket whether Senator Obama wants her there or not?

I suspect we're going to find out.

Susan said...

I'm thinking of all the Democrat bloggers, commenters and other pundits who have been saying these past few months that they have finlly had their eyes opened to the awfulness that is the Clintons. To then have to go back to embracing her as part of this "dream ticket". Politics at its most fun!

TROBlog said...

An Obama presidency is doomed to failure whether Hillary is VP or not. Think Carter.

It would be funny to watch except he is going to drag the rest of the country down with him.

Citizen Grim said...

"Gee, Hillary, thanks for making my coffee this morning! Say, why are you being so nice all of a sudden?"

peter hoh said...

Hillary Clinton on the ticket would be a deal-breaker for me.

MadisonMan said...

Ditto.

J. Elton said...

18 million votes?!

I guess you are rounding up to the nearest million -- in which case, Obama got 18 million as well.

I know that law profs are not konwn for their math prowess, but really, there isn't ANY calculation that gives Clinton 18 million votes.

The ONLY way she "wins" the popular vote is by including Michigan, which Clinton earlier agreed in writing would not count. Oh, and one must give Obama zero votes in Michigan for this lame math to "work."

But it still ain't 18 million!

Goatwhacker said...

I could see Hillary being a moderating influence on Obama, who I see as very good at being a candidate but otherwise something of a weakling. If elected he will be a product of his advisers - sort of a liberal George Bush.

The question is could they work effectively together and I'm not sure of the answer to that one.

garage mahal said...

The ONLY way she "wins" the popular vote is by including Michigan, which Clinton earlier agreed in writing would not count. Oh, and one must give Obama zero votes in Michigan for this lame math to "work."

I know that law profs are not konwn for their math prowess, but really, there isn't ANY calculation that gives Clinton 18 million votes.


Wrong . If you give him all uncommitted and assume nobody voted for Edwards, she still beats him. Sorry. Looks like you are the one who can't count. (or spell)

richard mcenroe said...

Granted, the Secret Service actively hates Hillbillary and would be watching her like a hawk, but poor Barry would do a Ron Brown before his first year was out.

Besides, these are _Clintons_. The only question now is what KIND of payback she has in mind for him at the convention and after. Even saying she'd be willing to take the VP slot is Clinton gamesmanship: she doesn't want it; Barry doesn't want to offer it; but now if he doesn't he even further alienates her voter base.

KAK said...

I hope he doesn't let her get away with political blackmail. If she had gracefully accepted him as presumptive nominee and made any positive overtures to the Obama campaign, then maybe she could have secured VP with grace and dignity. By using this blackmail approach, she has put him in a no-win situation and caused further division by deliberately antagonizing Obama supporters while stoking the resentment of her own supporters. Those kind of tactics are exactly what makes her a bad match for Obama as VP. For the past 3 weeks I've been waiting for her to be gracious and show her so-called 35 years of party loyalty. Where is it? I see no party loyalty in her latest ploy. I just see a Clinton trying to game her way into VP without any regard for party unity.

dmfoiemjsof said...

I am considering voting for Obama, but if HRC is on the ticket as VP then forget about it.

KAK said...

And I'm afraid I am coming around to Clint's point of view. I tried hard to give her the benefit of the doubt. She has been a good public servant for years. And would still be a good Cabinet member in the right position. But her latest ploy makes no sense to me except as an aggressive leverage move. But for what? I don't think she does really want VP. So that brings me back to Clint's argument. Very sad and destructive.

Tim DeRoche said...

The smart pick for Obama is Michael Bloomberg.

former law student said...

Let McCain pick her for his VP.

By refusing to acknowledge Obama's victory, she is Hamas or Hezbollah to Obama's Israel. A precondition for negotiation should be her admission he has won.

The smart pick for Obama is Michael Bloomberg.

There are a lot more southern whites than Manhattanites. Besides, Bloomberg still has to clean up his Building Inspection department and his trigger-happy police force before he can take on a bigger job.

Rocker 419 said...

I hate to be the only one to point this fact out but...since no superdelegates have actually voted yet (and won't until theyre in Denver), Obama hasn't won squat yet.

former law student said...

Obama hasn't won squat yet.

Same is true of that pretender, John McCain. My man Ron Paul can still win it on the second ballot.

Pastafarian said...

Every reason listed in this post for picking Clinton for VP was bogus. She's earned it, by losing a close and bruising campaign that she stayed in far too long? Putting Hillary on the ticket is going to help with white men? Really? Which white men are those -- Madison, WI white men? Hillary looks radiant when she's down? You mean radiant compared to, say, a dead possum in an advanced stage of decomposition, right?

The media will like it? (They just don't like Obama very much by himself, I guess; it's really critical that he try to win over the media). And finally, if you don't pick her, what might she do? Maybe fade into political obscurity, like all the other primary losers.

I'm trying to figure out if you were actually serious with this post, or if this was some sort of joke that went over my head.

But, as a conservative, I certainly do hope that he wastes his VP pick on someone like Hillary, who brings only huge negatives, not just with Republicans but with many Democrats, and helps geographically only in Arkansas and in states that Obama will carry anyway.

Bloomberg wouldn't be much better -- he'll help carry NY? If that's going to be a problem, then they might as well not even bother trying in the general election.

The best choice for Obama would be Ted Strickland, idiot governor of Ohio. It's one of the few moves that Obama could make that will help him in one of the two most critical pivotal states (the other being PA). Strickland is also himself a white male, and actually has a high rating with the NRA, despite being a Democrat and an idiot. He might help a little with the "white males in flyover states" -- at least he wouldn't drive them away in a stampede like Hillary.

Simon said...

What do Chris and John - having had quite different takes on this primary thusfar - each think about the idea of Hillary being granted the veep slot now that Obama is the nominee?

Anil Petra said...

In 1980, Ted Kennedy had the audacity to run a vicious primary campaign against a sitting President of his own party.

Hillary Clinton is the only major politician in my lifetime that has the moxie to take it up a notch, and run as a sitting VP against her President at the end of his first term.

steven said...

She used one man to get to the Senate. Now she wants to use another man to get to the Presidency some day. Does she ever do anything on her own?

cubanbob said...

I do hope Hussein picks Hillary. Between the two there is zero experience in running anything buts lots of Marxist ideas. And personal antipathy. At the worst they win and we have a second coming of Carter. Painful as that will be, the country will be cured of democrats for at least one generation after that.

Most likely they will lose the general and finally the Clintons will be finally done for and Obama will be lucky to get re-elected senator. If we are really fortunate the democrats will finally be able to rid themselves of these sixties brain dead radicals and communists and become a real viable alternatives to the republicans.

The really important VP choice will be McCain's. If he picks some soft RINO type he will indeed probably loose. To paraphrase Harry Truman if the public is given a choice between a democrat and a democrat they will vote for the real democrat. If he picks a real conservative, the conservatives will turn and vote for his VP choice and prospective heir and against Hillary and Obama.

Neal said...

I think that if Hillary is on the ticket, it will harm the candidacy: Even as the VP nominee, she will unify and galvanize the Republicans better than McCain can.

Texas Tom said...

I would advise the Chief Actuary for Obama's life insurance carrier to cancel his policy if Hillary is VP.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

Not worth it. I already compromised once when I shifted my support from Edwards to Obama (I didn't really have a choice). I will never support any ticket with the name Clinton on it. It's not about party, it's about principles...which the Clintons don't have.

1jpb said...

Such a drastic, over night, swing of opinion about HRC as VP does undercut the wisdom of the final opinion.

In the end there may be political and electoral reasons to pick her.

Much of the electorate will never realize that her two major challenges have been 1) her failed health care plan (where the compromise she rejected as too slow would have been fully implemented by 1998--ten years ago), and 2) her failed presidential campaign; which has reinforced the fact that she's been strategically sitting on the sidelines (rather than being the lead D on issues like gov accountability, with all spending available online for public and press, AND expanded international arms control to limit terrorists' access to weapons (including nukes), AND one of two lead Ds on the biggest ethics reform in 25 years.) in the Senate to hide her ineffective truculence which inevitably reemerged when she was forced to confront a true challenge.

There is also the question of her weak trustworthiness and loyalty to causes other than her own political self interest. And, there is the question of WJC's judgment and mental stability.

I'm not flailing about trying to decide if HRC should be the VP. I know that, on the merits, she shouldn't be the VP. And, BHO shouldn't choose her.

But, I know that most folks will never realize that she shouldn't be VP. So, she could be an electoral booster of last resort. She's a card that he can pull out if it is helpful to trade away the best possible government for an increased possibility of governance.

Iapetus said...

A menage a trois in the bedroom is one thing, but one in the Oval Office of the White House is quite another. Then again, Bill is an old hand in using the President's office for his past assignations, so there is precedent.

Boris Ruhmsen said...

There are many reasons why she would be a great running mate. But think about her actually being a VP. She will be the worst one he can imagine.

If he picks her, that would mean that he is very, VERY uncertain about his chances to win on his own.

Cedarford said...

Reasons against:

1. It perpetuates Dynastic politics, that started in 1980 with either a Clinton or a Bush on the ticket.

2. It would show Obama as weak and inexperienced. He needs the Clintons as a crutch if Bambi gets in over his head or the teleprompter shorts out.

3. So much for new politics as he brings back the old politics in a big way.

4. Care to be one heartbeat away from the full restoration of the Clintons and their clintonistas to power?

5. He already has Michelle and the preachers as loose cannons. Care to add Hillary and Bill to the mix?

The Drill SGT said...

The last time a candidate for POTUS picked a VP that he dislike this much, for as transparently selfish reasons (on both buyer and sellers part) was:

JFK and LBJ. They hated each other and it was said that LBJ only took the job expecting JFK to lose and he would have except for crooked Chicago politicans.

Turned out OK for LBJ.
For JFK, humm.... not so well.

Jack is Back said...

Not trying to get on the Secret Service watch list but does anyone seriously think BHO would pick Clinton for VP and have her in the proverbial successor seat to POTUS? Remember the black POTUS on 24? Also, you have to be mad as hatter to want both Hill and Bill with their separate and conflicting agendas running around the WH while you are trying to talk to Iamanidiot in Iran and Kim ill as a dog in NKor.

Trevor Jackson said...

Garage, it's academic at this point, but why don't you include the caucus states in your analysis? So fired up to count Michigan and Florida, but not Iowa, Nevada, Maine, and Washington?

Christopher Althouse Cohen said...

Simon: I am committed to being a Clinton supporter and will vote for any ticket that has her on it. Florida isn't even in play for him if he doesn't pick her, and she could win it for him, and without exaggeration there are probably millions of her supporters who will vote against him if she isn't on the ticket. On the other hand, each of them might be better off associating with figures less controversial than the other.

Trevor Jackson said...

Chris, two questions: 1) Why would you (and those "millions" of Clinton supporters) be willing to support a Democrat in a primary but a Republican in the general? 2) If Clinton is not the veep choice and she asks her supporters to vote for Obama and campaigns herself for him, would you then vote for Obama?

MadisonMan said...

and without exaggeration there are probably millions of her supporters who will vote against him if she isn't on the ticket.

Just like there were millions of Conservative Republican voters who would NEVER vote for McCain once he secured the nomination when Romney and then Huckabee withdrew.

And I'll say this: Denial. Anger. Bargaining. Depression. Acceptance.

Denial and anger that Hillary!'s campaign is done has passed. Now it's the bargaining stage (I'll vote for Obama if Hillary is the VP!) followed by Depression (Hillary's not the VP? I'll just stay home on Election Day) and finally acceptance -- when you place the Obama sign in your front yard.

Revenant said...

Obama has to offer the VP slot to Hillary. He can't afford to insult her supporters by shoving her aside. Keep in mind that George Bush (the older one, not the current President) said some very insulting things about Reagan and his policies during the 1980 primary race. Reagan picked him anyway, to avoid alienating the big-government Republicans that Bush represented.

That being said, I don't think Hillary WANTS the VP slot, and I think she'd be nuts to take it. Even if Obama wins, his Presidency will probably be a disaster (the economy is likely going to keep getting worse and there's the war to deal with) and she won't want to be associated with it. The smarter play is to run in 2012 or 2016.

Jack is Back said...

I cannot see Obama offering Clinton the VP slot no matter how much he has to have her to bring in the single, white, woman vote. I still say he is wary of having The Bill/Hill Show center stage during his presidency. He has a very smart but weak political staff - weak in the sense of controlling Bill. Plus the Clinton's raining on his parade last night doesn't endear them. And what is with the begging bit by Lanny Davis. Never beg. Seems to me she is being clever by half - acting as if she wants the job, to heal the wounds and unite the party but at the same time making sure her actions leave BHO totally miffed.

Revenant said...

He has a very smart but weak political staff

"Smart" in the sense that when one of them says or does something egregiously stupid, we're assured that they were never *really* part of his staff to begin with...

blake said...

And I'll say this: Denial. Anger. Bargaining. Depression. Acceptance.

MadMan assumes that the voters will go through all five stages in the next five months. From the right-leaning sites I visit, I see mostly anger with a little bargaining. And they've already had months to get over it.

And if true, Hil(l)ary's prolonging the Denial phase, yes? She hasn't conceded. I think we won't see a concession until the convention--and I won't believe that until it happens. I think we will see more and more Obama issues, though.