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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton On The Same Ticket - No Way!

The Obama/Clinton or Clinton/Obama Ticket, Everyone is talking about it. but there is a general consensus it's not going to happen. Or is it?

Colbert King of the Washington Post calls it the Running-Mate Roundup.


Graphics Francis L. Holland Blog

Colbert King writes, "Who in his or her right mind would want to serve as Clinton's vice president, knowing that her husband, Bill, would be roaming around the White House, dropping in on Cabinet meetings, greeting foreign guests and chatting up the staff?

True, the job itself has no formal responsibilities beyond ensuring succession and acting as Senate president. (Vice President John Adams said the vice presidency is "the most insignificant office that ever the invention of man contrived or his imagination conceived.") But Al Gore, Walter Mondale and Dick Cheney, as Coen notes in his book, redefined the office and elevated its stature.

Could that happen in a Clinton White House? Can a mule whistle?

Fear is, Billary would regard the vice president the same way that Harry Truman said history recognized that office: "about as useful as a cow's fifth teat."

So who would sign on, if asked?

To make up for derailing Obama, Billary would probably turn to a black centrist substitute such as Harold Ford, chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council and a former Tennessee congressman. He'd probably take it.

And if Obama's the nominee?

He's got some shoring up to do, especially in national security and foreign policy. Just as Lyndon Johnson's Southern strength and Washington savvy helped overcome some of John F. Kennedy's disadvantages, Obama would do well to select a running mate with a little seasoning -- and a little gray hair wouldn't hurt, either.

He's got a large and stellar field to draw from among senior senators, governors and House members. And unlike Clinton, Obama is free to select a vice president who can truly partner with the president on key issues without worrying about second-guessing from an omnipresent spouse who has been there, done that and thinks he knows it all." Read More HERE

Michael Tomasky noted in his recent article, Clinton-Obama dream ticket? Dream on, "Running mates are supposed to do three things. First, they are supposed to understand that the presidential nominee calls the shots. Their job is to travel the country for four or five months singing not their own praises but the nominee's. Can we really expect - and I say this in Clinton's defence - America's most admired woman (and she is that, in poll after poll) to play such a subordinate role? On areas of policy, will Clinton suddenly be able to adopt Obama's position - saying, for example, after denying it for more than a year, that the Iraq war was indeed a mistake?

Second, running mates are supposed to bring some geographical advantage to the ticket. Kennedy chose Johnson, in spite of their mutual nuclear contempt, because LBJ would help nail down Texas and the south. I'm not sure Clinton brings Obama a single state he can't get without her.

Third, running mates ideally have strengths that make up for the candidate's weaknesses. George Bush was weak on global and military experience. Dick Cheney, a former defence secretary who had overseen a successful war, was a strong choice by Bush, whatever we may think of how that has turned out." More HERE

Michael Medved conservative writer with TownHall writes in his recent post Dem's "Dream Ticket" : Why It Won't Happen

Watching the two of them together, isn’t it painfully obvious that she dislikes him?

Ironically, when Senator Clinton appears together with Senator McCain, there’s a sense of hearty geniality, fellowship even friendship. Her interaction with Obama, on the other hand, suggests tension, awkwardness, and mutual resentment. At the State of the Union Address, Senator Obama even made headlines when he and his new friend Senator Kennedy made no effort to greet Hillary even though she stood, in a attention-getting red dress, some three feet away from them.

On the most basic psychological level, Barack Obama echoes the deepest discomforts of Hillary Clinton’s hideously complex marriage.

For thirty-five years, she’s been constantly upstaged by a charismatic and attractive male whose oratorical and glad-handing gifts vastly exceed her own. She doesn’t want to spend the eight years of her potential presidency similarly upstaged by another guy, notably younger and thinner than she is, with an electrifying magnetism that easily equals her husband’s.

Moreover, she’d have no reason to trust him, or to rely on him, were he installed as her Vice President. Al Gore served as a faithful, slavishly loyal supporter to President Clinton because he owed his presence on the ticket entirely to Big Bill’s whim. Were Obama to serve with Hillary, he’d come to the position with his own, independent power base, and the knowledge that his strong campaign had forced her to accept him. No one could discount the possibility of a Vice President Obama challenging his boss on decisions of which he deeply disapproved. It’s entirely conceivable that after a single term together, he might even decide to challenge her for re-nomination.

Every Vice President (except, it seems, for Dick Cheney) emerges as a plausible heir apparent but in Obama’s case, his strong campaign would make him an absolutely sure bet as Hillary’s successor as leader of the Democrats. No President wants to look over her shoulder at a Veep with an independent base of support who’s just waiting for his chance to take over the party.

The long and bitter campaign against Obama, however, may require some special attention to the African-American voters who remain the most loyal component of the Democratic coalition. Even if Barack is excluded from the ticket, it’s hard to imagine a mass desertion of black voters to the GOP, but a lack of enthusiasm could lead to a disappointing urban turnout that would hurt all Democrats. If he continues to serve as Senator from Illinois (or, as rumored, runs at some point for governorship in his home state in order to gain executive experience) he’ll be able to provide an independent, compelling voice on the issues. He could support the president or oppose the president, without any expectation of loyal, dutiful, automatic agreement. If a Clinton presidency founders, he’d be perfectly positioned to offer a competing vision.

If Hillary decides she needs a black running mate to make up for the wounded feelings of the campaign, there’s a better option for her than Obama himself. Aside from pie-in-the-sky talk of appealing to General Colin Powell to cross party lines to join a Clinton ticket (a nightmare for Republicans, obviously), there’s another selection that would also play in to a possible Southern strategy. Former Congressman Harold Ford Jr. now heads the DLC (Democratic Leadership Council), the same moderate, centrist group that Bill Clinton himself (and Joe Lieberman) once led. He’s an outspoken Christian who ran surprisingly well among white evangelicals in his close 2006 Senate race in Tennessee. He’s also even younger (he’ll be 38 in May) and better-looking than Obama, with the same sort of suave presentation and blue-chip academic credentials (University of Pennsylvania, and University of Michigan Law School). During his five-terms in the House of Representatives he compiled a conspicuously moderate record (supporting limitations on abortion, backing a stronger military and the war on terror) that could help Clinton run to the middle.

Best of all, Congressman Ford would steal from Obama the distinction of the first African-American on a national ticket and, if Clinton wins election, he could run as her loyal successor and block Obama in 2016 (Ford would only be 46 –younger than Obama is now).

But even if Senator Clinton ignored all these possibilities and considerations and decided to offer Senator Obama a place on the ticket, he’d find powerful reasons to turn her down.

Why He’d Turn down the Vice Presidency

Moreover, there’s always the possibility that a Clinton-Obama pairing loses in November – in which case his presence on the ticket would do him more damage than good. John Edwards’ campaign this year demonstrated the way that a failed race for the Vice Presidency gives little advantage in future campaigns.

In short, a Vice Presidential nomination offers Obama no substantive benefits while depriving him of some of his independence and freedom of maneuver.

He’d never again be able to run as plausibly as a candidate of “change” if he serves eight years as Hillary’s Veep. Inevitably, he would become a candidate associated with the infamous Clinton Machine, and tainted by all its corruptions and compromises. Obama knows history, and remembers the way that distinguished, powerful Senators of the past like Hubert Humphrey and Al Gore took the Vice Presidency and then found their own runs for the White House shadowed by the controversial legacies of their bosses (LBJ and Bill Clinton)

And worst of all for Barack, the magical aura of this campaign, with huge crowds intoxicated at the very idea of a black president, couldn’t be recaptured if he’s already run in the number two position. If we’ve already elected (or even nominated) an African-America as Vice President, the idea of a future Presidential race wouldn’t be nearly as novel or thrilling.

Why Not Obama-Clinton?

With all the potent reasons for Hillary to disregard the idea of running with Barack, and the even more decisive reasons for him to turn her down even if she offered, some Democrats love to consider the upside-down arrangement: why not an Obama-Clinton ticket?

If anything, this notion looks even less plausible.

Those who know Hillary report that she thoroughly enjoys her well-established role in the U.S. Senate. If she lost to Obama in the Presidential race, she’d greatly prefer to return to Capitol Hill—where she could probably serve for the rest of her life and stands an excellent chance of succeeding Harry Reid as Majority Leader.

As a prominent part of the previous Clinton administration, she witnessed first hand all the indignities and burdens thrust upon Vice President Al Gore—in fact, she administered some of them herself. Why would she want to open herself to the humiliation of waiting around in a powerless, second-string job in case some disaster befell a conspicuously young and vigorous president?

Hillary would also find it difficult to use the Vice Presidency as a stepping stone to a future Presidential run. She’d be 68 at the end of a second Obama term, and the generational shift his nomination signaled would make it most unlikely that Dems turn backward to a Baby Boomer restoration with an aging Hillary.

As for Obama, he wouldn’t need her and wouldn’t want her on his ticket. If he beats her in the fight for the nomination this year, he’d want to complete the Democratic disassociation from the nasty politics of the Clinton era. Barack’s insistence on “change” and a “fresh” approach signifies not only a departure from the age of Bush, but also closing the chapter on the age of Clintons. Hillary on the ticket inevitably brings Bill with her, as a third figure at the top of the party, and undermines the idea of a generational changing of the guard and the adoption of a new, more unifying tone.

Finally, no President wants the malevolent combination of Bill and Hill scheming against him from a new vantage point in the Vice President’s residence at the Naval Observatory.

If Obama feels that the bruises of the campaign require a female running mate he could find any number of preferable alternatives – particularly Governor Janet Napolitano of Arizona. She has the executive experience that both Obama and Clinton lack, as a former US Attorney, state Attorney General, and Democratic governor in a Republican state who won re-election by a nearly two-to-one margin. She’s also won a reputation as moderately tough on illegal immigration, and might even help Obama compete with John McCain in his home state. Best of all, Napolitano (or other Democratic governors like Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas, or Senators like Dianne Feinstein of California) come without the heavy baggage of the Clintons’ soap-opera marriage and reputation for political thuggery.

Concerning the much-discussed “dream ticket,” most observers concede that neither Obama nor Clinton want it. When you combine their joint reluctance with the fact that neither candidate would truly need the other in order to run effectively against the Republicans, the likelihood of the uncomfortable alliance becomes very remote indeed. More HERE


Graphics Francis L. Holland Blog

Francis L. Holland, International Internet Social and Political Activist asks, Will Hillary and Obama Deliver this "Baby" or Kill it in the Delivery Room? He writes, "the most important question is not, "Will you support the ticket if you lose the nomination," but rather, "Will you join the ticket in order to win the presidency?" - - Francis L. Holland, February 11, 2008

know "abortion" is an ugly metaphor for what might be about to happen to the Democratic Party's hopes for taking the presidency, but I think "abortion" is also an apt metaphor. The party is "pregnant" with the possibility of electing its first Black AND its first woman to the White House. However, the midwives of this pregnancy are Hillary and Bill Clinton as well as Barack Obama. If they work together as a team, then the "baby" can be born health and can grow into a well functioning administration.

However, if they fight over who will play what role in the delivery room, even to the extent of pulling the child limb from limb, then instead of having the "birth" in the convention delivery room (the birth of a new Democratic adiministration), we will have wanton political infanticide. The "baby" presidential election hopes will be torn limb from limb and all of its promise will be thrown into large green garbage bags.

This is not an argument against abortion. I believe there are some times good reasons for an abortion. But there is no good reason for the Clintons and Obama to abort the first Black/Female administration in America's history. There is no upside to the "abortion" that will occur if Clinton and Obama fight over this "baby" presidential election in the delivery room and tear it limb from limb before it takes its first breath. Read More HERE

AAPP: As I said, Everyone is talking about it. What do you think? Have you been talking about it?

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