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The Impossible Ticket

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May 7, 2008

It’s not happening.  Don’t believe it.  It’s a dumb idea.

At this point in the campaign, it is now the preoccupation of the pundits to speculate about likely Vice-Presidential candidates.  Now that Barack Obama has made it absolutely, positively impossible for Hillary to get the nomination (even with the Florida and Michigan votes included) some people are looking at Hillary as a good choice for VP.  It is said that this move will “re-unite the party” and bring the bitter (remember that word?) Clinton supporters back into the Big Tent.

First of all, it’s not necessary for Obama’s campaign or for the Democratic Party to do this.  Hillary’s largest demographic group of support consisted of white women (the less educated, the better).  Are these women not going to vote?  Or will they vote for John McCain and allow him to become President, despite his vow to nominate prospective appointees to the Supreme Court, based primarily on their willingness to overturn Roe v. Wade?  Not likely.  After the convention, Hillary must at least speak favorably about the Obama campaign or face being marginalized for the rest of her political career.  With $11,000,000 of her own money invested in her campaign, it would help for her to stay on good terms with the guy who could bail her out.

Second, it would be stupid for Obama to choose Hillary as his running mate.  He has run a campaign based on the theme of change from the old ways of Washington.  Selecting Hillary as his VP would make him look inauthentic, cynical, a “sell-out” and possibly, all of the above.  Beyond that, the talk radio snipers would be blessed to find their favorite target on the “Democrat” ticket.  Her nomination as the Presidential candidate, was always considered the Republican party’s best chance at winning the 2008 election, because she could galvanize such a broad base of people who oppose her.  That kind of baggage would overload the campaign bus and cause it to break down.

Third issue:  The Redneck Factor.  Hillary was able to work this to her advantage in the primaries, because she was running against an African-American.  Don’t forget that most of the voters in those primaries were Democrats.  Now that we are talking about the general election, things are different.  It has always been considered necessary for a ticket to include a Southerner, either as Presidential candidate or Vice-Presidential candidate.  When Bill Clinton ran with Al Gore, their success was partially attributed to the fact that they constituted a “Double Bubba” ticket.  A Barack – Hillary ticket would not only lack the essential Southerner, but it would consist of an African-American and a woman.  This would cause The Redneck Factor to become a huge obstacle to Obama’s success.  (It’s bad enough as it is.  Why make it worse?)

Fourth problem:  Bill.  Hillary’s campaign had all it could do to keep him under control.  Some writers wondered whether he was more of a liability than an asset to her campaign.  Hillary was stuck with him.  Barack is not.

Fifth point:  It would make Obama’s campaign look weak.  It would suggest to some that he could never win the Presidency himself and that he needs the Clinton brand to get him over the finish line.

Hillary would have needed Barack, but Barack does not need Hillary.  If the Clinton camp had been able to do a “backroom deal” at the convention and make her the Presidential nominee, the party would have fractured without Obama on the ticket.  Most of the fantasizing about an Obama – Clinton ticket is coming from television commentators, who are enmeshed in the info-tainment industry.  This isn’t a Julia Roberts movie. It’s the real world.

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