Thursday, June 5, 2008

Obama and Clinton: Dream Team or Nightmare Ticket?

Now that Barack Obama is the Democratic Party’s presumptive nominee, the focus turns to the selection of his running mate.

Months ago, Hillary Clinton suggested a Clinton/Obama ticket seemingly to try to lure those unsure of voting for Obama a president. Now, her hubris may have come back to haunt her, as she recently said she would be opposed to and Obama/Clinton ticket, with her as VP.

How the mighty have fallen.

And Clinton continues to hang on, not officially conceding the primary to Obama, a move that has frustrated even some of her staunchest supporters. Is Clinton deluded? Did she think that by hanging on to the bitter end she would be able to better state her case for the spot of second banana? Is it strictly about money, because she can continue to raise funds for her candidacy until she conceded? By continuing to raise funds, she can be trying to get enough cash to minimize the millions of dollars she loaned to her campaign months ago to keep it going.

Regardless of her reasons, it looks like Hillary is in major denial. In the June 4 edition of the Wall Street Journal, an article called “Clinton's Road to Second Place “ detail the numerous errors made by Clinton and her campaign staff. An excerpt says:

“Conversations over months with dozens of Clinton staffers, advisers and supporters suggest that over her 17-month campaign, the second-term New York senator and former first lady was smart, substantive and tireless. The surprise was how good a campaigner she grew to be.

Still, these people say, Sen. Clinton is responsible for what one confidant called "grievous mistakes." Those help explain why Sen. Clinton -- the best brand name in Democratic politics, and an early favorite to be the first female nominee in U.S. history -- lost to a relative newcomer who would be the first African-American major-party nominee.

A campaign spokesman said the Clintons were unavailable for interviews.

The mistakes boil down to mismanagement, message, mobilization failures and the marital factor.”

Does this sound like someone we want to have as Vice President of the United States? I don’t think so. And Hillary’s biggest drawback is something that initially was thought to be one of her biggest advantages – and that’s her husband, former President Bill Clinton. What Bill Clinton proved campaigning for his wife is that he still wants to be in the thick of things, and that he’s developed a sharp tongue, and frankly may be prone to being meddlesome to the point that any President would see him as a liability. You see, Bill seems to have made it clear that with Hillary, you get him too – like a 2 for 1 package deal. And the Bill Clinton baggage alone would make this a nightmare ticket for Barack Obama.

This is definitely a deal that Barack Obama should say “pass,” and he should look to finding another candidate that will not alienate all those that voted for Hillary. I’m not saying he must chose another woman – although it would be a smart move – but I do think that he must be very mindful of the female voters out there who seem to be teetering on moving to the McCain camp.

Hopefully, though, people would be smart enough that they would see the futility of voting for John McCain just because Hillary didn’t make it. It would be like cutting off one’s nose to spite their face. Only in this case, the stakes are much higher.

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