by John Hawkins | June 4, 2008 11:13 am
You could come up with plenty of reasons for Obama NOT to take Hillary Clinton as his Veep.
He’s running on a platform of change and the Clintons are “old school” politics at its worst. They don’t like each other. The Clintons have a lot of baggage. Hill and her hubby have insulted Obama numerous times. The Clintons would be a huge sideshow in the White House. Working with egos the size of the Clintons for four years would be brutal. Having the first black candidate and the first woman on the same ticket would be “too much” change for one ticket. Hillary’s home state, New York, will go to Obama any way. Hillary has high negatives and will help inspire conservatives to vote McCain.
You can go on and on with reasons why Obama shouldn’t select Hillary as his Vice-President.
However, there is one thing Hillary brings to the table that Obama can’t ignore: her supporters.
Hillary won the popular vote and a lot of her supporters, quite legitimately, believe that she wasn’t treated fairly by the press. They also feel like she didn’t get a fair shake from the super delegates and they’re angry at the insults that have been aimed at them by Obama supporters. Many of these people, the more moderate ones anyway, will consider voting for John McCain or sitting home before they’ll pull the lever for Obama.
But — and this is a big but — if Hillary were to join up with Obama, you’d have to think that the overwhelming majority of her disaffected supporters would just let bygones be bygones. What that means is that Hillary can probably deliver more votes in November to Obama than anyone else he could choose just by keeping her supporters from defecting.
Hillary Clinton drew more than 17 million voters in the primaries. If just 10% of those people stay home or vote McCain, that could be enough to cost Obama the White House in what is shaping up to be another tight election.
With that in mind, Barack Obama would be very foolish not to seriously consider making Hillary Clinton his #2.
Update #1: From Jimmy Carter,
“Barack Obama should not pick Hillary Clinton as his vice-presidential nominee, former president Jimmy Carter has told the Guardian.
“I think it would be the worst mistake that could be made,” said Carter. “That would just accumulate the negative aspects of both candidates.”
Carter, who formally endorsed the Illinois senator last night, cited opinion polls showing 50% of US voters with a negative view of Clinton.
In terms that might discomfort the Obama camp, he said: “If you take that 50% who just don’t want to vote for Clinton and add it to whatever element there might be who don’t think Obama is white enough or old enough or experienced enough or because he’s got a middle name that sounds Arab, you could have the worst of both worlds.”
After many years of watching Jimmy Carter, the one thing I have learned about him is that he is almost always wrong about everything related to foreign policy, human nature, and politics. That means if he thinks it’s a bad idea, it must be the smartest thing that Obama could possibly do. So, root hard against a Barry/Hill ticket…
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