Resisting the pull of cynicism since 1969.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

"That may be where this is headed"

Many U.S. Democrats have been salivating over the thought of a Clinton-Obama or Obama-Clinton ticket--the idea being that they wouldn't have to choose between the two figures their party clearly seems to like, just in different ways. Up until now, though, it's been very much a fantasy. It's awfully hard to imagine either of these two settling for the vice presidential nomination after coming so close to winning the presidential one, after all.

But I have to wonder whether there have been initial talks behind the scenes or something, after this quote from Clinton:

On The Early Show, co-anchor Harry Smith said to Clinton, "We talked to a lot of people in Ohio who said there really isn't that significant a difference between you two, and they'd like to see you both on the ticket."

"Well, that may, you know, be where this is headed," Clinton said. "But of course, we have to decide who's on the top of the ticket, and I think that the people of Ohio very clearly said that it should be me."
Hmmm. Iiiiinteresting. It would certainly be a good way of maximizing the excitement that's built up around this race among Democrats and their supporters, without anyone feeling like the loser.


West End Bob said...
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West End Bob said...

Thoughts on the possibility:

#1) Can not in any way see an Obama/Clinton ticket, as where would that leave Bill? Co-VP? Not his cup of tea.

#2) Clinton/Obama ticket leaves Obama cooling his heels for 4/8 years in "Billary's" shadow. Biting his tongue as the US continues on the "politics of destruction" so perfected by the Clintons and their adversaries. ("The Audacity of Hopelessness" ? ? ? ? )

#3) Obama as VP gets to avoid potentially damaging votes in the Senate, thus making his future shot at the top job easier to attain. Although he loses his claim of a "new way" of politics, he does get the experience issue behind him.

My personal thoughts: The only way the dems have a chance at winning back the White House is if Obama is the nominee. Hillary will bring out the repuglican base in droves, and we're stuck with another right-wing, radical-christian, anti-women's-right-to-choose administration.

Also, no matter which party is in control of the Executive Branch, they both will be mainly controlled by the corporate structure which is so entrenched in the US political system. It won't make much difference which party "wins". The main difference will be in which corporations/interests will benefit more.

All in all, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Idealistic Pragmatist said...

west end bob (nice new moniker!),

I don't really disagree with you about any of this. But why would Clinton be musing about this openly unless it were on the table? It's a question that could easily have been sidestepped.

It's an interesting thought, in any case. It would really unite the Dems behind one single candidate.

West End Bob said...

It would really unite the Dems behind one single candidate.

Gotta agree with you there, IP. That said, I still think if Hillary leads the ticket, it mobilizes the bat-shit-crazies and we get McCain/Romney/Condescending/Huckabubbabee, et al.

Oh well, "we're outta here" anyway, although "when the US sneezes . . . . "

(Glad you like the handle-change!)

Greg Fingas said...

I've seen it noted elsewhere that Clinton's current committee assignments aren't ones which figure to give her any substantial influence in the Senate anytime soon - and having arrived four years later, I'd have to figure the same would be even more true for Obama. So it wouldn't be surprising if either would prefer to be the other's VP nominee rather than having to work their way up through the Dem ranks in the Senate.

Idealistic Pragmatist said...


Interesting. That's almost certainly a factor, especially if the one who drew the short straw could end up transforming the traditional role of the vice president into something more significant.

I'm just wondering if it's simply a nod to the notion that the Democratic Party seems to really want both of them. You know?

Anonymous said...

As for the American political system, things are gonna have to get a hell of a lot worse before they get much better. I personally believe that nothing shy of a President Mike Huckleberry will bring about the crisis mentality intense enough to wake the sleepy, frightened and complacent US electorate from its electoral slumbers. An Obama/Hilary presidency won't be enough to affect this change, and were it not for the damage a Huckleberry administration might inflict upon the world outside the US, I'd actually consider voting for the *&^*%*.

As for mixing up the ticket, Hilary would stand to gain the most by having Obama as a running mate, rather than the inverse. Obama would bring all of the younger, formerly disinterested folks he's mobilized along with him. Whereas, if Hilary were Obama's running mate, she would bring nothing but her heavily-weighted fleet of baggage, along with her special knack for turning out the crazies in droves just to vote agin' her.

So let's hope for an Obama candidacy. At least that way I get to vote.

Anonymous said...

Well, I'm certainly interested to see any sign of a reconciliation between the Clinton/Obama camps as just a couple weeks ago I was wondering if the competition between them was getting so that they'd tear each other down to the detriment of the real race (the one against McCain).

I disagree with the idea (put forward in the comments here) that a Clinton candidacy would be worse for the Dems chances of winning. Yes, Clinton is hated by the Republicans, but she's also a very known quantity by now. I don't really see how she could be swift-boated at this point because, well, what else is there to say? Obama's past hasn't yet been aired to nearly the same degree and so far he hasn't really demonstrated he can respond well to attacks on him. I'm really sceptical that the whole "hope" meme will be enough to counteract the Republican's machine, though it's been very effective at mobilizing the Democrats and 'teh yoof'.

From my (admittedly detatched) perspective, they're both very much establishment Democrats and fairly right-wing on a global scale, so ideology-wise it probably doesn't make that much difference between them. But on electability against the Republicans, the one's strength is the other's weakness, so if the two candidates (and more importantly their volunteers) could work together you'd have a pretty strong team.

bza said...

A combined ticket of the two seems likely. If only for the reason that many of the supporters of whoever finishes second might be very upset if their candidate isn't standing for VP. Its hard to imagine handing the VP to someone else after such a close race. Though it would be harder to see Hillary accept it than Obama...

A bit off topic...but doesn't it seem like this election keeps getting more like the West Wing? I mean, election controversy over NAFTA involving a leak at the Canadian embassy? Its like writers have taken over reality. ;)

West End Bob said...
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West End Bob said...

And now there is
this bit from tonight's Globe and Mail.

Interference from harperco at the highest level, and with the wrong candidate implicated.

Totally unacceptable . . . .

Idealistic Pragmatist said...


It's incredibly West Wingy, it's true. I think that's why it's so fun to watch! *g*

Anonymous said...

In 2004, it seemed like Kerry had an easy case to make against G.W., but...

It's hard to be optimistic.

Anonymous said...

Hmm, I doubt we'll see a Clinton/Obama or especially an Obama/Clinton ticket.

A) Hillary is throwing the kitchen sink at Obama, and I doubt Obama will just suck it up if she manages to overtake him for the top of the ticket spot. I'd say this point is pretty much key because she doesn't have much of a shot at winning the nomination based on pledged-delegates and the popular vote alone. She's, inspite of winning on the fourth, she's didn't make up any ground in delegates. And is still behind by about 600K of the popular vote. She'd have to get the super-delegates to vote for her, and if Obama wins the pledged delegate and popular vote race (likely) then her candidacy would lack legitimacy. Obama's people would abandon her candidacy in droves, and he could just run again in 2012 and say "I told you so." Even though her base registered democrats. These are the "low information" voters who aren't caucusing, and aren't the activists of the party. Clinton herself has admitted as much and this will only weaken her ground game.

B) Supposing Obama becomes the nominee there's really no reason to pick her as VP. She has a whole lot of negatives, when you consider his strengths. It would completely counter act the narrative of his entire campaign. I'd imagine that he'd pick a red-state governor like Tim Kaine, or Kathleen Sebelius who has a proven ability to appeal to Independent and Republican voters. I'd say she could use his help a lot more than he could use hers. A red state governor, like the two I mentioned have executive experience and can also attack "Washington."

C)Though they're both ideologically similar, I can't imagine them on the same ticket. Obama's constant attacks on "Washington" and Clinton's Iraq War vote, and Clinton's undermining of Obama's fitness to command will look pretty hypocritical. Kerry picked Edwards, but Edwards never attacked him so vociferously and vice versa.

Ben (The Tiger in Exile) said...

Clinton and Obama on the same ticket happens only if she's at the top of it.

Obama's political raison d'etre is change -- the last thing he wants/needs is a Vice President Clinton.

She, on the other hand, will have reason to pick him -- if nothing else, after having wrested the nomination away from the man with the most pledged delegates, she'll need to do something to avoid having the party split. (See post over at the HuffPo with Obama supporters hyperventilating and threatening a convention show that would make Chicago '68 look like a picnic. (Yeah, I don't believe them either. Still, they'd need to be placated.))