Sunday, July 13, 2008

Hagel and Reed to accompany Barack on trip. Clinton backer pushes Hillary in phone conversation with Barack

According to CNN, Senators Jack Reed and Chuck Hagel will accompany Barack on his upcoming trip to Iraq. A lot of buzz surrounded the inclusion of Hagel, who is a renegade Republican on the Iraq War. Could he be a VP choice? While he’d be better than Hillary, he remains a conventional Republican on many issues. It would be a bold move by Obama to select him but it may rile the base. The low-key Reed, on the other hand, might be just the ticket (no pun intended). He has a military background (he served as an airborne infantry officer in the army) and was against the fiasco in Iraq from the start.

A number of news reports have cited a Los Angeles Times article in which Barack said he was considering Hillary as a running mate. The claim apparently comes from Democratic donor and Hillary backer Jill Iscol. Obama contacted her as part his outreach to Clinton backers and she took the opportunity to push for Hillary as VP. According to Iscol, Obama responded by saying Hillary was on his list of possible choices but Bill Clinton “complicated” matters. According to the London Telegraph, Bill Clinton is not willing to have the contributions to his presidential library scrutinized by Obama’s vetters while other potential selections are undergoing rigorous scrutiny. If true, that is equivalent of Bill giving Barack the finger.

Iscol was noncommittal of making a donation to Obama, apparently in the hope that will encourage him to choose Hillary. This smacks of blackmail and her indiscretion in making the discussion public has to further send a shiver down Obama’s spine about the Clintons and their supporters. The fact that Clinton donors are holding back on giving money to Barack makes one wonder if the Clintons’ commentary regarding Obama to their supporters in private differs from Hillary’s supportive public commentary.

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