Saturday, August 23, 2008


Barack chooses Joe Biden.


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Will Barack surrender to the Clintons and make Hillary co-President?

As VP speculation reaches a fever pitch one dangerous name as resurfaced with a vengeance, none other than that of Hillary Rodham Clinton. Today new pro-Hillary speculation emerged even from unlikely sources. John Nichols was quite critical of Hillary during the primaries but now he suggests she is a strong candidate for Vice-President. In an article yesterday, he said “Obama needs a running-mate with foreign-policy "stature"” and the two he names are Joe Biden and Hillary. Biden is an obvious choice give his chairmanship of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Hillary makes it because her “international credentials are actually a good deal more solid than even her advocates recognize” without mentioning what those supposed credentials are. He suggests it is all timing, an early (pre-convention) pick favors Biden, a later pick (presumably after the convention has started) favors Hillary. Ralph Nader also opined that Obama has to pick Clinton to unify the party.

Of course, people have been aggressively pushing Hillary as VP for months. First there are the disgruntled anti-Obama Clinton supporters have a demand “Pick Hillary or else line” as much in spite as anything else. Also, pro-Clinton hacks masquerading as objective media pundits continue to chant “Hillary for VP.” CNN’s David Gergen and Clinton lawyer Lanny Davis have continued to push the “Obama needs Hillary to win” line. There are huge flaws in this argument. First, the evidence to back up this claim all seems to be rooted in a Fox News poll in July showing Obama-Clinton enjoying a larger lead against a hypothetical McCain-Romney ticket than Obama enjoyed against McCain in a matchup of only Presidential candidates. If there is more recent polling data to support this assertion, they don’t mention it. What recent polling data does show is Obama enjoys a consistent if narrow lead over McCain. As of today, the polling data over at shows Barack over McCain from 1 to 5 points. No current poll shows McCain ahead. If Obama can win on his own, why does he need Hillary? It isn’t just an academic question because picking Hillary would come at a VERY high cost.

Obama has been exceptionally gracious to the Clintons, given the obnoxious behavior of Bill Clinton and Hillary’s supporters. While Hillary has been publicly supportive of Barack, she has done little to restrain her supporters’ overt hostility to him. The Clintons will already have very prominent speaking rolls on two nights of the four-day Democratic convention and Hillary may get a third when the roll call vote is held. What would it say if the Vice-Presidential candidate ends up with more speaking time than the Presidential candidate? By all accounts, Bill Clinton has refused to open the donor list to his Presidential library to Barack’s Vice-Presidential vetting team. To pick Hillary after that would make a mockery of the process. Hillary’s supporters have already said she should have clearly defined “responsibilities.” Since when does a Vice-Presidential aspirant make demands of the Presidential nominee in public? Finally, there is Hillary herself, who said the Vice-President “can’t be fired.” What should be clear is Hillary would not be Vice-President but a co-President or at least a greatly empowered Vice-President with an independent power base that gives her the ability to chart a course of her own. Let’s just hope Barack realizes this if he is seriously considering her as his “Vice”-Presidential nominee.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Geraldine Ferraro Demands Barack Choose Hillary

It is one thing for people supporting Barack to push for Hillary Clinton as the Vice-Presidential nominee, dubious as the suggestion might be, they can at least suggest it would be good for party unity. It is quite another for people who don’t support Barack to push for Hillary. Geraldine Ferraro, who earlier suggested Barack’s success was because of his race and then later suggested she might not vote for Barack in November now feels free to tell him he needs to select Hillary for Vice-President saying “Obama should be “gracious” enough to offer Clinton the vice presidency, considering how narrow the race was.” This is rich to say the least, but then again, how much credence should Barack lend to a person whose own Vice-Presidential candidacy was on a ticket that won a total of one state.

It must have been a slow news day at CNN, since they have nothing better to do than push Hillary as VP. Jack Cafferty, who was critical of Hillary during the primary campaign, asks “Should Obama consider Clinton for V.P.?” It isn’t necessarily a bad question except it included only the talking points from the “PICK HILLARY OR ELSE” crowd and nothing else. Former Clinton Administration strategists David Gergen also cites the Faux Snews poll showing Hillary would boost the ticket, as if that is proof by itself. What is more he evokes the Kennedy-Johnson analogy to show that previous differences between the Presidential and Vice-Presidential nominees don’t mean they can’t be on a successful ticket. What people who push Hillary by citing Kennedy and Johnson miss is what made that match successful wouldn’t be an option with Hillary. Political rivals don’t sit easily in the same Administration unless one is clearly subordinate. LBJ was a powerless Vice-President, he was not part of the Kennedy inner circle and much of his time as Vice-President was spent on goodwill visits overseas. Hillary wouldn’t be content with such a minimal role and anyone who thinks she would is deluding themselves, her supporters have already demanded she be given significant power and responsibility.

Finally, in a recent interview, Bill Clinton continued to illustrate why the Clintons' loyalty to Barack is questionable at best. He was very tepid in his praise for Barack. Also, he declared he wasn’t a racist, even though the questioner never even raised the issue. What is more, to my knowledge, no one in Barack’s campaign ever claimed he was.

To be blunt, a possible short-term bounce from picking Hillary would not be worth the long term grief.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Hillary is still applying pressure to Barack

Although some have concluded Hillary is out of the running as Vice-President her actions seem to be saying otherwise. It has been reported that she will speak the second night of the convention, which is usually done by someone other than the person selected for Vice-President. It has also been reported that she will not ask to have her named entered in for the nomination. However, in a recent public appearance she appears very open to having her name placed in nomination, ostensibly as a sign of “respect” for her supporters.

Although it is her supporters who are saying her name should be placed in nomination, she is doing nothing to dissuade them and then lamely claims “I don’t have total control over this process.” That may be true, but she would seem sincere if she actively discouraged her supporters from placing her name in nomination because of the obvious divisiveness it would cause.

She is also cagey on the Vice-Presidential nomination, claiming she isn’t seeking it but giving reasons why Obama should select someone who, not surprisingly, has her characteristics. Left unsaid is the fact that having the threat of her name being placed in nomination for President, she retains leverage to push for a co-Presidency via the Vice-Presidency.