Friday, May 09, 2008

The Nuclear Option

I'm not making these headlines up. Opinion piece I deeply agree with, from the British paper, The Guardian, no less. James Poulos makes the case that Hillary as the Vice President would not just be a mistake but a disaster.

And I heard today, from a reliable personal source, that she wants the VP slot, so this isn't academic. I hope Barack doesn't make the mistake of Kennedy - who asked Johnson thinking he'd say no. That was the root of the 1968 Democratic Party rift.

It's a bad idea because it's NOT necessary.

Poulos give three reasons:
  1. Democrats should be clear that they face a woman who has consistently put her own interests and passions above those of her party. For Hillary to retreat back to the Senate, John Kerry-style, or lower her sights, like Nixon, to her home state's governor's mansion, is unpalatable to her and her husband...All things being equal, it's reasonable for a candidate in Hillary's position to seek the second spot on her party's ticket. But all things are never equal in the with-us-or-against-us world of the Clintons.
  2. Democrats must recognise that Obama owes Clinton no love, and owes the party nothing in terms of faking it. Nothing could be more outrageous than for the Democratic party to demand of its first African-American nominee to join hands with a loathed, race-baiting opponent in the name of the greater good.
  3. Democrats shouldn't fear that only Hillary has the kind of name recognition or the voter affinity that can best enhance the ticket's electability. Joe Biden has far more experience than Clinton. John Edwards joins partisan credibility with southern appeal. And Jim Webb, as commentators left and right have observed, seems to offer Obama all the advantages that Hillary has tried to command without any of the drawbacks.
Let me just note re, 1, that Carl Bernstein (who should know as he just researched and published A Woman in Charge: The Life of Hillary Rodham Clinton) said on CNN on Tuesday night: "She doesn't want to go back to the Senate. She wouldn't be the majority leader because quite frankly a lot of the Democratic senators don't like her enough." That is very true.

My favorite line from Poulos:
the 2008 campaign is about more than the petty personalities of particular persons.

Read the whole piece.

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