Does Hillary Want VP?
by Todd Beeton, Thu May 22, 2008 at 08:26:51 AM EDT
I continue to be puzzled at the assertions that Hillary Clinton doesn't want to be Vice President, a position regularly advanced by most pundits. Really? She doesn't want to make history by being the first female Vice President? She doesn't want to return to the White House with the ability to perhaps pursue fewer issues on a national level that she's passionate about (healthcare for one) rather than focusing on all issues as a representative of one, albeit large, state? She doesn't want to continue to campaign for national office through November and then run again in 4 years, something she and Bill clearly love and thrive on? And perhaps most stunning of all, people really think she doesn't want to be the nominee apparent in 8 years? I don't know, I could be naive, but I sort of think it's a no-brainer. Then there's the fact that so many of her surrogates have seemed to advance the notion that she should be the VP, or at least should be offered it, Bill Clinton being just the latest.
From Time Magazine:
Her husband, for one, seems to have a pretty clear idea what he thinks she should get as a consolation prize. In Bill Clinton's view, she has earned nothing short of an offer to be Obama's running mate, according to some who are close to the former President. Bill "is pushing real hard for this to happen," says a friend.
Of course, I'm not so clueless that I don't see the downside to the Clintons' taking the number 2 spot. And I certainly see the downside for Obama. But as she racks up more and more delegates and votes and as she continues to dramatically outperform Obama in GE match-ups in the key states of FL, OH and PA, as the new Quinnipiac University polls out today demonstrate -- even after he's essentially become the presumptive nominee -- the more conventional wisdom is going to cement that he needs her, or at least would greatly benefit from having her on the ticket.
Update [2008-5-22 13:25:40 by Todd Beeton]:Hadn't seen Student Guy's diary in which he quotes Al Giordano from The Field asserting that not only does Clinton want VP but she's asked for it and has been denied.
The Field can now confirm, based on multiple sources, something that both campaigns publicly deny: that Senator Clinton has directly told Senator Obama that she wants to be his vice presidential nominee, and that Senator Obama politely but straightforwardly and irrevocably said no. Obama is going to pick his own running mate based on his own criteria and vetting process.
I can't vouche for Giordano's credibility but I would buy it. Certainly, Obama's, shall we say, lack of enthusiasm for picking Clinton as his running mate has been made crystal clear by his surrogates in the media. Now that more people are reporting Clinton's interest in the number 2 spot, will the media pick up on it as conventional wisdom and will pressure mount for Obama to pick her?