I Want The Dream Ticket!!

I admit I hang out on the PUMA blogs and am a die-hard Hillary Supporter.

But

Unlike many PUMA's I will support an Obama/Clinton ticket.

Why?

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Sabotaging the Dream Ticket

Since we are all hovering over our cell phones, waiting for this text, here's a little exercise in Machiavellian politics, and how I think this is being played out.

I have seen a number of speculations, mostly from the "Clinton is VP or I walk" crowd, that Obama is more likely to pick Clinton only if he needs her.  So, the closer the polls, the more likely Clinton is the VP pick.

My take is the opposite and I think that is where we have in fact arrived.

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If Dream Ticket, What do we do with Bill?

One of the things frequently raised in discussions of a hypothetical "Dream Ticket," particularly by those who oppose it, is the question of Bill Clinton.  If Clinton pulls out the nomination, I would oppose Obama joining her, unless I was convinced that a victory in November hinged on it.  Obama as a VP would likely be 'contained' by turning him into a full time ribbon cutter.  The model of the actively involved VP (Cheney, Gore, Mondale) would almost assuredly be eschewed, in part because of Bill.  As such, it would be a colossal waste of Obama's talents, which as an Obama supporter I believe are significant.

If, as seems more likely at this point, Obama wins the nomination, I remain undecided about Clinton as a VP.  I don't think she is as likely to be 'contained,' and I think that a good thing.  My guess is that the success of this experiment, both for the general election campaign and the administration, would be a fairly clearly defined role for her in an administration.  If Obama demanded that in a Clinton administration, I think he would likely be humored.  I'm only going on a hunch here admittedly, but I think Obama would be more likely to deal with the potential conflicts with a VP HRC by employing her unmistakable talents in a way that would benefit all involved, and I hope this isn't a naive assumption.

But even if Obama wins and Clinton joins him on the ticket, for them to be an effective team it would be necessary to define a role for the ex-President.  This could be done informally by giving him particular projects to manage and employing him in frequent shuttle diplomacy escapades.  Perhaps by putting him in charge of the mess in Israel/Palestine and giving him the chance to try and finish something he was desperately committed to and at which I think he was largely stymied at by things beyond his control and the time limit of his presidency?  Or could it be something more formal?  Would his ego allow him to accept an official title 'beneath' President?  Would he take ambassador to the UN?  Would he take a cabinet level post?  John Quincy Adams served for years in the House of Representatives after his term as president, but that was a very long time ago and he was a very different person.  The question of Bill and whether it could be solved productively, not simply through attempts to neutralize him but by giving him a meaningful outlet, would be crucial to the success of the administration.  How would you solve it?

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Obama/Clinton Ticket = The Will of the People (part deux)

Today's Quinnipiac University National poll is the second poll in a row showing a majority of Democrats favoring an Obama/Clinton ticket.

By a 60 - 33 percent margin, Democrats say Obama should pick Clinton as his vice presidential running mate.

That's almost 2 to 1 among a group that prefers Obama to Clinton for the nomination by a slim 45-41 margin.

It should be noted too that the poll finds that either Obama or Clinton at the top of the ticket would defeat McCain in November, Obama by 7 points, Clinton by 5.

Interestingly, Quinnipiac finds that Clinton and Obama perform quite similarly against McCain among white voters, among men and among women. The real difference between how each Democrat fares against John McCain comes among groups with whom Obama has traditionally held more appeal. In other words, when up against John McCain, Barack is stronger among Hillary's base than Hillary is among his.

In an Obama-McCain matchup, independent voters back the Democrat 48 - 37 percent, the independent Quinnipiac University poll finds. Men split with 45 percent for McCain and 44 percent for Obama, while women back Obama 49 - 36 percent. McCain leads 47 - 40 percent among white voters, while blacks back Obama 87 - 4 percent.

In a Clinton-McCain contest, independent voters split with 41 - 41 percent. Men go with McCain 46 - 42 percent while women back Clinton 51 - 36 percent. White voters back McCain 48 - 41 percent, the same margin as the Obama-McCain matchup, while black voters back Clinton 79 - 8 percent.

What I find most remarkable about these results is how close this contest is still. The poll was taken from May 8-12 in the wake of the results of last Tuesday's primaries, indeed, at the height of the post-IN & NC "it's over" talk. Yet Obama is up only 4 points above Clinton for the nomination and only fares 2 points better against McCain. It really shows you not only how popular Hillary Clinton is but also how solid her support continues to be and it really begs the question does Barack Obama want to expand the map and have a landslide victory in the fall as he has said he does or is he content to risk simply winning with 50+1? At the risk of sounding like a broken record, more and more I'm convinced that if we're really going to accomplish the former, finally, Hillary Clinton must be on the ticket.

Update [2008-5-14 21:11:59 by Todd Beeton]:I wanted to add that it's also striking how at odds the will of the voters is with conventional punditry. Not only does a majority of Democrats want Obama to pick Clinton for VP, which itself contradicts the "it'll never happen" chorus from the talking heads on the teevee, but there's also this result from the poll:

"Party leaders may be cringing over the potential damage to Democratic chances in November from the endless primary campaign, but two-thirds of the rank-and-file think Clinton ought to keep battling," Carroll added.

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Obama-Clinton Ticket Is Unlikely Option, Kennedy Says

From the diaries, jerome

Senator Ted Kennedy one of Senator Obama's prominent supporter told Bloomberg TV that Barack Obama isn't likely to pick rival Hillary Clinton as a running mate. He attributed this to the "tenor of the campaign".

http://news.yahoo.com/s/bloomberg/200805 09/pl_bloomberg/adga8qsyojl0


``I don't think it's possible,'' Massachusetts Senator Edward Kennedy said in an interview on Bloomberg Television's ``Political Capital With Al Hunt,'' airing this weekend. That is because of the ``tenor of the campaign'' in recent weeks, Kennedy spokesman Anthony Coley said later.

Earlier Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House also dismissed the Dream ticket option.

http://www.necn.com/category/32/4893

It is clear that Obama surrogates are saying what he wouldn't say publicly.

Personally I think that is sad and potentially damaging for November General Election and for the party as I was hoping for Obama/Clinton ticket. But then that is my humble opinion and what do I know. Senator Kennedy and some of the party bosses are taking HRC supporters for granted which is a potential fault line for lot of women supporting HRC.


The prolonged battle between Obama and Clinton probably won't hurt the Democratic Party, Kennedy said. ``It's basically the divisions in terms of race and gender, and these involve people's emotions deeply,'' he said. ``Ultimately, the party is going to come together because they are so thirsty for victory.''

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Diaries

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