Again, just to play devil's advocate, here is another way this plays out - McCain's pick says "Obama was too arrogant to honor the dreams of 18 million voters, of the women with dreams to see a woman lead this country. I'm not a chauvinist, unlike Obama, I think a woman is ready to lead this country. We all saw how powerful a leader Hillary would have been from her speech last week, we all wondered how the Dem party could have made her step aside for someone less experienced who would not even honor her historic achievements. We on the Repub side think a woman is good enough to be a heartbeat from the presidency, unlike the Dems."
Is it BS? Yes. But in a close election, I'd be worried.
Honestly, sometimes it's like we want to lose elections. When we had a huge, fired-up Hillary base, we could have had a "dream ticket" that was nearly invincible. Sure, presidential candidates get to pick their VPs, and it's obvious Obama couldn't stand to have Hillary on the ticket. But think about if the roles were reversed. Do you think that Hillary would have been pressured to pick Obama, to honor the hopes and dreams of our huge African-American Dem base? Women are the majority of the Dem base, too. I'm sorry, I still think it was stupid not to offer her the VP slot, or to have made public pronouncements that she will occupy a significant cabinet or Sup Ct role in his administration. It left us open to this.
I agree with you, but do you honestly think we can make that point successfully in this race? That we can say "hey, that old guy's about a week from death" and not face huge repercussions? Remember that a substantial chunk of the electorate, including a HUGE percentage of the Dem base, is also elderly. It's at best a very callous argument, and do you honestly think Obama can say with a smile on his face that McCain is one step from death's door, without tarnishing his own image and message?
Well, my grandfather died at 37, of cancer. My dad is still kicking. Keep in mind that a large portion of our electorate is elderly. I don't think they see themselves as literally one heartbeat away from death if they managed to outlive their own parents.
I don't know, I'm not sure that "experienced, ready to lead" is neutralized. Most folks recognize the difference between the president and the VP. There is a difference between having inexperience at the bottom of the ticket, vs. at the top. And it's been a long time since we've had a president die in office.
To play devil's advocate, the other way to explain it is this - they saw a bunch of people who reacted to the Hillary speech at the convention with the firm conviction that this woman should have been our nominee (and, sorry, yes, there were lots of people who thought that). McCain's camp saw an opportunity to grab that disaffected voting block by offering the VP slot to a woman. They played directly to the subtext they observed coming out of the convention - why was Obama so arrogant as to snub the 18 million Hillary voters by not even offering her the VP slot? McCain can now run, explicitly or by implication, the theme that HE is not a chauvinist, that unlike Obama he thinks women are ready to lead this country, blah blah blah.
And, honestly, it's powerful and a bit scary. Think if it had been Hillary and not Obama at the top of the ticket. And she had deliberately chosen someone like Biden for her VP. And then McCain had picked a prominent African-American conservative, maybe Colin Powell. Do you think we might have a problem with the African-American vote? I bet we would. Maybe those voters wouldn't abandon ship in droves, but this election is pretty close to all tied up at the moment. A small shift could make a huge difference. Don't underestimate the resentment and frustration of being this close and then pushed aside, patted on the head and told that "your time will come."
I'm sorry, but I think it was a grave political miscalculation to not include Hillary on the ticket, or at least to offer it to her. There was a huge voting block out there hoping for their own shot at history, at a "dream ticket." Obama has not even suggested that Hillary would play a role in his cabinet. Yes, there will be women who smart from that. And, yes, I bet there will be some who will be inclined toward the McCain ticket as a result.
Meh. Maybe he can explain whey we all ought to be so beholden to the credit card companies. Why he's voting for credit card companies' rights, but refusing to vote for any limit on the interest rates and fees they can charge. No relief for Americans who have dealt with job losses, uncovered health expenses, or threatened home foreclosures by turning to the easy credit crack that Biden's corporate constituency peddled for so long. And now, the credit card companies are raising interest rates, lowering credit lines, and exacerbating the economic crisis by ruining middle class people's credit ratings. And no escape in bankruptcy - we have indentured servitude to Citibank.
I'm sorry, but I am not enthusiastic about Biden, and I think his votes for his corporate masters will be a big distraction during this campaign, making him an ineffective attack dog. Explain to me how his support of the credit industry is consistent with Obama's message, or the Democratic party's ideals?
Even if it's a good purchase, many people will feel buyer's remorse. One option out of many is solidified, all of the possibilities are now forever foreclosed. It's sobering. A parade of the talented Democrats who will not be president, including Hillary, can't help but sadden a bit. I wouldn't be surprised if there is a "slow rise" or even a dip before a rise, because of this phenomenal. It's why I think any "bounce" is totally illusory, and the absence of a bounce is no big deal.
No, no one is seriously trying to swing the vote to Hillary over Obama.
This is a historic moment. For the first time ever, a female candidate for president garnered some 18 million votes. It is right that there be a formal recognition of this achievement. Like it or not, more than 50% of the Dem base is female. It means something to them, and it will mean something to the future, that there was a respectful acknowledgment of how far she came. This is history happening in front of us. Hillary's campaign will be remembered along with Seneca Falls, and it is appropriate to have the formalities associated with recognizing this historic event.
This is not the same as projecting disunity or trying to "steal" the nomination.
There was a rumor yesterday that they were going to try to have it all happen secretly, off-camera. That would, rightfully, have upset many and would have ruined a historic moment. Something that allows the delegates to cast a vote for her, consistent with the primary votes, and then formally nominate Obama is good, it's healing, it's traditional, and there's no reason to panic about it.
Not her job, and she's not super-human. Honestly, I cried during her speech. I can't imagine what it took to stand up there, knowing that you lost, knowing that you are still passionately supported, knowing that your bid was historic and that so many women will be let down because it failed. To try to put a smile on your face and say that it's okay, to not be sad or sentimental, to be a team player, despite what really was a deluge of sexism from the media. It must have taken superhuman effort. It's too much to ask that she make a passionate personal plea for Obama. She did what she needed to do, she did what she could, she made the political case for him. She fulfilled her role, and it must have been incredibly difficult to do it. I don't think anyone should have expected her to make a sales pitch for Obama, there were plenty of other people at the convention to do that.
Unfortunately, Hillary is 61 this year. She'll be 68 in 2016. For all the reasons we're savaging McCain for being too old and out of touch, it's extremely unlikely that she could follow a younger president. This was her chance. It is gone. That is why her supporters will always grieve that this wonderful woman will not be president.
It's unrealistic to try to console people with the "she has 2016" line. As the Democrats.com email just reminded me, at 73 McCain would be the oldest president ever elected.