Saturday, August 16, 2008

Hillary: Not good enough for No. 2?

My column at Pajamas Media:
Informed political observers have realized since June that Hillary Rodham Clinton won't be Barack Obama’s running mate. As Obama prepares to announce his vice-presidential choice, however, it will be worthwhile to watch the reaction of the ill-informed and unobservant — which is to say, the independent "swing" voters who will ultimately decide the election.
Especially for those swing voters who voted for Hillary in the Democratic primaries, it may come as a brutal shock to learn that the former First Lady won't be on the ticket in November. The shock will be amplified when those voters learn that Obama's choice was the result of an ABC ("Anybody But Clinton") process that excluded Hillary from serious consideration months earlier.
Read the whole thing.

UPDATE: Thomas Lifson at American Thinker:
It is still theoretically possible that Obama will shock everyone by offering Hillary the second spot, and perhaps equally possible Hillary will launch a coup, if enough super delegates abstain in the first roll call vote, in order to throw the voting open on subsequent ballots.
Meanwhile, Patrick Ruffini suggests that talk of Bayh and Biden, et al., could be a "massive head fake":
If you're Obama, why not choose a VP who strengthens you all over and consolidates a source of weak support? Who has been thoroughly vetted? Whose selection would be a surprise and galvanize support for the ticket?
If Bill Clinton can be sent to Tahiti for the next 80 days, it just might work.
Ruffini's prediction makes perfect sense to me. Nothing else will solve The Obama's Democrat deserter problem.
OK, since we're just talking gut hunch here:
  • The real problem with Hillary at VP is that she has played Team Obama like xylophone. She thinks he'll lose without her, but can't make it look like she's unhelpful. So while publicly she says she is willing to be the running mate, privately she insisted on impossible terms -- setting Obama up to make it look like he rejected her, rather than the other way around. She's thinking ahead to 2012.
  • It's definitely Bayh. His name was floated long enough to test reaction, which was overwhelmingly positive, and only then did we start hearing talk about Biden, et al. That's just chaff to throw people off and keep up the sense of mystery. It's Bayh all the way.
  • Biden makes zero sense. He's got no constituency, he's from an electorally insignificant state, and if Team Obama wants "gravitas," they'll definitely go with New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson.
Bayh is the obvious do-no-harm choice, a young and telegenic Midwestern governor from a red state. Ruffini says Bayh was "vetoed by the netroots," but what better way for Obama to give the Kos crowd some Sister Souljah tough love and demonstrate he's not a tool of the Left?

Bayh all the way. Ignore all chatter to the contrary.

UPDATE II: The Ruffini theory prompts Allah to one of his longest posts evah:
Picking her would indicate that Obama thinks he has a bigger problem with Democrats than with independents and needs to purchase "unity" even at the expense of alienating centrists and handing McCain a gift-wrapped GOTV angle. . . . Is the sore-loser PUMA contingent really so huge within the party that he genuinely fears it's going to cost him the election?
Answer: It's not PUMAs, it's mainly older independent women who are at stake here. They voted for Hillary in the primaries, but haven't paid much attention to the "inside baseball" chatter since Obama clinched in June and did those "unity" photo-ops with Clinton. In their cluelessness, they figured an Obama-Clinton ticket was the common-sense solution, and when Obama picks someone else -- it's Bayh, I tell ya -- they're going to feel that this is a high-handed insult to the former First Lady. It's all about the arrogance meme, see?

1 comment:

  1. If Obama were to pick Hillary as VP, he would have to have, at least in the back of his mind, the fear that he might end up draped over a cannon in Fort Marcy Park.