09 March 2008

Dream Team? Dream on

There has been a lot of talk the past few days coming out of the Clinton camp - indeed out of the mouths of the Clintons themselves - about giving the Democrats their cake and letting them eat it to.

Giving the party faithful a two-fer.

Vote once and get Clinton and Obama - in that order.

Neither Bill nor Hillary Clinton said it should be in that order when they each advocated for a ticket with both of the remaining Democratic candidates on it. But it's clear which way they intend the ticket to be structured.

The motives behind the suggestion are obvious.

The Clintons clearly see great value in having Obama, who has turned out droves of new voters during the primary season, to add excitement and votes to a November effort.

But that is not the immediate motivation.

So what is?

How about the notion of damning with feint praise?

By suggesting they'd love to see the Clinton-Obama ticket, they're telling voters that Obama would make a good president down the road, after he's had a chance to learn under Hillary.

They're also telling voters that they can get a ticket with both Obama and Hillary, if they vote now to make sure Hillary is at the top of the ticket.
After all, they let the voters reason, Obama's still young. He can get in line for his turn next time.

Obama is having none of it.

In the past when the subject has come up, Obama has mostly said it is a question for another day.

Over the weekend he was more emphatic, saying he won't be running for VP.

On Meet the Press today, Obama backer and former Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle put it a bit more bluntly.

"It may be the first time in history that the person who is running number two would offer the person running number one the number two position."

The so-called Dream Ticket will never come about.

The most obvious reason is the nastiness of the current campaign and the animosity it is building between the two candidates and their supporters.

Which of the two is going to agree to play second fiddle?

Just based on the audacity she has displayed during this campaign, the sense of entitlement, do you really see Clinton agreeing to be No. 2 to "the novice" ?

If you were Obama, would you accept the vice presidency - a position already in search of a job description - with Bill Clinton hanging around the West Wing with lots of time on his hands?

In the case of either candidate, which would be a more attractive position to hold - a no-show job in the administration or a powerful new role in the Senate?

Both Clinton and Obama - with their strong showing as presidential candidates - can lay legitimate claim to a position of leadership in the Senate.

And then there's one more question to consider.

Do the Democrats really want the first legitimate woman candidate and the first legitimate African-American candidate for the presidency on the ticket together?

Isn't that a huge crap shoot?

Isn't that putting a bit too much faith in a country that has shown itself historically to be racist and sexist?

Will the new voters that such a ticket would bring to the party outnumber the swing voters who may decide that Clinton/Obama or Obama/Clinton is a little more change than they bargained for?

The Democratic Party is too hungry for a victory to roll those dice and find out.

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