Friday, May 30, 2008


Please, please, please ....!

... do not pick Hillary as your running mate!

The idea that Obama should pick Clinton as his running mate to "heal the party" or, more precisely, to increase the ticket's appeal to "white, blue collar males" is ludicrous.

One of the facts of our political life is that Republicans win the white house more often than Democrats, even though more voters are registered as Democrats than Republicans. The reason for this is that many registered Democrats vote for the Republican presidential candidate in November.

It stands to reason that many of those Republican-voting registered Democrats will vote in Democratic primaries, particularly this year when the primaries continue to have an impact on the nomination. I seriously doubt that, in November, Hillary would win many votes of white males who can't stomach the idea of a black man as president. Chances are they're not too keen about a white woman either. They'll vote for McCain.

There are apparently white women who feel the same way. As for white women Democrats who would normally vote Democratic in November, but will take their ball and go home if Hillary doesn't get the nomination? How many of those are there, compared to independents among the majority of Americans who find her to be untrustworthy? The pollsters don't tell us that.

Anyway, having Hillary on the ticket doesn't pick up a single white male vote. Well, maybe one: Bill Clinton.


You are probably right that Hillary! does not add net votes to an Obama ticket. Although she may add them in places where he really needs them: Florida, Pennslyvania and Ohio. It is hard to say and certainly open to argument. The real reason she won't be on the ticket as VP is that she wants (someday) to be President.

Let's look at the possibilities:

--Hillary is on the ticket and they loose. She will be associated with the loss and won't get nominated ever.

--Hillary is on the ticket and they win.
--Obama is a popular 2-term president and Hillary is too old to run by the end of it.
--Obama is a one-term "Carter", Clinton will be tainted with that and will never get nominated.

For whatever this observation is worth: Everybody I know who is for Obama or Clinton, has McCain as their 2nd choice.
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What a coincidence! So far as I can tell, every Democratic voter I know has the same idea, with the one tiny change that for "2nd" you read "impossible and unthinkable".

Clinton's constant efforts and the intense efforts of some of her followers to make McCain my second choice will fail. What concerns me is that it is now becoming almost possible for me to contemplate getting into the position of having No Vote At All as my second choice were she to be nominated.

But that's my fault; I should know better than to worry about such a crazy hypothetical.
When thinking about a VP for his ticket, Obama should be mindful of Hillary's (perceived) strengths in states like PA and OH, where voting trends seem to be dominated by the working class. But that does not mean he should pick her.

No, he should pick someone better, with about 10 years more experience, and a reputation for catering to working class needs. Preferably someone more executive than legislative. Certainly there's a Democrat governor out there that fits the bill.

tshojzv: As in Nikolai Tshojzv, who might get Obama some of that Eastern Bloc immigrant vote, but is probably not helpful for most other purposes.
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