Why Obama Should Not Negotiate With Terrorists (Like the Clintonistas)

There are signs that Hillary Clinton really is seeking the vice presidential nomination, although this is far from certain. Earlier I argued against Obama choosing Hillary Clinton as his running mate. Jimmy Carter agrees:

“I think it would be the worst mistake that could be made,” said Carter. “That would just accumulate the negative aspects of both candidates.”

Dick Morris also has some warnings for Obama:

Putting Hillary Clinton on the ticket for vice president creates a ménage-à-trois. Bill will be the unexpected roommate. Even if a President Obama can discipline Hillary and get her to play second fiddle, there is not the remotest chance that he can get the former president to accept such rules. Even if Bill Clinton wanted to rein in his newly prolific public expressions of rage and frustration, there is doubt that he is any longer capable of doing so.

Hillary, who likely desperately wants to be tapped for vice president, is going about it in exactly the wrong way. She seems to be demanding a kind of coalition government between herself and Obama, a definition of the vice presidency not likely to appeal to the president. It reminds me of 1980 when there were discussions of a ticket with Reagan as the presidential nominee and former President Gerald Ford as the vice president in a coalition government where the VP would have extraordinary powers…

Adding Hillary to the ticket would not bring Obama a single vote (except possibly for Bill’s). Her supporters are divided into two distinct categories. The original Clintonistas were strong Democrats, party faithful, pro-choice, middle-aged and up, largely female and all white. But Hillary’s recent backers have been downscale whites of both genders who were turned off by Obama’s pastor, wife and other associates and were afraid he might be a Muslim in disguise. Unhappy about voting for a woman, they never really liked Hillary but turned to her when the alternative was Obama.

If Hillary had won the Democratic nomination, these latent backers of Hillary in the primaries might still have voted for McCain in the general. Their support of Hillary is purely linked to her opposition to Obama. Were she to join the ticket, they would vote for McCain anyway. After all, Obama will still be black and the Rev. Wright will still be nuts.

But adding Hillary to the ticket brings, along with her, Bill.

The public Bill Clinton has morphed over the past few months from a statesman and philanthropist to a petulant, angry, cursing, spoiled narcissist, accusing everyone of being sleazy and biased and in so doing fashioning himself as a foil for Obama. This unattractive image is not the right one for the bottom of a ticket in a presidential race. And make no mistake, Bill comes along with Hillary.

A coalition government might be the way to look at it. Despite all the claims that there is not much difference between the two, Obama and Clinton represent two distinct philosophies of government. To new Democratic voters, whether those brought in this year specifically in support of Obama or in the relatively recent past in protest over the direction the Republicans were going, Hillary Clinton represents what is rotten in Washington almost as much as George Bush does. Choosing Clinton would be seen as a betrayal of principles by many of Obama’s supporters. This would dilute his message for change, and weaken his campaign in the real battle with John McCain for independents.

Much has been discussed of how Obama envisions a Team of Rivals as Lincoln had in his administration. Unfortunately Hillary Clinton is not a team player. The video Young Hillary Clinton really hits it. Hillary Clinton has nothing positive to add to an Obama administration, without, and especially with, Bill coming along for the ride.

Barack Obama and his campaign certainly cannot say this in the manner that I can as someone totally unaffiliated with the campaign. In public they must praise Clinton and woo her supporters. In private I bet they are thinking along the same lines that I am.

While CNN asks if Obama can afford to say no to Clinton, I bet team Obama realizes they cannot afford to say yes.  This is one situation where, figuratively, Obama should not negotiate with terrorists. Resisting the Clintonistas is the first big test of Obama’s strength since becoming the nominee. Fortunately Hillary Clinton is at her strongest this week. Over the next several weeks the closeness of the nomination battle will be forgotten as party members continue to rally around Obama. Every week that goes by, Clinton will have less leverage and will have to settle with less and less from Obama. Hopefully this will turn out to be a prime time spot at the convention, vague assurances of returning her calls and considering her views, and nothing further.

No Comments

3 Trackbacks

Leave a comment