Clinton the Wrong Choice For Obama

I don’t imagine that George Will is tops on the reading list for most readers here. Therefore it might be worth pointing out his current column as it pretty much echoes what I’ve written in the past about the prospect of picking Hillary Clinton to be Obama’s running mate. The key point is that, while Obama must look to unify the party, this is not the only consideration. The election will largely be fought over independents, and those former Republicans who are began voting Democratic in 2006. Obama can find other candidates who will appeal to Clinton’s voters without needing to accept all the negatives Clinton brings to a ticket. Will wrote:

Obama’s choice of a running mate will be the first important decision he makes with the whole country watching, so it will be a momentous act of self-definition. If he chooses her, it will be an act of self-diminishment, especially now that some of her acolytes are aggressively suggesting that some unwritten rule of American politics stipulates that anyone who finishes a strong second in the nomination contest is entitled to second place on the ticket.

Behind the idea that Obama should run in harness with Clinton is this wobbly theory: Because the Republican Party is in such bad odor, if you unify the Democratic Party, that will suffice to win the election, and she is a necessary and sufficient catalyst of unity. But she is neither. She would be a potent unifier of John McCain’s party, thereby setting the stage for exactly what the nation does not need, another angry campaign of mere mobilization rather than persuasion.

Surely she, the most polarizing Democrat, is not the only Democrat who can help Obama appeal to the voters who rejected him in Kentucky and West Virginia. And as his running mate, she would nullify his narrative. The candidate embracing the “future” should not glue himself to Washington circa 1993. Someone promising to “turn the page” should not revert to an earlier chapter. Someone whose mantra is “change” should not embrace her theme of restoration — that the 1990s were paradise and Democrats promise paradise regained.

She, whose experiences as First Spouse have not impressed Obama as acquisitions of national security expertise, would not help him deflect McCain’s predictable attack on his thin curriculum vitae. And the more she seems to be pushing Obama to choose her, the more resolutely he must resist. Otherwise, at the beginning of a contest in which McCain will portray him as a flimsy figure, Obama will define himself as someone who can be pushed around.

Clinton certainly will not help Obama on national security matters, unless the race comes down to who is most qualified to fend off imaginary sniper fire. Clinton has no match on that one. Unfortunately she also has few matches for dishonesty in politics, having morphed into a virtual clone of George W. Bush. Beyond fighting such imaginary sniper fire, her national security credentials are highly exaggerated, along with all her other claims of being the more experienced candidate.

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6 Comments

  1. 1
    Caryn says:


    BAGGAGE is a major problem.  I have always voted Republican until Obama.  He will definately get my vote, unless Hillary is on the ticket.  It would be very difficult to give him my vote should that happen.

    I have to wonder if her supporters are totally out of touch with reality.  Does the general public have ADD?  The GOP would love her on the ticket.  They have files full of stuff to use against her.  Any Hillary supporters who want to make the argument that she should be on the ticket needs to be reminded of a few things that Obama has given her a free pass on but the GOP won’t.

    1. Mark Rich
    2. Vince Foster
    3. Millions of dollars in speaking fees from Saudi Arabia for Bill.
    4. Whitewater
    5. Monica Lewinsky
    6. Gennifer Flowers
    7. Kathleen Willey
    8. Juanita Broderick
    9. Susan Coleman
    10. Hugh Rodham
    11. Sandy Berger (Classified papers stuffed down his socks and pants.)
    12. Frank Giustra
    13. Doug Coe
    14. Rose Law Firm
    15. Tyson Chicken
    16. Webb Hubbell
    17. 30% decline in governorships (fom 30 to 21) from the time Clinton came into power to the time he left.
    18. Norman Hsu
    19. Peter Paul
    20. Somalia
    21. Sniper fire
    22. Impeachment
    I am sure there are more.  For starters, this is why, Obama should find a different running mate.

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    They not only lost governorships–they lost control of Congress.

    The president is much more important than the VP. I would still vote for him if he picked Clinton, but that would be a big mistake.

  3. 3
    Caryn says:

    Thanks for reminding me of the Congress. How could I forget!!!  You are right, about the Presidential spot, I would have a difficult time but would probably trust that for whatever reason Obama chose her, that it was sound.  Hopefully, he goes with Sam Nunn or someone of his caliber.

  4. 4
    battlebob says:

    Nunn is good.  I have always like Bill Bradley, the former NJ Senator, Rhodes Scholar, Economic Expert, and the best “J” from the corner of anybody around.
    As far as I know he is not a lobbyist (Wes Clark, Tom Daschle)

  5. 5
    Caryn says:

    I have alway liked Joe Biden.  Don’t know too much about him.  Will definately read up on Bill Bradley.  I realize whomever he chooses he or she will have to have some weight with the Blue Collar Working Class and Women.

  6. 6
    Ron Chusid says:

    Hopefully Obama could find someone who does well with blue collar voters and women but without having Clinton’s negatives. I don’t only mean the obvious (per Caryn’s list above) but many of the conservative positions Clinton holds.

    Fortunately most Clinton supporters do not back her because of her support for the Iraq war, her support for the drug war, her conservative views on social issues (other than abortion), and her conservative positions on civil liberties issues. Plus, while the low-information voters who typically back Clinton are unable to understand the serious flaws in her economic plans, most Clinton supporters are more concerned about the goals than the specifics in Clinton’s plans.

    Hopefully Obama can find someone who shares his liberal positions on foreign policy, social and civil liberties issues, and who, like Obama, has sound economic plans. It would sure help if this was a woman with strong blue collar support. It would also help if it was someone with strong national security credentials and someone who has considerable government experience but could still get away with running as an outsider. While I’m inventing a fantasy candidate, throw in someone with strong support in a red state which could be tipped.

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