Big Tent Democrat Makes It Clear: Obama Should Not Pick Clinton

Clinton supporters continue to push Hillary for VP, and have an unrealistic view of her impact on the ticket. Still, even if we follow their assumptions, at least as presented in this post, we have a strong case for not choosing Clinton. Big Tent Democrat believes that Clinton increases Obama’s margin of victory:

Pick Hillary as his VP and Obama will win in a landslide – a 7 to 10 point win. Don’t pick her and it will be a 2-5 point win. It is that simple, as it has been since June.

So, if this was true, Obama wins either way. A 2-5 point win is still a win. Sure, a 7-10 point win would be better, but not at the cost of having Hillary Clinton a heartbeat away from the presidency.

If Obama can win either way, there is no reason to compromise principle and choose a running mate who destroys his message of change. You cannot claim to have a ticket which will bring about change when you have a running mate who has adopted the same type of dishonest and unethical behavior as we have been protesting when it came from George Bush. You cannot run on based upon your opposition to the war from the start, and disagreement with the arguments for that war, when you choose a running mate who not only supported the war but echoed the Republicans in using fear of terrorism as an excuse to go to war. You cannot run as a post-partisan candidate with a big government junkie and proponent of the nanny-state who represents all the worst characteristics of the Democratic Party which must be eradicated if the Democrats are going to change from a minority party to a party which both can win and which deserves to govern.

If Big Ten Democrat is right and Obama wins either way, he should not choose Clinton even if she would bring in additional votes. The reality is far different as adding Clinton to the ticket would lower and not increase Obama’s vote in November.

The fault in Big Tent Democrat’s reasoning is making assumptions based upon current polls, which actually have virtually no value in predicting what will happen in November. If we paid attention to early polls, George H. W. Bush would have never lost to Bill Clinton. Michael Dukakis and John Kerry both looked like they would win in the summers before their defeats. There are simply far too few people paying attention until fall for current national polls to mean a thing, and there are many events ahead of us which will shape the outcome more than anything which has happened to date.

Polls have an even tougher time than usual in predicting the outcome as nobody knows for sure who will turn out to vote. If Obama is able to get the young to turn out for him the way he did in the primaries, he wins by a big margin (and adding Clinton to the ticket will not help him there). Marc Ambinder points out that, “right now, the type of voter who’s paying attention is primed to support John McCain. After the conventions, when younger voters typically tune in — and by younger here, I mean, under 55 or so — then Obama’s margins will widen because these folks are his folks.”

The election will be decided largely by the conventions, the debates, and by events between now and November which we cannot predict. Obama has the edge, both in the polls and due to many tends which favor the Democrats in 2008, but the results are not yet certain and current polls are of little value. What is clear is that Hillary Clinton would make a poor running mate and certainly should not be vice president.

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