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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Clinton/Obama ‘08

posted by on January 17 at 7:03 AM


It seems to me that recent peace offerings exchanged between the Clinton and Obama camps—their let’s-call-the whole-(race-war)-thing-off exchange of conciliatory press releases, their kinder, gentler handing of each other at the Nevada debate—point to a desire on the part of both candidates to at least keep the possibility of a Clinton/Obama ticket viable.

When those press releases went out last week I thought, “They’re running together—or at least talking about it.” But I haven’t seen much discussion of the possibility.

Now I haven’t had the chance to read every political blog out there, so perhaps someone else has pointed this out already. But I haven’t seen it pointed out an any of the political blogs that I do read every day. Am I the only one that had this reaction?

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It seems more likely that each of them will round out their campaign with a white guy.

I bet both are each more likely to choose Joe Biden than each other.

Posted by Notecarder | January 17, 2008 7:24 AM

I can't see Obama taking the bucket of warm spit. Even if Hilldog were to offer him a Cheney-esque level of power he'd be a fool to trust her.

(omg you're so awesome!!!)

Posted by karst | January 17, 2008 7:27 AM

Yeah, you're the only one.

Neither brings military or executive leadership to the table. Neither has regional pull in either the South or the Southwest.

But the big issue is that they are both alphas.

Can you think of a VP who was more charismatic or popular than the president with whom he served? Neither can I. That rules out the idea that Obama can be Clinton's VP. I have a hard time imagining that Clinton would be willing to serve as anyone's VP. Prior to his rise in the polls, I think Obama might have been willing to consider serving as VP. Not any more.

Posted by midwaypete | January 17, 2008 7:28 AM

Clinton cannot win a presidential election. It doesn't matter who her running mate is. Independents simply won't vote for her. The question is: will the Democrats dig their own grave once again?

Posted by M | January 17, 2008 7:34 AM

the main issue I have with a Clinton/Obama ticket is that they'd be shooting themselves in the foot. the democrats who would not vote for Obama because he's black are not the same as the democrats who would not vote for Clinton because she's female. Antagonizing both these groups would doom them. Neither Clinton nor Obama will pick up a large following of republicans and to lose a chunk of the democrats because you didn't pick a boring running-mate would be political suicide.

Posted by talitha | January 17, 2008 8:02 AM

I really, really doubt this will ever happen. From what I've read, Clinton absolutely despises Obama for having the nerve to run against her, and refuses to even talk to him when the cameras aren't on. It would be one thing if they were polite but not friendly like Gore and Bill Clinton were-- but between that and the level of race-baiting and other underhanded tactics the Clinton campaign has engaged in, it would take nothing short of a miracle for them to appear on the same ticket.

Posted by Greg | January 17, 2008 8:15 AM

Reagan and Bush pretty much hated each other prior to running together in 1980, and barely tolerated each other for the next eight years...

A Clinton/Obama or Obama/Clinton ticket would annihilate the entire GOP grab bag of losers and weak sisters; just fucking wipe the floor with them...

Posted by Strange Bedfellows | January 17, 2008 8:21 AM

Gore and Clinton gave a great performance looking friendly with each other, but the scuttlebutt behind the scenes was that Gore was less that thrilled (some used the word LOATHED), and this was before the Lewinski mess. They were also both Alphas, but Gore bid his time and waited his term, then won the popular vote and watched the Supreme Court screw him. But now he's moved past it, won awards, and has his own new crusade.

Obama might be an alpha, but he's also a Work-With/Not-Against campaigner, meaning he's open to consensus, hence compromise, hence taking the second slot for now. We've heard plenty of "I'd vote for him (for President) if he had more experience" talk from voters, so in the VP slot those people might step up and vote for him in that capacity with the understanding he was being groomed to inherit the mantle.

But I agree the problem with a H/O ticket is Hillary's own high negatives (and not just among Republicans and Independents). In a Hillary/Obama ticket, I still fear she's alienate more voters than he'd attract.

But personally I'd still vote for them over ANY of the Republicans or a Bloomberg/Hegel ticket or Ron Paul/Potted Plant ticket.

Posted by andy niable | January 17, 2008 8:28 AM

I saw an interview with Biden where he basically said that he would never want to be Hillary's VP because he would have Bill Clinton (the unofficial VP)breathing down his neck all of the time.

Posted by Clint | January 17, 2008 8:35 AM

It would be pretty funny if they were fucking. And it busts open in October.

Posted by Mr. Poe | January 17, 2008 8:41 AM

Bill Richardson for VP candidate. Nobody ever considers the Hispanics, I think he brings some real value there. Besides, the guy is not bad, other than a frumpy screen presence.

Agree with M @4. Obama -might- beat McCain, but Hillary running would make Kerry's campaign & result look good.

Posted by Karlheinz Arschbomber | January 17, 2008 8:46 AM

No. I think the peace-making over the race issue was because they realized it was hurting both their campaigns and the democratic party in general. It was causing them both negatives. It was in both of their self-interests to change the subject.

I don't see a Clinton/Obama or Obama/Clinton ticket. I don't think it helps either one of them, strategically. If one of them wins, I'm guessing they'll pick Edwards as a VP. He'd help in the south, and having a white guy on the ticket as VP would help assuage people who are a little nervous about voting for a woman or a black.

Posted by Reverse Polarity (formerly SDA in SEA) | January 17, 2008 8:50 AM

The kind words were an attempt to avoid looking too negative, out of a fear it would hurt their own respective campaigns to appear too negative - particularly in Hillary's case. Nothing more.

Posted by tsm | January 17, 2008 8:53 AM

Should Hillary win the nomination, she will have a hard time figuring out what to do with Obama...especially at the Denver convention.

Posted by Ryno | January 17, 2008 8:55 AM

@4 & 11, on what basis do you make this claim that Hillary can't win?

A wide variety of national polls have indicated for many months that she can beat any of the Republican candidates.

She may not be your favorite candidate, and her campaign could certainly implode, just like any campaign could. But there is no valid basis to claim that she can't win. And almost every national poll for the last 6 months has indicated that she can, and by wider margins that Obama or Edwards.

Posted by Reverse Polarity (formerly SDA in SEA) | January 17, 2008 8:56 AM

i always thought that a clinton/obama ticket was possible, though now i'm not so sure...

i think that obama/clinton would be better, but she'd rather stay a senator i'm guessing. i would LOVE to see an obama/edwards ticket. i mean, what else has john edwards got to do? he'd make a kick ass VP in the newly expanded role of the veep in the post-cheney era. plus, he's got more experience, yadda-yadda....

Posted by socialarsonist | January 17, 2008 9:15 AM

Greg @6:

It would be one thing if they were polite but not friendly like Gore and Bill Clinton were-- but between that and the level of race-baiting and other underhanded tactics the Clinton campaign has engaged in, it would take nothing short of a miracle for them to appear on the same ticket.

It seems like the lesson the Clinton campaign has learned from the dominance of Rove-ian politics is to out-Rove the Republicans. Now the latest Rove-ian hit piece is this mailing in Nevada about Social Security. As recounted by The New York Times's Gail Collins:

By yesterday Barack Obama was telling his supporters in Henderson, Nev., that the Clintonites were misrepresenting his position with a flier that claimed his Social Security plan was “a trillion-dollar tax hike for hard-working families.” Still, the amity was a nice interlude.
From another accounting, The Clinton campaign hits the worst conservative frame yet:
From my personal vantage point, when I see a Dem go negative against another Dem, I use an informal criteria to judge its merit: is the criticism accurate? Is it fair? Is it hypocritical? And does it help or hurt the party’s broader message?

Given this, I can’t help but think Hillary Clinton’s latest mailing in Nevada may be one of the single most disappointing things her campaign has done this entire cycle. It targets Barack Obama on Social Security and taxes using the most blatantly Republican worldview possible.

Posted by cressona | January 17, 2008 9:22 AM

I was definitely cringing as things were escalating between the two campaigns. Whether or not it would be comfortable for either of them, I think a joint ticket would have the potential to fire up a *lot* of people on the Dem side, and pull in a lot of swing voters. You sort of have to be an Alpha to run for President of the US, but hopefully they understand that there are bigger issues at stake here.

I don't know whether that's what this cooldown is about, though. One can dream, but I'm still not expecting it.

Posted by Paul | January 17, 2008 9:28 AM

I would like an Obama/Biden ticket.

Obama and Clinton, in either configuration, wouldn't be good for Obama.

Posted by monkey | January 17, 2008 9:30 AM

socialarsonist @16:

i would LOVE to see an obama/edwards ticket. i mean, what else has john edwards got to do? he'd make a kick ass VP in the newly expanded role of the veep in the post-cheney era. plus, he's got more experience, yadda-yadda....

Let's not forget that Edwards seems to be doing quite well in Nevada. And he could still have a strong second- or third-place finish in South Carolina. So Edwards has some clout. Not enough to win the nomination, but enough to be kingmaker.

I'm not a big fan of Edwards. I think he's just a populist panderer who has come by all his positions out of a desire to outflank his opponents from the left. On the other hand, his positions aren't so bad. And more critically, he and his campaign haven't disgraced themselves the way Clinton and her campaign have disgraced themselves.

So yeah, if that's what it takes to knock out Hillary, I'd love to see an Obama/Edwards ticket. Hey, I'd love to see an Edwards/Obama ticket instead of a Hillary/anybody ticket.

Posted by cressona | January 17, 2008 9:37 AM

monkey @19: Obama and Clinton, in either configuration, wouldn't be good for Obama.

Agreed. There are a lot of prospective VPs Obama could choose from who don't have the baggage, and haven't alienated people, the way Clinton has. As for Clinton/Obama, she would need him a lot more than he would need her in that situation. I could see Clinton losing the general election. Then four years later, Obama has the chance to be the presumptive Democratic frontrunner against a badly damaged Republican incumbent.

Posted by cressona | January 17, 2008 9:45 AM

Much as I love the idea of an Obama ticket (Obama/Schweitzer? Obama/Napolitano? Obama/Clark? Obama/Clinton?), it's inevitably going to be either Clinton/Warner or Clinton/Vilsack. Unless either one of them decided not to run because they were being blackmailed, Clinton owes them favors, and the VP position seems like the right kind of favor to grant.

Posted by bma | January 17, 2008 9:55 AM

Of course, if Clinton wins but Bloomberg runs, Bloomberg would be *guaranteed* a victory with Obama as a VP. In fact, I'd bank on the idea that Bloomberg is waiting to see the outcome of the nomination race, just to see if he can pick up Obama...

Posted by bma | January 17, 2008 9:59 AM

Gee, everyone else is so negative on a combined ticket.

Clinton/Obama or Obama/Clinton would be oen of the very strongest tickets either one could pick.

Notice that Hillary is very careful to not say Obama isn't qualifed to be president. If she did, that would mean she could not pick him for VP.

The reason each one would be a good pick is healing/unity/energy and if Clinton gets the top slot OBama would be an incredible fool not to take VP.

And vice versa.

Either one as VP is looking at 4-8 years of ruling with the ability to get things done and the now-VP would be able to run for Pres. 4 or 8 years later.

What Senators have ever declined to be VP? Any?

Posted by unPC | January 17, 2008 10:38 AM

What Senators have ever declined to be VP?

I suppose several have turned it down, but we don't get to see that part of the backroom operation.

Posted by midwaypete | January 17, 2008 11:01 AM

Dream ticket.

Personally, I like Obama more. I like his soaring rhetoric and attitude that transcends the cheap-ass hack politics we've seen the last 16 years. I want him to become president one day, and becoming VP would put him on that trajectory, as @24 mentioned.

But in the meantime, there's alot of un-fucking-up of our country and world that the next president needs to start doing quickly and effectively. For the many reasons that Josh and ECB have already noted, Hillary has the goods, and her judgement and principles, in my opinion, are what the country needs right now.

Posted by Joe M | January 17, 2008 11:32 AM

I still think the VP nod will go to Sen Dodd. Since President Gore is busy, and Biden's too conservative.

Posted by Will in Seattle | January 17, 2008 11:46 AM

I think Clinton and Obama teaming up is truly a pipe dream. I'm not sure whether or not either of them are interested in Bill Richardson as VP, as @ 11 suggested, but I think it would be really smart. I honestly think he is one of the most qualified candidates for President in a while, though I'll admit he's not exactly the most exciting one. But with all his foreign policy/affairs experience, he would be a great VP --- someone the Pres could really trust to send around the world and do pull some good shit off, almost an anti-Cheney. Also, I honestly think he's been shooting for a VP spot all along; throughout all the debates he was a part of, he had done everything he could to keep things civil between the candidates -- with maybe an exception here and there defending Clinton against Obama or Edwards. I think this was done with the belief that it would ensure him a phone call from whoever ended up the nominee, particularly if it was Clinton.

Posted by bookworm | January 17, 2008 1:29 PM

I like Obama better as the president alone, but I really like the idea of a Clinton-Obama ticket. First, it unites two factions of the party that need to be on board together and not fighting over the outcome of the primary. It represents both a nod toward the recent successes of the party (like him or loath him, and I do both, Bill Clinton is seen as a successful president), and the future. It sets up a 16-year stretch of Democratic rule that would be increasingly progressive.

For some reason, I can't see Obama-Clinton working. She doesn't strike me as someone who would do well as VP--she's already had the behind-the-scenes role in the White House, and though Obama is far more charismatic her history lends her a stature that would make him seem small by comparison. If Obama wins the nomination, I think he should choose Wesley Clark. That shores up his national security credentials and is a consolation prize for the Clinton camp, which is close to Clark. As much as I like the idea of Obama-Edwards (as an Edwards supporter), I don't see Edwards agreeing to be #2 again, and there's just not enough inside experience there. Just because he's a white guy doesn't mean that he's establishment. He's anything but.

Posted by Cascadian | January 17, 2008 5:13 PM

No. I think they really hate each other.

Posted by Phoebe | January 17, 2008 5:13 PM

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