Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Dream Ticket Just Gives Me Nightmares.

OK, I don't do much political stuff here, but the news is just buzzing about Hillary signaling that she'd accept the Number Two spot on a ticket with Obama. I understand the thinking that this would unite the Democrats. I understand that there are a lot of people who are passionate about Hillary and this would do much to calm any sense of animosity they've come to hold. Hey! Go back just a few months and I would have loved to see a ticket like that.

But really, not anymore. She's had too many hoof-in-mouth moments in the last few months. She's said too many things that should rightfully just piss off Obama no end. The fact is, some of the things she's said have been so infuriating that I'm surprised to hear that she's still on Obama's short list. I would have thought that her sticking around in case he was assassinated would have been enough to remove her from consideration.

I was listening to a radio talk show this morning (hosted by a Clinton supporter), who blames Clinton's missteps on bad advice. I don't buy that. Whether she followed bad advice or not, she's the one who followed it. And who are these advisers? The very same people who would be rewarded with staff positions so they could continue to advise her as V.P. No, she owns those missteps and she's going to have to work hard to overcome them.

I'd really prefer to see her go off and lick her wounds, then come back and concentrate on being a great Senator. She clearly understands that world and could really do some good there. I hate the idea of a campaign with her and Obama smiling and waving as if there were never any differences between them. Because those differences are precisely why I decided to support Obama.

When it comes down to it, I really see her as more of the same type of politics where the campaign for the next term begins on the first day of the first term.

I like the calm way Obama answers criticism. I like that he refused to jump on the gas tax bandwagon because it sounded good if you didn't look at it very closely. He quietly said, "Bullshit". And that was a more Presidential response. I like that he refuses to discuss appeasement with people who don't know the definition of the word.

Having said all that, I'll understand it if the Dream Ticket comes into existence. I can see where the possibility might just be irressistable and the V.P. usually is considered the Administration's Bulldog anyway, so maybe she has the right temperament for the job.

If all of this happens and helps Obama win, that's fine by me. I just hope that part of the negotiation includes that she stops speaking off the cuff, and starts taking advice from his advisers, who seem to have a more rational outlook.

I was going to finish this with something snarky but I deleted it. Because the thing is, if Hillary had decided to go this direction before she said so many stupid things that can't be unsaid, I'd have loved the idea of a Dream Ticket. And that's sadder than it is funny.


kimby said...

I am just glad that it is almost done. At least this part of your election. Poor CNN won't have anything to report though, and i feel for them....NOT.

Random Michelle K said...

She has irked entirely too many people for her to help the ticket.

On one of the moderate sites I read, he has become all but venomous about Clinton.

Combine pissed off moderates with the conservatives who despise her, and she'll do way more harm than help.

Clinton made her own mistakes. If she can't admit that, then she really doesn't need to be in the executive branch.

Random Michelle K said...

Obama crossed the delegate threshold!

"It's better than bad, it's good!"

Nathan said...


(Go look at Michelle's blog is that makes no sense to you. It still won't make any sense, but you'll know what the hell I'm talking about.)

Eric said...

I agree with Michelle and Nathan. I've gotten so infuriated and exhausted with Senator Clinton that her appearance on a "dream ticket" would actually force me to reconsider Senator Obama's good sense and judgment.

Nathan said...

I guess, for the first time in my life, I count as a 'true believer'. Clinton got over 17 million votes. That's some pretty powerful incentive to add her to the ticket.

I'd rather she isn't chosen, but I'll understand if she is. This is not an issue that will make me reconsider supporting Obama. He's gonna have to try harder to piss me off.

Random Michelle K said...

Now here's the thing...

I don't hate Clinton. I don't even dislike her.

I just think--and have thought from the beginning (there's even proof if you go back and read the many years worth of archives on my blog)--that she's unelectable in a general election.

Nothing she has done during this election has surprised me or changed my opinion of her or her electability.

Which is why I am very glad that Obama has crossed the threshold.

Eric said...

Senator Clinton got 17 million votes in the primary. Which doesn't actually mean anything, no matter what she says (nor do Senator Obama's vote tallies in the primaries mean anything).

What Senator Clinton's 17 million votes mean is this (and only this): that in a primary in which the choice was between Senator Clinton and zero or more competitors (thanks to the wackiness in Florida and Michigan--thanks again, guys), 17 million people preferred Senator Clinton. That doesn't mean that those 17 million people would prefer Senator McCain to Senator Obama, or that they would prefer a "dream ticket" of Obama and Clinton to a different Democratic ticket (or, for that matter, to a Republican ticket).

There's a recent piece in Slate that suggests Clinton might have done better if she had a time machine, since prior to the mid-'80s the primaries were less essential and the tickets were decided on at the conventions (the chaos of the 1968 Chicago primary was the beginning of the end--party leaders noticed that heavily contested conventions resulted in general election losses). That's not the only machine Clinton doesn't have, however: forty years ago, a politician like LBJ had the ability to deliver a specific number of votes, or more specifically the ability to deliver a state (and its electors)--JFK had little choice in selecting a man he didn't get along with because Johnson and Ralph Yarborough had the ability to call in chits in Texas and deliver the state for the Dems. The age of that style of politics is mostly gone, and to the extent that Clinton is well-connected, her sway is with the national leadership and national organizations like the DLC. Not able to deliver a state (and remember that 17 million votes is also meaningless because, as we all know, you can lose the popular vote and win the electoral college), Clinton might be a strong partner if she could deliver money, which has taken the place of the old local machines to a large degree; unfortunately, Clinton is broke and Obama has been outraising her for months.

The one reason for Obama to offer Clinton the veep (ironically, in light of the video of Chris Matthews disembowling a conservative pundit that's been making the rounds) is appeasement: there are a number of Clinton supporters who are threatening to sabotage Obama in the general election and Clinton does have the power to make the convention a bloodbath. Giving Clinton the VP slot might bury the hatchet and allow Obama to focus on McCain without having to check his flank as much, assuming Clinton didn't accept the position and then sabotage Obama anyway with her eye on 2012--that seems cynical and paranoid, but Senator Clinton's recent behavor isn't reassuring on that point (she seems capable of it, depressingly enough).

Sorry, have to get back to work. I guess we'll just have to see what happens. Looks like Obama has tapped Caroline Kennedy to lead the VP hunt. Any thoughts on that?

Nathan said...

Eric, you'll get no disagreement from me on any of your points...that burying the hatchet thing could be the key. And while I know that 17 million votes in primaries doesn't translate into either 17 million votes in a general election (much less the electors they represent), there really are a lot of Hillary supporters (both rabid and moderate), who think the nomination was stolen from them.

As to Caroline Kennedy? I hadn't heard that but it sounds good on the face of things. She certainly doesn't have any negative baggage, for what it matters.

Shawn Powers said...

heheheh, you said, "Number Two"

Anne C. said...

This pretty much describes my feelings on the subject. I wouldn't like HillBill (because you know they come as a unit) on the bottom of the ticket, but I would understand why they might choose it.

The best idea I've heard is to make Bill the liason/ambassador/whatever with the U.N. It gets him out of the way and doing something he might actually be good at.