Friday, August 08, 2008

Over the Hill

At lunch the other day, the LLWL Gang* was discussing possible VP picks by Barack Obama and the pros/cons of each.

I opined that I still held out hope for a Hillary pick, despite all of the myriad problems in the primary, because I still believe that it would be the best ticket for the Democrats to win. And, while I'm not enamored of the Democratic Party at this point in time by any means, it sure beats the Republicans.

My view was that Hillary can unite the hold-outs, who inexplicably have not been able to get over her loss, and she can also best serve as the attack dog for the ticket. And, with the McVicious campaign in full swing, we need to attack back. I held out hope that Obama was merely bidding his time, waiting for all of the wailing and demands that Hillary be picked to die down, so that when he announced her as his choice, it wouldn't appear that he was merely acceding to the demands of the Hillary crowd, but making his own selection.

A Financial Times piece that I later read seemed to lend support to this theory, Obama running mate could come from ‘left field’, observing:

In practice, almost nobody will know whom Mr Obama is going to select until he announces it. And that could be someone “from left field”, as one Obama staffer puts it.

Potential “left fielders” include Chuck Hagel, the dissident Republican senator, Sam Nunn, the former Democratic senator for Georgia, and Chet Edwards, a centrist Democratic congressman from Texas. “I guess Hillary would be from left field,” said the staffer. “Don’t rule anything out.”

But the stirrings from the past day or so from the Clintons suggest that it ain't going to happen.

A Time Magazine article details how strained the relationship between Obama and Clinton still is, Have the Clintons Gotten Over It?. Most troubling is this:

But behind the united front, says an adviser, "it's not a great relationship, and it's probably not going to become one." In private conversations, associates say, Clinton remains skeptical that Obama can win in the fall. That's a sentiment some other Democrats believe is not just a prediction but a wish, because it would prove her right about his weaknesses as a general-election candidate and possibly pave the way for her to run again in 2012. Clinton is also annoyed that Obama has yet to deliver on his end of an informal bargain, reached as part of their truce, that each would raise $500,000 for the other. "Hillary has done her part in that regard," says an adviser. "Obama has not."

Underlying it all is a feeling on Clinton's part that Obama has never shown proper regard for a campaign she believes was as historic an achievement as his. True, Obama has asked Clinton to give a prime-time speech on the second night of the convention later this month. But as the odds that she will be Obama's running mate have faded, there are signs that Clinton's backers could demand one last show of respect before Obama claims the nomination in Denver. Clinton has been giving tacit encouragement to suggestions that her name be placed in nomination at the convention, a symbolic move that would be a reminder of the bruising primary battle. "No decisions have been made," Clinton said when asked in California — to whoops and applause — about that possibility. Still, it was hard to miss what Clinton would like to see in the pointed way she added, "Delegates can decide to do this on their own. They don't need permission." Some of her allies are not so enthusiastic about that kind of gesture. Says Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz: "We really need to focus at the convention on unifying the party behind Senator Obama."

The video of her remarks has surfaced:

Bill Clinton's sulking has been noted on several occasions, and in an effort to sooth his tender ego, it was announced that he will be addressing the convention as well as his wife. As was described by MSNBC, Bill Clinton to speak at convention:
In a hurried move to put an end to the tensions between supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and those of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, the Obama campaign has offered former President Bill Clinton a speaking role at the Democratic National Convention, NBC News reported Thursday.

These latest by the Clintons strongly suggest that Hill's chances for this election cycle are over. Yet, rather than focus on the good of the party, they can't get past one last hurrah for themselves. And the NYTimes gives a preview of what we could expect with that, Roles of Clintons at Convention Start to Clear:
Mr. Obama has already given Mrs. Clinton a speaking role at the convention, on Aug. 26. So what else does she want? As Al Gore learned in 2000, having one Clinton, let alone two, hover over you as you campaign for the presidency can be trying.

The Gore campaign had hoped to choreograph Mr. Clinton out of the picture at its convention, in Los Angeles, giving him the prime-time speaking slot Monday and then staging a symbolic “passing of the torch” to Mr. Gore the next day in Michigan.

But Mr. Clinton started to steal the limelight on the prior Thursday, in a lengthy public confessional in which he said that voters should not hold Mr. Gore accountable for Mr. Clinton’s personal failings. The president then arrived in Los Angeles on Friday and was the toast of the town for three days leading up to his convention speech. He dominated the torch moment in Michigan and much of the news afterward.
* LLWL = Lady Lawyers Who Lunch (a/k/a my officemates)

1 comment:

quakerdave said...

"Underlying it all is a feeling on Clinton's part that Obama has never shown proper regard for a campaign she believes was as historic an achievement as his."

Except that she lost. And that her husband has been acting like a pouting weenie since then.

What a mess. No wonder Dimocrats can't accomplish anything.

As for the VeepStakes, at least we know for sure it won't be John Edwards...