Thursday, August 21, 2008

Panic attack

I'm ready to admit it: I think Barack Obama might want to seriously reconsider Hillary Clinton for the bottom half of the Democratic ticket.

I really don't know how we got here. But after seeing a number of polls show a tightening race in recent days, I'm wondering if Barack needs every bit of Clinton's army of "18-million."

Certainly, I remain a tad disgusted with the lengths the Clinton camp seemed willing to go to wedge themselves into the nomination, not to mention, all the fresh material they provided for McCain in the general election campaign.

But we have to acknowledge the obvious here: Obama has been - and will be - locked in a tight contest this fall, and he'll need all the buzz and wide-ranging support that he can muster. In that context, I think bringing along the Clintons helps to defeat McCain.

It's not a perfect marriage, but honestly, those don't exist. And there's no reasonable argument against Clinton's qualifications or tenacity. She proved to be a campaigning force in the final weeks of the primary. The Clinton brand carries serious weight in places like Ohio, Florida, western Pennsylvania, Arkansas and Indiana - no state is too small in the battle for electoral votes, ask Al Gore.

Not to mention I'm highly dubious of any poll that shows people as "undecided" this deep into the campaign. There's new research indicating undecideds are "are sometimes fooling themselves, having already made a choice at a subconscious level." So, remember, whenever you see a poll showing more than 10 percent of potential voters as still figuring it all out, that might actually be a voter too embarrassed to admit he or she can't cast a ballot for the black guy with a funny-sounding name.

I'm not usually given to rash decisions. But I'm worried here. Obama seems poised to name his veep pick before the week is up. Is it too late to reconsider?

UPDATE: Apparently, I'm in good company. Michael Tomasky agrees.


John P. Araujo said...

NOOOO! Not Hillary! It'd be the classic example of a Faustian bargain! Even worse, not only would Obama be getting one devil he'd be getting two! Now's not the time for him to panic! Just go for Bill Richardson! He's a safe bet!

blackink said...

Aw, J.P., you know Bill Richardson isn't in the mix here. He's probably someone who would be in the Cabinet. I like him but he too often gets tongue-tied on the stump.

And I know this isn't a popular suggestion. I really do. But I'm all about winning first, then figuring out how to govern with the Clintons back in the (White) House.

John P. Araujo said...

I don't know if you remember that old Nike commercial with Dennis Hopper in which he plays an obsessed fan stating "Bad things happen, man! Bad things!" That's what happens when you either hitch your wagon to the Clintons, or the Clintons hitch their wagon to yours. It's something about their baby boomer nature that they are not into sharing. They'll do it for convenience to get their foot in the door, but it won't last long. It's not in their nature to share, and especially, it's not in their nature to take a back seat to anyone - even Obama. We all saw how ruthless Hill was during the primaries; how she fought for herself despite what she was doing to the party - why would that change just because she's Obama's running mate? If Obama does win with them, I forsee a Pyrrhic victory. I see only gloom and doom ahead. There's GOT to be someone else! Bad things, man.... bad things.