The Nightmare of the "Dream" Ticket
So, it’s Obama. Did anyone doubt that, except the Hillary faithful? And yes, there were a lot of them, and probably still are, until the news sinks in—a process that won’t even begin until Senator Clinton admits that the writing is not only on the wall, but it’s also being translated into song by a choir full of fat ladies.
The new question is this: is it Obama/Clinton? Will the vaunted Unity Ticket come to pass? The inside track on it has heretofore been doubtful, believing that the two camps were too divided to come together. But it’s still an attractive possibility; healing the division of the party, possibly making two strides for equal rights at the same time, putting together two powerful personalities to help lead the nation. So might, as the Spice Girls predicted on their 1996 debut album Spice, “2 become 1”? Is it possible? Is it even a good idea?
Probably not. And here are seven reasons why:
1. Hillary can’t bring the bigot vote to a ticket with a black man at the top. The bigot vote will go back to listening to Rush Limbaugh, patting themselves on the back for thinking that “Operation Chaos” was actually more than hot air, and voting Republican. Or maybe Libertarian.
2. The Republicans really, really wanted to run against Hillary Clinton—and not for any reason other than that they think they have a better shot at her, and they know how to beat her. Hillary brings with her major baggage, and a ready-set attack plan from the right wing, led by talk radio. This is why the Republicans really wanted to run against Clinton; they have their guns out, oiled, loaded, and ready to bring to bear. Whitewater, Vince Foster, even the old threat to the honor of the office (though the current administration traded what was left of that for Halliburton stock)—all of it would come out again, and the old hatred would come into play. That’s a fire that’s never gone out—it was just kept embers for the last little while, waiting for the bellows.
3. Hillary Clinton is too much a distraction. Her profile is too big to play second fiddle. She was the First Lady for eight years, and one of the most outwardly active ones that America has ever seen. She did some good things, and she had her failures, but she was very much a part of the Clinton team from 1992-2000, and she’d completely overshadow Obama and his presidency if she was his VP. It’s possible that she’d be reined in, of course (and if she gets the Veep nod, count on it), but then there’s the opposite problem—that she wouldn’t be able to be as effective an aide as the Vice President should be. And it would never work. If the primary race proves anything, it’s that Hillary Clinton doesn’t come geared for idle. She stays in 5th rounding corners into cul-de-sacs.
4. Despite what some primary exit polling might have suggested, it’s ridiculous to think that anyone who was rabidly pro-Hillary will be pissed off enough to throw their vote to McCain. It’s more than stupid—it’s political suicide. It’s the cutting off of one’s political nose to spite their face. Anyone that says that they’re doing such a thing was going to vote for McCain anyway, or else they’re the same people who claimed that they were going to move to Europe if Bush won a second term. And here they are, still in America, their flapping gums still writing checks they have no intent to cash.
5. The Obama campaign has been about “Change” from the beginning. That’s what the whole “Yes, We Can” thing has been about. Yes, we can change the course of the nation. Yes, we can change it for the better. Yes, we can and should change. But can you have real “change” with a Clinton on the ticket? Hello, the 90s are calling—they want their leadership back.
6. Hillary won’t be able to serve. She was barely able to do it even when her position was largely symbolic—when Bill was President, she at one time claimed that “we are the President”. That was when she held no office whatsoever. Granted, that one quote might have been a slip of the tongue, and at the same time, she was as close to an effective co-leader as we’ve had since Eleanor Roosevelt. So maybe she was due. Whatever the case, supporting the winner of the Democratic Primaries in the interests of the party and ultimately the leadership of the nation is one thing—serving at the pleasure of the President you didn’t get to be is wholly another.
7. Depending on the Spice Girls for the vision of national leadership is almost as bad as hiring a horse-show judge to head FEMA. Almost.
-- Teague Bohlen