Both Senator and President Clinton have been dangling the prospect of a Clinton-Obama ticket in front of voters recently; the dream ticket that President Clinton says would be unstoppable. To use the well know Yiddish word- that’s chutzpah.
This is political calculus- a way to woo fence sitting voters towards Senator Clinton with a promise that if they vote for her, they will get Senator Obama too. It is clear that by talking about a joint ticket, the Clintons are trying to belittle Senator Obama and have a delusional and presumptuous idea that Senator Clinton will be in a position to “offer” the vice presidency to anyone. Mr. Obama has won more states, more delegates and more of the popular vote thus far. It takes a lot of hubris for the current second place candidate to be so beneficent as to suggest that the current first place candidate should be second on the Democratic ticket.
This implicit suggestion here is that the younger Mr. Obama would be more seasoned by serving as her Vice President. The Clinton’s are clear- this is Mrs. Clinton’s time she is owed the nomination or more precisely- a coronation. How shameful to demean the current front runner.
It is also blatant pandering. Mrs. Clinton never mentioned the possibility of a Clinton-Obama ticket before, but the days leading up to the Mississippi primary election, suddenly she puts forth the idea- vote for Hillary and you’ll get Barack too! Might this be a tactic to appeal to the African American vote in Mississippi- which by all accounts is 70% of the Democratic primary voters? I think it is clear that this pandering to African American Mississippians is exactly what is behind these statements. That is cynical politics.
But is it smart politics? I don’t think so. The Clinton campaign has had a mantra that Mrs. Clinton is ready to be President on Day 1 and Mr. Obama is not ready. I always thought that when one considers a running mate one of the criteria is “would this person be able to take the reigns of the Presidency”. It seems odd that Mrs. Clinton would on one hand say he is not capable of being “Commander In Chief” but on the other hand he is capable enough to be a heart beat away from the “Commander In Chief”.
That’s the sort of schizophrenia that has recently been the hallmark of the Clinton campaign. In debates with Mr. Obama, Mrs. Clinton has made a point of what an honor it is to be in this campaign with someone of Mr. Obama’s caliber. In stump speeches she eviscerates him as a neophyte who has oratorical flourish but little substance.
Which Hillary Clinton will we see today? Which Hillary Clinton will we see tomorrow? I feel like I am watching Joanne Woodward in “The Three Faces of Eve”. There seem to be three people in this race: Mr. Obama, Mrs. Clinton and Mrs. Clinton’s alter-ego.
Today Mr. Obama not only shot back about how ludicrous and arrogant it was for the 2nd place person in the race to deign to offer the number 1 person in the race the Vice Presidency.
Rightly, Mr. Obama is beginning to ask questions about Mrs. Clinton’s claim to experience. Is 8 years as First Lady adequate experience? If so- Laura Bush is as ready as Mrs. Clinton. Yes she visited 80 countries and was asked to speak at the first women’s conference in Beijing China- but she wasn’t an organizer of that event nor was she visiting countries to broker treaties or conduct foreign policy. I am pleased that Mr. Obama has finally raised this question.
I am also pleased that Mr. Obama is pressing the Clintons to release some of their papers as well as detailed financial information. It is important to know who are the big donors to Mr. Clinton’s presidential library and his foundation. Who is the former President doing business with? What sort of influence might these individuals, corporations or governments have in a Hillary Clinton campaign.
It is bothersome to me that Mr. Obama has been pulled into this sort of conversation by the Clintons. This is exactly the sort of behavior that Mr. Obama’s campaign detests and that Mr. Obama has been campaigning against. It seems clear to me that Mrs. Clinton represents the partisan and bickering politics that has been plaguing Washington for decades that has gotten so bad that there is constant gridlock and nothing much gets done.
Every day I am more convinced that Mr. Obama has the ability to move this country to a less divisive and more unifying nation. Mrs. Clinton shows me that she is definitely the old guard. We need something refreshing and exciting in this country.