Friday, May 23, 2008

No to Obama-Clinton, Please

James Forman with some wise thoughts on why Obama would be crazy to pick Clinton as his running mate.  There's been a lot of talk about this recently, but I'm not worried for the simple reason that Obama is not stupid.  It would significantly impair his chances of winning for the reasons James cites below and, if he did win, would ruin his chances of being an effective President.  Can you imagine the Clintons scheming behind his back in the White House?
I think there is a role for Bill Clinton in an Obama Presidency -- he's so beloved overseas that I think he'd make an excellent ambassador to the UN, for example -- but her as VP?  Out of the question.
Of course there will be some discreet conversations, but they'll be negotiations about her withdrawal not her being VP.  The media will of course get all hot and bothered, but this is just a kabuki dance...

From: James Forman []
Sent: Friday, May 23, 2008 6:04 PM
To: James Forman, Jr.
Subject: No to Obama-Clinton, Please

OK, so tons of people had reactions to the Webb idea, from loving it to hating it.  The biggest negative reaction involved references to misogynist comments he made, or may have made, in the past, and the corollary that Obama cannot beat a woman and then pick somebody with women issues.  Fair enuf.

I'm still out of the country, so not following the news closely, but some of the blogs have been buzzing that Obama is getting pressured to go Obama-Clinton. 

I don't talk to Obama, but if I did, here's what I would say . . . . 
 Barack, bro, I don't know you, but you seem like a smart dude, and let me say that is a really dumb idea.  There are probably more than good reasons than this (check out an excellent argument from Ta-Nehisi Coates here on why you should not do it), but here's the top of my list:
1) You can't run a change platform with your veep being the status quo incarnate;
2) I dread the ads where the Repubs point out that your vp choice has argued that McCain is ready to be commander in chief but you are not (not to mention "shame on your Barack Obama!", "Jeremiah Wright would not have been my pastor," 3AM phone call, her NRA inspired mailer where she asked "where does Barack Obama really stand on guns?", suggesting you were a closet gun control extremist, etc. etc.);
3) Bill, Bill, Bill.  Hillary cannot keep him from saying dumb stuff that hurts her campaign, how in the world will you keep him in check?  (And don't think all his skeletons have come out yet);
4) All the negatives of the Clintons will bring out those who hate the Clintons but don't hate you;
5) You have sold people on the idea that you will, at least most of the time, stand up for principle--this would appear to be pure capitulation, and weakness, a terrible combo;
6) There's a bunch of other good prospects who will bring more key votes in important states--you've been smart enough to reject the media's bullshit claims that Clinton wins in KY and WV show that she is the hero of the white working class, so don't cave now--if those are the voters you need, others will help you more, and with less drama;
7) It will suggest that you have less smarts and worse judgment than a lot of us have come to believe--and while you talk about your Illinois legislative experience, on the real you have to know that we are voting mostly based on an assessment of your intelligence, character and judgment;
8) Right now I'm planning to meet some friends to knock doors in Wisconsin Nov. 1-4.  2 of them are bringing their families and kids.  None of us has done this before your campaign.  We'll still vote for you if you pick Clinton.  But I sure aint knocking on doors in bitter cold ass November explaining to voters why they should vote for a man whose own running mate says is unqualified.
9) Re: 8 above.  I'm not alone.  Kiss some portion of your volunteer army goodbye.

Good luck.  You'll need it . . . . 
OK, Feel free to add on xtra reasons.  Or to disagree.  I'll send out a consolidated list of arguments, pro and con, plus some of your Webb comments, next week.


Blogger Andy said...

Obama could get most of the Clinton supporters by picking John Edwards.
The ones that won't vote for him because he's half black are not worth getting. Edwards and Obama sure did look good together when John endorsed Barack. Edwards has been vetted, etc. before. No surprises. Brings along the traditional Dems.

I really like Bill Bradley and he has been active in Obama's campaign. Sports hero - older and experienced and not a traditional politician.

And then there is my presidential choice from 4 years ago - Gen.Wesley Clark. Military - non-politician, very personable and a supporter of Hillary now - would switch to Obama easily, IMHO.

Any thoughts on Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania? A strong Hillary supporter in a swing state area. And a tough politican

I've heard Sam Nunn mentioned - haven't heard from him in quite a while.

It'll be interesting to watch. My guess is that it won't be Hillary - but even if it were - I'd still support him...I'd just be disappointed.

7:43 PM  

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