Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The New O.C.?

From last night through to this morning, I found myself musing on what I refer to as the new O.C. Or should I write that as O-C? No, I am not referring to that sufferable television program of the same initials. I am talking about the potential 2008 Democratic ticket: Obama-Clinton. As of last night, Obama has pretty much garnered the magic number of delegates to claim the nomination of the Democratic party. A heady and historic moment to be sure. But now all thoughts (at least those of pundits and politicos) turn to his selection of a VP candidate to complete the ticket. And although Hillary did not exactly bow out of the race last night, many are looking to her as Obama's likely running mate. The arguments for her:
  • Hey, she garnered 18 million votes or so.
  • She carried the traditionally blue states that Dems need to carry to win in November.
  • Her experience (lawyer, First Lady, and US Senator).
  • You get Hillary, you get Bill Clinton, too!
The arguments against her:
  • She's part of the Washington machine, anathema to Obama's message of change.
  • Running mates typically have had little impact on a Presidential candidate's ability to attract voters. (See below for two exceptions I can recall).
  • As former First Lady, she does not really have all that significant experience, and she failed in her big projects that Bubba gave her anyway.
  • You get Hillary, you get Bill Clinton, too!
To me, the most damning argument against her is the first one I mentioned. She is part of the status quo. She is, for the most part, representing business as usual (and in some cases, not just a little monkey business). Obama needs to pick a running mate who, like himself, breathes new life into politics and is known for stirring things up. But he also needs someone to balance out his inexperience in critical areas such as foreign affairs. I think I know one or two people I would like to see considered, but I'm keeping my cards close to my vest for now. I do, however, want to hear what my associates and readers (all three or five of you) have to say on the matter. So I welcome your comments. Oh, I almost forgot. There were two elections in which the selection of running mate did affect the ticket. In the first case, it was an adverse effect: In the 1992 election, Ross Perot selected Vice Admiral James Bond Stockdale (retired) to be his VP. Stockdale's confused and unfocused appearance in the Vice Presidential debate caused many to question Perot's conviction and drive to win (did he pick Stockdale and sabotage his own campaign? Is Perot as crazy as Stockdale is clueless?). It's an unfortunate assessment. My second example of running mate selection affecting the overall ticket is ... the 2000 election. Both parties ran with what is known as a "kangaroo" ticket -- that is, the VP candidate was stronger than the Presidential candidate: Bush and Cheney versus Gore and Lieberman.

No comments: