Friday, June 06, 2008

I keep hearing much complaining by Hillary supporters that from the start the media had gift-wrapped the nomination for Obama and made it extremely difficult for her. Just bull, revisionist history. I seem to recall early on Hillary being ahead in most polls and she received many endorsements in newspaper editorials. As Dick Polman writes:
Hard to believe, but he was not always the frontrunner. He came out of nowhere and defeated the most prominent female politician in America (and arguably the world), someone who is wedded to the only two-term Democratic president of the last 60 years, someone who supposedly would blow out the competition (especially a freshman senator) thanks to a combination of organizational muscle and financial prowess.

And it's important to remember that the political media (the same media that Bill Clinton whines about today) basically declared her the winner last year before a singe citizen had cast a vote. Indeed, on the day Obama announced his candidacy, The New York Times took care to remind readers that Clinton was dominant, due to her "years of experience in presidential politics, a command of policy and political history, and an extraordinarily battle-tested network of fundraisers and advisers."

Yet without any serious executive experience, Obama oversaw a $250-million campaign operation that, among other achievements, pioneered new frontiers in small-donor Internet fundraising, captured the "change" theme and owned it, and managed to survive 16 months of unprecedented battle without any changes in senior campaign personnel. Clinton lagged in the money contest, lost out on "change," and had to overhaul her hierarchy. She was consistently reactive. She was outfought, although she remains too graceless to acknowledge it.
Graceless indeed.

As much as I understand and appreciate the pros and cons of selecting Hillary as a VP, I'm convinced that Obama should take a pass. It's hard to believe someone with the extreme ambition and drive of Hillary, who obviously very much wanted to be president, will adjust to the #2 role and be happy doing it. We've seen someone like Cheney do it but he's been basically running the country with GW's blessing -- doubt if Obama will allow for such an arrangement (!).

Also, Obama would then have to contend with Bill; how can he "compete" with a guy who has already been an extremely popular and successful president for eight years? Yes, it would be great to have the collective wisdom of all three in power (esp. versus the near collective wisdom of zero we've had for the last eight years), but odds favor such an alliance to more likely turn into a disaster, with the egos and massive personalities involved eventually fracturing the much-needed unity in the White House.

That said I have no idea who Obama will choose but my gut tells me it will be John Edwards....

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