Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Making No Decisions Tonight

On the night of his clinching the nomination, I hope Obama does not make any hasty decisions about his running mate. It would be a mistake to cave in to Clinton's emotional blackmail to put her on the ticket. When the noise and hurt feelings calm down, Clinton supporters are not going to turn to McCain. Clinton does little to add to Obama's ticket, and brings a boatload of negatives for the general. (Not to mention what would happen after the election. Having the Clintons in Observatory Circle would be a three-ring circus.) If Obama is smart (and he is), he too, to quote Clinton, "will be making no decisions tonight", nor should he for quite some time. For one thing, an ongoing "veepstakes" will give the media something to buzz about, and the announcement of a selection will be an "event". Better to milk that for a while. Then down the road apace, from a dispassionate perspective, it will be more clear to everyone (except for the last few foaming-at-the-mouth Clintonistas hoarsely calling for a Denver floor fight) that there are much better choices. Think that America's daughters need a woman to look up to? Kathleen Sebelius would be a fine choice. Want some kick-ass southern military cred? Jim Webb would be great. Senior foreign policy experience? Joe Biden. Or experience plus a commitment to post-partisan politics? Go for Chuck Hagel. Those are the sort of choices that would positively bolster the ticket. Meanwhile, if Clinton truly wants to do the best thing for her party, she should campaign enthusiastically for Obama, and quietly lobby for a cabinet position if she wants. She could make a good Secretary of Health and Human Services. Or stay in the Senate, where she could do a lot for the causes she's been talking about, like healthcare and education. (Heck, she might even finally back up her empty talk about repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell".)

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