Now that Senator Obama has won the Democratic nomination, he will turn to the challenge of rounding out the ticket. Who will Obama choose to run with him? What will he do about Hillary Clinton?
Yesterday Clinton told her Democratic colleagues from New York that she would be open to running as vice-president. But will Obama offer it to her?
Offering Ms. Clinton the vice-presidential nomination might help assuage the anger of many women who feel sexism, especially within the media, helped rob their candidate of her victory. Senator Clinton might well help the Democratic ticket where Senator Obama is weak and she is strong: white blue collar workers, older women and Roman Catholics. This might well help Obama win states such as Ohio and Pennsylvania, both with high Catholic populations.
On the downside, Ms. Clinton comes with pretty strong negatives of her own: About 40 per cent of Americans say they would never vote for her. Asking people to vote for a black president and a female vice-president may be a bridge too far.
Perhaps worst of all Ms. Clinton comes with an opinionated husband who was president himself and would have plenty of advice for the new one.
Of course, choosing Hillary with a gun to his head, might well reveal Obama as a wimp. If he is unable to withstand the pressure from the Clintons, how could he deal with hostile foreign leaders. Remember Walter Mondale in 1984 who succumbed to raging feminists and named Geraldine Ferraro to the ticket.
Which raises t he central puzzle in this whole drive to make Ms. Clinton vice-president. Way back in the sixties, Governor Nelson Rockefeller of New York turned down the veep job because, he said, “I am not stand-by equipment.” No one would say about the Clintons that they are stand-by equipment. Yet here we are with Bill Clinton pushing for his wife to be veep and his wife saying she is open to it.
Why? And here’s where a black thought emerges from the shadows. The Clintons think it is only a question of time before something happens to Obama and Hillary will be in the wings, ready to take over the Oval office.
Do you think Obama should offer Hillary the veep slot?
If he does, do you think she will accept?
If she does do you think Obama-Clinton would be a strong ticket both to win theelection and to govern together?
Are there others that Obama should consider?