The Obama Hasn’t Won Meme

Steve Clemons (one of my favorite bloggers and thinkers–which you know already means I”m going to disagree with him right?) has this to say on the Dem race:

If Obama had really beaten Hillary Clinton by this point and had offered the Clinton clan an olive branch, this fight between Obama and Clinton fanatics would not be raging.

But Obama has failed to beat Clinton — and she has not beaten him either. The politically mature and, in my view, the shrewd thing to do is to begin negotiating a joint ticket, or the Dems will tear themselves apart.

First on this “If Obama had beaten” meme. Similar to the “Why Can’t Obama Close the Deal?” Meme rolled out in the media and via the Clinton camp.

Obama has gone 9/10 of the way.

He will have beaten her substantially in delegates, in popular vote totals, in number of contests won (nearly 2-1), he as of now has more elected Democrats as superdelegates than she has (she has more SDs overall through party connections and support from Party Chairs, not politicians). He has raised more money than her, ran a better campaign and organization than her.

The elected Democrat Superdelegate haul signals that he has forever cracked The Clinton Machine’s hold on the Democratic Party–though that isn’t getting a great deal of press for now.

What he has not done is land a knock out punch. i.e. That last 1/10 of the way. Indiana represents as an opportunity to take that final step.

In other words, an alternative lens through which to look at this issue is that Clinton has simply managed to hold on and stave off total elimination. She has lost but has not been (totally) defeated. She has done so through hanging on to the last remnants of the New Deal Democratic coalition (the so-called Beer Track Democrats).

Whether that earns her a the VP spot is a different question. Electorally I can see the rationale. In terms of message and politics though I can not.

We have seen a VP who likes secretive power do far too much damage in this administration. The VP office for Clinton and her Nixonian difficulty with truth worries me frankly. I’m not sure she would respect the fact that she is VP, much less Bill (what would he become?). They bring drama. Period. That is who they are. Drama Obama neither wants nor is able to handle.

In Bush’s case it was because he wanted Cheney to be his pit bull. With Obama-Clinton I think it might be more like he couldn’t control her.

Does anyone (including Clemons) think Clinton would take orders from Obama? Really? Both of them? Seriously?

The way out is to offer her the Senate Majority Leader role after she loses Indiana. She has to be given a graceful exit.

As opposed to her counting her Michigan votes this morning on MSNBC and telling me she has won more votes than any other Dem in primary history.  God help us.

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Published in: on April 23, 2008 at 4:40 pm  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I don’t see a joint ticket, either. First, Obama’s biggest strength seems to be independent’s affinity for him. Unfortunately, it’s also John McCain’s biggest strength. Independents don’t like Clinton. She actually brags that she does better in closed primaries than open ones. It would negate Obama’s biggest strength and give McCain the upper hand.

    Secondly, I agree that Clinton would not make a good VP. But more to the point, would Obama even want her on the ticket? I’m sure after Obama wins Clinton will buddy up to him as much as is necessary (and not a bit more), but there’s certainly no love lost there.

  2. geno the great,

    I hope she does what needs to be done in terms of trying to persuade her coalition to back him. And that she then moves off the stage.

    And for sure I don’t think Obama wants her on the ticket; I’m wondering if the powers that be will force such a move?

    Let’s hope not.

    peace. cj


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