Calling it


Not me, Russert.

When the Supreme Court finally elected George W. Bush president in 2000, Al Gore showed grace beyond anything that could have been expected. We’ll see how Hillary Clinton handles it. She put on an absolutely astonishing fight, and I believe the overwhelmingly male blogosphere showed too little understanding of the way her defeat will feel, for many politically-involved women, like a dream deferred yet again. But her hat has run out of rabbits and it is time for Barack Obama, who thinks he’s tired now but who has seen nothing yet, to take McCain on.


Calling it

  1. I am curious to see how long it will take for John McCain to get over his queasyness with respect to “swift boating” Barack. (Re: What happened in NC last week).

    The man is a angry little midget, I don’t think he takes losing well.

  2. If this it for Hillary Clinton I must say that she put on a fascinating performance. Tomorrow morning i’m going to walk down to my neighborhood coffeehouse order a latte, purchase a New Yorker and salute the former first lady.

  3. Now has come the time for both candidates to show some grace. Obama must offer the number 2 slot to Clinton and Clinton must accept.

  4. I don’t know about that, Greg. Giving Iggy the number 2 slot hasn’t work out all that well for Dion?

  5. Go for a floor fight. The networks will cover the whole convention, and people will tune in. Democracy in action, and the winner will come out with tons of free coverage, and I suspect the polls will go in his or her favour as well.

  6. Robert, with due respect to Dion, Obama is a much better retail politician. I think things have gotten to the point inside the Democratic Party that such a move by Obama is necessary to heal the wounds caused by the primaries. Such a move shows he is magnanimous in victory and acknowledges the value of the Clinton wing of the party. Clinton needs to accept the offer in order to preserve her place in the party. If she turned him down, she would be remembered as the one who split the party.

  7. Wasn’t it just eight years ago that we were hearing about a candidate who, while short on experience, promised to be a uniter and not a divider, and would bring a new way of doing business to Washington? And the inexperience didn’t matter (his supporters said): he would surround himself with experienced people. Let’s take a moment to remind ourselves how that turned out.

    One should always maintain a healthy skepticism of the outsider, who is the ostensible agent of “change”. It generally comes to incompetence, tears, and wasted opportunities — especially in an era of impending global turmoil. It’s like nobody even remembers 2000.

  8. This is completely unrelated, but I thought I’d throw it your way. If you didn’t know, there is an actual awards night in the US for political attack ads.

    I wonder if the conservatives have sought out any advice from these guys. Here’s a sample I found.


  9. Offering Clinton the VP nomination would be a mistake. It might help him get the base behind him, but it would severely compromise him as President. Not only would she have almost as high a profile, but what to do with Bill? Essentially, Obama would have two co-presidents to share the spotlight with.

  10. No doubt Ryan the Clintons are a handful, but I think Obama is in a real bind here. The Dems need to be united when they face the Republican machine or they are in trouble. For better or worse the Clintons control almost 50% of the Democratic Party and snubbing them would be fatal to party unity.

  11. It’s true, Greg, that Obama is a much better retail politician than Dion. But then it’s also true that Clinton is a much better retail politician than Iggy. Whereas Dion-Iggy are two duds trying to outdud each other, Obama-Clinton would be two stars trying to outshine each other.

    In theory this does look good, but in practice I doubt Clinton would be willing to follow Obama’s lead. And this would result in the inevitable media narrative questioning whose presidential run this really is; Obama’s or Clinton’s.

    As for the wounds in the party, I seriously doubt they’re more than superficial. Besides, Democrats are hungry for the presidency so they’ll move swiftly to crush any lingering malcontents who want to ruin their shot at it.

  12. Ryan, if Obama couldn’t figure out what to do with Bill in that situation, he would not be a strategic enough thinker to be a good President.

  13. Governor Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas, born and raised in Ohio I believe, a Catholic, mid-fifty-ish, as female as her name suggests and not despised by almost every American under the age of 30 might be a better choice. I would get that woman measured for a pantsuit and call it a day.

  14. I wonder if the damage has not already been done to the Dem party. I am right wing and when I get into arguments with ‘progressives’ I find them remarkably thin skinned. I wonder what months of calling each other sexist, racist and the like will do for party morale. I will be amazed if this primary has not done lasting damage to the party.

    I disagree with others who think Hillary should be VP. I think Obama will pick white guy who reassures voters and I think McCain will pick a female or black male as his VP to try and appeal to some independents. I think Obama and Clinton loathe one another by now and will not want to work together.

  15. Another problem either way is that Hillary will have to answer questions about agreeing with McCain on the gas tax holiday and disagreeing with Obama. That’s a little easier to manage if she’s not on the ticket. What Obama really needs is to ask her to take the VP slot and have her decline.

  16. I think Obama and Clinton loathe one another by now and will not want to work together.

    I agree, but sometimes you just have to close your eyes and think of England (or in this case, America).

  17. *When the Supreme Court finally elected George W. Bush president in 2000, Al Gore showed grace beyond anything that could have been expected.*

    Wha? I’m going to assume that you are joking of course – this is the man who went around for years (still does) stating “I used to be the next President of the u.s.”

    I think it hilarious that those who deride the Supreme Court’s role in “electing” Bush, prefer to have the election decided by… the Florida Supreme Court.

  18. Greg I don’t believe Hillary has it in her to close her eyes and think of America. While Bill was winning presidential elections, the rest of the Dems in power declined considerably. I think the Clintons are narcissistic to an extreme and think what’s good for them is also good for the party.

    As well, the VP slot is not a job that many want, John Garner’s quote comes to mind, and Hillary is very ambitious indeed. I think she has more influence as a Senator than she would as VP.

  19. Sorry, Hillary is not “over”. As she quoted Obama himself in her speech last night, “Indiana is going to be the tie-breaker”. She won Indiana. The math does not change much, granted. Up next are a series of primaries where she will do better than Obama. Indeed, more Republican states: Kentucky, West Virginia.

    This reminds me of how Dion has been set up to do one thing, he does it, then gets criticized by the same people who told him to do it.

    A woman needs to be elected US president. Clinton can be a damn fine president. Obama as the Dem means another fat, old white guy runs the country. The fight is not over.

  20. Paul, very good piece. I know some women who went down to the U.S. and worked their hearts out on Hillary’s campaign and others who were so excited at the prospect of a female President being elected this year. I’m sure many of them must be heartbroken now with the state of the race as it is.

    Certainly I would love to see a female President as it would be the ultimate shattering of the glass ceiling, but I remained torn in the race because I really admired Obama’s message and ideas. What’s most important though I would hope to people who have hated the Bush years is that the Democratic Party takes back the White House.

    I don’t think Hillary has to drop out just yet as you indicate though, but I do think she does have to stop running negative ads against Obama. She can keep her commitment to her supporters to stay through all the primaries if she focuses her message on why Democrats need to win in November. I don’t think the party would begrudge her if she continued to hold large rallies of her own with that message. Then if something absolutely dramatic happens (I mean something no one has foreseen) then she still has an extremely small chance of rallying enough superdelegates to her side.

    Whether she does stick to anti-Republican message though is another story though, but I think the calls will get louder for her to withdraw if she doesn’t.

    As for her being on the ticket as some commenters here have suggested, I agree she should be. Yes there are some of the drawbacks of possibly being overshadowed but I think you can’t overestimate the disappointment of Hillary Clinton’s supporters in this race (especially women who had set their hopes on a female becoming President this time). If she is not on the ticket (or worse if Obama puts another man on the ticket with him) there is the risk that many of them may stay home. Exit polls in Indiana and North Carolina showed that around 50% of Clinton’s supporters would vote for McCain or stay home. I don’t think those numbers will hold but even 15% is too high. Priority number one has to be winning the Presidency and I think the Democrats chances are best with a unity ticket. Clinton also balances out Obama’s negatives in that she is to be the experienced candidate (even though Cheney was an awful Vice-President this argument worked for Bush in 2000) and seems to appeal better to working class voters. On balance, I think they are the best option for the Democrats to win over the voters they need and would be the best way to unify the party.

  21. To take another tack in this discussion, how does John McCain close the sale with upset Clinton supporters and keep them until November?

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