Obama's Massive Headfake: Hillary for VP?

The reasons to think Hillary Clinton will not the Democratic VP nominee are myriad. Among them:

  • Clinton's camp says she is not being vetted
  • VoteBoth, a Clinton-for-VP project by two former Clinton operatives, has shut down, proclaiming Clinton's VP chances nonexistent
  • Hillary is speaking on Tuesday night in Denver, and having her name placed in nomination. VP nominees speak on Wednesday.

Let me outline why I think all of this could be a massive headfake:

  • Clinton is already the most vetted public official in America. Lack of "formal vetting" doesn't say very much. And "formal vetting" can occur at any time. I'm sure Vice Presidential search committee head Dick Cheney didn't submit his papers several weeks out.
  • It is precisely the fact that VoteBoth is a project of Sam Arora and Adam Julian Parkhomenko (who was an assistant to ex-Hillary CM and current Obama VP COS Patti Solis Doyle) that makes this interesting. We can be certain that the shutdown was done in consultation with Hillary and Obama operatives at the highest levels. That either means Clinton is not the pick, or Obama and Hillary's people don't want people to think Clinton is the pick. Those are two different things.
  • Convention speaking schedules can be changed. Most everyone on the short list already has a scheduled speaking slot. Clinton receiving upwards of 40% on the first ballot and then being chosen as the VP could enhance the "catharsis." Obama would simply be bowing to the will of Democratic Convention-goers.

To these responses I'll add the following, the leaks so far out of Team Obama have been exceptionally lame. Joe Biden? Tim Kaine? Please. Even seemingly interesting names like Kathleen Sebelius and Evan Bayh have seemingly been given the kibosh. Why hasn't Martin O'Malley, who would seem like a natural frontrunner, even been mentioned?

The leaks so far are consistent with tamping down expectations for a blockbuster Obama pick, like Clinton.

And we know that Obama's team knows how to play this game, looking at the head games they played with June fundraising.

But more than just a source of intrigue, I am more and more convinced that Hillary Clinton is in fact the logical pick. Just look at the other names on the short list:

  • Joe Biden's mouth is a constant source of embarassment. And how would the PUMAs take to a failed second-tier candidate leapfrogging someone with 18 million votes?
  • Evan Bayh has been vetoed by the netroots
  • Kathleen Sebelius would be a clear and direct affront to the PUMAs, much more so even than Biden. The first woman VP/President -- and one you've never heard of -- would increase the sense of Clintonian alienation.
  • Tim Kaine. Hahahahahahahahahaha
  • Wesley Clark would provide the military experience Obama needs, but his comments about McCain's service are a problem
  • Chris Dodd is a crook

Each of the conventional VP frontrunners seemingly has two strikes against them. And the idea of picking a VP to win a critical state is seriously flawed. If Obama is winning Virginia or Indiana, he has already won the election anyway.

If you're Obama, why not choose a VP who strengthens you all over and consolidates a source of weak support? Who has been thoroughly vetted? Whose selection would be a surprise and galvanize support for the ticket?

If Bill Clinton can be sent to Tahiti for the next 80 days, it just might work.

Your rating: None


Why not?

Well, because the GOP could run literally hundreds of ads against Obama that consisted of nothing but his VP candidate trashing him for his inexperience, naïveté, and unpreparedness for the job.

She and her husband would have the potential upstage him at every turn, and she would be the best get-out-the-vote program Republicans could think of.  Other than that, it really would be a Democratic dream ticket.



Why?  Because Barack Obama's

Why?  Because Barack Obama's life expectancy past his first term is ZERO if he makes Hillary Clinton his Vice President.

YES, I absolutely LITERALLY think she'd arrange Obama's assassination in order to gain the Presidency herself, she's that greedy for power and entitlement.

If he values his life and his ability to be there for Michelle and his daughters, then making Hillary his Veep is the STUPIDEST thing he could possibly do.

I believe it's happened before.  Why else would the records containing the truth about JFK's assassination be ordered sealed and top secret for 50 years after JFK's death unless LBJ had ordered the hit in order to gain the presidency himself?

They got it backwards

Obama could have been Hillary's VP, but Hillary can not be Obama's. If Hillary was number two Obama would be overshadowed from day one. The Dems picked wrong.

@Ani_Tao, you're drinking the crazy juice.

It depends on Obama's internal polling

I'm skeptical of the assumption that Hillary would consolidate his base of support.  There are plenty of Obama voters who so loathe Hillary that they might not be able to stomach her presence on the ticket.  If I were on the Obama team, I would very carefully look at the numbers on this.

That's not to mention all the bad chemistry between the two teams.

If Obama thinks Hillary will put him Over the Top.....

....he will pick her. Period.

Obama is thinking of getting to the WH. He's getting into Dr. Faustus territory here. He can't be terribly comfortable with McCain's enduring strength. 

you forgot about bill richardson

why not him? the clinton for vp speculation is silly.

O'Malley isn't a serious pick for a reason

Horrific approval ratings here in Maryland. Higher and higher taxes. And, frankly, I couldn't imagine him making it through the vetting process unscathed.

The employment numbers are bad too.

Now I hope Obama will pick O'Malley. He'd then be the first Democratic presidential nominee since Walter Mondale not to carry Maryland. That said, O'Malley was a Clinton supporter, so he's likely off of any VP short lists for Senator Obama.

Only if he doesn't want to BE president

Can you or anyone imagine Barack Obama actually BEING president with Bill, Hillary, Nancy, and Harry in town, and with Hillary and everyone around her convinced that a) she was the authentic pick of Democrats, the nomination stolen from her, and that b) Obama wouldn't have won without her?  He'd be in the position of one of those child emperors of the late Roman Empire, with the barbarian Hillary as master of the military and true ruler of the realm. 

the parallel would be

being "President" of Russia and having Vladimir Putin serving as "Prime Minister"

@ CK & Ironman

Spot-the-hell-on, Dudes.  Totally agreed. 

I just can't see it. . .

. . .happening.  There are just too many contradictions.

He's running on his supposed "superior judgment" that he used to oppose the Iraq war -- Clinton takes that away from him, since she supported it.

He's also running as a "new kind of politician" and Clinton is the very epitome of the old kind.

He would have to contend with Bill Clinton, who has so far refused to say that he thinks Obama is ready to be president.

Then, there's the Mark Penn issue hanging over the whole campaign.

There's really no upside to it except for placating the PUMA's -- and it's doubtful that all that many of them would be placated by it.  They'd rather see him lose so she can run again in '12.

I'd say it's possible, but neither wise nor likely.

Congrats to Patrick!

Whose post (above) is being discussed over at Hot Air by Allahpundit.  Woot! 

Now I'm Paranoid

I really hope you're wrong about this. On the other hand, Evan Bayh would make sense if Obama thinks he can deliver Indiana.  Without Indiana the electoral math for McCain becomes very difficult.

From a Party Unity POV, this makes sense.

 Brings the women on board, at long last.


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Tim Kaine. Hahahahahahahahahaha

Laughable though it is, Tim Kaine it must be. He's the only guy in the list who would NOT make people say ...

"Oh, I think they got the top and bottom of the ticket mixed."

Even Hillary will do that. More experience (feeble though it is in many ways), and she got more votes...

And there is this, Hillary praising McCain's experience and readiness for the "3am call" and  ...

"Well, because the GOP could run literally hundreds of ads against Obama that consisted of nothing but his VP candidate trashing him for his inexperience, naïveté, and unpreparedness for the job."

I find it interesting how

I find it interesting how topics like this get so much attention and then just fade in to the distance. This has got nothing to do with REAL politics and never did. Microfinace Banking Software

Your right, in the run up to

Your right, in the run up to leadership campaigns these sorts of issues get blown way out of proportion. It will be interesting to see what happens in the UK when Brown and Cameron lock horns. I think it could get messy. Ulhsport Goalkeeper Gloves

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 If I were on the Obama team,

 If I were on the Obama team, I would very carefully look at the dating advice on this. Evan Bayh would make sense if Obama thinks he can deliver Indiana. Then, there's the Mark Penn popularity among professional singles issue hanging over the whole campaign. 

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