Power and Politics - I am Not the Yellow Peril

The life and times of an Asian American activist who tells all the truth (and dishes news and analysis) but with a leftwards slant.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Should Clinton be Obama's veep?

Is the question that a lot of national pundits and some grassroots activists are asking. Is even the case that Governor Ed Rendell is pushing.

They argue that the Democratic base is so divided that we need these two on a ticket to bring the fold back together. That Hillary can retain and bring the female vote.

My gut response is no, no, no. NO. NO. NO!

Although my friends argue in discussion that Clinton's media discipline and DC insiders' knowledge are useful in the White House and in moving policy, my reasoning is that Clinton would hamper Obama from making real and meaningful change. That her veep advisors would overwhelm and hamstring and doublecross his WH staff on the Hill and around every bend if there was an issue that they disagreed on.

That whatever initiatives these are would go down like Hillarycare. In flames, and over disagreements about how we get there.

And this doesn't result from a dislike of Hillary. I find that they agree on many issues, but I am sure that Obama's ways of getting there would be vastly different than Clinton's, and I don't want a change president hampered by the exact opposite.

Not to mention that I really don't think we can win with Clinton on the ticket. Not a national general election. This is apart from the GOP base hating her fanatically. Either Obama or Clinton, if they became the nominee, would need someone to balance out the ticket - someone either with tremendous amounts of military, executive, or economic experience. Ideally all three, but 2 out of three ain't bad.

Here's what voters care about this election: Iraq and the economy. Increasingly, the economy is a major concern, and I'm sure that voters in Ohio care more about that than other issues.

If an Obama candidate brings someone to the table with lots of military experience like Jim Webb, then we can at least draw neutral with McCain on the military experience issue. If we can neutralize him on that we go after him on his total lack of understanding around the economy and his lack of judgement on Iraq and "bomb bomb bomb Iran."

Democrats are already more trusted on economic issues, so I think Obama needs to go more populist and talk more about the economy, but to also really figure out how to connect with lower income voters. Part of that means going to Appalachia.

If Obama brought someone with both economic sense and executive experience, like Mike Bloomberg, then he would still need to hammer on the military stuff some. Don't get me wrong - I don't think Webb is the most progressive guy, and he hasn't been great on immigration. But I think he can also talk to Appalachians and lower income voters and he relieves people's mind son the security question.

The last time that we pushed our national front runner to adopt a veep because they were next in the popular vote, we got Kerry Edwards. Kerry and Edwards didn't necessarily get along, it was more of a shotgun wedding. And no wonders that it didn't last. The GOP kept taking things that Kerry had said about Edwards or vice versa in the primaries and using them against us. In order to create change you have to have people who welcome it. The spectre of Mark Penn in the White House is not something I want.

I also don't trust her to cut and run on crucial issues. To use Penn to read the public's opinion on a given week and to decide based upon numbers what is good and right. Hillary has MAJOR trust and credibility issues. It is the biggest complaint that I hear from people who are apolitical, from people who are conservative, and who are liberal. We don't trust her to do the right thing, and I cannot have someone that high up in the Executive Branch like that. People trust McCain's judgement - under pressure he stayed under torture rather than use his connections. That is huge and it is vastly different than George Dubya. There's as contrast that McCain can draw, right there.

We want someone who is going to fight for the everyday people, and Hillary is not that person. Barack Obama has community organizing experience, but Hillary went corporate. She was on the WalMart board. Her adviser Mark Penn has done lots of work for WalMart.

Hillary has run a BAD campaign, whether it was led by Mark Penn or whomever. At the end of the day, she has to take responsibility for that and for overseeing and hiring the wrong people. I don't want that kind of decision making in our White House when we have just suffered under a terrible president.

And I'm going to put this out there, for what it's worth. Someone asked me if we shouldn't just put Hillary on the ticket just to prevent her from bringing the whole house down. Just because she's on the ticket doesn't mean she can't subvert it from the inside. If not during the campaign, then over a 4 year term. Her machine is known for being ruthless in getting what they want. And she wants to be top dog.

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