Wednesday, June 4, 2008

VP for HRC?

In a word, no. Or so says long-time HRC supporter Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, in an interview today with NY-1:

"You know, normally politicians don’t want to be outshone. Well you know you’ve got Bill Clinton lurking in the background. But Hillary Clinton, a very charismatic figure for many Americans — generally a lot of politicians don’t like to put somebody like that on the ticket. You know rule one for the vice president is make sure you never upstage the president, right? It’s rule one. You know, Hillary Clinton in some ways couldn’t help but upstage, even if she was trying not to." (Courtesy of Halperin)

I think this is mostly accurate. Rendell was always the best of her surrogates--straight-forward, honest, constantly off message, and funny. He is a decent political observer (stuck in the past and in some incorrect/flawed narratives about "swing" voters, but competent enough to realize now that Obama will win PA whether Rendell--and the old school Dem establishment--supports him or not). That he is also an HRC supporter who she probably has a certain amount of respect for (it has been argued that Rendell's visible support handed her the Philadelphia suburbs, terrain many had figured would be Obama country) makes this a noteworthy interview. I would think this is the kind of guy who really has influence on her and her thinkers, and he provides, at the least, a relatively solid opening for Obama to not choose HRC as VP.

Which comes back to the original question: who should he choose, and, in the interest of placating HRC's army of supporters, does he have to choose her?

Roger Simon at Politico argues that no, it simply doesn't work for Obama to be seen as so hamstrung that he can't choose his own VP. So while he might originally have considered (maybe) choosing her, I think HRC's failure to concede and her supporters' vocal near-threats about how she MUST be chosen actually damage her prospects more than they help. Obama's camp (like Pelosi's when those HRC fundraisers tried to leverage the threat of not supporting the DCCC to get her to change her mind about who superdelegates ought to support) doesn't like threats. They won't buckle.

So this won't be the first time the Clintonistas have used threats and fear-mongering to try and get what they want. That last case with Pelosi didn't turn out so well, and I don't think this one will, either.

1 comment:

Matt said...

I don't see any great reason she should be on the ticket. If it's to get obama votes from people who don't believe his message of "new" politics, she can do that on the trail without the vp slot.