Patterico's Pontifications


Hillary and Barack, Sittin’ in a Tree?

Filed under: 2008 Election,General — Patterico @ 6:53 am

Last night in our live-blog/chat/discussion thing, most people ridiculed the idea that Hillary and Barack might be on the same ticket.

Not so fast, kemo sabe:

The morning after reviving her candidacy with two big primary wins, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) hinted Wednesday that she and Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) may wind up as ticket mates.

“That may, you know, be where this is headed, but of course we have to decide who’s on the top of ticket,” Clinton said with a laugh on the CBS’s “The Early Show.” “I think that the people of Ohio very clearly said that it should be me.”

Could it happen?

30 Responses to “Hillary and Barack, Sittin’ in a Tree?”

  1. I would love to hear Michelle Obama’s uncensored response to that.

    rhodeymark (923596)

  2. I said it weeks ago: the “battle” between the two has been largley an act. Hillary will tap Obama as her running-mate, and make a lot of noise about “healing the party divisions” and a “unification ticket”.

    Maybe it hasn’t been an act, but it’s playing out very close to what I predicted.

    Steverino (e00589)

  3. No.

    Hillary would never ever accept a VP who might overshadow her. And it’s not like he’d be “assassination insurance” as Spiro was to Dick.

    And Obama would not be interested in being third fiddle behind Bill.

    This is just a ploy to confuse the conflicted among Obama’s supporters, so that they vote for her thinking maybe they can have both.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  4. Unlikely. Despite Obama’s boilerplate about “working together” he’s got no real history of doing so. He certainly hasn’t ever shown that he has any desire to take a backseat to anybody.

    And let us not forget the lovely Michelle Obama aka Amorosa (from Trump’s Apprentice). I doubt she wants to join Barack in attending a Vice President’s regular Funerals-Around-The-World tours and would much rather see him pontificating on Meet The Press and on the network news.

    And should Hillary actually lose…hello 2012.

    Also, from Billary’s point of view, I don’t think they’re secure enought to have anyone so close to them who is more charismatic and interesting than they are.

    Nocomme1 (fcb275)

  5. Barack Obama in a ceremonial position for eight years? He might be agreeable to that. His patrons on the other hand? What power-sharing arrangements could they demand that the Clintons would agree to? And it would not prevent the riots.

    nk (7b0075)

  6. No way. This is just Hillary continuing to muddy the waters and keep everyone guessing. She’s hoping that by raising the possibility, Obama will hesitate before attacking her too strongly. I wouldn’t rule out her accepting a VP position (one heartbeat away after all), but I’d bet Patterico’s money that she’ll never offer it to him.


    Stashiu3 (c8e98a)

  7. BTW, I think the Daleys snicker every time we mention Michelle Obama as “the power behind the throne”. It takes attention away from them, the real pullers of Obama’s strings.

    nk (7b0075)

  8. This is just posturing to make Hillary appear gracious.

    The truth is the two candidates hate each other, as do their respective staffs. This is the nature of politics. You don’t get to this level of politics without a monstrous ego and a sense of entitlement for the job. This is especially true of Hillary who has endured a terrible marriage as her passport to the White House.

    In no way would she accept Obama. Likewise he wouldn’t acccept an Uncle Tom role for the next 4 years.

    This just grist for the press that she is caring individual. Anyone in politics knows that.

    Corky Boyd (a8cc75)

  9. We’re having the same discussion in the comments over at Stubborn Facts.

    Hillary’s talking about this because she thinks it will help her come out on top of the ticket. She would dearly love for Howard Dean and Nancy Pelosi to make such a proposal very publicly. Having Obama as her VEEP candidate hurts her not at all. Her primary criticism of him has been that he lacks experience. What better way for him to gain it than to study under her tutelage for 8 years?

    But the same deal would be poison for Obama. His basic message against Clinton is that she is the status quo, the politics of the past. A few years as his VEEP won’t cure that.

    Accepting him as her VEEP reinforces her primary attack against him. But accepting her as his VEEP would destry his primary attack against her.

    If Clinton can get Dean and Pelosi putting pressure on Obama to agree to such a pledge, then he’s caught in a real dilemma. If he refuses, he looks petulant, like he won’t play unless he can be the boss. If he accepts, the pressure to vote for change is instantly removed, and all the superdelegates have cover to vote for Clinton, regardless of how the primary votes come out.

    PatHMV (653160)

  10. Accepting him as her VEEP reinforces her primary attack against him. But accepting her as his VEEP would destroy his primary attack against her.

    And it all gets so interesting now –

    Vermont Neighbor (c6313b)

  11. Dean and Pelosi? Get serious. Her lines of communication to Obama (and possible power brokers) are Bill Daley and Rahm Emmanuel, both former Clinton flunkeys and now in Obama’s camp.

    nk (7b0075)

  12. Damn these two sitting in a tree i mean even the vultures would stay away and no bird will nest near them

    krazy kagu (956b5b)

  13. nk, I wasn’t suggesting that Dean and Pelosi were her lines of communication to Obama. Quite the contrary. I’m saying that Clinton would USE Dean and Pelosi to put public pressure on Obama. Clinton’s team knows full well that Obama can’t afford to accept such a deal, and so I don’t see her trying to pressure Obama through back channels to accept the deal. Thus, she’ll try to benefit by applying public pressure on Obama to accept a deal which she knows full well he can’t and won’t accept. Then she’ll try to use his refusal to accept against him.

    PatHMV (653160)

  14. I don’t see Michelle Obama approving of her husband being Hillary’s veep whatsoever and it would appear it is she who holds the reins.

    Also, with aggressively opinionated spouses like Bill & Michelle O, it would be a disaster in the making – which of the four would really be leading the country? A constant competition for front and center would be ugly…no matter how amusing.

    Dana (b4a26c)

  15. It seems to me that the delgate count still has Obama as the most likely nominee. In that case, I can’t imagine Hillary would take VP… can anyone imagine HIllary as VP? After 8 years (even 4), her chances of getting the REAL prize would be slim to none… on the other hand, if Clinton IS the nominee, I can see Obama hopping on, if reluctantly… holding his nose but still realizing that 4 or 8 years of VP would put him ready to win the presidency then…

    Susan (ad30a6)

  16. The way I see it:

    Only an idiot would have Clinton as a VP. Nobody wants someone sucking the oxygen out of the room. If he is her VP he suffers the same “brand” poisoning that Gore did. Undoubtedly Hillary’s administration would be a divisive scandalfest.

    She needs him to win, he doesn’t. Hillary faces a real problem with alienating a traditional key Democratic voting block, blacks. If she gets the nomination regardless of how, many blacks will feel she cheated.

    Face it, the bottom line is, Hillary is losing a nomination everyone thought would be automatically hers because people don’t like her. Obama is poised to perhaps make history despite being an unknown product of a corrupt Chicago machine because he is likable.

    Amused Observer (edb76d)

  17. I hope they are both too arrogant to find common ground but, if they do, I think they will join forces because it virtually assures them of winning the Presidency. Obama may taste victory now but being a 4- or 8-year VP and heir apparent is almost as sweet as having it all now. And if that happens, remember it happened because of last night.

    DRJ (d8934e)

  18. Pat #13,

    I am in no sense an expert on the Byzantine inside politics of the Democratic Party but my impression, from forty years of witnessing their evil in Chicago, is that it is all backroom and what the public sees is a sham. The public scenario will be the agreed or failed backroom scenario.

    I know that backroom deals in Chicago can fail. The most prominent one was in 1983. Byrne, Daley and Washington were running for the Democratic nomination for Mayor. Byrne and Daley were splitting most of the white vote and Washington was getting all the black vote and a smidgin of the white vote including mine. Daley tried desperately to “warn” Byrne and cut a deal. She refused to listen. She thought she had the upper hand as the incumbent with all the ward committeemen under her thumb. Washington was elected Mayor.

    nk (7b0075)

  19. Could this be the “progressive” equivalent to “Boob Bait for Bubbah’s”?

    Another Drew (f9dd2c)

  20. Perhaps the most significant reason Hillary would not accept VP position for Obama is that she seems to completely and unwaveringly believe she deserves to be POTUS because of all that she has endured to get to this point: Bill’s public humiliation of her, the media’s persecution of her, the white middle class males’ disdain of her, etc., etc. She is a walking-talking entitlement program of her own making and being veep is not what she had in mind.

    Dana (b4a26c)

  21. Difficult to say. Obama has nothing to lose by running as VP. If they don’t win, he is still viable in 2012. If they do win he can probably extract some deal that he be the point person for something significant that keeps him looking like he accomplishes things.
    Hillary on the other hand may prefer to take Ted Kennedy’s place as the “liberal lion” when he leaves the scene. Being a VP for Obama would take away that opportunity.

    voiceofreason2 (590c85)

  22. If the ticket is Obama/Clinton, Michelle Obama had better take out a large insurance policy on Barak.

    PCD (dea0f3)

  23. the people of ohio very clearly said that it should be me.

    the people of oregon, on the other hand, haven’t ruled out seceding from the union over this. we could do a much better job as an independent nation than ohio could.

    assistant devil's advocate (a93588)

  24. Do you think Bill Clinton is going to be Second Lady for the next eight years? No. No way.

    But to play with PatHMV’s formula a bit:

    If Clinton was to accept a VP slot on the Obama ticket, that would conflict a little with her previous attacks on him, but could be justified as bringing experience to his ticket.

    If Obama was to accept a VP slot on the Clinton ticket, that would completely destroy the reasons to elect him (hope, change, renewal, break from the past, etc.) You can’t make up for corruption and cynicism by adding doe-eyedness, but you can make up inexperience by adding “gravitas.”

    One thing a joint ticket would accomplish is that their supporters would bury the hatchet. No matter who wins the Dem nomination, if there isn’t a joint ticket, a lot of Dems are going to be very disappointed. Granted, the Dem nominee will have half a year to convince them to get over it and vote in the general, but they will be starting from a position of weakness, and McCain will get a boost in the polls and a bit of momentum.

    Daryl Herbert (4ecd4c)

  25. Daryl, after the nomination is decided, I think each offering the other the VEEP would be a smart thing for either of them. There’s a long history of presidential nominees swallowing their distaste and picking an opponent as the veep candidate (JFK & LBJ, Reagan & Bush I, etc., etc.). IF Obama loses the nomination fight, then yes, I think it would be very wise for Clinton to ask him to be VEEP, and it would probably be wise for him to accept.

    But he can’t cut that deal NOW.

    PatHMV (653160)

  26. Well, it leaves two possibiliies: Mrs Clinton as the vice presidential nominee or Mr Obama as VP. If Mr Obama is denied the top spot, the Democrats will have told black voters, very eloquently, “Welcome aboard, now y’all head right to the back of the bus, an’ don’t forget to vote ‘hear?” If that depressed black turnout, the Democrats lose.

    Of course, as Vice President, Mr Obama wouldn’t be number two; he’d be a distant, distant third.

    If Mrs Clinton is the VP nominee — as if anyone can picture that happening — Mr Obama will have to be looking over his shoulder constantly, and Vegas will be offering an over/under on whether he beats William Henry Harrison’s record.

    But one amusing part of that would be the Republicans running the Democratic vice presidential nominees speeches and ads saying that the Democratic presidential nominee isn’t qualified to be president! :)

    Dana (3e4784)

  27. It would ONLY work if she took the top of the ticket. I don’t see her throwing it out as the first overture in a “I’d be happy to be your Veep if you’ll have me” gambit.

    Its a way to move undecided superdelegates to go to Obama’s camp and say “You’re the man of the future, and you will be a hero to the party if in order to get past this problem you accept the slot as her No. 2. If puts you in line to be the next President, and if, by chance she loses to McCain, we’ll clear the field for you in 2012.

    I don’t think Obama will go for it — why give up the nomination that is within his grasp now, when the GOP looks very weak?

    Would she ever be his VP?? Why would she EVER consider doing that. What’s her plan to succeed him? Run in 2016 when she’s 72?

    But him taking the #2 slot would represent a HUGE walkback for many many senior members of Congress who have crossed the Clinton machine to endorse him. What does he say to all those politicos like Teddy Kennedy, John Kerry, Pat Leahy, and others who endorsed him. To accept the No. 2 would be to put th Clinton machine back in a position to punish them if she were to win.

    There are so many other possible veeps that would be help to either one, without bringing all the baggage of the other, I just don’t see them teaming up.

    WLS (68fd1f)

  28. The other problem with either being the VP is that then their attacks on each other can be quoted as the opinion of the VP on the qualifications of the top of the ticket.

    Not happening in my opinion. Further, there is simply a lot of unavoidable damage is Hillary is nominated. Yes, that was the sound of a giggle.

    Robin Roberts (26be8b)

  29. It’s not like Reagan and Bush41 were such good friends after their primary battle. But I expect Obama to be on the top of the ticket. Single-digit delegate gains aren’t going to put Hillary over the top.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (c59296)

  30. I’m pretty sure all this talk of a Clinton-Obama ticket was Bill’s idea. After all he’s looking at the real prize – Michelle!

    BJD (febbab)

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