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Look In The Mirror

That's Jennifer Rubin's advice to Obama if he wants to know how he's losing the election. I disagree with this bit of (what is now) conventional wisdom, though:

The obvious blunder was in bypassing Hillary Clinton as VP. With Clinton, the frenzy of excitement would have been for the Democrats and Sarah Palin would be back in Alaska.

Admittedly, having Hillary! on the ticket would have made the Palin pick more difficult--it would have looked too much like "me too." But Obama had good (as well as no doubt bad) reasons to not want to share the ticket with her. The Dems might have thought it was a "dream ticket," but not everyone would agree. Both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have high negatives, and they're not necessarily with the same group of voters. That ticket would lose votes to both the voters who won't vote for Barack Obama and those would would never vote for Hillary!, and that conjoined set would very likely been more than half the electorate. Her choice would also have fired up the Republican base against her.

And that's ignoring having to share the stage and power with her, and the Bill problem (not to mention having to hire a food taster and have someone else start his car for him every morning). No, I don't think that failing to put her on the ticket was a mistake.

What was a mistake, though was dissing her and her supporters by making it clear that he had never even considered doing so. If he'd been smarter, he'd have at least gone through the motions of vetting her and making it looks as though she was on the list. As it was, it was just one more finger in their collective face.


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Mike G in Corvallis wrote:

Not to mention that during the campaign -- as we are seeing even now with Obama/Biden -- people would notice that an Obama/HRC ticket was upside-down in terms of experience.

Carl Pham wrote:

Oh come on, Mike. Eight years as First Lady is experience relevant to being President? As the old joke goes, just because you've watched brain surgery doesn't make you even remotely ready to perform it.

Hillary's certainly more experienced in that she's been in the Senate longer. That would impress me if I didn't think a day being captain of your high-school basketball team wasn't worth about a year and a half of being a Senator.

What do Senators do that requires any interesting or useful skill? Can a Senator fix my Corolla's starter motor? Talk my ex-wife into being more reasonable about this and that? Raise the capital necessary for me to bring my latest clever idea to market? Far as I can tell, about all he's good for is making pompous speeches about Eternal Truths. But, hell, my teenage kids can do that, and for free, too. I can do it even when drunk...and, come to think of it, I only do it when drunk, which should say something about how representative I think it is of the skillset of the mature, responsible adult.

Leland wrote:

Hillary does have more time in the US Senate than Obama.

Hillary and Bill also do pretty good fundraising, when they are on your side.

Carl Pham wrote:

Sounds like she'd make a great university president, Leland. Wellesley College should reclaim her. The place looked a little seedy last time I saw it, they could use someone with great fundraising skills.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Rand Simberg published on September 9, 2008 10:52 AM.

Obama's Biggest Problem was the previous entry in this blog.

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