Sunday, March 9, 2008

Dream On

Fresh from winning three primaries last Tuesday, the Clinton campaign camp is starting to talk about putting together a "Dream Ticket" for the presidency with Clinton (of course) on the top and Obama as the VP. The idea certainly has some appeal (order notwithstanding). First, it would spare Democrats the agony of having to choose between two well-qualified and historic candidates. Also, as the Clintons are saying, the Dream Ticket would provide the kind of balance rarely achieved in politics. You'd have experience and change. Urban and rural. Masters degrees and GEDs. Chardonnay drinkers and beer drinkers. It would lead to a Democratic landslide that hasn't been seen since FDR. There would even be a rainbow over the White House for the next eight years.

Dream ticket? Dream on.

Never mind that it's a tenuous proposition at best that Clinton is going to be the one choosing a vice presidential candidate. I just don't see this dream coming true.

Despite the signals Clinton is putting out right now, it's hard to imagine her actually putting Obama as the VP on the same ticket as her. Despite her numerous strengths as a candidate and a potential president, Hillary lacks the star power that Obama has. She would be continually outshined by her number 2. That alone makes the choice unlikely. Furthermore, the traditional role of the vice president during a campaign is the attack dog, the one who does the dirty work for the presidential contender can maintain clean hands. Of the two of them, does Obama seem the likely candidate for this job?

So what about the other way? Given Obama's delegate lead, does he pick Hillary to even out the ticket, add some experience to the campaign, and get a real fighter on his side?

This may be more likely, but I still wouldn't put any money on it. First, where does Bill Clinton fit into this picture? Obama would run the risk not of being upstaged by his VP, but of being upstaged by his VP's husband. Not a great position to be in. Second, after decrying the standard politics of division, could he really pick the one person left in the campaign who is pretty much guaranteed to deepen those divisions as his running mate?

The Dream Ticket idea is like something out of a political fantasy. Unfortunately, it's likely to stay there.

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