In humble attempt at casting this in the tradition of Socrates, a (slightly altered) quote:

"The unexamined vote is not worth casting."

Monday, May 26, 2008

Die, Dream Team, Die, says Pelosi

Picture from this great Economist article on the subject.

What a misnomer, "dream team." Perhaps all those touting the miscalculated idea of an Obama-Clinton ticket are really GOP strategists in disguise. Either way, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi--the highest ranking Democrat in the land right now--appeared to usher in the welcome demise of the idea last week on the PBS "NewsHour with Jim Lehrer." Here's the question and answer from it:

JUDY WOODRUFF (with the NewsHour): Do you still believe that an Obama-Clinton or Clinton-Obama ticket is not likely?

REP. NANCY PELOSI: I do. In all honesty, I do think it is not likely. They haven't asked me who I think should be their running mate. You have. And I don't think that would be the ticket that will win for us.

Let me say it another way: I don't think that's the ticket that is going to happen. If it is the ticket that happens, it will be the winning ticket, but I don't see it happening. (Read or watch the whole interview here.)

Hear, hear. The idea has been misguided from the start, particularly when you consider the baggage involved--namely the Clintons' matching husband-wife baggage. If the primary season has revealed anything, it's that the Clintons never had any lessons on playing second fiddle. A Vice President Billary Clinton (as Colby King of the Washington Post dubbed the duo here) would be a disaster in the making.

Most prominently perhaps, as my friend Cecilia pointed out to me recently, the alpha-alpha combination of Obama and Clinton (and Clinton) would be a nonstarter in terms of actual governance. How would the former President and First Lady (particularly this former President and First Lady) not try to continually overstep and outdo a President Obama? Also, as I detailed in this post on Hillary's potential devolution of the Democratic party, I believe her presence on the ticket with Obama would turn significant numbers of people off who would otherwise support him--she's just that divisive in my view, even if she hasn't earned all of those sentiments.

Update: If reports such as this are indicators of a push by Clinton for the VP spot, I worry that she will try to force the issue; boy I hope not, that is just more than she has the right to do--particularly given the negative factor I think she would represent on the ticket.

Update 2: I just came across a number of posts in my Google Reader (a great tool) on this very subject: here with Robert Reich, here at The Nation, and here from Harvard's Saguaro Seminar blog (a wonderful blog that reflects on issues of "social capital"). I especially appreciate the following thoughts from the last of those three pieces at the Saguaro Seminar:

"In choosing a vice presidential running mate, we hope that Barack will find someone other than Hillary Clinton who can help to reunify the Democratic base of working collar Americans and older Americans. Choosing Hillary only shackles Barack to the scorched earth politics of the past as we witnessed in great quantity from her during the primary season. Moreover, as we often write about in this column, trust is an extremely valuable commodity and hard to repair once breached. And with Hillary as his Vice President, President Barack Obama could scarcely take a business trip without fearing a palace coup during his departure. Whether one’s grist is Shakespearean tragedies or the U.S. military during the Vietnam War, it’s hard to build an effective team around fratricide." (emphasis mine)
I would (excitedly) add that I found out tonight that Obama actually participated in the Saguaro meetings at Harvard from 1996-2000, which were aimed at "developing recommendations for strategies that would help foster the growth of social capital and civic connectedness in America." He was among "33 accomplished thinkers and doers who serve as a catalyst in determining the kinds of changes and strategies necessary to increasingly connect Americans with their communities and community institutions."

Update 3: Here's O. himself talking about the possibility (along with other interesting issues), where he says he's a "big believer in making decisions well," adding the following: "I think it's not just in my interest and Sen. Clinton's interest, but in the Democrat Party's interest and the country's interest to make sure I make this decision well. And I will be deliberate and systematic about it, because this will be my final counselor when I'm making decisions in the White House and I want to make sure I get it right."

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