Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Hillary Open To VP

At about 3:00PM on June 3rd, 2008 AP reported that Sen Barak H Obama will obtain the delegates needed to take the Democratic Party nomination with the MT & SD votes. The result tonight would be historic whichever candidate won, the first woman or the first black. If you were to time travel less than 40 years back you would find a fight going on in this nation to end segregation. Does the mind boggle?

Evidently not if you are the Clinton campaign - as AP reported regarding a Clinton conference call with NY supporters.
Clinton's remarks came in response to a question from Democratic Rep. Nydia Velazquez, who said she believed the best way for Obama to win key voting blocs, including Hispanics, would be for him to choose Clinton as his running mate.

"I am open to it," Clinton replied, if it would help the party's prospects in November.
You can make of this announcement what you will. I can definitely make something of the timing. The Clinton camp knew this evening was coming days ago or longer and while the voting she's claimed to be protecting was still going on she made this statement. She has managed to interject herself into the Obama headlines. That's something in itself.

The strategic part of this should be clear. Clinton has now publicly made a form of claim to the VP position and done so with timing that could not be of more impact on her supporters. Obama is quite publicly put in the position of either caving to her or seeming to dismiss her. This is an example of political hardball, and while it can be played this way it certainly is not exactly the way to create amity. I have no window into the Obama campaign, but I would expect that the reaction has not had anything to do with happiness.

If Obama supporters have had some problems with a Clinton Vice-presidency this will blow them up. This will go from opposition to explosion. This is another example of Clintonian short term thinking for short term gain. There is no other moment for her to make a more powerful pitch for VP than now, any point from here on out places her in a lesser position of force. The operative word is force. The opposing approaches are force and persuasion. Persuasion can have public elements, but is not based on threat while force rests exclusively on threat. The very simplest measure of outcome is to look at two adults in a disagreement and see which approach has what outcomes.

Whether this had occured or not there was never a chance that I would advocate for a Clinton VP slot. What this has accomplished is to prove my point once again about Clinton's short-comings. It is also quite true that I have exactly no say in the matter.


Phil said...

"The very simplest measure of outcome is to look at two adults in a disagreement and see which approach has what outcomes."

But Chuck, there's only one adult in this disagreement, and Hillary ain't it. At this point she should just pack up her little blue teacups and go home.

Chuck Butcher said...

Hillary may not hew to my ideas of polity but she is an adult. She is playing hardball.