The Odd Couple

Why pairing Clinton and Obama will spell failure in November. If we have a Clinton/Obama (or Obama/Clinton) ticket, America will no doubt have another Republican President.

Forget the claims of experience from Clinton and Obama. Thanks to the mess of the war, if either wants to win, the Vice President needs real foreign policy and military experience. If for no other reason than as a show of strength because let’s face it, the Presidential race is a popularity race. Hell, it worked for Bush/Cheney. If Clinton and Obama try to run together, America will have another Republican President. Still there are those who think it could work.

The most compelling arguments for this double bill are that it would attract a record number of youth, female and minority voters, it would energize the Democratic base and it could very well sway currently undecided voters to the left. In theory this would be enough for them to prevail. However, all of that is actually based on current predictions with Clinton or Obama running for President and not with one or the other running as sidekick.

And I’m not really sure that a Clinton/Obama (or Obama/Clinton) ticket would necessarily sway undecided voters in their favor, even if those voters are against the war. It’s because of this war that Republicans will continue to play the fear card and the fear card works. I would rather there not be a chance to say that the Democratic ticket is too weak to deal with this quagmire. That kind of exploitation could be used to sway those same undecided voters to the right.

Think back to the summer of 2004, when the Bush/Cheney ticket was trailing in the polls. Nothing Bush said or did was changing that. All it took to swing the numbers just far enough back was a tug on the old fear strings. Cheney stood up and confidently warned the country that voting for the wrong guy would result in us, “getting hit again.” Of course he left out the fact that we were first “hit” under the Bush/Cheney watch. Still, fear is a powerful weapon that always works.

Most of the folks that have voiced this idea of Clinton and Obama teaming up are very liberal or at least live in a very liberal part of the country. The prejudice that exists in the vast middle of this country is something many in big cities cannot understand or relate to. Just because we can philosophize about the possible advantages to a Clinton/Obama (or Obama/Clinton) ticket, it would be unwise to rely on the rest of America feeling the same way.

Aside from the Republican’s stand-by tactic of touting terrorism to win their fight, think of how nasty this can actually get. If you thought the Swiftboat ads were harsh on Kerry, just wait until the ‘black man who went to a Muslim school as a child’ ads start coming. Or the ‘family values of woman who stood by her cheating husband’ commercials. We’ve all seen how harsh the radical right can get. And the radical right makes up a huge chunk of the GOP.

As for who would be a good Vice President, I don’t know yet. I will say this; it’s rare that a ticket is put together where both people are were of equal stature or fame. Besides, think about it for a minute; would either Hillary or Obama even accept the role of VP? Could either put aside their differences or their ambitions for the spotlight? And if so, would either be accepted in the role?

Personally I think what will happen is, when one is nominated, the other will step aside, rally behind the party and show support. In the end, that person will wait to try again for the role of President. That would be the smart thing to do for the sake of keeping another Republican from getting into the White House.

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