I've been quite clear in my feelings about both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. I don't need to restate them here other than to say that I strongly support Barack for president. Selecting a vice presidential running mate is the next big step in the race to November and it is a decision that, we can only imagine, is being taken most seriously. I've pondered this move, as have many of you, going over the various "would be" veeps: Webb, Clark, Biden, Kaine, Hagel, Edwards, Dodd, Richardson, Vilsack, Bayh, Nunn, Daschle, etc. Some are fresh and new names. Many are retreads from previous races. Not many generate much in the way of any real excitement or strategic advantage.
Being as strong an Obama supporter as I am, I think he needs to select someone who can meaningfully add to the ticket; someone who can help Barack in some fundamental way. That's why I think he should select . . . . . (I hope you're sitting down) . . . . Hillary Clinton.
Choosing a vice president isn't like selecting a spouse. Barack doesn't have to like Hillary. He doesn't even, really, have to deal with her much once in office. He does have to get elected though or all of this is for naught.
To my sensibilities, Hillary is the only potential running mate who could bring a significant level of excitement and energy to the ticket. Sure, some say that choosing her would undermine the Obama 'change platform'. I think it extremely easy to handle that argument by focusing on the change that both Barack and Hillary would represent versus John McCain. They'd be making extraordinary American history.
Yes, Bill would be someone to watch, but we all know the adage that one must keep their friends close, but their enemies even closer. I even think that Bill would actually get into the notion that it would take the Clintons' to get a black man elected president and bend over backward to get his wife back in the White House!
Hillary brings all those disaffected white women back into the fold. Together, Barack and Hillary galvanize the core of the party - energizing the Democratic machine all over the country. Perhaps she even helps in important states like Florida and Ohio and even further sparks the amazing Obama fundraising engine!
They say that the selection of a VP running mate is the first move revealing the kind of decision making that the nominee would make as president. Choosing Hillary, to my way of seeing things, would demonstrate real strength and confidence. The easy thing would be to dismiss her. The harder thing would be to embrace Hillary and Bill and use them as strategic assets to get himself elected.
Yes, I think Barack should select Hillary as his running mate. It would create the biggest bounce from the convention (by far) that just might be needed in November. The only person who might be able to eclipse this choice on the Republican side would be if McCain convinced Colin Powell to run - and that ain't happening.
Of course we don't know the role that racism will play as the curtains close behind Americans in early November. It would be foolish to think that it will play no role. Having Hillary out there as your attack dog - not only countering McCain's veep pick but also taking McCain on directly as well - is something that can't be overstated. No other potential running mate can come close to her name recognition and political presence. Yes, she may scare some conservative voters to come out to vote against her, but I'll have to take my chances on the over-all benefit that she brings to the ticket.
It's well known that John Kennedy didn't like LBJ. He selected him as his VP though and it helped him win the White House. Choosing a running mate is a cold, hard strategic decision. It's not personal. It's business. Barack should choose Hillary. It makes sense. It would give him the greatest opportunity to be president of the United States of America and therefore it's the right thing to do. He would just need to watch his back though . . . . and stay the heck out of Arkansas. We all know what happened when JFK went to LBJ's Texas.