Obama and Clinton: Share Goals Not the Ticket

More discussion about a Clinton Obama ticket.  For a little perspective, this is coming from one of three sources:  Hillary, Bill, the same media experts who still consider McCain a maverick.  The Obama camp is throwing out some strong “and…. no” signals in response.

“I know that she has always been open to it, because she believes that if you can unite the energy and the new people that he’s brought in and the people in these vast swaths of small town and rural America that she’s carried overwhelmingly, if you had those two things together she thinks it’d be hard to beat.”

He added that, in his view, Obama would win the “urban areas and the upscale voters” while Clinton claims “the traditional rural areas that we lost when President Reagan was president. If you put those two things together, you’d have an almost unstoppable force.”

Obama won Wyoming.  How does Clinton have a clinch on “small town and rural America”?  Bill’s comments are less analysis and more an active shaping.  It doesn’t reflect the reality of the campaign.  That’s just one problem.

The big problem is this idea that a Clinton/Obama ticket would be “unstoppable”.  A shared ticket would not be unstoppable.  It would be a terrible mistake (August, emphasis mine):

Ezra’s post on why Jim Webb shouldn’t (and won’t) be a VP pick is a must-read for anyone who’s still suggesting that a “unity” ticket between Clinton and Obama should/will solve all our problems.

Both Clinton and Obama are very popular Senators with the potential to have very powerful careers in Congress. As vice-president to the other, they would both be completely and utterly useless politically and have no political future save the chance of being elected president in eight years. The same goes for any offer of a cabinet spot- usually, those are positions for people at the end of their career, not the beginning.

Basically, everything Ezra says about Webb applies to Obama, and applies to Hillary with only a slight change. If Obama loses the primaries, there’s no reason for him to give up a chance to wait and be the presumptive candidate in four or eight years. If Hillary loses them, there’s no reason for her to not hold tight in the Senate and work to eventually replace Harry Reid as Majority Leader.

Once again: whoever you’re rooting for to be the candidate, go right ahead. Just give up the idea there’s going to be a Clinton/Obama or Obama/Clinton ticket. Neither of them is stupid enough to give up their future to get the other elected.

Neither of them.  So August’s words here ring especially true (emphasis mine):

This is, ultimately, one of the major problems I have with a lot of the pro-Hillary arguments. People keep saying Obama is a candidate of empty promises, and yet the entire case for Clinton is based on an agenda and campaign strategy that is not based in reality. Be it “we’ll totally win Florida, because I’m super popular” or “I’ll pass a universal health care plan because there’s, like, no way the Republicans would even consider filibustering something like that” or “oh, of course we’ll put Barack Obama on the ticket so you should totally vote for me because it’ll be like voting for both of us, I promise I have pretty much no faith in a Clinton victory. And maybe that’s why the whole “hope” and “change” angle is working so well.

The frequent calls for a unity ticket sound more like a ploy and less like an honest plan of action with every repetition.

Going back to the CNN PT post, the comments thread makes a whole lot of sense:

v.ananthan March 8th, 2008 5:39 pm ET
I don^t think that Obama is ready for the vice president post
I think that Hillary should select Edwards as her running mate….

Hillary/Edwards, Obama/Richardson (with Edwards as AG).  Either combination would yield a strong ticket.  And both combinations would avoid potentially losing a Democratic Senator needlessly.  If anything, the two should pledge to work closely together to achieve the common goals of their campaigns.  One candidate from the White House, the other from the Senate floor.  At the end of the day Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama need to share the greater Democratic vision for America.  They just need to avoid sharing a ticket.