Should Obama make Clinton his running mate?
After such a divisive Democratic primary, said Carl P. Leubsdorf in The Dallas Morning News, it would make sense for Barack Obama to
Caroline Kennedy will join former deputy attorney general Eric Holder and former Fannie Mae CEO Jim Johnson to lead the search for a running mate for Barack Obama, who clinched the Democratic presidential nomination this week. (Tribune’s The Swamp blog) Prominent Hillary Clinton supporter Robert Johnson, the founder of Black Entertainmet Television, said she is “absolutely ready” to discuss the vice presidency. (The Washington Post’s The Trail blog)
What the commentators said
After such a divisive primary, said Carl P. Leubsdorf in The Dallas Morning News, it would make sense for Obama to “pick someone who backed Hillary Clinton,” such as Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana, former Gov. Tom Vilsack of Iowa, or Gov. Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania. “But the best way for Mr. Obama to ensure unity—and victory—is to pick Mrs. Clinton,” who would boost his chances the most.
It’s still a bad idea, said David Yepsen in the Des Moines Register. “Her posturing is unseemly,” and Obama will look weak if he caves to her wishes and gives her the nod. Besides, “Bill Clinton's financial deals and penchant for loose cannonism hurt her in the later primaries and would be a distraction in Obama's presidency.” And he really doesn’t need her—there are always hard feelings after tough primaries, but voters on the losing side always come around.
There are plenty of reasons for Obama to spurn Clinton, said Debra Saunders in the San Francisco Chronicle. She might overshadow him, and so might her husband. But this Democratic nominating contest was essentially a tie, and if she really wants the job he might have no choice but to go along. “Obama may not like Clinton,” but he needs her votes and “the party needs unity.”
Sure, Obama could buy himself some “short-term campaign peace” by giving in to Clinton’s demand for the vice presidency, said The Wall Street Journal in an editorial. “Putting her on the ticket would mollify certain parts of the party, especially the angry white feminists,” but at what cost? Inviting two political heavyweights as “polarizing” as the Clintons into his White House “wouldn't exactly reinforce Mr. Obama's message of change and national unity.”
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
MOST POPULAR ON THE WEEK
- It's official: The religious right is calling it quits
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Obama just kneecapped Jeb Bush and Chris Christie's 2016 prospects
- How science is accelerating our search for alien life
- The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1: 10 major differences between the book and the movie
- 6 tiny scientific mistakes that created huge disasters
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Inside Turkey's shadow war with ISIS
- The dangerously childish morality of liberal ObamaCare supporters
- 10 classic Sesame Street moments we wouldn't show today's kids
Subscribe to the Week