Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton met Thursday as Clinton prepares to formally announce that she is ending her campaign and endorsing Obama. The former rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination had what aides called a productive talk about “work that needs to be done to succeed in November.” (Bloomberg) Clinton advisers, backing away from a public push for her to be Obama’s running mate, said she was not asking for the vice presidency. (International Herald Tribune)
What the commentators said
The first item on Obama’s agenda as the new presumptive nominee, said the Ventura County Star in an editorial, is what to do about Hillary, who fought him to a near draw in the primaries. “For his part, Obama appeared to understand that a quick detente with Clinton is necessary, praising her profusely—even if a bit patronizingly—at the historic rally where he announced he had enough delegates to become the first black to win a major party presidential nomination.” But the tough decision is whether to put her on the ticket.
“The Obama camp is preparing to embrace Hillary Clinton enthusiastically,” said Thomas M. Defrank in the New York Daily News, “but they're reaching for the 10-foot pole to keep her rabid husband at bay.” The former president’s “erratic and increasingly sulfuric behavior” as he campaigned for his wife have made him “too toxic to be a high-profile surrogate.” That could relegate him to a fundraiser at “below-the-radar events,” like President Bush’s father.
“Bill Clinton was the very embodiment of the Clinton paradox” during the primary season, said The Economist in an editorial. He was “a huge asset who was also a huge liability”—a “political superstar” who “is also a cad and a narcissist” whose mere presence reminds people about everything that was "dysfunctional" about the Clinton White House. The Clinton machine is a force to be reckoned with on the campaign trail, but its services come at a price.