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.”