Feature

Vice President Clinton?

Some of Hillary Clinton's "disciples" say she could be the perfect running mate for Barack Obama, said Maureen Dowd in The New York Times, but would she really be willing to play "second fiddle"? She should, said Bob Beckel in RealClea

What happened
Hillary Clinton vowed on Tuesday to continue fighting for the Democratic presidential nomination until the end of the primary season in June. (Politico) Clinton is trailing in the popular vote and in the count of pledged delegates, with little hope of taking the lead from Barack Obama. Leading Democrats are growing worried that the increasingly nasty fight is squandering what once seemed a near-certain victory in November, and making it increasingly unlikely that either candidate would agree to an Obama-Clinton “dream ticket.” (USA Today)

What the commentators said
A few weeks ago, the Clinton camp floated the possibility that Obama could be her running mate, said Maureen Dowd in The New York Times (free registration). Now "some Clinton disciples" are quietly suggesting Obama-Clinton might be the right ticket. The question is, is Hillary really willing to play “second fiddle” to Obama, or is the suggestion a “red herring” aiming to divert attention from her “real endgame”—tipping the election to John McCain, so she’ll have another shot in 2012?

“That couldn’t be right,” said Melinda Henneberger in Slate’s XX Factor blog. Or could it? “If you're going to be a total math drone about it,” it is now impossible for Hillary to win the nomination outright. So it makes one wonder whether she really is “hanging in there at least in part to do the maximum damage to her party's nominee, weakening his chances in the fall, and building the I-told-you-so case” for another, possibly final, shot at the White House in four years, when she’ll be 65.

Clinton has every right to stick it out until June, said Bob Beckel in RealClearPolitics, but if she keeps up her “scorched earth” strategy she'll damage her own "political future." For one thing, it would torpedo the option of running for vice president, and, barring some “fatal mistake” by Obama, that’s the best she can do. “If she thinks it over, running for vice president” isn’t so bad. “It may not be as historic as being the first woman president, but it is historic.” And it’s still the “fastest path to the big job.”

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