Feature

A joint ticket?

Hillary Clinton said a Democratic presidential ticket with both her and Barack Obama

What happened
Hillary Clinton said a Democratic presidential ticket that included both her and Barack Obama “may, you know, be where this is headed,” and suggested that she would make the better candidate for the top of that ticket. Obama was cooler to the idea of a “Dream Ticket,” saying “it is premature to talk about a joint ticket . . . right now.” (ABC News)

What the commentators said
Before Tuesday’s primaries, the chances of a joint ticket were “somewhere between slim and none,” said Bonnie Erbe in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, but the idea looks more likely on the “morning after.” Clinton should get preference for top billing “on the basis of age," but “a reasonable price” for this concession would be to give Obama “responsibility for some major issue” and the chance to succeed her after just one term. If they can put aside “the massive issue of egos,” a Clinton-Obama ticket “could be unstoppable.” If they can’t, “there is the real possibility” that “neither one wins.”

A Clinton-Obama ticket would never fly, said Allahpundit in Hot Air. Clinton would loathe being “outshone by a vice president with ten times the appeal she has,” and Obama would never agree to “languish for eight years in a do-nothing job Hillary will only use to try to isolate him.” Besides, Obama is well positioned to be the “presumptive nominee next time” without being VP, and he’d be better off “taking the edge off that inexperience rap” by accomplishing things in the Senate.

Clinton doesn't really expect top billing—she's angling for the VP spot, said Justin Gardner at Donklephant. She knows she “can’t win this thing outright,” but she can force Obama to make her his running mate by threatening to keep bloodying him up with “her ‘kitchen sink’ strategy.” This gambit “makes even more sense” when you consider that as No. 2, Clinton can still “ride the Obama wave into the White House” the next time there’s an opening.

Obama has to accept “that Clinton has earned something” with her “millions of votes,” said Marc Ambinder in The Atlantic’s Current blog. And by adding her to his ticket, Obama would unite “both durable, distinct factions of the Democratic party” and run “full throttle” over John McCain. Obama knows he’s not “an executive,” but “Vice President Clinton” could be his de facto “prime minister, tending to Congress and health care reform and trade agreements” while he “travels and inspires and thinks.” Everyone wins, except maybe McCain.

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