How Valuable is the Unity Ticket?

While it is time for us to all turn our attentions to the general election, and on beating John McCain, Obama does still have to figure out exactly what to do with Mrs. Clinton.

To have her on the ticket, or not to, that is the question.

It’s uncertain exactly how fractured the party is, nor how many voters really would, in the end, vote for McCain because Clinton lost the nomination.  Suffice it to say, the only way to guarantee that that number would be minimized would be to have Mrs. Clinton on the ticket.

Given the record turnouts we have seen during this primary season, a unified Democratic party versus a crippled and unenthusiastic Republican party could in and of itself do the trick.

But there are drawbacks as well.

Given what I believe will be Barack Obama’s general election strategy, I don’t think Clinton fits particularly well.  She’s more 50%+1, while Obama is more 50 state.  Clinton appeals within the party, but doesn’t do so well outside the party, and that’s where Obama is planning on going.

Given the kind of campaign that I think Obama is going to run over the course of the next few months, I think there is a real possibility that Clinton will end up being a bigger drag on the ticket than an asset.

Further, while it’s nice to think of such a ticket as being unstoppable, it’s also double the baggage.  The problem with an Obama/Clinton ticket is that it will be less like a traditional President/Vice President ticket, but instead would likely look more like a co-president ticket.  Everything else aside, Obama’s got enough baggage he’ll have to deal with in this election, and having Hillary as the VP would also result in bringing her baggage, and Bill’s, along for the ride, and their high profile would mean that their baggage would reside in VP status, but would likely get bumped up to full on presidential status.

Even if we aren’t talking about baggage, the Clintons could all too easily upstage the top of the ticket, and that’s not good under any circumstances.

So I don’t know.  At this point, I’ll live with just about anything I guess, but at this point the only reason to have Clinton on the ticket is to keep a bulk of her supporters who have sworn to defect.  I’m not sure that the real gain, when you take into account those supporters who would eventually vote  for Obama anyway, would be worth it.

4 Responses to “How Valuable is the Unity Ticket?”

  1. PSoTD says:

    Obama has two months to consider VP prospects, and he should use all of it. In the meantime, messages, polls and trial balloons should be tried. Hillary Clinton’s oxygen as a presidential candidate is almost all gone, and it’s going to be a long, hot summer of little news about Hillary. I don’t think Obama needs Hillary, but he should take the time to find out.

    Secondly, no Co-President concept, period. Forget that. If that’s what Hillary thinks she is entitled to, then she should be out. She flat out does not have the political governing skills necessary for the Executive Office. My way or the highway leads her to the highway.

  2. Agreed on all points.

  3. terry says:

    I don’t know how you pick her for VP after all the Bill Clinton drama this week. Because that’s never going away, no matter how many ways you say he’s not going to be involved or he’s going back to his work at the foundation, etc. etc. The media and the GOP will just keep bringing it up.

    I don’t see the Obama campaign wanting to deal with that.

  4. DrGail says:

    Suffice it to say, the only way to guarantee that that number would be minimized would be to have Mrs. Clinton on the ticket.

    I’m not sure I agree with this. What makes you think that the rabid Hillary supporters would vote for a ticket where she is in the VP slot? From what I’ve seen, I don’t think they would be satisfied with anything except Hillary for President.

    Either way, I agree that slating her as the VP candidate just to win over her rabid supporters is a bad strategy. The only way to deal with whiney tantrum-throwing children is to ignore them. If they want to behave like reasonable people then they’re welcome to join the adults. Otherwise, they should just stay away.

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