Obama-Clinton in 2012?
It should happen, New York Times columnist Bill Keller opined today.
To be clear: He's proposing Hillary Clinton, not ex-prez Bill, as President Barack Obama's running mate.
That would certainly ramp up the excitement in Charlotte come September, when Democrats gather here to nominate its 2012 ticket.
There's no evidence that it will happen. In fact, the suggestion -- a favorite what-if scenario with bloggers for months -- has gotten not even a hint of encouragement from the White House.
But Keller makes a persuasive case:
"The arguments in favor are as simple as one-two-three. One: it does more to guarantee Obama’s re-election than anything else the Democrats can do. Two: it improves the chances that, come next January, he will not be a lame duck with a gridlocked Congress but a rejuvenated president with a mandate and a Congress that may be a little less forbidding. Three: it makes Hillary the party’s heir apparent in 2016. If she sits out politics for the next four years, other Democrats (yes, Governor Andrew Cuomo, we see your hand up) will fill the void."
Keller goes on:
"She would bring to this year’s campaign a missing warmth and some of the voltage that has dissipated as Obama moved from campaigning to governing. What excites is not just the prospect of having a woman a heartbeat — and four years — away from the presidency, although she certainly embodies the aspirations of many women. It’s the possibility that the first woman at the top would have qualifications so manifest that her first-ness was a secondary consideration."
We'd add a few more admittedly parochial reasons Hillary should do it: It would make the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte doubly historic -- and would take all the planned parties up a notch or two. And her acceptance speech would get even more people around the world to tune in to Charlotte's show.
What would happen to the current veep, Joe Biden?
Keller subscribes to the other idea that's been out there on the blogs: Biden takes over Clinton's job as secretary of state -- a job that would be a perfect fit for him. And a distinguished way to end his career.
"That leaves the delicate question of ditching Joe Biden. He is not a dazzling campaigner, and — five years Hillary’s senior — he is not Obama’s successor. But he is a loyal and accomplished public servant who deserves to be treated with honor.
"A political scientist I know proposes the following choreography: In the late winter or early spring, Hillary steps down as secretary of state to rest and write that book. The president assigns Biden — the former chairman of Senate Foreign Relations — to add State to his portfolio, making him the most powerful vice president in history. Come the party convention in September, Obama swallows his considerable pride and invites a refreshed Hillary to join the ticket. Biden keeps State. The musicians play 'Happy Days Are Here Again' as if they really mean it."
Check out Keller's entire column: www.nytimes.com/2012/01/09/opinion/keller-just-the-ticket.html?_r=1&ref=global-home
Monday, January 9, 2012
Obama-Clinton in 2012?