Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Hillary Clinton for VP? Let's Get Real...

In a post made on Real Clear Politics (the website I use to site poll numbers in my GOP Candidate Breakdown series), writer Richard Benedetto makes the case that the administration should drop VP Joe Biden and pick up Sec. of State Hillary Clinton for the VP spot.  He begins the article as thus:

"If by early next year President Obama's re-election chances are looking as dicey as they do now, there is likely to be a growing clamor inside Democratic circles to drop Joe Biden from the ticket and replace him with Hillary Clinton."

The first thing to mention is that while Obama doesn't do well against "generic GOP candidate", he does do very well against any named candidate.  So unless the GOP is talking about not running anyone against Obama, his chances aren't that dicey.

Also, there hasn't been the hint of discussion of replacing Biden with anyone, much less Clinton.  This kind of talk usually happens when an incumbent is running for re-election.  They did the same thing in 2004 with Dick Cheney and it was Democrats that was talking about how they were thinking about doing that, not Republicans.  Chances are this is something that is mentioned because the GOP want to cause such a shift to happen.

It wouldn't be to the administration's benefit to switch out the VP.  Reason being is that it is synonymous with instability.  I need only mention President. Nixon and the list of VP's that he has showed that the administration was coming apart (also showed that it was coming apart because it actually was coming apart).

"Clinton would add some much-needed pizazz to a tough campaign that Biden does not."

What pizzaz are you talking about?  Does Hillary have a tap dance number and sequined outfits that she didn't break out during her run in '08?

"Moreover, with the growing possibility that a woman -- Rep. Michele Bachmann -- could be on the Republican ticket either in the first or second slot (more likely the latter), Clinton would provide a formidable counter that an all-male ticket would not. Democrats would love to pit Clinton’s political and experiential skills against those of Bachmann."

This is a description of the current moment, not something that is necessarily going to be true in a year (you know, the moment when this sort of talk would actually matter).  It's being super-generous to Michele Bachmann and makes the same sexist assumptions that put Sarah Palin in the national spotlight.  Here, we see the GOP talking and thinking in the same mindset that they were about three and a half years ago.  As long as we have a pretty woman on the ticket, we'll get those liberals where it hurts!

Now, let's look at it from the political career perspective of Clinton.  Right now, she's got foreign policy experience coming out of her ears, something that Biden already had in spades.  But, because he's the VP and the VP position is a marginalized one, he hasn't been able to run around in the same manner as Clinton.

Switch her out to the VP and she's just as stuck as Biden is now.  When 2016 rolls around, all the foreign policy experience is for naught.  

She should stay where she is.  It's the best position for her and really for the country.  If the nation is going to be persuaded by an artificial change of who the Vice-President is, Obama could probably make a deeper impact by doing something more substantial.


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