Friday, February 15, 2008

The Dream Team

This is just a short follow-up to a post of mine a few weeks ago when I discussed the possibility of a Clinton/Obama ticket and what that would mean for the Republican party. The National Post picked up on the idea today and this is what they came up with:

Rosie O'Donnell thinks Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton should unite and "save the world together." Wolf Blitzer, the avuncular CNN political anchor, is practically obsessed with the possibility.

And grassroots Democrats, well, they burst into spontaneous applause whenever the matter is broached in public.

The idea that Clinton and Obama might team up to form a ‘dream ticket' in the 2008 election has captivated pundits and party activists in recent weeks, with the din of speculation about a political partnership growing louder the longer the two candidates battle each other to a draw in presidential primaries.

But what's the actual chance that Ms. Clinton and Mr. Obama -- with egos and ambition to match the size of their political talents -- would actually accept an offer to be the other's running mate?


Its proponents argue Ms. Clinton and Mr. Obama complement each other in ways that go beyond the compelling aspects of race and gender. Democrats see in Mr. Obama a powerful orator who can inspire a divided nation. In Ms. Clinton, they see an extremely smart candidate with experience and policy depth.

"I think America would benefit from the strengths of either individual," Ms. O'Donnell, the liberal and comedienne, gushed last week in a column on The Huffington Post Web site.

"If those strengths were combined, we might just have the Democratic powerhouse the country needs to turn itself around."

The U.S. media has also been "drooling," in the words of CBS anchor Harry Smith, over the prospect of an Obama-Clinton or Clinton-Obama ballot.

The ‘dream ticket' question has become an interview staple for CNN's Mr. Blitzer, who put the candidates on the spot during a nationally televised debate in California.

Both candidates have been scrupulously noncommittal.

"I'm sure Hillary would be on anybody's short list," Mr. Obama said.

"I will consider every qualified person, and that certainly covers him," said Ms. Clinton, in turn.

The possibility of an Obama-Clinton alliance increases the longer the race continues, especially if there is no clear winner before the party's August convention in Denver.

A Time magazine polls last week found 62% of Democrats want Ms. Clinton to put Mr. Obama on the ticket, while just 51% believed Mr. Obama would need to reciprocate if he were the nominee.

"If Hillary Clinton were to receive the nomination, there would be the expectation that she would at least extend the offer to Barack Obama," says Mr. Walch.

An interviewee describes the chances as about 50-50. While there are compelling reasons to think neither of them would be capable of swallowing their pride and extending the offer, a Clinton/Obama ticket is pretty much a slam dunk, especially with McCain and his divided conservative base. And now the word is that Maverick is thinking about a centrist veep. I guess he figures that he's already pissed of enough of the social conservatives that his best bet is to take a chunk out of the independent crowd. Ace outlines why that strategy is never going to pan out here.

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