Nate Silver is on the case at his most excellent Web site FiveThirtyEight.com, combining the thoughts of a reader with his own analysis to make the case for Hillary as Obama’s choice for vice presidential running mate. With Obama’s decision certain to come within the next 48 hours (a member of his staff told the press that Obama intends to speak in Springfield, Illinois Saturday with his running mate confirmed and on hand), it’s all coming to a head. Some choice arguments from Nate in the Hillary post:
…I think that if Obama picks Clinton, the Republicans are likely to overplay their hand. One thing that Obama has not really been able to do is to generate some organic level of backlash when he is attacked. This is separate and distinct from the notion of “fighting back”; it is voters stepping in and refereeing the match themselves. Voters recognize that McCain has gone negative but they aren’t really punishing him for it — his favorables haven’t moved at all. Why not? I think it has to do with the nature of Obama: he is new, he is confident to the point of being arrogant, and up until recently, he has been leading….
With Clinton, on the other hand, voters naturally want to come to her defense — and overzealous attempts to whip the Republican base into a frenzy will be counteracted with outrage from significant numbers of older and working-class women.
I can’t believe I’m saying this…but all of this makes sense.
Of course the bigger question is: Is potentially gaining an upper hand in the election by picking Hillary worth the heartache that could (would?) ensue if Obama wins, then has to deal with all the petty, ego-driven nonsense that both Hillary and his even more petty, ego-driven husband bring to the table? Plus all the war-mongering and other flawed policies that Hillary would bring on board?
My buddy Chris Liss of Rotowire fame started a blog during the primaries called “Stop The Monsters” which specifically looked at the Clintons’ often toxic effect, and the dirty tricks they were playing to try and meet Obama in the primary. Chris has been on hiatus from the blog as he works on making Rotowire the best fantasy site in the world. If Obama picks Hillary, though? I dunno, I’d be sorely tempted to jump back into the fray. Heck, this blog post alone, and the slowly growing possibility that Hillary as Veep could really happen, may be enough to make his head explode.
Any others out there who find the Clintons offensive at this point, who’d want to steer clear of them at this point, even if there’s a risk of losing the election by picking a “safer” choice? Or could it be that the hypothesis is flawed in the first place–that picking a Biden or Bayh or Kaine, or better yet a Clark, Sebelius or Schweitzer, would do just as much good, and much less harm, than bringing in Billary?
The plot thickens.