Odds on the Dream Ticket

Should the Democratic primary schism be resolved by Obama picking Hillary Clinton as his vice-president? Sully, a Clinton-hater and Obamaniac if ever there was, proposes the idea here, and he’s since posted some reader responses giving him shit for it (and some offering positive feedback) at his site here.

Now here’s the thing… I think there could be a lot of value for Obama in Clinton’s counsel and expertise, but the question is whether Clinton as VP would deliver this support and strengthen Obama’s core agenda, or whether she would exercise a Cheney-esque lust for power that serves as a distraction and liability for  Obama, undermining his reform agenda and goal of rebuilding trust in government.

As with so many of the decisions in this election year, it’s a character judgment.  The fact that the Clinton camp intends to pursue “the nuclear option” to keep its ambitions alive at the end of the month does not bode well, but at the same time one has to admire the tenacity of it. Her willingness to cripple the party seems pretty reckless and selfish, especially since I consider her argument for seating Michigan and Florida weak, but I do think a unity ticket could be mutually beneficial if it forces Obama to get a little ballsier and learns the Clintons a little humility. The calculus is complex. 

At this point I think all speculation is idle pending results from Indiana and North Carolina tomorrow night, so obviously that means I’m gonna lay out a spread and some baseless predictions.

North Carolina: Clinton +8, Obama -8

Indiana: Clinton -5, Obama +5

If Obama wins Carolina by more than 8, it’s as strong a win for him as PA was for her, or stronger. Anything in the double digits and this will be read as the Clintons’ suffering permanent damage among black voters (the demos may prove that true regardless of the margin).

In Indiana, Clinton can claim victory with anything above 5%, though it won’t be emphatic, and if it’s in the low single-digits will be considered a draw and probably even juice Obama’s mo’ a little bit.  If Obama does take Indiana, I predict that the Clinton campaign will close the door on its presidential ambitions but make a play to form the unity ticket, putting the ball in Obama’s court to accept and appear conciliatory or reject and potentially damage the party further.

Can Obama beat Hillary in Indiana when polls show her maintaining a 7-point lead?  I don’t know, I’m just gonna point out that Clinton repeatedly said at campaign stops that her pick for the Kentucky Derby was the filly Eight Belles, who proceeded to place second, break both front ankles crossing the finish line, and was euthanized on the track within minutes of the race’s finish.  As far as omens go, that is super awkward.


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