Friday, June 06, 2008

Discussing Barack's Vice-President: Points of Agreement

Reprising the Roles of Teddy Kennedy and Dick Cheney
In a 'telephone conference' with two friendly bloggers last night, I was apprised of a different future for Hillary Rodham Clinton:

The Ted Kennedy Role.

Teddy tried for the Presidency in 1980, trying to unseat the sitting President, Jimmy Carter. As I recall, Teddy never conceded until the party's convention. It was, I am assured, a bitter loss for him to absorb - not being able to aspire to the highest office in the land as did his two brothers.

In the wake of his defeat, Teddy doubled-down and got to work being the best darn Senator he could be. As a legislator and a voice, Kennedy was without parallel. He is now known as the Lion of the Senate.

Likewise, Hillary: not being able to reprise Bubba's presidential record is a bitter pill to swallow. She was certainly qualified. And the only Chappaquiddick in her closet would be husband Bill. Actually, that's kind of an insurmountable obstacle, IMO. But Hillary could reprise Teddy and graciously become the Lioness of the Senate. I really do not see another future for her, unless she'll accept eventual elevation to the SCOTUS.

Without a vice-presidential nomination this year, there is really no path to the White House for Hillary. Four or more years in the Senate will make her just one more Senator in a crowd of Senators with mixed track records.

On another blog, I recently took exception to a standard knock against Barack Obama as a presidential contender:
... Barack Obama is not as experienced in politics as his vanquished foes...
For the McCain campaign, as it was for the Clinton campaign, this was a common refrain, verging on a mantra. The journalists stenographers of the press and media have made it into a kind of mantra. But in fact, lack of experience is also the most un-examined or under-examined statement about modern American presidential politics: rarely do people ascend directly from significant Senatorial careers into the Presidency. Senators with long careers just do not make good candidates.

Jack Kennedy was the last sitting Senator to win a presidency. Lots have tried, but none have been anointed.

The fact that Obama has vanquished Clinton and will soon vanquish McCain is illustrative of this convention (the less Senatorial experience the better.) So, whenever you see this phrase quoted above, in whatever variation, you should recognize it as trite.

The Dick Cheney Role

However you can characterize this past eight years, you have to admit it has revolutionized the office of Vice-President. For that reason I have a decided preference for Obama to fill it with an elder-statesman type, who can offer the chief executive a respectable voice in areas of perceived weakness. (Not too elder, but somewhat elder.) General Wesley Clark has the attributes I think would benefit Obama's ticket. He's a member of the Clinton camp. He has won delegates in the presidential primary four years ago. His career in the military was long, unblemished and distinguished. As past commander of NATO, his ability to serve a president in strategic and diplomatic circles is unquestionable. And, his nomination would not deprive the Senate of a valuable member.

So, those are the points of agreement I reached last night.