Those who still insist on writing off Hillary Clinton's remarkable comeback in the Democratic primary race as too little too late, now are switching to positioning her as a likely choice to be Barack Obama's vice presidential running mate.
For some who are just starting out or in the middle of their political careers, with no place to go but up, that is a good idea. For others, who are already at the top of their game, it is a bad idea.
For Hillary Clinton, that is a really bad idea.
How so I arrive at this conclusion? Let me count the ways.
First, Obama has not won the Democratic nomination and isn't likely to win the nomination between here and the Democratic convention in August. I say that even though the media, most of which seems to be working for Obama's campaign, are on a feeding frenzy of deliberately misreporting what she said a few days ago about it not being unusual for political candidates to still be fighting for the nomination right down to the wire.
Mrs. Clinton used the assassination of Bobby Kennedy in June 1968 as well as her own husband's campaign in 1992 as timeline examples of primary battles going well into June. The media and the Obama camp immediately said that she really was bringing up Kennedy's assassination because Obama apparently has received threats on the campaign trail.
As if Mrs. Clinton hasn't! You really have to have a serious brain protein deficiency to believe that one.
But she didn't say that and all you have to do to confirm it for yourself is watch the video of her comments. Then watch the news commentators. Get Fox and Friends Weekend to replay the segment from 8 a.m. Sunday, east coast time and you'll see what I mean. Talk about total distortion! Wow!
Fortunately, the panel on Fox News Sunday spoke of it during the 9 a.m. show and redeemed the Fox Network. Every single commentator on the panel, beginning with Brit Hume, got it right. At least we can still count on FNS.
Not that Chris Wallace didn't hammer the b'daylights out of Clinton's campaign manager, Terry McAuliffe, about it earlier in the show. But McAuliffe can handle himself in the tight spots and he never once wavered from the position that Mrs. Clinton was using the Kennedy Assassination only as a timeline reference, and if you watch the video you can see that.
Robert Kennedy Jr., the son of the late Attorney General, also stated publicly that he didn't think Mrs. Clinton did anything wrong in her statement.
Frankly, I think the overkill and the misreporting on this issue has been so bad that Mrs. Clinton probably will get backlash votes in her favor from Democrats in Puerto Rico, Montana and South Dakota who see this as nothing more than a cheap and tawdry attempt to fabricate an issue to help Obama.
Beyond that issue though, another reason why I don't think Mrs. Clinton will gain from being Obama's running mate is that if he wins, and goes on to a second term, she will have no chance to ever run for president again.
She doesn't strike me as the type of person who wants to be known in history as the first woman Vice President, when she still has a chance to be nominated to run for the first woman President. Hillary Clinton is an 'A' personality, and labored in the shadow of her husband for far too long to give up this easily, this close.
She still has strong support from women voters in the Democratic ranks, and those who have backed her from the beginning don't want her to bow out, back down, or take a back seat to Obama.
Third, I don't think there is a snowball's chance in a forest fire of Obama winning the presidency if he does get nominated. People don't vote in huge percentages for the vice presidential nominee in November, they vote for the person at the top of the ticket.
If that person is Barack Obama, I don't expect him to do well at all. His popularity in his own party has been steadily declining, he isn't winning the late votes, and he isn't popular in the wider world of the general electorate.
As a point of reference, remember Sen. Joe Lieberman's run in Connecticut two years ago? Lieberman lost his own party's nomination because he was tough enough and smart enough to see that the WMD issue in Iraq was just a smoke screen and we really did need to root out terrorists there, and support the troops.
But after the extreme left in his party nominated anti-war critic Ned Lamont, Lieberman broke off and ran an independent race for his Senate seat. Lamont spent millions of his own money in his campaign, but Lieberman beat both Lamont and the GOP nominee handily.
The far left may run the Democratic party, but it doesn't hold much sway in the general election. Couple that with Obama's numerous unsavory associations, his anti-war rhetoric that will haunt him now that our troops have dominated the terrorists in Iraq and the Iraqi army is taking over, and this will not be a popular position if he gets the nomination.
Obama most likely will not do better in the general election than Hillary Clinton would and if he is nominated it does absolutely nothing for her to run as his second-string. It would mean the end of her career, nothing more.
Oddly enough, I noticed Sunday that Fox News has suddenly shaved 10 points off the number of delegates Obama needs to win the nomination on a first vote. Tuesday night when Hillary trounced him in Kentucky it was 65, then by the next day it down to 63, then suddenly today it was 53.
I have no idea where they keep coming up with new numbers, and frankly they don't mean anything anyway, but even using that new low as a target here is what he has to do to beat her.
Democrats in Puerto Rico vote June 1 and 55 delegates are at stake. Clinton has been well ahead of Obama all along, but let's say the media effort to hand the nomination to Obama works in his favor.
He comes from behind and edges her enough to split the vote. He gets 28 to her 27. Then Montana with 16 delegates and South Dakota with 15, vote on June 3. Let's say that through some miracle he lambastes her by a 70-30 vote in Montana, which gives him 11 delegates and also by 70-30 in South Dakota whereby he gets 10.
That still brings him up four delegates short at 47, maybe 48 if they use fractions! Meaning, he has to do even better than just beating her in Puerto Rico. He is going to have to beat her by a 60-40 margin in Puerto Rico to win this.
Democratic voters in Puerto Rico already are chanting "Hillary, esa es mi candidata." Do you really think this fabricated media blitz is going to alter that? I don't.
If I was Terry McAuliffe I'd get my hands on that video of Mrs. Clinton talking to the editorial board where she made the reference to 1968 and put it prominently on my website, and then post some of the videos of the media deliberately misreporting it for comparison. Not on the HUB section of the website either, but right out front on the TV section of her homepage.
Then I'd get out of the way because the backlash would be something to see.
Oh, and let's not forget that the Democratic National Party is having a big meeting on May 31 to try to figure out what to do about Mrs. Clinton winning Florida and Michigan. If they give any delegates to her, and even if they give some to him, it negates the 2025 number that the media and the Obama campaign have been using all year as the target he has to meet to secure the nomination.
So, let's recap. It is highly unlikely that he will get enough delegates from Puerto Rico - especially considering her deep roots there and his Barack-Come-Lately efforts - nor in Montana and South Dakota to put this nomination away.
Even if he does, it isn't likely he will win the general election, and even if he does, she gets to play second string for the remainder of her career. Yahoo! What a choice.
I agree with Brit Hume's assessment on FNS today. I think this is going to the convention, and a fighter like Hillary Clinton can not be counted out 'til she really is down and can't get back up, not one nano-second sooner.
Sunday, May 25, 2008