Tuesday, June 03, 2008

It's Obama

If Hillary wants to know why she lost to Obama, the immediate answers are:

1. Her vote for the Iraq War resolution in 2002. That ought to be a lesson for politicians who listen to their handlers instead of their consciences on important policy votes, such as votes regarding war; and

2. Her husband Bill bullying around and ultimately undermining her. See this latest Vanity Fair article for what promises to be a decent in depth article on what I'm talking about. Bill Clinton's reaction to the article is emblematic of the point raised in the article and before by many others: Bill could not resist being the lead story in his wife's campaign.

Obama is well-advised to NOT choose Hillary Clinton for vice president for the simple reason that Bill would want to be in on nearly every meeting, and frankly would drive Hillary crazy by turning her into a mediator between Obama and Bill.

My initial choices for Obama's vice presidential nominee are Bill Richardson or Wes Clark. (ADDENDUM: I love US Senator Jim Webb (D-VA), but is he really that interested in leaving the Senate after 18 months to take VP and not, say Secretary of Defense? And please, Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius is not ready for prime time, having seen her on C-Span and finding her less than persuasive in her manner and speech.) I love John Edwards, but I really believe Edwards is more effective as an attorney general than as a vice president. Joe Biden and Chris Dodd should stay in the Senate.

The talk about Chuck Hagel is interesting, but does not withstand any analysis of policy differences between Hagel and the Democratic Party base. Choosing Hagel would dilute the Democratic Party base support, particularly among women who were Clinton fans and feel for whatever reason dissed. Hagel is bad news for those who believe in "choice" regarding abortions. Hagel is also free traitor, oops, trader, and therefore a shill for international corporations. Plus, he wants to destroy Social Security under the guise of "reforming" it. Enough said on Hagel, I hope.

This election is about changing the political map and moving to a new era much like we moved from the Gilded Age to the Age of Progessive Reform at the end of the 19th Century and early 20th Century (without the entrenched racism and sexism this time, however!). There are simply no nationally recognized Republicans who can be nominated as Obama's vice president who would help make that happen. If we don't want to alienate corporate-oriented Democratic Party and nonaffiliated voters, there are plenty of corporate oriented Democrats to choose from, starting with Richardson and Clark, who can unite the base and reach out to nonaffiliated voters. I may even say go with Richardson because he may be able to energize Latino-Americans and not scare white working folks.

There is, however, one other guy who would be great, but undermines the age issue with McCain: Former Florida Senator, former chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee--who voted AGAINST the Iraq War Resolution in 20002--Bob Graham. But Graham is only a few months younger than McCain and will be 72 this fall. Also, like most folks his and McCain's age, Graham has been retired for a few years. Too bad.

Now the fall election begins...It will be "Yes we can" against "No, you can't." Obama, in a just world, would surely defeat McCain, but McCain will continue to get far more favorable treatment from corporate media, which is a true domestic enemy of the American Republic at this point in our nation's history.



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