A Clinton-Obama Ticket? Not so Crazy After All

Washington Matters

A Clinton-Obama Ticket? Not so Crazy After All

Clinton and Obama as running mates? Everyone laughed when CNN's Wolf Blizter brought it up at the debate last night and pundits all pooh-pooh the idea, saying that whoever gets the Democratic nomination will need a Mark Warner-white-male-governor-type to balance the ticket. But Blitzer may have had voters in mind when he described it as a dream team.

Most people believe Obama and Clinton couldn't stand to be on the same ticket, after their very real and very bitter brawls. And Clinton is sure to worry about being overshadowed by Obama's oratory. But these guys are professionals. They want to win; no one more than Clinton.

If Clinton gets the nomination, grabbing Obama as a running mate could be a stroke of genius. Having alienated many blacks, she'll need to woo them back with a dramatic move.

She can't win unless they're enthusiastic and turn out in huge numbers. Ditto for those under 30. I remember how depressed young Democrats of my generation were in 1968 when the great McCarthy-Kennedy rebellion that derailed Johnson ended up with Vice President Hubert Humphrey -- Mr. Establishment to the younger generation -- as the nominee. Expect similar disappointment -- and stay-at-home apathy -- if Obama is sent packing.

Obviously, a Clinton-Obama ticket won't sit well with conservative white males. But no ticket that has Hillary on it ever will. She's got very little to lose and everything to win by courting Obama.


And he would be foolish to say no. He's only 46, with plenty of time to make another bid. Serving as No. 2 would give him some of the experience he lacks and give skeptics more time to get comfortable with him. Plus, would he really turn down a chance to be the first black VP?

Of course, it won't work the other way. If Obama wins, he has nothing to gain by asking Hillary. She'd refuse to play second fiddle. Been there, done that.