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kennetha's Journal - Archives
Posted by kennetha in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Mon Oct 27th 2008, 05:51 PM
The reason that McCain is going to lose, and lose big time, and Obama is going to win, and win big time, is because the Republican Party is about where the Democratic Party was at the end of Carter's term. The Republican's have basically shot their wad of policy ideas. And that have proven to be seriously wanting. They have left us with debt and deficits, with failing markets, with broken entitlements, with non-competitive schools, with a rapidly fading industrial base. They have left us overextended militarily and isolated internationally. John McCain may not be George Bush the person, but he is a Republican through in through in most of his basic policy instincts. There is no denying or hiding that, as try as he might in these waning days.

Like the Democrats of old, the Republicans won't return to power unless we Democrats either screw up as royally as they did or some new and commanding paradigm emerges for the Republican party that can reassemble a new coalition from their now broken and scattered constituencies.

I seriously do wish the Republican's well in their coming time in the Wilderness -- whether it be 2 or 3 election cycles or a half century or so, as after the New Deal. I don't think I want to belong to a one-party state, even if that party is my own. Still, despite the fact that I don't want to be part of a one party state, I do think they need to spend as much time in the Wilderness as they can, getting their acts together, coming up with a new governing philosophy that is appropriate to the 21st Century and has broad appeal to the better angels of our nature.

There have been times when major parties have gone out of existence to give rise to a new party. Think of the Federalists and the Whigs of old. I doubt the Republican label will disappear. But I really do think that the Republicans need to morph themselves into something hardly recognizable as the current Republican Party.

So let us all bid farewell, a fond farewell, to our former adversary. And let us await their rebirth with anticipation.

But in the meantime, let us implement the Democratic Agenda to the fullest extent possible. It's the least that we can do for a nation done in by years of Republican misrule.

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Posted by kennetha in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Mon Oct 06th 2008, 12:31 PM
As you all know, I was no fan of Obama's during the primary. Not only was I a diehard Hillary fan, but Obama, on his own, independently of my enthusiasm for Hillary, quite frankly left me cold as an Alaskan Winter. I actually and strongly believed that he was the one democrat that had a chance of losing to McCain -- who I thought was the one republican who had a chance of winning the Presidency after 8 years of our Republican nightmare.

But events have proven me wrong. Obama is kicking butt and McCain is seriously cruisin' for a bruisin' -- a real paper tiger, that guy is turning out to be. I'm still vastly admire Hillary and still think she should be on the ticket. But hey, with a democratic landslide coming, which will give us control of both Houses and the Presidency, that's small potatoes. Hillary will have her moments in the legislative sun.

I know it's not over and that a month is an eternity in politics -- I mean look at where we were a month ago. But there is no way we lose this thing now unless we just give it away. They are in no position to take it from us. Period. And I though I think part of it is due to the shape of the playing field -- what with a worldwide economic collapse and all happening right in the middle of the most intense part of the campaign -- I also have to admit that Obama and his team have played the hand they have been given about as masterfully as it could be played.

So let's go folks! Let's kick some repugnant butt and have a helluva good time doing it.
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Posted by kennetha in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Sat Oct 04th 2008, 09:15 PM
The Republicans are on the verge of an historic repudiation. Not only is our side set to take the Whitehouse, but we may even achieve a filibuster proof majority in the Senate. Add to that an even larger majority in the House. We will be in a position to DOMINATE policy for at least the next two years and, if we don't screw things up, much longer than that. It will be like the heyday of the New Deal or the Great Society. We can make things happen.

The Republicans probably realize that they have one, maybe two weeks at the most to fight their way back into this race. But the ISSUES landscape is completely unfavorable to them. They have no chance to argue their way to victory on the basis of the economy. Even their typical staples -- divisive social issues and national security -- seem to be pretty much impotent in the current political landscape.

What do they do? Pray for a terrorist attack on the homeland? Even they are not that evil. (At least I think they aren't. Okay, I least HOPE they aren't that evil -- but you never know and besides, i don't believe in the power of prayer anyway. So even if that is what they are praying for it won't work.)

Short of that, they ONLY bullets they have left are attacks on the character and competence and readiness of Obama. These have been shown to be pretty weak bullets -- ask my girl Hilary about that. But that's all they've got left. So look for the next two weeks to be a relentless no holds barred negative campaign. We're going to hear all about Wright and Rezko and Ayers. Obama's unfortunate remarks made in SF about folks in rural America are going to be played like a zillion times.

The good thing about this all is that they are really down to their last bullets. IF they shoot and miss, this thing is over. It could be a rough ride for the next couple of weeks, but if we're still ahead after these next two weeks, we win. Period!
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Posted by kennetha in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Sat Oct 04th 2008, 01:49 PM
I think this quote from Tom Davis, who is not seeking re-election, is quite telling about where the Repugnant party really stands.

No more. The revolution is over, the thrill is gone and the Republican brand under President Bush has, in Davis’s view, been so tarnished that, as he likes to say, “if we were a dog food, they would take us off the shelf.” These will be Davis’s last few weeks in Congress. He decided against re-election, disaffected by the partisanship, by a process he calls broken, by a party he considers hijacked by social conservatives. “We’re just not getting much done,” he said.

Tom Davis Gives Up


The Republicans are going to be completely out of power for the first time since the beginning of Clinton's first term. I hope we make better use of our consolidated power than we did under Clinton. But worry is for the future.

As a diehard democratic partisan, I'm tempted to just jump for joy and gloat. But I'll let my better angels speak instead. I wish them well during their coming decades wandering in the wilderness. Here's hoping that they find a new voice and vision, that can be a serious competitor once again for the allegiance of broad swaths of the American electorate. I mean, I don't really want to live in a one-party state -- even if it's my own party.

Indeed, fellow democrats, let's one and all wish the Republicans well during their decade or so lost in the wilderness.


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Posted by kennetha in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Fri Sep 12th 2008, 08:04 PM
I just saw more of her interview. She is much more comfortable talking about things other than foreign policy. She still does not come across as a terribly deep or astute student of the ins and outs of tax policy or entitlements or anything of that sort. But she is much more relaxed and in her comfort zone.

She also has certain openness and seeming vulnerability that many may find appealing. And I'm sure that now that she has basically flubbed her first foreign policy interview, she will be much better next time. By the time the debate rolls around, she may be able to bring that same relaxed folksiness to bear on foreign policy discussions.

My point is that we shouldn't underestimate her appeal. When she gets off the details of arcane policy and onto personal narrative and when she is allowed to talk those domestic issues at which she isn't a total dunce, one can see that she has a certain appeal

For example, even though her personal views on issues like abortion are quite conservative -- even to the right of her running mate's views -- she didn't come across as an intolerant right-wing loonie. She acknowledged the diversity of views on this score and she managed to sound like a politician who is more interested in finding reasonable compromises than one who is dedicated to fighting pitched battles. Of course, she could just be a wolf in sheep's clothing. On that I think the jury is still out. But its clear that McCain and Palin are counting on the base staying energized more by her personal story and personal commitment than by any explicit promises to do their bidding. This is the same kind of trick that Ronald Reagan successfully pulled on the prolife movement. He gave them the theme music constantly. But he didn't actually advance their cause all that much.

Anyway, the question with Palin is how far beyond the Republican base she will appeal. The folks who are in play, I'm guessing, are independents, weak dems, and/or weak republican constituencies. Whoever grabs the lion share of those folks wins the election.

I don't have any particularly startling thoughts right now about what we can do to diminish her appeal. I think on issues we win. I think if its more about personal narrative and a sense of identification, Palin gives their ticket a potential leg up.

Bottom line, I do think it would be a mistake to just ignore her, as somebody suggested we do on another thread. She is not out of the game. She had a bad debut in her first face to face interview -- a really bad debut. But her second act showed her strengths. They are not insurmountable. But they are real.

Obviously, the McCain campaign will not let her do any heavy lifting on foreign and international affairs (except on questions about oil and energy independence) except when they are force to. She is very much out of her depth on these topics, obviously. But one can see what they see in her, despite that. When she is on her "home turf" she has a simple, understated appearance of authenticity that I do believe many will find appealing.

Maybe the key is to not let her play on her home turf very much. But I'm not sure how one goes about making that happen. That's not something our side really has much control over. THe press, I guess, could be a big help here. If the press decides it has a duty to make it plain that Palin is way out of her depth on C-in-C kinds of issues, that could be a big, big help.
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Posted by kennetha in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Sat Aug 30th 2008, 08:54 AM
Choosing a Washington outsider will give the Republican Convention a chance to mount a new line of attack and to blunt one of the main lines of attacks that Obama/Biden has settled upon. I'm betting that McCain/Palin will attack Washington itself -- the whole corrupt establishment of both parties. Not only will they attack the democratic ticket, they will also attack the democratic house and senate. They will take some audacious jabs at both their own party and their own president -- though they will probably do this more in sorrow than in anger. They might even allow that the Republicans deserved to lose the 2006 Congressional elections. I expect them to say something to the effect that "we lost that election because we lost our way. "This and other recurrent memes will be meant to decisively answer the charge that John McCain is running for the third term of George Bush.

I'm predicting that McCain/Palin will both call out and call to their party. They will call out the party for its past failures -- again more in sorrow than in anger. And they will call to the party to be better --- to joint them in a great crusade to remake the party, to remake the government, and to remake America. At the same time, they will remind the audience in and out of the hall of the highlights of Republican ascendency. This is where we will get the standard Republican boilerplate stuff. The Republicans will be represented as the party that stood steadfast throughout the cold war and presided over the ultimate victory. They will talk about Repugs as the party that will win the war on terror, etc, that tame the tax code and on an on. They will say that they are the party that will reshape the American economy for the 21st century or some such thing and lead us to energy independence. (Drill! Drill! Drill!)

They will or course make an explicit and strong appeal to democrats of good will. McCain will highlight the times when he has stood up to his own party and reached across the aisle. Palin will echo this message. We will learn a helluva lot more about how she took on the Republican establishment in Alaska -- a lot more. We will hear about how she too reaches across the aisle.

Although the Republicans are the party of loonie Christian evangelicals, the social issues that make their hearts palpitate will be handle lightly. I think they will be more subtext than text. They will be presented mostly through the telling of the personal narrative of Palin. Somewhere we will hear about her decision not to abort her down syndrome child.

Despite the fact that the selection of Palin seems to many to undermine the readiness argument, I doubt that the Republicans will surrender that argument entirely. We will still hear the relentless attacks on both the readiness and the emptiness of Obama. Obama and Biden will be present as men of many words and few actions. Obama will be savaged as a man that has led no great fights, won no great battles. We will learn a lot more about his habit of voting present in the Illinois legislature. Somebody will call him an absentee senator, who after 18 months in office decided to spend his time in office on the campaign trail.

This will be audaciously contrasted with Sarah Palin, of all people. Again, the comparison may be laughable to us. But they will, I predict, make it without blinking. She will be presented as a reformer, a woman of bold, decisive, courageous action.

I suspect that McCain may even do something completely out of the box. He may name at least part of his national security team. And at least one democrat -- almost certainly the traitor Joe Leiberman -- will be a member of that team.

Perhaps -- though I'm less confident in this prediction -- they will paint a scary vision of what a unified democratic government would be like. It would leave the democrats unchecked with untrammeled power. A McCain administration would be dedicated to working with the democratic congress when possible, but it would also have the backbone to put a stop to it when necessary. But this will be more subtext than text because I doubt McCain wants to be seen as entirely giving up on the idea that the Republicans might possibly recapture one or both Houses (although there is exactly zero chance of that happening and everybody knows it.)

A big play will be made for women voters, obviously. But this will again be done through the personal narrative and character of Sarah Palin. On this score, I'd be utterly astounded if they hit hard on divisive social issues. They've given the base its bone in the person of Sarah Palin. They seem not to need to do much else.


If they pull this all off, it will be game on. And we will be in a tough fight. The one thing that's to their advantage is that they will dominate the spotlight and can roll out Palin and their new narrative of the campaign in a relatively uncontested manner.

But the biggest thing they have going against them is possibly Palin herself. She has to perform extremely well. She has never ever been on a stage like this. It's like bringing up an untested AA pitcher to be your starter for Game Seven of the World Series. High chance of failure. Plus we all know that McCain is no orator.

So I don't look for his acceptance speech to be anything to write home about.

And of course, a LOT of this stuff is BS and has an easy rebuttal by our side. But I'm not thinking at the moment about the strength of their case. I'm just trying to suss out what case they are going to make and what frame they are trying to sell.

Who knows if I'm right about all this. But time will soon tell, won't it? (though I doubt I'll watch anything except McCain and Palin.)
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Posted by kennetha in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Tue Aug 26th 2008, 09:03 AM

MOLINE, Ill., Aug. 25 -- In a private meeting with Sen. Barack Obama after she conceded the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton made a request: that he consider her for his vice presidential running mate, but not put her through the charade of being vetted if he was not serious.

Obama told Clinton then it was unlikely he would choose her, people familiar with the conversation said. Obama did not want to lead her on and, after campaigning against her for more than a year, already had a sense that their pairing would not be the right fit.

....snip...
The question of how seriously Obama considered tapping Clinton for the ticket has become a source of unhappiness for both sides of late. Clinton was never asked for the official vetting paperwork when other potential running mates were. Obama never invited her to have a real conversation about potentially joining forces, although the two spent time together at several events.

....snip....
The arguments against Obama choosing Clinton were evident from the start: Her campaign, rife with internal struggles, bore no resemblance to his tightly run operation; the two had little personal chemistry; and hard feelings lingered after what had been a bruising primary.

Read whole story here: Obama Signaled Early That He Was Unlikely To Choose Ex-Rival



Personally, I think he made a serious mistake and it makes me think his ego got in the way of better judgment. Plus if he loses a close election because he passed over Hilary, we will all regret it. But he's made his bed -- as it was his right to do. And we'll all just have to hope for the best. Though it deeply disappoints me, I'm still going to vote for him.
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Posted by kennetha in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Wed Aug 20th 2008, 08:08 AM
I woke up this morning, horrified at the thought that John McCain just might win this election and I began thinking about what Obama must do to win this election.

Here are my somewhat rambling and probably too long thoughts. If you get through this all, I’d be grateful for your patience. And I'd appreciate any thoughtful comments. I hope I don't get dismissed as a "concerned troll." That's so insulting and juvenile. But I'm sure there will be those who do dismiss these thoughts as the still lingering resentments of a once avid Clintonite. THey are not that. They are just my morning thoughts about how we democrats can win instead of lose this time, given where we have gotten to.

Let’s begin with setting aside some illusions and facing reality. During the primaries, especially early on in the game, Obama, his staff and many of his supporters seemed to believe that he could win against anybody the Republicans were likely to put up in a cakewalk. That belief seemed to be predicated on the fact that independents and moderate republicans would be as susceptible to his charms as the campus crowd, upper crust liberals and African Americans proved to be. But that illusion gradually began to dissolve with the unfortunate appearance of the good Reverend Wright, Obama’s unfortunate comments about bitter, xenophobic, gun-toting small town folks – which the Clinton campaign deftly exploited to drive a further wedge between Obama and the lunch bucket wing of the democratic party. Of course, Clinton was winning that constituency and white women all along. But you will recall throughout the primary season a recurring question was whether Obama could poach some significant part of Clinton’s coalition (or Clinton poach some significant part of his) to break away once and for all. In Wisconsin, it looked like he did that and so was heading for a decisive and final victory in short order. We all know what happened to give the Clinton campaign renewed vigor after that.

Now I still think that most hard core democratic constituencies -- including older suburban women -- will almost certainly come home in November and vote for Obama. But I think softer democratic constituencies are much more up for grabs than one might have hoped. Moreover, I think soft republican constituencies may well be out of reach. And bona fide independents – who are swayed by who knows what in the end, election after election – are going to be harder to reach than Obama and his folks imagined.

What this means, in my estimation, is that democrats are perilously close to snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. We have, I think, turned an election that we thought should be ours in a cakewalk into a pitched battle that will require some pretty tough-minded and deft campaigning and advertising to win. But I still think Obama can pull it off. Here’s how.


First, he has to run a “both and” campaign. He has to refocus on his somewhat muted message of “change” . The democratic convention has to feature a whole bunch of new faces; it has to somehow showcase a fresh, exciting policy agenda. I still think that Americans at large are, by and large, with us on most issues. But that and several billion dollars of campaign spending over the last 40 years has won us the White House exactly three times (well four, really, but the keys to the building were given to the wrong guy by the Supreme Court after our most recent victory.) We keep managing to lose elections even when the policy is on our side. We’re perfectly capable of doing it again. But we have to fight the good fight. We have to press our policy advantage – especially our advantage on taxation, healthcare, stewardship of the environment, the energy future. And on and on.

Part of what has to happen to do this is that Obama has to become more like Clinton. The Clinton campaign used to think of her – I think rightly – as the candidate of “people with needs” while Obama was the candidate of people with – I’m not sure how best to put this but let’s call it “aspirations.” People voted for Obama out of a hunger for change and out the belief or at least hope that a new voice, a new face in politics, would enable us to do things in a different way, a more inspiring, less divisive way.

I think he’s got to find a way to appeal both to people with needs and to people with aspirations. To appeal to people with needs, he’s got to do two things. He’s got to make it clearer, as Bill Clinton would put it, that he “feels their pain” and that he has concrete policy prescriptions that directly address that pain. He can’t do that with lofty speeches about change alone. He has to do more of what Clinton was good at. You came away from a Clinton rally, especially later Clinton rallies, thinking that she understood exactly what our problems are, exactly what kinds of policies would address those problems, and, moreover, that she had the combination of shrewdness, toughness, and tenacity that would give her a fighting chance of getting those policies enacted over the naysaying voices of entrenched guardians of the status quo.

Obama needs to adopt more of that style. I’m not suggesting he become Clinton on the stump. Because he has his own unique magic. He speaks to our aspirations in a way that Clinton did not really. She was too willing to get down and dirty. She was old style, brass knuckle politics to the core. And she gave off no vibes that we could ever expect politics to be different in our lifetimes. (Of course I was for her and not for Obama partly because I believe her to be right.)

What we need is a campaign that combines a powerful appeal to people with needs with an equally powerful appeal to people with aspirations. We don’t need one and not the other. We need both. And we need them urgently.

But here’s the tricky thing. I think many people are starting to tune out Obama, to suffer from a little Obama fatigue. The Convention is his last chance before the debates to shift the dynamic. And he better get it right. He better put on a show that’s more than a show about his biography and personal narrative. And it had better speak to more than what I’m calling the aspirational voter. It certainly must speak to and reenergize that aspirational voter -- I'm expecting one helluva speech on that score. But it also has to speak to people with need, whose needs are too urgent for them to worry about a "new" politics. He's a brilliant man and I'm sure he can do it.

Finally, and this is the really tricky part, we have to set aside a little bit the new politics meme. We’re in a dogfight. In a dogfight you have to shoot the other guy down. It’s time to take the sheen off John McCain. That would be hard for any democrat to do. McCain has got an impressive biography in his own right -- the kind that many, many Americans will think a president should have. It will be even harder for Obama in particular to do. Because doing so is going to take a massive dose of old politics. Consequently, doing so will sully a bit the Obama new politics brand. You never want to mess up your brand if you don’t have to. But I’m afraid Obama has to.

Here’s one thing that I said a lot during the primaries that some people disagreed with and maybe took the wrong way. Perhaps because I could never find a completely artful way of making the point. Obama is really sort of a far less personality challenged and African American version of Gary Hart or Paul Tsongas or Jerry Brown (circa ’76) or Bill Bradley. Those guys never really made inroads into Clinton style voters with needs. They appealed to the young and to upper crust liberals. But they couldn’t win partly because their appeal to that group wasn’t quite intense enough to sustain them when the going got tough, but also because they made almost no inroads into the voters driven more by need than by aspiration. Obama by contrast provoked an intensity that those guys never matched but also made inroads into a huge constituency that is usually driven more by need than by aspiration. That’s because he spoke powerfully to the aspirations of African Americans (from all walks of life) just by being who and what he is. I’m not criticizing this as a bad thing. It’s a very good thing. But it did help mask his weakness on the score of connecting viscerally to more downscale voters' sense of felt need. I reiterate this point now just to stress again that Obama really has to work to make that visceral connection. If he doesn’t, we will lose many weak democrats, because many of these weak democrats swing back and forth on the basis of their gut. Even though our policies are better for them, they don’t always have the sense that our candidates are better for them. I think Obama’s a bit in danger of becoming one of those guys who is right on all things substantive (as far as these voters go) but who gets tuned out because, well, he isn’t the right guy.

The convention is his last best chance to (a) convince more of our potential folks that he has the right policies; (b) is the right person; and (c) that McCain is not a legitimate alternative. He's got to do all three of those things.
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Posted by kennetha in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Mon Aug 18th 2008, 02:40 PM
Here is very brief excerpt of John McCain's lead up to a ferocious attack on Obama today.

Though victory in Iraq is finally in sight, a great deal still depends on the decisions and good judgment of the next president. The hard-won gains of our troops hang in the balance. The lasting advantage of a peaceful and democratic ally in the heart of the Middle East could still be squandered by hasty withdrawal and arbitrary timelines. And this is one of many problems in the shifting positions of my opponent, Senator Obama.


And here is just a bit from Obama's response:

The difference in this race is that John McCain is intent on spending $10 billion a month on an open-ended war, while Barack Obama thinks we should bring this war to a responsible end and invest in our pressing needs here at home."


I think Obama has a problem. He needs to either directly refute McCain's claim that "victory in Iraq is finally in sight" as some sort of fantasy or say why his approach is a better guarantor of victory. The phrase "a responsible end to the war in Iraq." which Obama (and CLinton when she was running) intones frequently is monumentally unclear in its intentions.

Does a responsible end = VIctory, defeat, or something between? If something in between, what exactly?

If Victory, how is Obama's recipe a better recipe for victory than McCain's? If a responsible end = some version of non-victory, how is that different from defeat and why is it acceptable.

I think Obama and the democrats generally counted on Iraq still being an utter mess come November since when the campaign began it was still looking like Iraq was nothing but an interminable Civil War that we could have no helpful role in. That was my view too. But it doesn't quite look that way now and I think McCain is being very, very effective in hammering the theme that Obama isn't tough enough and isn't prepared enough to be Commander in Chief.


Obama has to decide and be firm in that decision and explain clearly what can or can't be achieved in Iraq, how we will achieve it, and why he is the best person to achieve it. "end the war responsibly" just won't do against McCain's constant and somewhat credible claim that some sort of "victory" is in sight.

Or so it seems to me.
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Posted by kennetha in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Tue May 20th 2008, 12:05 AM
Let's grant, for the sake of argument, that Obama is more likely than not to be the democratic nominee. Here are some things that strike me as more likely than not, at least at this moment.

First, without a serious reconciliation between Obama and Clinton supporters, Obama is probably going to lose in November. Second, even with Hillary's enthusiastic endorsement, he may well still lose. That's because many of Clinton's supporters are so angry and alienated that nothing short of her on the ticket -- either at the head or in second place -- will satisfy them. I myself am not quite that alienated and angry. But I'm getting closer and closer every day.

I think Obama's main chance of winning the vast bulk of Hillarydom over to his cause is to put Hillary herself on the ticket.

But sometimes it strikes me that he may be too small-minded, arrogant and fearful to see that. Indeed, part of me wonders whether he is man enough and secure enough in himself to put a tough woman, with a determined and independent base of support that's nearly equal to his own, on the ticket. It seems as though he may fear being overshadowed by her. That's really just a guess, of course. Clearly, though, many in his camp are too fearful, too small-minded and too arrogant to see the writing on the wall. They want a VP that is subservient, one that owes his/her political future entirely to Obama. They want a yes man or yes woman that will be nice wall paper. Hillary clearly isn't that. If Obama shares their outlook, he will never choose her.

On the other side, there is the question of whether Hillary should want to be on Obama's ticket even if offered. If she is on the ticket, and if he really is as small minded and fearful or her as his supporters evidently are, then he will do everything he can to diminish and emasculate her. On the other hand, if he has a larger, less self-focused vision than his supporters do, he will try to magnify her and exploit her considerable strengths.

So depending on how Clinton sizes up the real Obama, it just may be better for her (and for the party) to basically sit this one out.

It would be painful, in a way, to watch him go down in flames. And who knows what trouble a President McCain could cause.

But with her base in tact and expanded in 2012 -- as she goes back to the Senate and fights and fights and fights for progressive causes against John McCain -- she will be the presumptive nominee. Moreover, the "Obama wing" of the party will be in shambles. They and their enablers will take the blame for leading us to defeat in what looked like a sure democratic year. That would be hardball politics, to be sure. But sometimes you have to play hardball to save a party from itself. Plus the race doesn't always go to the swift.

On the other hand, if Obama wins without any help from Hillarydom, the party will be his and his alone for the next eight years. She has to make a calculation whether that is more or less likely. But personally, I think that without Hillary there is almost no chance of an Obama victory.


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