Jonathan Martin at Politico reminds us of one of the signature lines from the primary contest, where in response to a question (and a guffaw from Senator Clinton) about why there were so many Clinton advisers on Obama’s team, President-elect Obama lets loose with possibly the zinger of the election season:
Well, it is now confirmed by multiple reporting sources, so it must be true: the Obama camp is seriously considering Hillary Clinton for Secretary of State:
Putting Clinton, wife of former President Bill Clinton, in the position could help heal whatever lingering divisions remain in the Democratic Party after her bitter battle with Obama.
Lots of ways to interpret this, but I have to say I’m not an enormous fan of the idea. Here are the pros and cons as I see it:
The backlash on the McCain camps ridiculous claims that Senator Obama called Sarah Palin a pig is growing. Chris Matthews did a good job taking down this controversy, and now Hillary Clinton steps to the plate.
At a Capitol Hill news conference today, Hillary Clinton defended Obama’s “lipstick on a pig” comment, accusing McCain of using the controversy to distract from substantive issues in the campaign.
“Barack has made this clear,” she said responding to a question about the lipstick remark, which Republicans have condemned as a “disgraceful” and “sexist” attack on Palin. “It was no way meant as an affront.”
During the press conference, which addressed equal pay for women, Clinton added that “Republicans need to lift up the dialogue” and blamed McCain’s campaign for trying to “divert attention away from challenges facing Americans.”
She also stated that she’ll be back on the trail for Obama this fall:
Sarah Palin is rapidly turning into a major blunder for McCain, and as such I don’t intend to focus much on her in the future, barring some major issue coming to the fore. But for those Hillary Clinton supporters who may be flirting with the GOP because of this pick, you may want to see what the GOP faithful really thinks of her (in case you forgot). Case in point, at a rally in Pennsylvania, Gov. Palin tries to pander to Hillary Clinton voters by complimenting her. The GOP response is less than enthused:
Not the response she was hoping for, I’m sure.
McCain’s pick of the former mayor from a town of about 8000 was about as cynical a strategy as can be imagined in recent history. With Obama getting a nice bump out of his convention, McCain clearly saw the writing on the wall:
Let’s stop pretending this race is as close as national polling suggests. The truth is McCain is essentially tied or trailing in every swing state that matters — and too close for comfort in several states like Indiana and Montana the GOP usually wins pretty easily in presidential races. On top of that, voters seem very inclined to elect Democrats in general this election — and very sick of the Bush years.
McCain could easily lose in an electoral landslide. That is the private view of Democrats and Republicans alike.
McCain’s pick shows he is not pretending. Politicians, even “mavericks” like McCain, play it safe when they think they are winning — or see an easy path to winning. They roll the dice only when they know that the risks of conventionality are greater than the risks of boldness.
So he decided to throw the deep pass, hoping that picking Sarah Palin would open the door to women in general, and unhappy Hillary supporters in particular. Take a listen to her transparent pander to those voters at yesterday’s rally:
Oops, that’s Gov. Palin calling Hillary a whiner. Sorry about that. Anyway, at yesterday’s rally, she made a transparent play to Hillary voters, essentially saying, “thanks for all of the chips in the glass ceiling, but I’ll take it from here.“
Unfortunately for McCain and Palin, women are not as gullible as they seem to think they are:
I talked about Hillary’s very excellent speech below, and now the media chatter will inevitably turn to whether her die-hard supporters got the message. I would say that those who came in with an open mind were very likely to be ready to pony up and support Obama. As for the others, well…
But Clinton’s performance fell far short of the panacea the Democratic Party had desperately hoped for, delegates said. Some worried that, after Clinton’s public withdrawal, more voters might defect for Republican John McCain or simply stay home.
“I’m not going to vote for Obama. I’m not going to vote for McCain, either,” said Blanche Darley, 65, a Texas delegate for Clinton. Darley wore a button saying “Obamination Scares the Hell Out of Me.”
Read more »
There were so many great lines in this speech.
No way. No how. No McCain.
I want you to ask yourselves: Were you in this campaign just for me? Or were you in it for that young Marine and others like him? Were you in it for that mom struggling with cancer while raising her kids? Were you in it for that boy and his mom surviving on the minimum wage? Were you in it for all the people in this country who feel invisible?
But we don’t need four more years … of the last eight years.
It makes sense that George Bush and John McCain are going to be together next week in the twin cities because these days, it’s hard to tell them apart.
It was a great combination of acknowledging her supporters, a call for unity, singing the praises of Senator Obama, and red meat attacks on John McCain. Perhaps the most important statement was, “I want you to ask yourselves: Were you in this campaign just for me? Or were you in it for that young Marine and others like him? Were you in it for that mom struggling with cancer while raising her kids? Were you in it for that boy and his mom surviving on the minimum wage? Were you in it for all the people in this country who feel invisible?” That was a direct shot at the PUMA’s specifically, and a call to arms for her disappointed supporters generally. There has certainly been a lot of chatter from the media chuckleheads regarding whether Hillary would play ball, but she clearly hit a home run tonight. It’s time to get moving towards the goal of electing Senator Obama in November, and Hillary just went a long way towards that.
Wow. Just, wow:
Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell said Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton will probably run for president again despite failing to secure the Democratic nomination this year.
“Yeah, she wants to run again,” Rendell told USA TODAY Sunday morning at the site of the Democratic National Convention.
Rendell was a Clinton supporter and campaigned with her throughout his home state. He said she clearly enjoyed the process and reached a comfort level with voters the longer she stayed on the road.
Rendell recalled a night in an industrial area south of Pittsburgh shortly before the state’s primary when 2,500 supporters filled an outdoor amphitheater despite a downpour to rally for the New York senator. Moments like those, Rendell said, will propel her to run again.
This is just stunning, and calls into question whether Rendell actually supports Obama at all. Look at his other incendiary statement this morning:
Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell was supposed to give “closing remarks” during this afternoon’s Shorenstein Center-sponsored panel discussion with all three Sunday show moderators — NBC’s Tom Brokaw, ABC’s George Stephanopoulous and CBS’s Bob Schieffer — but instead, he opened up a can of worms about bias in 2008 election coverage
“Ladies and gentleman, the coverage of Barack Obama was embarrassing,” said Rendell, in the ballroom at Denver’s Brown Palace Hotel. “It was embarrassing.”
Rendell, an ardent Hillary Rodham Clinton supporter during the primaries, now backs Obama in the general election. Brokaw and Rendell began debating campaign coverage, including the on-air comments by Lee Cowan, and when MSNBC came up, Rendell went after the cable network.
“MSNBC was the official network of the Obama campaign,” Rendell said.
This would seem to take some steam out of the complaints that Hillary wasn’t vetted.
In the end, it came down to Biden, Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh and Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, said several people involved in the deliberations. Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius also was a strong contender, but dropped out of contention as Obama focused on the other three.
Hillary Rodham Clinton, who ran so closely to Obama in the primary, was never seriously considered, said two officials involved with the search. She asked not to be vetted unless she was going to be picked, the two officials said, speaking on a condition of anonymity to describe the private discussions.
This makes so much more sense. When the original story came out, I would thoroughly confused. Why would Hillary or her advisers leak this story? The only result would be to sow division in the party. Obviously, not agreeing to submit yourself to the vetting process would preclude Obama from seriously considering her. That doesn’t even take into account whether Bill would have submitted himself to vetting. But it appears that Hillary as VP was a non-starter. In any case, I think it is well-past time to put the primary to rest. Hillary has come out with a very nice statement endorsing the pick:
In naming my colleague and friend Senator Joe Biden to be the Vice Presidential nominee, Senator Obama has continued in the best traditions for the Vice Presidency by selecting an exceptionally strong, experienced leader and devoted public servant. Senator Biden will be a purposeful and dynamic Vice President who will help Senator Obama both win the Presidency and govern this great country.
She will do the right thing next week and give a rousing endorsement. She has been great since the primaries ended, doing whatever has been asked. Hopefully this will end some of the complaints and we can move to have a great convention.
I agree wholeheartely with Dan about the need for Sen. Kerrey to shut his yap, but beyond that: What in the hell is the Clinton campaign doing? Witness all of the following over the past week or so:
August 4th: Bill Clinton gives an interview that is nearly universally derided, in which he can’t bring himself to say that Obama is qualified and ready to be President.
August 6th: Time publishes a story which talks about Hillary’s general unhappiness about the campaign (including lack of help with her debt), and which also implies that she doesn’t think Obama can win.
August 7th: A video surfaces in which Hillary talks about the need for a ‘Cathartic’ convention, implying the need to put her name in nomination. This is a move that is widely seen as damaging to the party, as it would potentially reopen old primary wounds.
August 11th: Howard Wolfson engages in some revisionist history, claiming that if the John Edwards affair had been brought to light in November of 2007, then Hillary would have won the primary. It takes all of a couple of hours to debunk this claim.
August 11th: Sen. Kerrey drops his stink bomb.
So in the space of a week, we have five major stories, put out by either the Clinton’s directly, or high-level supporters, which have gotten into the mainstream media. All of which have or will cause headaches for the Obama campaign. And that does not even take into account the upcoming Atlantic story which, while certainly not pushed by the Clinton camp, will likely open up a new can of worms. So what is Clinton hoping to accomplish here? To be sure, we don’t know if this is some concerted effort by the Clinton’s and surrogates to undermine Obama. In fact, given the alleged disarray in that camp that has already been cited by Politico, I would doubt it. It’s more likely that they are just popping off at the mouth here, but I would also also venture a guess that they also know that Hillary is not going to be the VP, and are therefore venting. It certainly doesn’t tamp down speculation that they don’t want Obama to win, and have no problem undermining him. One can only wonder what we’ll be in for next.