Thursday, June 05, 2008

The Maneuverings of Hillary

It’s clear from her political posturing that Hillary Clinton wants more than anything to give the impression that, when it comes to the discussion of potential running mates for Barack Obama, she is the one operating from a position of power - that, should she settle for so lowly a consolation prize, she will be conceding a great deal for the sake of her party and her country. But while Barack will undoubtedly need to reach out to Hillary’s disgruntled supporters (who have become more and more disgruntled by Clinton claims that they’ve won more votes, the election has been stolen, and that Obama himself has run a sexist campaign), she has continually made it harder than it should be by squandering numerous opportunities to display some class and altruism – two traits that critics would claim the Clintons fundamentally lack – in conceding the election and building bridges between Democratic camps. Is stepping away from the spotlight for the good of your party and your country really that tough, especially given the enormous accolades that would be heaped your way?

The Politico explores Hillary’s maneuvering and how it has forced Obama to “tread gingerly” around her. An excerpt:

For days, Barack Obama did not step foot in public without praising Hillary Rodham Clinton. Even on Wednesday, less than 12 hours after Clinton delivered a defiant nonconcession speech with more than a few eyebrow-raising lines, Obama was still at it, extolling her history-making run. But an awkward reality hung over what was supposed to be the first day of the general election campaign — even after news broke Wednesday evening that Clinton would be dropping out of the race Friday. Like a family groping to move past a feud, Obama appeared eager to make up and Clinton seemed to want little part of a public coming together.

She took the stage Wednesday at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference — minutes after Obama spoke from the same dais — and barely mentioned him, vouching only for his commitment to Israel. Associates elsewhere in Washington were floating her name for vice president, yet Clinton did not even acknowledge that most of the political world had conferred the presidential nomination on her opponent.

The uneasy dance put the Obama campaign in a fix. Even in their moment of triumph, aides were still navigating the Clinton waters, underscoring the extent to which Obama may not be able to fully immerse himself in the general election campaign until the New York senator steps out of the race.
Meanwhile, Roger Simon explores answers to some key questions that Barack Obama must consider regarding the potential selection of Hillary as his running mate. The list:

1. Will Obama follow the First Rule of Running Mates?

2. What about Bill?

3. What does Hillary Clinton really bring to the ticket?

4. Why would Clinton even want the job?

5. What is the slot problem?

6. Doesn’t Obama have to prove he is not sexist by putting Clinton on the ticket?

7. Is Clinton behaving as if she deserves the job?

8. Could she get something else instead?

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