Skip to main content

As Hillary Clinton's Presidential campaign chances fade away in an embyonic stampede of superdelegates to Barack Obama, at least some of her supporters are pursuing a Plan B, the Vice-Presidency. has been formed to push her candidacy with the appealing notion that we should not settle for a candidate backed by 51% of the Democratic Party when we can get a team backed by 100%.

This follows Senator Clinton's offer--made after Senator Obama had taken a large delegate lead--to make Obama her V.P. and her suggestion that he make the same offer to her.  As only Obama at that point was likely to actually be able to offer the Vice-Presidency, it seemed to me that this exercise was more about landing the Vice-Presidency than gaining votes for President.

Her strategy of campaigning in all the remaining states can also be seen as an effort to pick up Vice-Presidential delegates.  If she comes into the Convention with, say, 1900 delegates, she would only be a little short of the majority needed for Vice-President.

The strength--and weakness--of this gambit is the fact that there are no pledged delegates for Vice-President.

Just as it stands to reason that some Obama delegates would like to vote for her for Vice-President, it also stands to reason that there are some Clinton delegates who would like to score points with President Obama by backing his candidate for Vice-President.

The last time a Presidential candidate was challenged at a Democratic National Convention on his choice for Vice-President was in 1972, when George McGovern's nomination of Senator Tom Eagleton met resistance from many McGovern delegates who advanced the candidacy of recent Texas gubernatorial candiate Frances Farenthold.  

Large numbers of supporters of McGovern's rivals Hubert Humphrey and Scoop Jackson rode to McGovern's rescue in support of having a centrist Catholic nominee.  Eagleton won easily, but to little avail as he was soon forced off the ticket for having, and hiding, a record of recurring mental illness.

Eight years earlier, Lyndon Johnson faced down a determined effort by supporters of Attorney General
Robert Kennedy to make him LBJ's runningmate.  Johnson announced that he was ruling out all members of his cabinet and all who regularly met with the cabinet from Vice-Presidential consideration.

Kennedy wrote all of the affected a note saying "Sorry to take you all with me."  And he moved to New York, got elected to the Senate, and set a valuable precedent for Hillary Clinton in doing so.

One has to go back to 1944 to find an example where convention delegates--then controlled by party bosses--successfully powered a candidate for the Vice-Presidency.  Vice-President Henry Wallace was far too liberal--too much an accomodationist with the Soviet Union, then a WWII ally, and too little an accomodationist with racial segregation, powerful business interests, and political machines--to be acceptable to them.

So they pressured Roosevelt, then obviously dying, to name someone else.  After hemming and hawing, FDR finally said that either Wallace or Senator Harry Truman would be acceptable.  Truman then won a decisive victory, and all but the first three months of the next term in the Presidency.

Senator Hillary Clinton is no Harry Truman.  And I do not think the "Vote Both" gambit will work.  But it certainly bears watching, analysis, and in the judgment of many including myself, concerted opposition.

Originally posted to State Rep Mark Cohen Dem PA on Sun May 11, 2008 at 05:50 PM PDT.


Should Barack Obama's Vice-Presidential Choice Be

3%21 votes
91%500 votes
3%19 votes
1%7 votes

| 547 votes | Vote | Results

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site