Bill Keller, op-ed columnist for the NY Times wrote a piece that just needs to get discussed:
But the idea that [Hillary] should replace Joe Biden as Obama’s running mate in 2012 is something else. It has been kicking around on the blogs for more than a year without getting any traction, mainly because it has been authoritatively, emphatically dismissed by Hillary, Biden and Team Obama.
It’s time to take it seriously.
I haven't made it a secret that I'm not real happy about voting for President Obama. I'm one of those independent progressives that will probably never be happy with what we call a Democrat now-a-days.
But I have to admit, I felt a little gleam of something when I read this.
Is there actually a chance that President Obama would chose a new running mate and, if so, would he run with Hillary Clinton?
According to Keller, there are three pluses:
One: it does more to guarantee Obama’s re-election than anything else the Democrats can do.
Two: it improves the chances that, come next January, he will not be a lame duck with a gridlocked Congress but a rejuvenated president with a mandate and a Congress that may be a little less forbidding.
Three: it makes Hillary the party’s heir apparent in 2016. If she sits out politics for the next four years, other Democrats (yes, Governor Cuomo, we see your hand up) will fill the void.
Then he alludes to a couple more:
Plus # 4 - Down Ticket Races
An Obama/Clinton ticket could do a lot to help some down ticket races, especially in places where Joe Biden doesn't have as much pull, like down south and possibly the desert southwest. Nothing like a Clinton on the campaign trail, right?
Plus # 5 - The Gender Gap
Keller also mentions the famous Gender Gap and what happened to those female votes in 2010, "One reason Republicans did so well in the 2010 Congressional elections is that they overcame the gender gap and carried women voters 51 to 49."
Put a woman on the ticket, and there is a good chance that women will take a closer look. They may even be inspired to vote. And, if Republicans chose to put a woman on the ticket, it gives the Democrats a chance to keep some of those votes.
But this is the one that I think would take the cake:
Plus #6 - Historic election
Electing the first African American president was part of the draw for many volunteers and many voters in 2008. Creating history all over again would just plain feel good. It would not only motivate voters, it would motivate volunteers which, in turn, means more voters.
I have to admit, I might be encouraged to volunteer if I could help get a woman in office.
Is Clinton the answer to a more progressive 4 years? Not likely. I won't be that naive ever again. But she could be the answer to a lackluster election where folks aren't very excited about getting out to vote. As one of those who feels pretty lackluster, I think this should actually be a serious consideration for those who make the big decisions.
How about you? What do you think?