Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

January 31, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

THE VEEPSTAKES....Tom Schaller suggests that Hillary Clinton is already eyeing Evan Bayh as her running mate:

If Hillary wants to knock Barack Obama on his heels, she could put Bayh (or better yet, Iowa's Tom Vilsack?) on the ticket by, say, July 1. Having a running mate during the primary allows her to balance the ticket from the start; doubles the principles (and spouses) who can raise money and campaign; would take some of the spotlight off her; and reduces her risks of burnout or becoming overexposed. Of course, if Obama beats her to the punch ...

I don't know if Bayh or Vilsack are the right guys, but this is an idea that's always intrigued me too. In recent history the vice presidency has been viewed as sort of a consolation prize for one of the losing presidential contenders (Edwards in 04, Bush in 80), but this perception is mostly a myth (Cheney and Lieberman in 2000, Kemp in 96, Gore in 92, Quayle and Bentsen in 88, Ferraro in 84, Mondale and Dole in 76). So why not balance the ticket early, get a second campaigning organization, and improve your fundraising from the start? What's the advantage of waiting?

In fact, since we're tossing off weird ideas here, how about announcing your top cabinet members during the convention? Let's say, State, Defense, and Treasury. It gives people an idea of what your administration would look like, it reduces policy competition on your team, and it provides a bigger dedicated campaigning staff for the general election.

There are downsides, of course. Choosing your team early reduces the number of people who stay in suck-up mode hoping for a cabinet appointment if you win. Your nominees will have enemies as well as friends. A bigger campaign group increases the odds of a fatal gaffe of some kind. And waiting can be helpful. Maybe the campaign itself will produce a new star?

Anyway, just a thought. I've always figured that someday some risk-taking candidate will go this route. Maybe not Hillary, but someone.

UPDATE: Kemp wasn't a losing contender in 1996. I've corrected the text accordingly. And in comments, JoshA says that announcing cabinet members prior to an election would violate anti-patronage laws. Seems silly, but there you have it.

Also in comments, Ken D. reminds me that someone already tried the early VP idea:

Reagan did name a VP (PA Gov. Sen. Schweiker) late in the 1976 campaign for exactly those reasons. It didn't work; Schweiker couldn't swing a single convention vote, iirc, and Ford won the nomination. Part of the problem is that it is hard to name people without their consent, which will be hard to come by unless they have already endorsed you, which drastically limits the pool. The accepted and conventional way of going about this, however imperfect, will be hard to shake.

Kevin Drum 11:38 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (66)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

anyone else unable to see comments here in FireFox ?

(posting from IE)

Posted by: cleek on January 31, 2007 at 11:59 AM | PERMALINK

I'm going to toss a little something off myself: announcing cabinet positions would be tough, as many cabinet candidates wouldn't want to make a bet in this way. No doubt you could find enough folks to do so, but your pool would be artificially small.

Posted by: Sam Spade on January 31, 2007 at 12:04 PM | PERMALINK

The upside is outweighed by several factors, including the increased scrutiny that comes with each of your choices.

Posted by: Chocolate Thunder on January 31, 2007 at 12:05 PM | PERMALINK

cleek:

Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.8.1.1) Gecko/20061208 Firefox/2.0.0.1

comments look fine to me.

Posted by: Sam Spade on January 31, 2007 at 12:05 PM | PERMALINK

I think this is a better strategy for Obama. He should balance his ticket by getting somebody unarticulate and dumb and dirty and ugly and white.

Posted by: Joe Biden on January 31, 2007 at 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

anyone else unable to see comments here in FireFox ?

Your greasemonkey script to not see my and AH's posts probably screwed up your Firefox. Ha!

Posted by: Al on January 31, 2007 at 12:10 PM | PERMALINK

I have often thought that building a "shadow cabinet" in advance of the campaign would be a smart thing for a candidate to do. Having experienced and credible presumptive cabinet members would allow a candidate to compensate for his or her own weaknesses as well as to increase the visibility of the campaign, with several more people available for news shows and personal appearances.

Also having a cabinet-in-waiting would give a kind of aura that this really is an administration ready to take office, not just some guy who wants to be president.

Posted by: paul on January 31, 2007 at 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

I always thought that Presidents picked Vice Presidents to make themselves bullet proof. Take the first Bush, if he got shot, we got Quayle as Prez. If someone shoots Dubya, we get Cheney.

Posted by: Shivas on January 31, 2007 at 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

Last time the idea of naming a cabinet in advance was floated, one of the objections was that it might, strictly speaking, be a violation of a law against any candidate offering anybody a job in exchange for a vote.

Posted by: DonBoy on January 31, 2007 at 12:13 PM | PERMALINK

Isn't what he is suggesting similar to the idea of having a shadow government to address the policies of the existing government, although in this case it would be for just the campaign and not permanent.

Posted by: Chaz on January 31, 2007 at 12:14 PM | PERMALINK

Your greasemonkey script to not see my and AH's posts probably screwed up your Firefox. Ha!

Figures that liberals can't use technology. LOL. Most technology was invented by conservatives for a reason.

Posted by: American Hawk on January 31, 2007 at 12:15 PM | PERMALINK

Reagan did name a VP (PA Gov. Schweiker) late in the 1976 campaign for exactly those reasons. It didn't work; Schweiker couldn't swing a single convention vote, iirc, and Ford won the nomination. Part of the problem is that it is hard to name people without their consent, which will be hard to come by unless they have already endorsed you, which drastically limits the pool. The accepted and conventional way of going about this, however imperfect, will be hard to shake. Naming cabinet after the nomination might be more plausible.

Posted by: Ken D. on January 31, 2007 at 12:16 PM | PERMALINK

Hilary won't pre-announce her running mate and cabinet for one simple reason: it would demonstrate to the world the shallowness of the democrat talent pool.

Even Hilary isn't that stupid.

Posted by: Al on January 31, 2007 at 12:19 PM | PERMALINK

Evan Bayh? Yikes. I hope it's not true.

Posted by: mary on January 31, 2007 at 12:23 PM | PERMALINK

What's the advantage of waiting?
...
There are downsides, of course. Choosing your team early reduces the number of people who stay in suck-up mode hoping for a cabinet appointment if you win. Your nominees will have enemies as well as friends. A bigger campaign group increases the odds of a fatal gaffe of some kind. And waiting can be helpful. Maybe the campaign itself will produce a new star?

When you answer your own questions, I feel left out of the process.

Also, it's January 2007!!! You'll get minimum bump at maximum risk. I agree that candidates might be better off picking a team earlier than they do, but not this early!

Posted by: Royko on January 31, 2007 at 12:26 PM | PERMALINK

You are not allowed to announce who will take which jobs because of the rules regarding patronage. Its illegal to roll out your cabinet pre-election, because that would be promising those people jobs (which was a problem in the past because it was sort of a bribe).

I actually think that the law should be changed to allow the top-level positions to be announced, but right now its illegal.

Posted by: JoshA on January 31, 2007 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

Emulating the British Parliamentary system shouldn't be that hard. You just don't call them Cabinet members but, say, Chairman of Defense Issues for the 21st Century for the James Webb Campaign.

Posted by: gregor on January 31, 2007 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK


In recent history the vice presidency has been viewed as sort of a consolation prize for one of the losing presidential contenders, but this perception is mostly a myth.

Myth or not, when Obama was asked whether he would accept the vice presidential spot on the Democratic ticket, he was careful not to rule it out. If Clinton announced early that she was picking someone else it would have the effect of causing Obama to take off any kid gloves he might otherwise be wearing when criticizing her during the primary season and this lead-up to it. Already sure to receive (and already the target of them) innumerable smears from the right, it's clearly to Clinton's advantage not to antagonize Obama with such an unconventional maneuver.


Posted by: jayarbee on January 31, 2007 at 12:37 PM | PERMALINK

Until one has the Presidential nomination, naming a running mate is too risky. First of all a candidate's campaign would have to use its own resources to screen the prospect(s); secondly a running mate who was still in public office (as Bayh is, though Vilsack is not) could do something that the Presidential candidate might find it difficult to account for.

In this case, the biggest drawback to the idea is that both Bayh and Vilsack are substantially more accomplished in public life than either Clinton or Obama. Clinton is Bill Clinton's wife, and is a Presidential prospect for that reason only. Obama is a fad, an instant celebrity based on his personal appearance and a couple of widely publicized speeches. These are not things a candidate who has not already nailed down his or her party's nomination needs to highlight by announcing that his No. 2 will be a long-term, successful governor or Senator (or, in Bayh's case, both).

Kevin does have the germ of a good idea with respect to Cabinet and other high appointive positions. I think it would be foolish to announce these before the election, for some of the same reasons it would be foolish to announce a running mate before the nomination has been decided. However, it would be a very good thing if both major parties' candidates were permitted to submit a list of prospective appointees for FBI and other relevant agencies to screen shortly after the party conventions. Each new administration takes a progressively longer time to staff senior positions, and the length of time required to screen prospective appointees is one key reason. To take one random example, Bill Clinton tripped up badly in appointing an Attorney General, twice, finally settling on an inferior candidate. While it's easy to blame him, his problems were really the fault of the compressed time available to new Presidents to select senior appointees and have them vetted. Pre-election screening could help future Presidents staff up their administrations more quickly and avoid embarrassing episodes like Clinton's.

Posted by: Zathras on January 31, 2007 at 12:40 PM | PERMALINK

Al and AH: how long will it take for the surge to break the will of the Iraqi insurgents? Two weeks? A month? Don't be shy, get yourselves on record so you can rub our liberal noses in it when you prove us wrong.

Oh, and how come the Decider's polling at 30%? His moral compass has so much length and girth! His faith is steely and unyielding! Who needs 'experience' and 'qualifications' and 'ability'? What's wrong with the citizenry??

I'll answer my own question: it's the cursed 'MSM'! They refuse to tell us the truth about Iraq and give us just the bad news because they hate Freedom and Capitalism.

Posted by: Sam Spade on January 31, 2007 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK
So why not balance the ticket early, get a second campaigning organization, and improve your fundraising from the start?

If God Himself came down and declared himself to be Hillary Clinton's running mate, it wouldn't meaningfully increase her fundraising ability.

I'm not sure Bayh or Vilsack "balances the ticket", either. (I'm not sure how necessary balancing the ticket is though, anyway, its not like either Clinton/Gore or Bush/Cheney were "balanced", geographically or even, within their party, ideologically.)

Posted by: cmdicely on January 31, 2007 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

I think it's a good idea and more candidates should do that. I think Evan Bayh is the wrong person, though -- he's on my list of democrats never to vote for. I'd vote for McCain before a Clinton/Bayh ticket.

If we had an Edwards/Obama ticket this early, though, it could be a steamroller.

Posted by: Remus Shepherd on January 31, 2007 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

I agree with jayarbee 100 percent.

Posted by: shortstop on January 31, 2007 at 12:47 PM | PERMALINK

Wouldn't Jim Webb be a better VP pick for Hillary and most other candidates? He brings foreign policy credibility and puts Virginia in play.
--RiMac

Posted by: RiMac on January 31, 2007 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

"Most technology was invented by conservatives for a reason."

Only in your fantasies, fool.

Posted by: CN on January 31, 2007 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

Good golly there Kevin. That's quite a way to capture a nomination, start out by admitting that you are too weak or to scared to win the contest outright on your own.

It reminds me of Reagan's selection of Richard S. Schweiker in 1976. Hint of desperation,

Posted by: Keith G on January 31, 2007 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK
You are not allowed to announce who will take which jobs because of the rules regarding patronage. Its illegal to roll out your cabinet pre-election, because that would be promising those people jobs (which was a problem in the past because it was sort of a bribe).

As it would be today, too.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 31, 2007 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

Another downside to choosing a shadow cabinet is that you've got high-powered people with much better things to do spending two years for a shot at a four-year job. It's bad enough the top candidates have that much time to waste on a risky proposition; do we want to extend that to the CEOs, generals, governors, etc. who would be roped into the campaign??

Posted by: Grumpy on January 31, 2007 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

There were also rumors of Dean asking Clark to join him in September of 2003.

The link no longer works, but I had it bookmarked at this address

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A57770-2003Sep10.html

Posted by: Steve L on January 31, 2007 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, and naming a VP candidate early can avoid her going into the convention, getting the nomination and then having pressure put on her to select Obama as her running mate, a selection that would be disastrous as Obama's support by the electorate is tissue thin and getting thinner as we speak. I will say, though, that Obama's recent book tour probably will go down in the history of marketing as the most wildly successful of all -- not only did the tour sell a lot of books but also captivated the cable news networks to the extent that the fast-talking junior senator from Illinois now is considered -- by them especially -- as a serious contender. Before the book tour, the news channels had no horse race to report as far as the Democratic nomination goes. It was Mrs. Clinton from the get-go. So they created one. Mrs. Clinton doesn't need this and is well advised to pick her vp as quickly as practicable. A presidential campaign is serious, serious business and no serious candidate should be expected to contend with a faux candidacy created out of whole cloth by a bunch of self-serving script writers for the cable tv news channels. As far as Obama, he may or may not have much of a political future, but that future is NOT the White House anytime soon. Mrs. Clinton presently is doing everything right and picking her vp early makes a lot of sense from a number of standpoints, Obama being a singularly obvious one.

By the by, for those of you with ever so short memories, may I remind you of the pressure brought to bear on John Kerry to select cable tv news's popular choice John Edwards as his running mate and then having to bear up under the reality that Edwards in actuality had only tissue-thin support,conducted a desultory campaign and wound up not even carrying his home state.

Posted by: aj on January 31, 2007 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

Ken,

Richard Schweiker was a senator from Pennsylvania (between 1969 and 1980), not a governor. Later, Reagan made him the Secretary of HHS in his first cabinet.

Posted by: Vadranor on January 31, 2007 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK
Yes, and naming a VP candidate early can avoid her going into the convention, getting the nomination and then having pressure put on her to select Obama as her running mate, a selection that would be disastrous as Obama's support by the electorate is tissue thin and getting thinner as we speak.

If Obama's support is tissue thin now, and getting thinner, there'd be no pressure to put him on the ticket by the time of the 2008 convention.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 31, 2007 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

If a candidate picked a VP and a cabinent by July 1st, that would mean that all voters would know exactly what the candidates were exactly about for almost a year and a half in advance of the general election. Which means that 1> your opponents have all that time to pick you to pieces, and 2> the regular public will really not want to have anything to do with you.

The secret to winning majorities (not primaries) in the general election is for people to know as little as possible about the candidates. There are obvious reasons for this. 62% of the population are Not Democrats. 68% are Not Republicans. If you held a referendum on whether voters liked or disliked each individual party, both parties would lose, decisively. It's only in a contest where people have to choose between the two that the odds are much closer to even.

m, that is all

Posted by: max on January 31, 2007 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

How about campaigning with a various potential VP nominees and then selecting the one that seems to be the best out on the campaign, on tv and is the most savvy?

Posted by: david in norcal on January 31, 2007 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

...then having to bear up under the reality that Edwards in actuality had only tissue-thin support,conducted a desultory campaign and wound up not even carrying his home state.

Had Kerry actually mounted a vigorous campaign (no wind surfing does not count), had Kerry actually spent all the money he raised and had he turned Edwards loose in a few select areas like Ohio, we would be dancin to a differnt tune today.

I wish Kerry was running now, just so I could enjoy watching that sorry corpse get whacked.

Posted by: Keith G on January 31, 2007 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

Clinton presently is doing everything right

One can do "everything right" and still be wrong. She has a ways to go before she gets to be called the winner.

Posted by: Keith G on January 31, 2007 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

Well, I just knew my post on the story that Mrs. Clinton may pick her VP candidate early -- I just knew it would get a rise. And I knew also that any reaction to it likely would be slapdash and off-the-top, so to speak.

And I was right.

Wise up, folks. Unless Mrs. Clinton decides otherwise, she will be the Democratic presidential nominee and she will be the next president of the United States. If you don't like it, if you can't stand the notion of a woman being president, say, then join the other Party. But if you support the best qualified, the best prepared, and the best for America, then get on the bandwagon now and cease your silly nitpicking. The other side is not at all silly; they've decided on their candidate, its John McCain and they're getting behind him 100 percent even though many of his positions are anathema to them. But he's Republican -- and that's all that matters to them. What should matter to Democrats is that the best qualified candidate, the candidate with the best chance of winning, that candidate heads the ticket. And that candidate is Mrs. Clinton. Live with it. Unless, of course, you prefer another four years of Republican rule.

Posted by: aj on January 31, 2007 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

Seig heil aj, seig heil.

Posted by: Keith G on January 31, 2007 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK

I simply can't stand the notion of a woman being president. Yes, that's my problem and that of everyone else here. Fucking shame on us.

Posted by: shortstop on January 31, 2007 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

Hang on...hang on...someone just told me that Barack Obama is part Negro. Well, then, he's off my list, too.

Posted by: shortstop on January 31, 2007 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

Three names:

Barbara Boxer

Jim Jeffords

Rocky Anderson

Somebody wise up and pick one.

Posted by: Um... on January 31, 2007 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

Didn't Bush announce his cabinet during the campaign in 2000? I have a distinct memory regarding this, to make up for his lightweighted-ness. Didn't he specifically say that, e.g., Powell would serve in his cabinet.

Posted by: Betty Black on January 31, 2007 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

aj mentions something negative about John Edwards that is a pet peeve of mine: that he did not win his home state of North Carolina.

So what? Even if Kerry had been a better candidate, I don't think there is any North Carolina Democrat who could have delivered the state for a Massachusetts Democrat at the top of the ticket. Jim Webb wouldn't be able to deliver Virginia if the Presidential nominee were perceived to be too liberal. Mitt Romney certainly won't deliver Massachusetts if he is the VP pick for a conservative Republican. In general, when you run for national office, you should and do stop positioning yourself to win your home state. So winning your home state is not the ultimate test for your success.

If you want to pick a VP to carry a state, it should be a frequently re-elected official from a swing state, such as Dick Gephardt from Missouri. But there are other reasons to pick someone than to carry his home state.

--RiMac

Posted by: RiMac on January 31, 2007 at 3:43 PM | PERMALINK

A terrible idea. Why give your opposition 2 years to find something wrong with your running mate when you don't have to?

And lets say that Clinton does this and gets a boost- so Obama finds someone even better to be an early VP and trumps her.

Posted by: Yancey Ward on January 31, 2007 at 3:45 PM | PERMALINK

wow, this would be the most exciting development in the

clinton


campaign

since-


- sorry, dozed off.

Posted by: benjoya on January 31, 2007 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK

not during the primaries, but I'm all for naming Cabinet level people during the general election. Powell was the only person Bush named during the campaign - not Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, or any of the other Neo-Cons/Iran-Contra folks.

In the Summer of '08, Dems should name their ideal choices (with consent of course) for Defense, State, NSA, and if possible, Treasury (might be harder to get a committment from a Wall St type).

Let the voters know who the rest of the team is!

Posted by: David Jahns on January 31, 2007 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

Bad idea. If you commit to a running mate in advance, it limits your flexibility to choose someone who maximizes your chances of winning the general election. What if that person happens to be Obama? It also requires you to take a risk that isn't necessary. Pikcing the running mate is always risky. Should it blow up in your face, it provides a big, fat example of your poor decision making powers. It's best to hold off until it's unavoidable: at the convention. Why do it now when you don't have to? If the person you choose turns out to be a stiff, you could sink your chances of getting the nomination.

Posted by: Jacob Marley on January 31, 2007 at 4:38 PM | PERMALINK

Hillary Clinton wins hands down among Democrats for the presidency. (See poll results below).

Why then would anyone who wants a Democrat in the White House refuse to get on the bandwagon? Why indeed. The good fight has begun, folks, and it's time to get aboard. Time to get serious. The other folks make no bones about it and we surely don't want to position ourselves to do their job for them, do we?

Here is a summary by the Gallup Organization of its latest poll results:

"Clinton is widely perceived among Democrats as having what it takes to do the job of president. Her greatest strength is the perception that she is 'the most qualified to be president.' Six in 10 Democrats say this quality most applies to Clinton, versus 21% naming Edwards and 13% choosing Obama.

"Other related Clinton strengths are that she is widely perceived as the 'strongest leader,' would perform best in the debates, would be best in a crisis, would manage the government most effectively, and would work the best with Congress.

"Additionally, by a 36-point margin over Edwards and a 42-point lead over Obama, Clinton enjoys a solid reputation as the candidate to beat for the 2008 Democratic nomination. Fifty-eight percent of Democrats believe Clinton has the best chance of winning the nomination. She enjoys a slightly smaller lead on being best able to defeat the Republican nominee in the 2008 general election, with 44% choosing Clinton, 27% Edwards, and 21% Obama."

Posted by: aj on January 31, 2007 at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK

aj says: "Why then would anyone who wants a Democrat in the White House refuse to get on the bandwagon?"

So, because Gallup has spoken, the race is over and anyone not in favor of the frontrunner is not a loyal Democrat? What is the point of the primaries if we must declare a winner a year before they begin?

To answer your question, some of us aren't on the bandwagon because we think one of the other candidates is better and still has time to convince the voters to elect him in the primaries. It isn't exactly unprecedented for the frontrunner to lose the nomination.

--RiMac

Posted by: RiMac on January 31, 2007 at 5:39 PM | PERMALINK

I think the logic is that by waiting until after the primaries, you get to select a nominee who raised money on his own, potentially more than he would have as your VP, and has spent time getting the the free press devoted to all series presidential contenders. Plus he has likely already found a significant national niche of supporters who he can funnel toward your campagin. Evan Bayh just simply doesn't join the campaign bringing votes like Hillary, Hagel, or Biden (okay, maybe not Biden).

Posted by: Mavis Beacon on January 31, 2007 at 5:57 PM | PERMALINK

Why then would anyone who wants a Democrat in the White House refuse to get on the bandwagon?

Um, because it's only January 2007...and we don't work for Hillary Rodham Clinton? Do you, by chance?

Posted by: shortstop on January 31, 2007 at 6:04 PM | PERMALINK

When will Democratic Party folk of stature or numbers recognize that Hillary is unelectable....... no matter how many make-overs she has. I wonder if Mitt Romney and Hillary Clinton have a side bet on as to which of them can come up with the most.

The Party Candidate being merely the one with the most bucks has got us too many half all right or rotten candidates and Presidents. It is time to go back to the smoke-filled rooms!!!!

Posted by: maunga on January 31, 2007 at 6:13 PM | PERMALINK

aj, honestly now, wow.

Tell ya what, You need to meet up with a kid who sometimes hangs here.

His name is Frequency Kenneth. You two could talk for hours.

Posted by: Keith G on January 31, 2007 at 6:27 PM | PERMALINK

Pairing Hillary with a couple of candidates who mirror her politics doesn't sound particularly insightful to me, worse still because their poll numbers don't impress. Vilsack is a piddling third on recent polling in Iowa (after Edwards and Obama). If he can't sway Iowans, how is this going to help her? Hillary needs to avoid looking like a robotic tactician. If she announces at all, she should go with someone from the West, someone lively and interesting to the base, like Schweitzer.

Posted by: Jeff on January 31, 2007 at 6:59 PM | PERMALINK

If Hillary is planning on courting my vote she needs to be thinking Russ Feingold for VP.

Bayh or Vilsack would clearly state she has no interest in my vote.

Posted by: Carl Nyberg on January 31, 2007 at 7:49 PM | PERMALINK

WRT choosing one's veep early, Schweiker's a bad example.

First of all, Reagan chose Schweiker after the primaries were over (IIRC, it didn't happen until right before the convention), so it was a move to win uncommitted delegates, not voters.

Second, the move was absurd on its face, since Schweiker was at the opposite extreme of the GOP from Reagan. This was back when Rockefeller Republicans still were in abundance, and Schweiker was one of them - more liberal than a lot of Democrats. The choice of Schweiker not only was clearly being made for political reasons, but there was clearly no other reason for it.

Doonesbury had a reporter asking Schweiker something along the lines of "Senator, how long does it take to sell out everything you've ever stood for?" with Schweiker's fictional reply being, "At least 36 hours - the paperwork's incredible!"

Posted by: RT on January 31, 2007 at 8:54 PM | PERMALINK

So, you are part of the company that claims Hillary Clinton is "unelectable." Of course, that puts you squarely in the company of such as George W. Bush and Karl Rove. You know that, don't you?

But along comes primetime Hillary detractor Dick Morris (remember him?) who has this to say:

"The Republican Party appears to be coalescing around the happy assumption that, while Hillary Clinton will win the Democratic nomination, she cannot be elected. So, the self-delusive logic says, she is really God's gift to the Republican Party.

"This optimistic set of assumptions comes through loud and clear in the comments the president and Karl Rove made to Bill Sammon as he interviewed them for his new book Strategery. But their confidence indicates simply that they don't even begin to understand what they will be up against in a Hillary candidacy."

And further:

"The cultural forces that Hillary's candidacy will unleash - from the media, from Hollywood and from the cultural icons who decree our lifestyles - will be far beyond those that normally line up behind a presidential candidate. A small foretaste emerged in ABC TV's show "Commander in Chief," in which Geena Davis plays a female president who masters the men and the crises that litter her path. What other presidential candidacy was foreshadowed by a prime-time, hour-long weekly television show?

"Hillary's candidacy will not be Democratic so much as demographic and not nearly as political as it will be cultural. The pent-up emotions of half of America will rise to the surface just as Catholics rallied to JFK's candidacy in 1960."

If the man who arguably is Hillary Clinton's No. 1 enemy predicts she'll win hands down, well . . .

(And no, bubba, I do not work for Mrs. Clinton nor her campaign; for that matter, have never met her nor President Clinton. What I do know, however, is that she's the nation's best bet as the next President of the United States . . . as do a big solid majority of her Party. I know she's the best bet to clean up the horrible mess foisted on the nation by the Bush Administration and the best bet to get the nation up and running again.)

So, I invite you once again to get serious, get behind a candidacy that can win and cut the crap.

Posted by: aj on January 31, 2007 at 10:31 PM | PERMALINK

Can I be a "bubba"? What say you, PA posters? I'll abide by the results of the vote.

aj, what will you do if we don't "get serious" and "cut the crap"? Will you...hurt us? You don't have a K9 unit or a gun rack, do you? Can we see your charts?

Posted by: shortstop on January 31, 2007 at 11:12 PM | PERMALINK

Anyone who feels confident that H. Clinton is unelectable should put their money where their mouth is at http://www.intrade.com/jsp/intrade/contractSearch/, where she is trading at higher than any other candidate for winning the Presidency (23.9 cents for a contract that pays $1 if she wins; second place is McCain at 19.5).

But I still await aj's explanation for the purpose of our holding primaries, given his odd view that we should "cut the crap" and get behind the frontrunner a year before they begin.

RiMac

Posted by: RiMac on January 31, 2007 at 11:35 PM | PERMALINK

There is no reason for Sen. Clinton to show her cards this early, especially with Sen. Obama in the race. She needs time to assess his impact on the field and see if he is the real deal or if his talent is all smoke and mirrors. Right now he is too much of an unknown quantity to for a clear decision to be made. The two of them especially need to avoid being dragged into a bitter, all-out war with one another, which would fracture the Democratic base and spell doom in the general.

Posted by: Ogre Mage on February 1, 2007 at 12:34 AM | PERMALINK

If you want to nominate a sitting governor, you can't ask them to campaign (and take them away from their state) for a year and a half.

Posted by: Dave on February 1, 2007 at 12:53 AM | PERMALINK

If Sen. Clinton IS serious about Evan Bayh, then she's lost my vots in the primary and the general election. I've always seen her serious interst in health care issue as her main strength. How could she back the junior Senator from Big Pharma (senior Sen. being Lieberman) as a suitable running mate? Add to that the fact that he didn't just vote for the Iraq war resolution- he was there in the Rose Garden helping Bush present it while under-cutting his party leader (Sen. Daschle) who was desparately trying to get our party behind a weaker resolution that would strengthen the weapons inspectors while keeping us from going to war.

Posted by: sab on February 1, 2007 at 1:09 AM | PERMALINK

how the hell Bayh ``balances'' that ticket is beyond me, except that he's male. Hillary's a moderate. She backed the war. Bayh is a conservative war cheerleader. If anything, Hillary needs someone to the left of her.

re aj above:

please keep in mind that Dick Morris is an accomplished liar and trickster who is just as likely to be pumping Hillary's candidacy because he thinks she WILL lose as he is to be offering a genuine assessment of her chances.

Posted by: secularhuman on February 1, 2007 at 3:18 AM | PERMALINK

When will Democratic Party folk of stature or numbers recognize that Hillary is unelectable....... no matter how many make-overs she has.

Hopefully never, as this is would be a false "recognition".

Hillary will have her work cut out for her to take the White House unless the economy tanks next year -- but so will any candidate. It's likely to be a close election. I see the only chance for a Democratic blow out being a significantly worsened war situation (or the aforementioned recession, and the odds of that seem to be steadily declining). It's just bizarre, though, to say Senator Clinton is "unelectable". I've seen national polls putting her ahead of any likely GOP nominee nationally. History strongly favors the Democrat in 2008. And again, her negatives may be high in places like Mississippi and Kansas, but she doesn't need to win 49 states. She just needs to add a few purplish ones to Kerry's total.

I think Richardson would make good running mate for her if should she win. He's a sensible moderate with foreign policy expertise from a mountain state who should help her take New Mexico, and should also help her in places like Arizona, Colorado and Nevada. But he should also help Hillary in general with the burgeoning Hispanic vote. If she can pry another 10 or 15 points of this group from the GOP, it should give her Florida and Ohio, and even put Texas into play. I reckon a Democratic ticket that wins a healthy majority of female voters, 80%+ of Hispanic voters, and 90%+ of black voters thumps to a hefty Electoral College victory in 2008, especially if the GOP chooses a hard core conservative. If they nominate a Guiliani, though, all bets are off, because the Democrats will have to defend a lot of blue territory. I think the moderate former mayor would at least be competitive in places like California and Massachusetts (and, needless to say, New York).

Posted by: Jasper on February 1, 2007 at 9:38 AM | PERMALINK

If anything, Hillary needs someone to the left of her.

As long as Hillary doesn't face a strong third party challenge from the left, she's better off with a moderate running mate. Remember, to the Kos crowd she may be a detestable centrist, but to much of the right she's still a scheming lesbian communist. She doesn't need to help their defamation efforts by running with Ted Kennedy.

Posted by: Jasper on February 1, 2007 at 9:43 AM | PERMALINK

What I want to know of any candidate is: who will be your Karl Rove equivalent (and Cheney, if you are another congenial blockhead)? I want someone in those roles who at least graduated from 7th Grade. After what Matt Cooper testified to yesterday in the Libby trial, it is now crystal clear that the Wilson-Plame affair was just another of Rove's juvenile smear jobs: "Why believe someone whose [girly-girl] sent him?" I'll vote for a Presidential candidate who gets political advice from decent, mature human beings. The quality of a candidate's inner circle tells me about the content of the candidate's character. After that, the issues.

Posting the candidates' organization charts and doing the digging about the reputations of all these people is something bloggers can lead on, via the repetition (MSM will do one big backgrounder and then drop it) and linking that are bloggers' advantages. Please do!

Posted by: mle detroit on February 1, 2007 at 10:28 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly