Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Is Clinton Chopped Liver?

A few months ago (about ten years ago in campaign time), every political strategist and their mother opined ad nauseum about Obama’s lack of appeal to white working class and older female voters and how by putting Clinton on the ticket, he could attempt to fill that gap. A bitter taste still sharply remained on the tongues of Clinton supporters and many threatened to vote McCain or not vote at all if Clinton was not the VP pick.

And here we are. A few months and a Unity rally later and Clinton is no longer at the top of everyone’s list. Not to say that Clinton supporters have completely kissed and made up with the Obama campaign, but many sucked it up, murmured something about “for the good of the party” and moved on.

As time began to heal the wounds, strategists began to state that Obama no longer needed Clinton. Instead they resounded his need for someone with executive, foreign policy experience who represents a battleground state. However – they proclaimed – he did need a Clinton loyalist on the ticket to appease any remaining resentment and lock in the Clinton base. And then weeks passed and the story changed again. Now, strategists say he doesn’t necessarily need to pick a Clinton loyalist – but he absolutely cannot pick a woman who is not Clinton (i.e. Kathleen Sebelius). Picking a woman who is not Clinton is essentially twisting the knives into the backs of all of Clinton’s supporters.

In a matter of months, the story has shifted from it being absolutely critical for Obama to put Clinton on the ticket, in attempt to heal the party, to him having the liberty to choose anyone – unless of course it’s a non-Clinton woman. The general trend seems to be that the “Clinton factor” is no longer as important as it once was – and seems to be losing its steam by the minute.

What do you think? Is the “Clinton factor” still key to Obama’s success?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think that the 'Clinton' factor may still be on fire, in some voter groups at least. I have yet to hear any big statements from Sen. Obama on education, healthcare or any of Sen. Clintons main political issues, and to me this has a major effect on how feel about the upcoming election. Not to say that it's impertinent that he chose Hilary as a VP candidate alongside him, but it certainly would draw in Clinton-supporters to the polls, which he definitely would greatly benefit from.