Hillary for Veep

(should have been Pres.)

by Pam Green, © 2008, update 2017

Discussion of why Hillary Rodham Clinton SHOULD be the 2008 Democratic nominee for Vice President. Of course I would have preferred her to be the Presidential nominee (with Obama the Veep), but I have to bow to the will of the voters, a will which would clearly make her the ONLY choice for the Veep nominee.
I'm updating this in 2017, commenting on the results of 2008 and 2016.

Hillary for Veep

If it is the PEOPLE who should decide the Democratic Presidential nominee, should it not ALSO be the PEOPLE who decide the Democratic Vice Presidential nominee ????

If it is the PEOPLE who should decide, then very clearly and beyond any dispute the Vice Presidential nominee MUST be she who received almost 50% of all primary votes cast and who carried most of those "must win" states that the Democratic ticket MUST carry in order to win in November.

That means that HILLARY is the ONLY possible Vice Presidential nominee . She is also the STRONGEST, SMARTEST, BEST PREPARED, and the MOST DETERMINED. (That's right, "ambition" is not a dirty word; it's an essential quality in anyone who is actually going to get anything done.).

(I'd rather it were the other way around, of course : she as Pres and he as Veep, but it's too late for that.)

I know that Obama can NOT win without the votes of Hillary's 18 million supporters, and I doubt that he can win without Hillary as his Veep.

How will Hillary's 18 million voters vote ?

Of Hillary's 18 million supporters, most should realize that between her position on issues and Obama's position there is only a thumb's width of difference , but between there positions and McCain's there is an ocean's width of difference. Of Hillary's feminist supporters, most should realize that McCain's views are the antithesis of gender equalitarian and that he is totally opposed to freedom of choice in reproductive issues. So of Hillary's 18 million, one can hope that at least 3/4 will vote for Obama, no matter how badly dissappointed they may be. But I know plenty of women who have said that without Hillary on the ticket they will vote for McCain instead. I think that's a bad bad choice for any self-respecting woman, but I also know that some of them really mean it. They are that pissed off at seeing a brilliant and immensely competent woman passed over.

Now it's likely to be a close race at best. So can Obama really spare 3 or 4 million of Hillary's supporters who will at best stay home or vote for Hillary as a write in or at worst vote for McCain ???

So I think that while Obama might squeak through on his own, he has a tremendously better chance to be elected if he has Hillary at his side as Veep. OK, maybe they don't like each other much (though I think they do respect each other, which is really more important). Welll it would not be the first time that a winning ticket had a President and Veep who didn't like each other. John F Kennedy didn't like Lyndon Johnson but recognized he needed Johnson to bring in some big electoral vote states ; JFK would not have won without Johnson. Johnson did not like or respect Kennedy, but he knew that a sitting Vice President has a big advantage to become President later on.

For any great idea to become a reality or to be passed into legislation , it takes both Inspiration and Perspiration. It's rare for the same person to be good at both.

For the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the Martin Luther King was the great Inspiration orator, but it was that old horse trader, Lyndon Johnson who did the Persiration of lining up the votes to get the thing passed. (If he'd had the good sense to back away from the Vietnam War he would probably have gone down in history as a great President.)

Now Barack Obama is very good on Inspiration, but he is not proven at Perspiration. Hillary is superb at Perspiration. She is the detailed thinker who turns an idea into a concrete plan. She is the fighter who doesn't give up. She is the horse trader who can get the votes together, including votes from accross party lines.

Inspiration is romantic, but Perspiration gets the job done. We need both.

update 2017

result in 2008

Well as everyone who hasn't spent the last decade marooned in the Delta Quadrant knows, Barack Obama did indeed win without Hillary as his Veep. He was certainly a transformative POTUS and in the opinion of many a very great one.

He did make use of Hillary in a very advantageous way, as Secretary of State. That's a job she probably enjoyed far more than she would have enjoyed the Veep job. I wonder if Obama intended or hoped to recruit her as S of S well before he made his Veep selection, probably being mindful of her wide experience in foreign travel and unofficial ambassador during her husband's Presidency.

Biden worked out well enough.

result in 2016 and what might have been IF ONLY

if Bernie Sanders had been the Veep candidate

The same logic of " letting the people decide" the Veep nomination , thus choosing the contender who got the second most number of primary votes or delegates, would in 2016 have clearly mandated choosing Bernie Sanders as Hillary's Veep.

The advantages to Bernie would have been several. The most obvous and largest is that he had gained a huge following of intensely enthused voters. It's highly likely that these voters would have all showed up at the polls in Nov to vote for the Hillary-Bernie ticket. Instead some stayed home, an incredibly stupid choice given that it risked the victory of a candidate they should have found immensely more unpalatable than Hillary-without-Bernie. Bernie as the Veep candidate would almost certainly have resulted in victory for the ticket.

As acting Veep, he might well have played the role that Biden played for Obama. He could say something "further out" than his POTUS was perhaps unsure could be said by POTUS. If that "further out" remark got a good reception, then POTUS could endorse it. That's what happened, for example, when Biden's pro-gay marriage remark opened a safe road for Obama to come out forcefully in favor. Thus Bernie's calls for "free college for all" would have made Hillary's call for free or low cost community college for lower income students seem very mild and practical. His calls for "Medicare for All" would probably have eased the way for her to improve and expand Obamacare.

As with the announced platforms of Obama vs Hillary in 2008, the differences between Hillary and Bernie were not all that huge, while their differences from Trump-Pence were "not even on the same planet" huge.. Whether they liked or disliked one another, they could have worked together.

We will never know. All we know right now is that we've got the least qualified and most mentally unstable POTUS in history and we'd better hope we survive this catastrophe.

alternatively : Elizabeth Warren as the Veep candidate

Now I would have liked this choice, and that's even before I read Warren's manifesto "A Fighting Chance", which I recommend every voter read because Warren ain't a-gonna go away. She's the logical next Democratic flag-bearer. She's a very hard-headed scholar and fighter who always has the data to back up her conclusions and who will fight to implement what she sees as crucial to the welfare of the vast majority of the public. She's a really heavy hitter in the realm of economics. Her credentials in academe and as the Founding Mother of the Consumer Protection Agency and as Senator are solid. And she and Hillary would have been very much "on the same page" as to what they consider essential for the protection of working and wanting-to-work Americans.

Of course all the conservatives would have channeled John Knox and proclaimed this pair to be a "monsterous parliament of women". But considering how badly so many (but not all) men have misgoverned, maybe it's about time, time long overdue, to have women in the top spots. At least this pair or this individual.

(note : I am not suggesting that merely being female makes one fit to govern. Surely not the WINO (woman in name only, ie anti-feminist) candidates we have sometimes seen in the past.)

We've got to do better in 2018 and 2020

2020 is the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment. Damn well time to vote a feminist agenda. Time to vote for our own best interests. Time to shatter every ceiling, be it glass or titanium, that holds us back.


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site author Pam Green copyright 2003
created 8/19/08 revised 8/19/08, 10/22/2017
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