What can I say? It’s been a wild and crazy ride.
Never before in modern history has politics been so…well…interesting. It’s the kind of stuff that cable networks make movies about. And never before has a presidential primary campaign hit all 50 states in the union and all the outlying territories. At least on the Democratic side, it has generated record levels of participation.
And when all is said and done, it appears we finally have a Democratic nominee in Barack Obama.
I’m happy about it, with Obama being a hometown boy and a graduate of the same school as myself. Of course, there’s more to it than that…shared ideas and all that. But if the situation had been reversed, though, I would still support Hillary in November as well. I like both candidates; I just liked Obama better. It’s too bad that one candidate had to lose.
I alluded earlier to the idea of a dream ticket…the two top contenders also being one-two on the ticket. Hillary is saying that she’s open to the #2 spot. Obama may be open to give it to her.
For the party’s sake, I hope he does.
Because what’s really concerning me is the rhetoric I’m seeing on the comment boards on the major news sites, most of which fall in one of these categories:
- If Obama wins the nomination, I’m voting for McCain.
- If Obama makes Hillary his running mate, I’m voting for McCain.
- If Obama doesn’t make Hillary his running mate, I’m voting for McCain.
And when I read those comments and feel the anger behind them, I think to myself: They can’t possibly be serious. I’d like to believe that it’s just post-primary sour grapes and that come the convention and in November they’ll all do whatever it takes to put a Democrat in the White House.
I have trouble wrapping my mind around the idea that a significant portion of Clinton supporters would rather, in effect, elect George W. Bush to a third term; continue a war that, while improving marginally, still has no end in sight; and continue economic policies that are putting us deeper and deeper in the budgetary hole, than have a Democrat other than Hillary Clinton in the White House.
Especially since, on the issues, they’re pretty much in the same place.
I can probably think of no other person who would be better for the VP job than Hillary Clinton. And had she won, I could probably think of no better person to be her running mate than Obama.
One main thing that a candidate looks for in a running mate is balance; the ability to reach a constituency that he or she would be unable to reach by themselves. Looking at the primary voting pattern, something is clear. Clinton won the white blue collar vote. Obama dominated African-Americans and the professionals and intelligentsia. The strength of one illustrates the weakness of the other.
Simply put: They need each other. Like peanut butter and chocolate.
I’m hoping that on the final night of the Democratic Convention, I’ll see Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton at the podium, hands clasped in a victorious stance. If that happens, I think the momentum that the Democrats worked up over the past five months just might carry over into November. At least, I hope so.