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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Bowers on the Unity Ticket

It’s been pretty lonely at the Unity Ticket bar lately, as Armando of TalkLeft has noted. Sure, a reported 60% of rank-and-file Democrats like the idea of an Obama-Clinton ticket, but among the chattering classes, and particularly pro-Obama bloggers, the idea is often denounced with an unusual vehemence as stupid, wrong, stupid, insulting, stupid, suicidal, and stupid. Even in all the “What Does Hillary Want?” stories bouncing around the MSM the last week or two, we typically read that of course, Obama can’t’ pick HRC, but maybe he should think about placating her supporters by going with somebody like Ted Strickland or Evan Bayh.
But now comes the estimable Chris Bowers of OpenLeft, whose commitment to a post-Clintonian progressive Democratic Party can’t much be doubted, saying he’s concluded the Unity Ticket is a good idea. Why?Because, he suggests, a sizable general election win is the key to the kind of “realigning election” that could move the Democratic Party to the left (by making its legislative goals less dependent on Blue Dog types), and combining the electoral strengths of Obama and Clinton is the best (if hardly certain) way to produce a big victory.
Chris’ argument (or my own, for that matter) for the Unity Ticket doesn’t deal with certain threshold problems with the idea, such as possible personal friction between Obama and Clinton, the What To Do With Bill issue, and all sorts of questions about how HRC walks herself back from some of the things she’s said about Obama this year. If these problems can’t be resolved, then we might as well forget about it. But there is zero consensus in the Obama Camp or elsewhere about an alternative idea for strengthening the ticket or healing the very real divisions created by the primary competition. Those with different ideas need to talk to each other and begin developing some agreement, instead of angrily dismissing the Obama-Clinton option as stupid.

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