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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

A Unity Ticket Debate

I swear, dear readers, that I am by no means obsessed with the less-than-universally-popular idea of an Obama-Clinton Unity Ticket. But the nice folks at Salon asked me and my friend Tom Schaller to write contrasting columns on the subject, and so I obliged. (Tom’s column is here).
Our exchange went up at the top of the Salon site late last night, and as of this moment, my argument has generated 204 comments, most of them hostile to the Unity Ticket concept. I don’t know how much I was able to add to my earlier case for the Unity Ticket, beyond pointing out that it must be weighed against Obama’s actual alternatives, many of which are as controversial as an HRC veepship. Indeed, some folks who are currently fulminating against Clinton as running-mate could find themselves expressing buyer’s remorse if their own suggestions are ultimately rejected, as many of them will have to be.
In the end, it’s obviously Barack Obama’s call, and I have few doubts that the party will rally around whatever ticket he decides to create. But while all the passion brought to the subject by us self-appointed advisers may seem like a waste of time and energy, I do think it helps ensure that Obama makes his choice with a clear understanding of the implications. And we are, happily, light-years away from the relatively recent practice of choosing a running-mate with little thought or vetting, at the very last moment.

2 comments on “A Unity Ticket Debate

  1. edkilgore on

    Retired Catholic:
    To tell you the truth, the Salon editor asked me to toss in an assessment of the field at the last minute, and I just forgot about Clark (and probably a couple of other possibilities).
    I know Clark has a lot of fans, but the case against him that you hear is (1) he has less elected official experience than Obama, (2) his 2004 campaign was a mess, and (3) he has no electoral base to speak of (he’s not that well known or popular in Arkansas). Others think he said some things as a Clinton surrogate that offended the Obama camp.
    Let me be clear again: I’m fine with pretty much anybody Obama chooses (definitely including Wes Clark), but the whole point of my piece is that HRC isn’t the only “divisive” veep possibility. Every name you hear has an upside and a downside.
    Thanks for the comment.
    Ed Kilgore


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