Saturday, March 29, 2008
As the Democratic primary season continues with harsh bickering back and forth between Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, the reality is setting in that the only thing these two presidential hopefuls have done successfully is divide the party straight down the middle. So polarizing are they that recent polls show that about 25% of their supporters will vote for the Republican presumptive nominee Sen. John McCain in the November general election if their candidate loses the nomination. Given Clinton's rich past and high negatives, combined with Obama's Tony Rezko and Rev. Wright controversies, the issue of their electability is being weighed now more than ever. Throw in misogyny and racism--two huge factors than many liberals refuse to acknowledge and accept--and some Dems are starting to wonder if their chances to recapture the White House are slipping away once again to the more organized, focused and united GOP. And it's frustrating as all hell. Yet some would rather stick their heads in the sand and pretend the problem doesn't exist and hope it goes away, but unfortunately that's not how life works.
As I wrote Friday, one solution to save the election is for the party to put someone else at the top of the ticket who could/would truly unite the party, like former vice president Al Gore, with Obama as VP. This deal could also include Clinton as Secretary of State. Let's get real here. Gore has the absolute best chance to beat McCain. His political credentials are unparalleled: he's a Vietnam Vet who's served in Congress, the Senate and eight years as veep. And he's recently added Nobel Peace Prize and Oscar-winning Global Warming documentarian to his already-impressive dossier. Plus, he's squeaky-clean. Not a skeleton in his closet. Consider that he already won the popular vote in 2000, and as many believe the electoral college as well, and it's hard to imagine how The Goracle wouldn't sail straight into the Oval Office. As his VP, Obama would likely be the most valuable running mate in the history of presidential politics, bringing a groundswell of blacks and young people into the process. As for Clinton, given how many of her Senate colleagues have already deserted her, and there's likely more to come, returning to that Chamber in the Fall could be a very icy, uncomfortable experience. Running the State Department could very well be an attractive out for her. Gore, Obama, Clinton. The Repugs would shudder in their boots over this winning combination.
The Gore discussion has been gaining so much steam that broadcasting legend and political sycophant Larry King said on Mark Simone's Saturday morning syndicated radio program that as this contest heads closer towards a brokered convention, the name to watch is Al Gore. Facing the prospect of a loss in November, he said, party officials and super-delegates could push aside both Obama and Clinton and make Gore their choice. I suspect that as the Democrats' primary saga continues to unfold, there'll be many a pundit to voice the same solution. Who really knows for sure just what kind of deal may already be in the works--being very privately negotiated as we speak--to ensure the party's victory in the Fall. Stay tuned. This show is far from over...