Macro Tsimmis

intelligently hedged investment

Posts Tagged ‘obama’

LOL is Hillary reading this Blog?

Posted by intelledgement on Thu, 06 Mar 08

Probably not…floating this idea publicly is not the way to go, IMO if her intentions are pure. Too much danger of either looking presumptuous (if she talks about him being her VP) or defeatist (if she talks about being Obama’s VP). Over her public career, Clinton has shown she is more comfortable with presumption than defeatism, but neither will serve here to close this deal. If she is serious, she should be talking about this privately, not publicly, and offering a pledge to serve him if he wins and wants her, in exchange for a pledge from him to serve her should she win, as outlined here previously.

But if she doesn’t want him as her VP, this approach might serve to piss off the Obamas so much that if she wins, she can offer him the job—thus soothing his supporters—with minimal risk that he will accept.

And Clinton doesn’t need advice from anyone as to how to piss people off; she’s a world-class master. (If she does win, one interesting dynamic of the Fall campaign will be to see if she succeeds at provoking a public John McCain temper tantrum meltdown…it might not gain her many votes but it could lose him a bundle.)


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Clinton and Obama for VP—it still works

Posted by intelledgement on Thu, 14 Feb 08

OK, it’s two weeks later and now Obama has taken the lead in delegates and is doing better in the polls against McCain…hence the dynamics are different from when we first floated this idea last month. But this concept still works.

Clinton herself should now approach Obama with the offer to serve as his VP if he wins the nomination under the following conditions:

  1. the campaigns continue; let the people decide who gets the top spot
  2. Obama agrees to serve as Clinton’s VP should she win
  3. the candidates agree on an arrangement to empower the VP; this agreement process can be brokered by Al Gore
  4. the candidates arrange for a series of high-level dual endorsements starting with Gore—that is, Gore endorses them both for president—and culminating with an announcement of their agreement prior to the convention ala Reagan-Schweicker so everyone knows the score
  5. both campaigns immediately deemphasize attacks on each other, coordinate their fire on McCain, and begin moving to the center in anticipation of November

Both candidates are flawed, but each brings to the table strength that the other lacks: Obama’s positives balance Clinton’s negatives; her experience balances his lack thereof. Sure there are other ways to balance the ticket, but no other alternative offers the power of this solution to energize the base, mend the internecine bruises, and allow the Democrats to focus on November ASAP.

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Clinton-Obama: win-win-win

Posted by intelledgement on Wed, 30 Jan 08

Now that John Edwards has dropped out of the race for the Democratic nomination, we have a situation similar to the Reagan-Ford race in 1980—no matter how close it is, either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama is virtually assured of a majority before the convention. The last mathematical hope of the Democratic “pragmatists” yearning for a deadlock at the convention that would open the door to a seemingly stronger general election candidate (e.g., Al Gore to the rescue) was that Edwards would stay in and hold enough votes to deny either of the frontrunners the nomination on the first ballot. So much for that.

Both Clinton and Obama are polling weakly in general election trial heats. Clinton has always had high negatives. Obama is less well known and his negatives are not be as solidified. There probably isn’t much Clinton can do to overcome her negatives. And a worsening of the economy or the situation in Iraq by November—which normally would be expected to help the challenging party’s nominee—might not work so well for Obama because it would highlight his inexperience.

Given that the Democrats seem locked into fielding an underdog ticket in November, they would be smart to double their bets here, and engineer a compromise Clinton-Obama ticket. This is a win-win-win proposition!

Clinton wins because landing Obama as the VP assures her of the nomination, and doing it now enables her to start moving to the center that much earlier than John McCain or Mitt Romney will be able to. And long-term, win or lose, her ground-breaking place in American history is cemented.

Obama wins because he can’t lose. If the Democrats pull an upset win in November, he gets four-to-eight years of experience that make him bulletproof when he runs again (presumably in 2016). If they lose, Clinton gets the blame and he gets the legitimacy of having been on the national ticket and is well set up for another attempt, if he so desires. And long term worst case assuming this is his one shot (as his wife insists), a losing VP candidacy trumps a losing bid for the nomination as an historical mark in history.

The Democrats win because they solidify their base not just for 2008 but beyond, by fielding an exciting, glass-ceiling busting unity ticket. And the next time it will be better (as it was for Al Smith and then JFK). And worst case, maybe it wouldn’t be so bad politically to lose in 2008 and let the GOP deal with the problems they have allowed to fester. If the Democrats are right on the issues, another four years of failed GOP policies could well set the Dems up for decades of ascendancy.

But how could it happen, given the growing antagonism between Clinton and Obama, and Obama’s repeated assertions that he will not accept second fiddle? Simple: Gore to the rescue!

Clinton should have someone approach Gore and ask him to endorse both candidates as a first step. Then as a second step, she can deputize Gore to initiate negotiations with Obama about the parameters of the VP job in a Clinton administration. This would ring true because Bill Clinton and Gore had just such a series of discussions in 1992, and Bill Clinton kept his word to share governing with Gore to an unprecedented degree. And an appeal to party loyalty would be apropos—clearly having Obama and Clinton articulating a duet from February to November would better communicate the Democratic message than having them sniping at each other for the next four months or so.

Effecting such an agreement would strengthen both candidates in ways that no other action could. It would raise Obama’s stock as a savvy and capable politician, and it would help soften Hillary Clinton’s image as power-obsessed and unwilling to compromise. The whole here would be greater than the sum of the parts…possibly greater enough to produce a win in November; certainly enough to constitute a win for all time!

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