Updated: Obama for VP?

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The Clinton campaign's offer of the VP slot to Obama is clever politics. Bill pressed the idea more explicitly than before over the weekend, saying that the ticket would be "almost unstoppable". The idea gels nicely with the Clinton's argument that Obama is inexperienced: here is his chance for some on-the-job training as number three in the Clinton White House. In due course, they are saying, he might be a pretty good candidate for president.

Best of all, from a tactical point of view, it affirms the idea that Hillary is winning the race--implying there is nothing odd about her offering the VP place to the man who just happens to have the most delegates at the moment, and still will after Pennsylvania. The press mostly went along with this imposture--and so, in a way, did the Obama campaign. Instead of rejecting the overture out of hand, they said that such talk was "premature". That was a mistake. If I were Obama, I'd be saying that the question of accepting the VP slot on Hillary's ticket will never arise; if it did I wouldn't accept it; and that there are no circumstances in which I'd offer her the VP slot on my ticket. (Isn't it telling that Hillary doesn't even need to say she'd reject such an offer from Obama?) Even to signal the possibility that he might come around to this idea looks weak.

Update:

Good. This is more like it.

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Clive Crook is a senior editor of The Atlantic and a columnist for Bloomberg View. He was the Washington columnist for the Financial Times, and before that worked at The Economist for more than 20 years, including 11 years as deputy editor. Crook writes about the intersection of politics and economics. More

Crook writes about the intersection of politics and economics.

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