Don't Do It
So the word is out that Hillary's people are lobbying for the VP job. It's a terrible, awful idea. First of all I don't buy that Hillary actually has a country. She brings nothing geographically, and the idea that she will bring in white, working class voters is delusional. Winning Kentucky and West Virginia, while running against a black dude, who many people believe to be a Muslim, in a Democratic primary is one thing. Winning against a war hero and former POW, while running as VP alongside said Muslim black dude is another thing.
One other thing--I want to warn people against the what Chris Matthews calls below, the "Al Sharpton strategy." The basic idea is that you need Sharpton's endorsement in order to get the black vote. Of course Sharpton couldn't even secure the black vote for himself in the Democratic primary in 2004. While Hillary has dominated the votes of older white women voting in primary, I find the notion that she would add significant women voters--who wouldn't vote for Barack anyway--unfounded. Just as people shouldn't confuse "black leaders"--hell, or even "black bloggers"--with actual "black people," "white women leaders" shouldn't be confused with actual "white women." Whenever I hear people pitch this idea of Hillary as some sort of national candidate, I'm reminded of one particular section of Jeff Goldberg's beautifully reported piece on the 2006 midterm elections:
In states like Missouri, coolness toward Hillary Clinton puts many Democrats in an uncomfortable position. Harold Ford, Jr., is close to both Clintons. He is running a strong race in Tennessee—if he wins, he would be the first popularly elected African-American senator from the South. When I asked Ford if Hillary Clinton would be campaigning with him, he said, “I’m not running away from her position on the war or her position on energy independence. I’m doing events with her.” When I asked him where, he said, “In Washington.”
Some Democrats fear any association with national Democrats, who are perceived to be too liberal. “I had this notion that I could convince people who were skeptical of national Democrats to vote for me because I could bring home the bacon, or because I could find some personal pitch to them,” Brad Carson, the former Oklahoma congressman, said. “But it was very hard for people to separate me out from Hillary Clinton. All their ads were Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, John Edwards, and me. They said I was more liberal than these guys, and that if I went to Washington I’d be supporting their agenda. I found that extremely difficult to overcome.”
Across Missouri, I heard similar fears. At a breakfast fund-raiser for McCaskill in Kansas City, Katheryn J. Shields, a Democrat who is the chief executive of Jackson County, which encompasses Kansas City, said of Hillary Clinton, “She’s great.” But when asked if Clinton should be the Party’s nominee, Shields said, “That would be a hard one.” The outgoing executive director of the Greene County Democrats, Nora Walcott, was more direct. Though she said she was to the left in the Party, she feared that Clinton’s liberal credentials would alienate Missouri voters. “You’ve got to tell the people in Washington not to nominate Hillary,” she told me. “It would do so much damage to the Missouri Democratic Party.” Clinton’s obvious shifts to the center frustrate Walcott on two counts, she said: “I disagree with the way she’s going to the right, but my biggest problem with it is that it’s not working. People don’t believe she’s a moderate.”