Kathy vs. Webb

Kathy calls out those of us who've pushed a Webb/Obama ticket. She list several reasons why Webb shouldn't be on the ticket. I'm not particularly concerned with his dismissal of Affirmative Action as "state-sponsored racism." That's over the top, but AA isn't really a do or die issue for me. Plus I'm kind of "meh" as I've said on AA for diversity's sake. That said, I think here is the bigger problem:

Stepping away from all that high-minded rhetoric, I'll add that, in practical terms, selecting Webb would be a slap in the face to the Hillary Clinton supporters. I'm not saying that Obama has to pick Hillary as veep (and indeed, I think that would be a bad idea). I'm not even saying that he needs to pick a woman.

But Hillary was the first woman to ever have a serious shot at the presidency, and she came so close. So the Hillary supporters (of whom, to be clear, I am not one) will feel frustrated enough that their candidate didn't win. But for Obama to choose -- out of all the well-qualified candidates out there -- the one person who has a really awful record on gender issues would be like rubbing salt in the wound. It would be seen as a big "screw you" to Hillary's supporters and to feminists in general.

How would Obama supporters feel if their man lost a closely contested fight, and then Hillary turned around and picked as veep someone who, into the 1990s, was an outspoken critic of civil rights? It would seem tone-deaf and incredibly insensitive, to say the least.

Kathy has assembled quite a bit of damning evidence, but from the perspective of cold hard politics, this really stood out to me. When people figure out that John McCain will appoint judges who will reverse Roe vs. Wade, I think that Obama will be doing a lot better among women. That said, I think Webb's issues could make things a lot harder. Maybe women won't vote for McCain. But they could stay home.