Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Is Hillary really out of the running for VP?

Rumor and chatter has it that Barack is very unlikely to choose Hillary as his running mate. It certainly seems that way, and it certainly seems that many in the "Obama camp" are opposed to her involvement in an Obama administration. But, this presidential campaign is much bigger than Barack's "core" supporters or even the Democratic party. Whether they want Hillary involved is not the real question. The real question is whether Barack would prefer her to be "inside" rather than "outside" and what "tone" Barack himself wants to set as far as inclusiveness outside of his core support when he gets into office in addition to during the election. I think he does want a bigger tent and does know that he needs it to win the election by a large margin and to be able to gather the degree of support needed for "real change" once he takes office.

The way I see it, the Hillary question has less to do with her role during the election, but her potential to be Barack's "policy wonk" or policy point person focused on pushing policy changes though the Washington process, freeing him up to focus on constructing his vision, visionary speaking, and meeting with world leaders and business leaders to forge a new framework of relationships that support and enable the kind of "real change" policies that he seeks. Put simply, he needs a pragmatic centrist to push policy change through the system even as he promotes a more progressive vision.

Although Camp Obama might be rather disheartened by a choice of Hillary, I think a Barack-Hillary ticket would overall be much more exciting to people outside of Camp Obama than any of the other choices that have been bandied about in the media.

-- Jack Krupansky


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