Now that Barack Obama has (finally, thank fucking Christ) all but assured himself of winning the nomination of the Democratic party for president, the media is all aflutter at the possibility of an Obama/Clinton ticket for the general election. There’s a video about it on Yahoo News, and an op-ed piece in the New York Times written by George McGovern, the 1972 Democratic nominee who lost to Richard Nixon in one of the most lopsided electoral shit-kickings in U.S. history.
McGovern doesn’t call for Barack and Hillary to be running mates, exactly. No, he just wants a truce:
After today’s vote in West Virginia, the two candidates should agree to make joint visits to the sites of the five remaining primaries (in Kentucky, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Montana and South Dakota).
During these visits, Senators Clinton and Obama should agree not to criticize each other. They would simply state what each would do if elected president. They would also point out why President Bush’s policies have failed and why they would continue to fail under John McCain.
After each candidate speaks for 15 minutes or so, they would then be taken to a reception where citizens paying $50 a ticket would mingle with the two candidates. The money raised would go to the state Democratic Party to assist local and state candidates in the fall elections.
On the surface it’s a cynical fundraising proposal — get the two heavyweights in the same room in order to pick the electorate’s pocket one more time — but in reality it’s yet another plea from the party for Hillary to drop out and allow Obama to turn his full attention to the general election against John McCain.
It’s the second time in a week that McGovern has asked Clinton to end her futile campaign and allow the party to unify around Barack Obama. On May 7, McGovern, who endorsed Hillary’s candidacy way back in October when it was still widely assumed that the primaries would be her coronation, officially switched his support to Obama, saying Barack had all but won the nomination. “I am doing what I think in the long run is in her best interests, President Clinton's best interests, Barack Obama's best interests and the country's best interests,” McGovern said then.
Of course, the best interests of her opponent, her party, or her country are of little importance to Hillary Clinton when weighed against her own. She doesn’t care what George McGovern says (neither do I — fuck George McGovern — but that’s not the point); she’ll pick up delegates today in West Virginia, and next week in Kentucky, and it won’t matter to her that these gains will have no effect on the eventual outcome — she was supposed to win this nomination, goddammit, and she’s not quitting until the bitter end.
As for Obama tapping Clinton as his running mate, I think that’s unlikely. Barack doesn’t need Hillary on the ticket. He is the man who began as the underdog and triumphed, the rookie U.S. Senator who few gave a realistic chance at being competitive, who defeated the most ruthless and well-known political machine in American politics. He has faced setbacks, dealt with controversial associations, and emerged intact. The criticisms thrown at Obama the most by the Clintons (and Republican mouthpieces like Sean Hannity, looking toward the general election) — that he has associated himself with a black nationalist pastor with a taste for conspiracy theories, and an unrepentant former domestic terrorist — lost steam when people at last came to the astonishing conclusion that Barack was actually a different person than either Jeremiah Wright or Bill Ayers. He’ll do just fine against McCain without her.
And, personally, I’d consider Hillary on the ticket to be a hindrance. I’m looking forward to voting for Barack in November; I’d rather not have to hold my nose when I do it, knowing I’d be voting to elect Hillary to the executive branch as well.