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Opening Arguments

Over the Hill

Are you glad to see Hillary gone or sorry that we don't have her to kick around anymore?

Now that Hillary Clinton has ended her bid for the presidency, political journalists are suddenly deprived of one of their favorite stories: When is she going to drop out?

A study shows the only campaign topics that got more attention the past two months were Barack Obama's talkative former minister, the Pennsylvania primary and the fallout from President Bush's remarks about appeasement while in Israel.

More time was spent talking about when Clinton might call it quits than about how the candidates might deal with the war in Iraq, the high price of gasoline, home foreclosures or the sputtering economy. Or about anything that presumptive Republican nominee John McCain said or did during April and May, according to the Project for Excellence in Journalism's analysis of political coverage in newspapers, on Internet sites and on television news.

As a journalist, I'm sorry to see the epic battle end. Will the liberal win, or will the liberal? Hey, looks the liberal won. But as a voter, I'm glad we can now concentrate on a head-to-head clash of ideas, philosophies and character issues. Poor Evan Bayh isn't ready to move on yet, though:

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton would be an outstanding running mate for the Democratic Party's presumptive nominee, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, according to Indiana's No. 1 Clinton supporter, Sen. Evan Bayh.

Indiana's junior senator, who worked hard for Clinton's unsuccessful presidential bid and has been among the many names listed as possible running mates for Obama, was asked by CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Thursday whether Obama should pick the senator from New York.

That's a decision for him to make," Bayh said. "I think trying to pressure him is inappropriate. If that's what he wants, I'm all for it. I think she'd be outstanding."

My predictions are frequently unreliable, but I think Bayh has a better shot at the vice preisdential nod than Clinton does.


Harl Delos
Mon, 06/09/2008 - 12:55pm

All those traditional media type "experts" are talking about the 18 million votes that Hillary controls. In fact, she doesn't control them. She could tell them to vote against Obama and they could decide to vote for him; she could tell them to vote for Obama and they could decide to stay home in droves, or to vote for Senator McCain or Mr. Barr.

I suspect that many of them will end up are going to be turned off by the fact that Barry is such a conservative.

This is really going to be a strange race. Obama isn't really a traditional liberal politician whose sole goal is to push through progressive policies. Instead, Obama is about process. Obama is less the owner of the idea than the "architect" of how the process of politics should work so that the optimal policies are crafted and backed by broad majorities. He believes this is the only way to truly unite a nation that has been governed by 51/49% splits.

McCain, on the other hand, is about policies. And if you don't like the policies he's promoting today, you don't have to wait very long until he'll be promoting the exact opposite. The straight talk express has been replaced with the shuck-and-jive jitney wagon.

What's really going to be interesting is watching the fundamentalist crowd, seeing them try to choose between a Republican who doesn't attend church, and a Democrat who is comfortable, talking about the fact that he's been saved.

I wouldn't be surprised if Obama wins a lot of traditionally Republican states, and McCain wins some Democrat states.

I predict that Hillary is going to come out and say that cancer has a way of making people reassess their future, and she wants to stay in the Senate so that Teddy will feel more free to retire, if and when he decides to spend more time with his family, and Obama will thank her for the sacrifice she's making on behalf of party and country.

Before Bayh dropped out - what was it, three days after he announced? - I thought he might be the Democratic nominee. He might make a good VPOTUS or POTUS, but as a white man in a neighboring state to Illinois, I'm not sure he'd be a good running mate.

Kathleen Sebelius is the daughter of John Gilligan. He was governor of Ohio in the 1970s. She's the highly-popular Democratic governor of Kansas. Because she could probably deliver both Ohio and help sway a lot of the Hillary voters, I figure she's probably at the top of Caroline Kennedy's short list.

But who's going to be McCain's running mate? If he announces his choice before Obama announces his, and it's a woman, it's going to make Obama look like he's choosing a woman out of desperation. Women don't like being taken for granted. (Neither do men, for that matter.)

Both Meg Whitman, former president of eBay, and Carly Fiorina, former president of Hewlitt-Packard, have strong managerial and economics credentials, and they don't have any political stances in their background that would be significantly embarassing. But if McCain is going to pick one of them, he needs to make his choice before Barry makes his. Otherwise, it looks like he is choosing a woman out of desperation.