Friday, August 22, 2008

Who can it be now? Evidently it won't be Hillary Clinton...

She gave him a derby-esque run for the roses during the primaries, hanging on as long as she could before conceding, and then offered her support for his campaign as she suspended hers. Now it seems the final snub of Hillary Clinton is being readied.
It's one of the most anticipated announcements of the year. The announcement of the running mate for likely Democratic nominee Barack Obama. Over the past few weeks, names have been bandied about across the country as analysts and pundits have speculated on who the candidate for Vice-President of the United States will be, but one thing seems clear: it won't be Hillary Clinton.

There are so many, many reasons that Clinton is the obvious choice for Obama to pick as his running mate. A master politician in her own right, Clinton was the ultimate insider during the administration of a former President, having been First Lady to husband Bill during his own terms in the White House. She's connected, she's definitely been vetted as a candidate, and she has a huge following among Democratic voters, which gave her the wherewithal to run such a tight race against Obama in the primaries to begin with. With Hillary as Vice President, Obama would have the potential for a more intimate relationship with former President Bill Clinton.

And yet she hasn't even been vetted as a potential running mate by team Obama.

Obama has often said, most recently on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on July 27, that Clinton “would be on anybody’s short list.”

But apparently not his.

“She was never vetted,” a Democratic official reported. “She was not asked for a single piece of paper. She and Senator Obama have never had a single conversation about it. How would he know if she’d take it?”

The official also said Clinton never met with Obama’s vetting team of Eric Holder and Caroline Kennedy.

Perhaps it's no wonder that a Clinton supporters are outraged at the DNC for playing such an active role in the rocket rise of a candidate that no one had heard of nationally two years ago. The Democratic party is in such disarray that the upcoming Democratic National Convention slated for next week in Denver is already a media and public relations circus, with local law enforcement officials clearing room in the local lock-ups to handle a large number of out of hand protesters, should the need arise. And given the punitive measures placed against Florida and Michigan for their holding primaries ahead of the approved Democratic National Party schedule having possibly been the determining factor in Clinton's failed bid for the nomination, there is little doubt as to why she would be a less than whole-hearted supporter of Obama in rallies across the nation, as mentioned by one Democrat campaign worker noted after a rally in Boca Raton, Florida.

Minutes after pushing through the rope line to thank Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton for “all that you do,” Robin Shaffer said she was worried. She feared that the senator she respected and admired for being tough and experienced had not done all that she could to unify Florida’s fractured Democratic Party while campaigning here on Thursday for her former opponent.

“It was good that she said my supporters need to now support Barack Obama,” said Ms. Shaffer, 46, reflecting on Mrs. Clinton’s speech before about 700 people. But, she added, “I wanted her to repeat that one more time.”

Many who had supported Mrs. Clinton’s run for president shared Ms. Shaffer’s opinion. Democrats who said they had recently accepted that Mr. Obama, of Illinois, would be the Democratic presidential nominee greeted Mrs. Clinton’s 30-minute speech — her first rally in Florida on his behalf — with warmth but also demands for more.

The reasons for Hillary Clinton not being selected for the Vice Presidential position can and will be speculated over for some time to come, as well as the "what-if" factor had she been chosen for the spot and Obama winds up losing to McCain in the November race. The presence of unhappy Clinton supporters in Denver also shows a severe lack of the purported party unity that the Obama camp keeps harping to the media, lending itself to a potential black eye for the convention before it even has a chance to begin.

Party of unity? Don't bet on it.

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man


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