Category Archives: lyndon johnson

>INSIGHT: Biden his time … for Hillary

>For a moment in time, there was question whether John McCain would replace Sarah Palin as his vice presidential partner. This seems to be mostly generated by the liberal pundits as an indirect way of exaggerating Palin’s negatives. Now cometh a more persistent backroom whisper — that Barack Obama will trade in Joe Biden for Hillary Clinton.

The rumor that is getting increasing volume in the blogosphere and among mainstream pundits is that Old Joe will resign in the few precious weeks before the election due to health reasons. They even specifically say an aneurism will be the stated malady. This would give Obama a woman, to offset the surprise and effective selection of Palin, and a former adversary a la Jack Kennedy’s selection of Lyndon Johnson.

It certainly is a most cynical theory — so cynical that it is politically feasible. (I wonder if this would be matched by Palin dumping the geriatric McCain for Mitt Romney.)

Would Obama and the Democrats go to such an extreme? Why not? The Democrats are the consummate pursuit-of-power party with an anything-to-win core philosophy. I have long suggested that Obama was unelectable. If the Obamacans and Democrat leaders did not see it quite that way over the long haul, they most certainly have come closer to my thinking since the appearance of Palin on the political platform. Maybe they now see it slipping way.

The question is … Is such a bait-and-switch too cynical for the American public. Will voters be enthralled with the progressive’s dream ticket, or revolted by the chicanery of it all. Of course, much depends on the credibility and believability of Biden’s health claim. Death would be much more convincing than some last minute infirmity of convenience, but not as easy to accomplish.

The more serious question … “Would Hillary actually help?” If not, then the strategy is nothing more than bloggers with more time than knowledge playing head games.

I think the switch is within the realm of possibility because I think the Obamacans could think Hillary would pull them out of a noise dive by checkmating Palin. However, just because they think so, does not make it so.

My own unsolicited opinion is that the Hillary gambit would backfire. Hillary looks good as the also-ran. No reason to think of those pesky Whitewater days, the IRS lists and the stolen White House china. The Clintons are intriguing personalities, but that does not mean that 51 percent of the voting public would like to see them in office again. In some ways, they are political O.J. Simpsons. Their every move generates a celebrity fascination, but behind that, we all know they did it.

If Palin was the “carrot’ to motivate the conservative base, Hillary is just the stick that would whip the right wing into a rabid campaign frenzy.

Furthermore, the suddenly more serious and intense vetting of the Clintons (yes, both of them) would likely lead to the exposure of a number of troublesome issues that will lay dormant as long as they are sideliners. In addition to a re-examination of all those Clinton era accusations and findings, there are more contemporary matters. Her senate fundraising activities have not been without controversy. And then there are Bill’s post-presidency wheelings and dealings with Middle East potentates and liaisons of a more personal nature.

Hillary would do to Obama, what Palin did for McCain. She would shunt him off to the sidetrack of media attention. While the ham-handed McCain needed the temporary diversion of public attention, the charismatic Obama cannot afford to be taken off message in the all-critical final days of this very long, long campaign.

Also, standing next to the Clintons (yes, both of them), Obama would appear diminished — less like a president. He would become the Sarah Palin of is own campaign — a breakthrough novelty who seems a wee bit short of experience. This is a more serious problem for him because he is applying for the boss’s position, not the assistant.

Then there is the question of breaking the racial barrier and glass ceiling at the same time. Is that just too much progress for the nation at one time. Could be.

Maybe Obama thinks this is a way to flip a losing campaign into a winning effort. I can also see Hillary buying in on the hope of preventing Palin from shattering through the ceiling many credit Clinton with cracking.

With the American electorate being so closely divided, it is not easy to forecast the results of such a dramatic turn of events — especially with the potential of other issues, such as Iraq and the economy, to produce their own dramatic surprises.

However, my gut tells me the Hillary maneuver would fail. Instead of boosting Obama’s currently rattling rocket, it may cause a complete flame out. There were many good reasons Hillary was not choosen in the first place, and all those good reasons are still lurking beneath the surface just waiting for the chance to be bite Obama in the butt.