Barack Obama’s press conference this afternoon may have been the death knell of his ersatz presidential campaign, if not of his aspirations. In an ingenious twist in the script, by utilizing a surrogate as the scandal object, Obama can lose elegantly and remain a viable player in future electoral cycles. It’s nice he’s going quietly; he possesses a gentle grace rarely seen on the political stage. The Clinton’s scriptwriter (the Mastermind?) is to be commended; having their support-sapping surrogate undone by a surrogate of his own is both ironic and karmicly balanced.
The press conference was almost embarrassing. Although he handled his prepared statement fairly well, when the reporters began their aggressive questioning, he stopped speaking grammatical English and started wandering down twisted paths of hems and haws and”…umm, that is, I, or rather we, ummm, let me say this, that was not my intention…”
Everybody knows that kind of hesitant pussyfooting is prima facie evidence of guilt and moral vacillation. Your President can be as guilty as Lee Harvey Oswald, but you don’t want him or her looking or feeling guilty. And the last thing Americans want right now is a President experiencing the kind of moral vacillation or personal reorientation that renouncing ones Spiritual Advisor usually involves.
So, bye bye Barry and hello Hillary. The Clintons cut it close; they almost let this one get away from them. They clearly underestimated the speed and ferocity with which the ABC (Anyone But Clinton) forces aligned behind even as deeply flawed a candidate as Barack Obama. It is probably better for all concerned they managed to stop the runaway freight train before it crested the hill. Had Barry actually accumulated a majority of the delegates, the opposition would have had to resort to Plan Z to blow him out of the water, which probably would have involved large quantities of drugs, underage kinky sex, or similar evidence of moral turpitude, and from which resuscitation would have been unlikely..
Which brings us to the question of the day – who is going to be Hillary’s VP? Despite rumors to the contrary, the Dowbrigade is not in the running to adorn the Clinton ticket. Although we have no doubt we could bring sizable demographic support to the ticket (never underestimate the dingbat vote), after considerable divination and soul-searching we have concluded that those unsubstantiated rumors of our connections to white slavery rings and previous ayahuasca abuse have rendered us unelectable.
Which leaves a sorry field of party hacks, corporate sell-outs and career sycophants. Let us review the field.
Barack Obama – while his apparent graceful fade and considerable support would seemingly recommend him, and we can certainly see him on the stage in Denver with one arm around Hillary and the other around Bill, we don’t expect him to be the candidate. It would be the most unbalanced ticket in recent Democratic history; something for almost everybody to hate. The problem is that people hate Hillary and Barack for different reasons, so if you add together all of the people who can’t stand one or the other you have built an electoral majority.
No, what Hillary needs is a nice stable adult white male, a jocular, reassuring Daddy or Granddaddy figure to inspire confidence and buff down some of her sharp edges. Someone who makes voter’s say, “Well, if Hillary shits the bed we can always impeach her like her old man and bring in good old Frothington.” But who can play the role convincingly?
John Edwards – as an affable Southern gentleman who could deliver a valuable demographic and geographic segment, he would seem to be a prime candidate, and he is obviously interested (why else has he not endorsed anyone yet). However, we have a hard time seeing Hillary picking someone prettier than her. Think how bad it would look on all of the posters and campaign buttons.
Bill Richardson – our personal favorite with the requisite affable, reassuring personality and a demo-geo-graphic contribution to make, but it appears that Hillary already has the demo (Hispanics) part locked up, and she hates redundancy.
Al Gore – the surprise pick of the litter is actually the logical choice for a number of reasons; he hits the same southern gentleman note as Edwards but is not as pretty, he has proven he can do the job (and be an effective and loyal Clinton consigliere), and has given every indication he enjoys a lifestyle with a high profile, little real work, and an endless series of dinners and banquets. Those who say he has lost the lust for politics underestimate the addictive allure of the Big House, dwarfing anything a dynamite baron can offer.
Of course, she could always go the other way, and select someone so scary that all potential usurpers would give serious pause before proceeding. Someone like, say, one of the Jesses (Jackson or Ventura) or Barney Frank. If she’s got the goods on John McCain like she has on Obama, she may just go that route.