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Tuesday, Jun 3, 2008, 8:13 pm

Hold your tongue re: the VP shite

By Jarrett Dapier
Hertzberg's got some good analysis over at der New-Yorker about the Clinton VP shove-and-shout campaign underway intended to cow Barack into giving Hill the nod. Basically, he thinks she ought to cool her heels, lest she vanish into oblivion.

If Hillary truly wants to be the Vice-Presidential nominee, this pressure is a serious mistake. She would be far better off doing everything she can to take the pressure off and let Obama take his time, because if he is forced to decide soon he will have to say no. The wounds are too fresh. The feelings are too raw. It would feel like bullying—it would be bullying—and he cannot submit to bullying or even be seen to submit to it. She cannot be chosen in an atmosphere still dominated by anger and disappointment.

Her chances for being picked are not great anyway. The choice would muddy Obama’s themes of newness, orientation to the future, generation change, and turning the page on the bitternesses of the Clinton-Bush years. The baggage Hillary lugged through the primary campaign—especially Bill—would be transferred to Air Obama. The vetting of Bill Clinton’s post-Presidential activities that was left undone during the primary season, mainly because Hillary’s Democratic rivals wisely avoided anything that might have cast them as Ken Starrs in the minds of Democratic voters, would happen after all. (And if you think that would be pretty, check out Todd Purdum’s just published piece in Vanity Fair.) The Clinton marital soap opera, which, mercifully, is about to be cancelled, would have its contract renewed. A major theme of campaign coverage, right up to the election, would be the sniping between the Obama entourage and the Clinton entourage, not to mention the triangular sniping among the Hillary Clinton entourage, the Bill Clinton entourage, and the Barack Obama entourage. It wouldn’t matter if the sniping were real, imaginary, or ginned up—it would be a big story anyway.


Hillary, take a bow.

Jarrett Dapier is a former assistant publisher at In These Times. Previous work for ITT includes interviews with playwright Christopher Shinn and Fugazi guitarist, Ian Mackaye. He currently works with teens at the Evanston Public Library where he runs a recycled drumming program and directs stage adaptations of young adult literature. He lives in Evanston, IL.

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