A recent telephone poll conducted by Zogby international seems to indicate that the best potential Vice President for Senator Obama is actually a Republican. Former Secretary of State Powell gives Senator Obama a 12% edge over likely voters as opposed to a choice of Senator Clinton. This data is not surprising given that national security is still a major issue with most Americans despite the current state of the economy. No one could argue that Colin Powell would be a good choice given his years of service in the Military not to mention the respect he would garner on the Republican side of the aisle:
I personally like Colin Powell having read his autobiography and watched some of the speeches he has given in on Television. I remember watching a Larry King interview with Colin Powell where Mr. Powell admitted to liking Senator Obama but would not endorse him at that time. I highly doubt Senator Obama will choose Mr. Powell but stranger things have happened in the world of politics, I will also stick by my earlier assertion that Senator Clinton has already been picked in secret but the Obama campaign is just running through the motions.
CBS has an interesting take on the veepstakes with Governor Sebelius at the top of their potential list. I wrote about Governor Sebelius as a potential VP in an earlier post so I won’t rehash old information, needless to say, she is growing in popularity as her name is spread around the highways of the internet. I would personally favor her over Senator Clinton given the existing relationship between Governor Sebelius and Senator Obama. CNN’s political market agrees with my earlier assertion about Senator Clinton’s with her shares trading at $18.83 cents compared to Senator Biden’s at $15.10. Lastly in my own political market that I play, the chance of Senator Obama choosing a woman is hovering at 27% so maybe Colin Powell is not so improbable?:
I seem to be in a conspiratorial mood these last few days so here is my latest theory… What if after Senator Obama clinched the democratic nomination, a deal was struck where Senator Clinton was promised the Vice Presidential slot on the Democratic ticket in the general election. I know that sounds highly improbable but let’s reason it out, Senator Clinton received a lot of votes during the primary process and given the beating both Senator’s gave each other, the easiest way to ensure unity would be to have them both on the same ticket. Senator Clinton has expressed interest in this as have some of her supporters and political pundits have used the term “dream ticket” since both Senator’s were in a dead heat during the primary process and combined, they would be a force to be reckoned with.
This might just be the media talking for me at the moment since when I think back to the election coverage, I am remember hearing the term “dream ticket” at least once a week. I am going to go out on a limb here and say that Senator Clinton is going to be the on the same ticket with Senator Obama in the general election. Here are my reasons:
Both Senator’s would appeal to the entire democratic base which has surpassed the republican base in terms of turnout during the primary process. It is this turnout that many claim will be the nail on the coffin in the general election for the Republicans
Both Senator’s appeal to different segments of the American population and could potentially steal voters from the Republicans in the general election.
Senator Obama is essentially the leader of the Democratic party but the Clinton’s and their supporters form a sizable part of that party.
The fallout from a Clinton Vice Presidency would be minimal with the most likely outcome still being a win for the Democrats
Listen to how Senator Obama talked up Senator Clinton in his nomination victory speech and in New Hampshire, that is going to set the tone for future campaigning together.
Is Senator Clinton still on the long list as a potential Vice-Presidential candidate for Senator Obama? Many people are still speculating at the moment given their appearance together on Thursday at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington DC and their purported intent to campaign together the following week. In some earlier posts, I have stated that I would not be opposed to Senator Clinton as the VP as long as she brought some tangible benefit to Senator Obama in the general election. This may not be needed at the moment given that Senator Obama is leading in most polling at the national level while election predictors like fivethirtyeight.com show him winning decisively without the help of Senator Clinton:
I usually give some background about the candidate in VP Profiles but I doubt that any of my potential readers have a lack of knowledge about Senator Clinton. If you have happened to be on vacation in some remote island the last few months you can find two excellent VP profiles at The Left Anchor and The Huffington Post:
Sen. Clinton came into office in 2000, besting her opponent Rick Lazio by twelve points (55-43). She gained support between her first election and her re-election in 2006, which she won by more than thirty points. In her time in office, Clinton has built solid constituencies, gaining the approval of 68% of Hispanic voters according to an April SUSA poll. She also polls strongly among women of whom better than 60% support her. However, her standings among various political ideologies underscore Hillary’s negatives: she receives only 33% support among conservatives, while splitting independents (50 percent approval vs. 48 percent disapporval), and receiving 59% of moderates. She has the highest negatives of any candidate in the race with 40% of voters disapproving of her.
Although it is certainly unusual for a candidate to begin publicly running for vice president before withdrawing from the presidential contest, this may be the moment when Clinton has the most leverage, presenting herself as the one person who could significantly heal the divisions now running deep in the party.
White women, especially older white women, are one of Obama’s problematic constituencies and Clinton has done very well among them.
There is no question about it that Senator Clinton would bring some strong numbers to the tables but it begs two questions to be asked:
Will some of Senator Clinton’s more fervent supporters accept her as a Vice-President?
In choosing Senator Clinton as a VP, what would the Obama base and potential independents feel about that?
I think all of us remember that crazy old lady from the RBC meeting and as much as some people might want to discount her opinion as being on the fringe of the Clinton base, she might be more to the center than most people think. A fair amount of Hillary supporters have already moved into the Obama fold and I believe that this is proven by Senator Obama’s double digit leads in the latest Newsweek poll. The problem is that there is still a significant number of Clinton supporters floating around the proverbial political utopia waiting for some candidate to guide them. There are still some Clinton supporters who either will not vote, or support Senator McCain as stated in the Guardian:
Many experts believe the key demographic is likely to be suburban white women, who have been dubbed ’soccer moms’ or ’security moms’ by pollsters. They are often the key swing voting bloc that can mean the difference between winning and losing the presidency. They were a Clinton demographic stronghold, and among them McCain now leads Obama by 44 per cent to 38. At the same time, polls show one in five Clinton supporters now intends to vote for McCain. That indicates there is much work to do for Obama and his staffers.
Senator Obama and his team have a lot of work to do; involving wooing the Clinton supporters while ensuring that he solidifies his message across key states. The one advantage the Obama camp as over John McCain is organization, and the more efficient use of the internet to help spread the word of “Change.” With Senator Clinton as a VP, it will make Senator Obama’s pre-general election process a lot easier but at what cost?
Many people discount the importance of a VP but it can be argued given the influence of VP Dick Cheney over the last 8 years that the VP’s for both candidates are going to be hugely important come the general election. Senator Clinton would not be a bad VP, she would agree with President Obama on most issues and have some knowledge of the White House and its associated quirks. Before the nomination was sealed, Time ran an interesting poll that showed that Senator Obama’s supporters would be less likely to feel angry if Senator Clinton was the nominee yet will that data still hold true today? Even more important is whether the large independent bloc in this general election will be more likely to vote for Senator McCain if she is the Vice Presidential candidate? I decided to turn to reliable Excel for the final word:
This table is by no means complete so if you have any suggestions, please leave a comment and I will adjust it accordingly. At the moment it seems like she brings more benefits to the table because the possibility of a negative Obama supporter loss is minimal. I am still not supporting Senator Clinton as the potential VP but after today I will say that she is no longer on the “long list.”
Well I was sitting in front of my TV today at 5pm on the dot, but no Senator Clinton, I flicked channels for a while before I realized I might as well do something else. Thankfully I left the TV on and once I heard the Senator speaking, I settled in to listen to the words of unity. It was a great speech, possibly the best one she has given so far and no one could disagree with that but did it accomplish the desired affect? That being to unite the party…I am under no illusion that a single speech will change the minds of the millions of loyal Hillary supporters but perhaps this is the start of the process of unification? I hope so, because I really do believe that the party needs unity going into the general election to defeat the embedded GOP. I am really tired of referencing www.hillaryis44.org in this blog but I am sure they represent a portion of the hillary base that is still quite angry. If you have a look at this site today after the concession speech, they are still hating Obama and talking about voting for McCain. Do we need them? Should we court them? Those are the questions I want to answer or hopefully someone will answer them for me. My favorite part of the speech:
The way to continue our fight now, to accomplish the goals for which we stand, is to take our energy, our passion, our strength, and do all we can to help elect Barack Obama the next president of the United States.
Well I thought I would pop over to Senator Clinton’s website today to see if anything has changed since she is suspending her campaign at her 12pm EST speech and the first screen that I was greeted to with was this:
Now I am not exactly sure why anyone would want to send Senator Clinton a message when the game is over but since I am not a Clinton supporter, I might not be seeing the whole picture. Once you skip past the splash screen, you reach the main page with a curious contribution button…
Does this mean that Senator Clinton is soliciting additional donations to make up for the almost $20 million dollars in debt? I think we can say with a reasonable certainty that this is true given that many Obama supporters would not want their contributions to go towards paying of Senator Clinton’s debt. Regardless of whatever happens to Senator Clinton’s debt, the point of today is to unite the Democratic Party to ensure a win in the general election. If you are like me, and wanted to know where to watch the speech wherever you are located, than go to the following websites or their respective television networks:
CNN or any other major american network in the USA at 12pm EST
Sky News if in Ireland and anywere in the U.K at 5pm GMT
*Edit: Post Clinton Speech 132pm EST, Estimated Debt is between $20 - $30 million dollars (Donna Brazile).
** Edit: Post Clinton Speech 133pm EST, Suspension of Clintons campaign allows her to continue to accept contributions to alleviate campaign debt (CNN).