September 11, 2008

Obama and the Old Switcheroo? Not a Chance.

Hatched by Dafydd

From several unrelated sources, I have heard or read the suggestion that Barack H. Obama might dump the ineffectual Slow Joe Biden -- whose only accomplishment is breaking the world record for stupid verbal gaffes (in the United States Senate, a remarkably tough league!) -- and name Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-Carpetbag, 100%) instead as his running mate.

Alas, I don't think there is a chance in a thousand that Obama will dump Biden for anybody... and most especially not for Hillary. He's savvy enough to realize that if he did, he would lose even worse than he's already likely to do.

Several reasons:

Judgment day

It's not that making such a switch "reeks of desperation," as some suggest. That might have been the case had he picked her first; but to dump his first pick and grab for Hillary now would raise a far more serious question about Obama's fitness: Such an obvious U-turn screams "bad judgment," which is already the biggest slam against him.

When a gaffe plays directly into the gaffing candidate's worst quality, it resonates out of all proportion:

  • John F. Kerry's two most questionable characteristics were deferring to the world community, rather than putting America first, and his inability to make up his mind. Thus his own statements -- calling for a "global test" for U.S. policy and his boneheaded explanation that, "I was actually for the $87 billion before I was against it" -- became the two defining moments of his campaign.
  • The issue that most dogged George H.W. Bush was whether the man who called Ronald Reagan's tax cuts "voodoo economics" in 1980 was any more committed to them as president; so his "read my lips, no new taxes" promise, followed by a big tax increase, sealed his doom in 1992.
  • And the biggest question voters had about Michael Dukakis was whether he was qualified to lead American forces in the event of war; his "bobblehead" ride in a tank, as it served left and right, wandering aimlessly, destroyed his shot at the White House.

In this case, Obama's Achilles' heel is the question of judgment: Dumping his running mate only a couple of weeks after naming him conjures up memories of Gerald Ford -- remembered (wrongly but strongly) as a bumbler who was as clumsy in his judgment as he was on his feet.

(Yes, I know he was an athlete and his proclivity for tripping was greatly exaggerated by Chevy Chase; but I'm talking about perception not reality.)

All the cows come home to roost

Others argue that picking Hillary would bring back all those disaffected former Hillary Clinton supporters, who were only turning to Sarah Palin out of disappointment at not getting the gal they really wanted.

If Barack Obama had picked Hillary first, that might have helped him, if he could overcome the "desperation" charge. But to first pass her over, and then, to dump Biden and pick Hillary only after John S. McCain picks Palin... well, not only would that not bring back those PUMAs ("Party Unity My Ass") who are now jumping ship to McCain -- the blatant disrespect for women inherent in such a cynical ploy would accelerate the trend.

Picking a powerful, self-made woman as running mate is exciting and galvanizing to the many women who believe -- not without some justice -- that one major reason no woman has ever been elected vice president or president is that a lot of people, especially the "old boys" in the upper ranks of government, really don't believe women as a class can handle the job.

But to dump one's first VP pick, a man, and quickly stick a woman on instead -- to "counter" the woman that your opponent chose -- is tantamount to saying, "You chicks are only supporting McCain because you want to vote for a women. Fine. Here! Here's your lousy woman! Now you can vote for me."

It shows contempt for female voters. Rather than reaching out to a qualified woman -- as McCain did -- Obama would be turning to a woman he already rejected, who he didn't even think was worthy of being shortlisted, just because she is female; and he thinks he has to have his own token woman to lure lure female voters away from his opponent.

What he said

Finally, such a defensive reaction would transform Obama from an "agent of change" into the Sour Kangaroo's joey from "Horton Hears a Who"... the baby kangaroo whose only line is -- "Me too!"

What is Obama supposed to say in his announcement? "I know I should have picked her earlier, but I was too cowardly and sexist to do so. But now that John McCain has blazed the trail, I'm going to run right up behind him and slap his butt." (In a manly, congratulatory way, I mean.)

A mighty wind

Some suggest, however, that it doesn't matter what Obama does, because the mainstream media will always have his back; they will defend any decision he makes, so it won't hurt him.

Yes, the elite media would frantically spin such a switch; but we mustn't fall into the trap of many Republicans who have an unexamined assumption that the media are not only all-in for Obama, which is true -- but also all-powerful at achieving their goals, which is provably false: If they really had that power, don't you think they would have managed to defeat George W. Bush at least once?

So far, the elites have been spinning and spinning the meme that Sarah Palin is an inexperienced, incompetent, gun-clinging, earmark-hugging, animal-murdering, secession-supporting, child abusing, rabid, fascist, right-wing, creationist, Jeebus Crispie, book-banning lunatic. How has that project worked out?

You can fool some of the people all the time -- but they're already Democrats

Such a transparent switcheroo would make Obama look so small, so sexist, so reactionary, that he would lose whatever shred of credibility, gravitas, and "presidentiality" he currently retains. He is an intelligent man; he's not an idiot. He realizes this; and that is why he will never even consider dumping Slow Joe for Hillary.

Barack Obama will stick with his first choice and just try to get lemonade out of a sow's ear.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, September 11, 2008, at the time of 5:22 PM

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Tracked on September 11, 2008 6:28 PM


The following hissed in response by: Voiceguy in LA

I often laugh my ass off with your clever posts, but this one was exceptional.

You can fool some of the people all the time -- but they're already Democrats

All the cows come home to roost

You surpassed yourself in this one.

And if Obama should be dumb enough do make this switch, you could rightfully say that he'd buttered his bread, and now he could sleep in it.


The above hissed in response by: Voiceguy in LA [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 11, 2008 5:58 PM

The following hissed in response by: Gerard Van der Leun

Of course, if Senator Biden were to meet with an unfortunate accident....

The above hissed in response by: Gerard Van der Leun [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 11, 2008 6:24 PM

The following hissed in response by: Terry Gain

I respectfully demur. He's going down if he doesn't do something dramatic. It's his only chance. The decision has in fact already been made.

This is why slow Joe is saying Hillary would have been a better choice than him.

They are simply looking for an excuse.

Who would thought Joe Biden had polyps?

The above hissed in response by: Terry Gain [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 11, 2008 6:49 PM

The following hissed in response by: TmjUtah

I second Terry.

The problem isn't getting rid of Biden. He's already made it clear he's out of his league.

The problem is going to be coming up with a replacement. They'll be manufacturing sorbet in Hell before Mrs. Clinton would look once at such a proposition.

I respectfully disagree with your assessment of Senator Obama's smarts. His "three hundred advisors" have not been effective in keeping him from being outmaneuvered strategically, and neither Obama nor Biden appears up to the challenge of conducting non- scripted public appearances.

I don't like John McCain's attacks on free speech. I think he played too much crony checkers in the Senate. I shudder in advance at what disasters he may instigate on amnesty and the economy, but I don't doubt for a second that the success of his campaign thus far is the product of his leadership (less the Democrat mobys who crossed the line to vote for him in open primaries) and his general strategy.
Further, I think he is a brave and honorable man. Obama is... ill equipped to understand the strength of his opponent; it is a question of referents. Mr. Obama (and the 300 advisers) have run a campaign based on the media construct they would like their world to exist in. If Mr. Obama was all that smart, Joe Biden wouldn't even have come up in conversation as a VP option.

McCain is running real time, in the real world. And barring scandal or criminal acts, he's going to win big.

Obama could salvage something by canning Biden and picking up some doctrinaire Leftist like Sebalia, and then making the objective of the campaign to run honestly on honest differences. He is getting creamed because the U.S. voters don't want a socialist babysitter, but he's getting badly creamed because he's disrespected his base by going with Slow Joe and dissembling that he IS a socialist babysitter.

Being honest about who you are is the worst insult a candidate can commit. It seems thatover the decades, providing cover for Leftist candidates engaged in this practice has become the mission of legacy media.

A Democrat presidential candidate that doesn't show fifteen points or better advantage on polls weighted toward likely voters is DONE.

Biden is gone. Lets see if The One can sweet talk anybody off the bench.

The above hissed in response by: TmjUtah [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 11, 2008 9:06 PM

The following hissed in response by: TmjUtah

*sigh* Being DIShonest about who you are... sorry, I should have previewed.

The above hissed in response by: TmjUtah [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 11, 2008 9:09 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dick E


Agree with your post, except for the “Alas” part about dropping Biden. Ol’ Delaware Joe on the Obama ticket is a plus for the good guys.

He is an intelligent man; he's not an idiot. He realizes this…

That’s part of his problem!

The above hissed in response by: Dick E [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 11, 2008 10:52 PM

The following hissed in response by: Karmi

Here's a snap-shot of the Daily Kos - R2K Poll that they had out last night. To help it go down better, Kos throws in some other polls; however, he ended with:

That's quite a disparity, with multiple pollsters supporting the others' results. If you are an optimist, go with the three better looking polls. If you are a pessimist, go with SUSA and R2K. If you are a realist, realize we're behind no matter who you look at, and redouble your efforts to elect Democrats this fall.

I don't like sending traffic to them, but he also has some results in other races - here.

Mainly, it shows McCain ahead in the SUSA by 58-38, and ahead in Kos' R2K by 55-38.

The above hissed in response by: Karmi [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 12, 2008 2:16 AM

The following hissed in response by: SlimGuy

Bringing Hill on board would be salt in the wounds insults to the PUMAs and he knows it.

If anything were to happen for a swap , look for a half way measure like swapping Joe for Granholm or another female Dem governor.

Granholm is supposed to be prepping Joe for the Palin debate.

The above hissed in response by: SlimGuy [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 12, 2008 10:11 PM

The following hissed in response by: Karl

I've just blogged about the Torreceli option. As I mention there, and has been mentioned here, getting rid of Biden isn't a problem. He's old, and has health issues of his own.

Also mentioned in the comments, if you're losing, why not trade a guaranteed loss for at least a chance of a win? (Unless Democratic congresscritters can talk you out if it -- coattails!)

The real question would be who replaces Biden. Hillary's out, even if Obama could afford a food taster. But have they really exhausted the field of possible running mates? Senators? Congresscritters? Governors? How about Hollywood types? Matt Damon's already in campaign mode, it would seem. And what's Whoopi Goldberg doing these days?

Hey, if she's put on the ticket to replace Biden, your bumper stickers can read "Whoopi for Obama!"

The above hissed in response by: Karl [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 12, 2008 10:37 PM

The following hissed in response by: Andrew X

Slimguy -

Jennifer Granholm was born in British Columbia, and moved to the States as a four-year-old. Unfortunate, as she was a family friend as a teenager (Damn fine lookin' one, like another govnah of late, but blonde), and I'd love to see her in the running. But not to be.

Michigan is also a tough state to govern. I'm GOP, so I'll refrain from piling on out of personal loyalty, but she would have some economic vulnerabilities even if she were eligible.

But she ain't, so that's that.

The above hissed in response by: Andrew X [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 12, 2008 10:59 PM

The following hissed in response by: SlimGuy

Thanx andrew I forgot about her birth place issues.

Eligible for Gov but not VP.

Well maybe the gal from Kansas would be the half way measure.

The above hissed in response by: SlimGuy [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 13, 2008 6:00 AM

The following hissed in response by: Fritz

I agree that Sen. Obama is stuck with "Old White Joe."(apologies to Stephen Foster) While I think Sen. Obama very politically naive, I don't think he is a total fool and he would have to be one to pick Sen. Clinton as his running mate, either at the beginning or now. The so-called "Dream Ticket" could have only happened had Sen. Clinton won nomination and she could have picked Sen. Obama for vice president, but Sen. Obama could never pick her unless he was willing to, in effect, give the presidency to Bill Clinton and anyone who has enough ego to run for president is unwilling to do something like that. Even if Sen. Biden should fall over dead Sen. Obama will be unable to pick Hillary because of the baggage that would come with that pick.

Not only that, under the current circumstances Sen. Clinton would be a fool to accept even were Sen. Obama foolish enough to try something like that. As it now stands Sen. Clinton's only hope of being president is for Sen. McCain to win and then she might have a shot at it in 2012. If she accepted an offer to be veep she would be stuck behind Obama until he was defeated or ran out of terms. If his approval rating was so low that it was obvious that he could not run for a second term it would also reflect very negatively on her. So Sen. Clinton is going to keep her powder dry and hope that McCain's first administration goes so badly that she can win in 2012.

The above hissed in response by: Fritz [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 13, 2008 10:46 AM

The following hissed in response by: brotio

I keep hearing that The Obammunist should have picked Hitlery. Are there credible sources that suggested she would have accepted second fiddle? I don't see how VP helps her political aspirations, and I've never seen anything that would suggest that a Clinton puts Party (or Country) above their own ambition.

I have to admit that I reacted with glee when they picked Biden, and he's been everything a Republican could hope for. So far.

The above hissed in response by: brotio [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 13, 2008 11:49 PM

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