There’s increasing chatter in political circles that the Obama camp is not overly happy with the usual suspects for secretary of state these days and that the field might be expanding somewhat beyond Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), Gov. Bill Richardson (D-N.M.), Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) and maybe former Democratic senator Sam Nunn of Georgia.
There’s talk, indeed, that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) may now be under consideration for the post. Her office referred any questions to the Obama transition; Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor declined to comment.
I’m a little puzzled by this one. I think she would be much better suited for a career in the Senate where she could work on issues like health care. She’s certainly up to the job, and she would have Bill Clinton as a resource, but it seems like there are many other options. On the other hand, it shows that he’s willing to bring in some of the best people in the party, and that he’s not afraid to have big personalities in his administration.
Barack Obama has been surging in the polls, and now the Obama campaign is bringing out the big guns.
Bill Clinton campaigned today for Obama in Florida. John McCain’s lead has evaporated in Florida and Ohio, and some polls show Obama with a lead in those states. Clinton can be a huge help getting independents and Democrats to fall in line for Obama, particularly in the current economic environment.
Up to now Clinton has been a liability. He’s terrible in interviews as he can’t hide his disapointment that Obama beat Hillary for the nomination. But on the stump he’s a huge asset. He knows how to give a speech, and he knows how to frame an argument that will persuade voters. If he keeps this up and Hillary continues to hit the campaign trail, Obama should be able to close the deal.
Hillary just held a private conference call with Ohio Governor Ted Strickland and dozens of donors to her campaign and to Ohio Dems, urging them to plow funds into the coffers of the Ohio state party so it can help execute the ground game on Barack Obama’s behalf, a Hillary aide confirms to me.
“There isn’t any doubt that Ohio once again will be the pivotal state in this election and I know that it’s extremely close in the state,” Hillary told the donors, according to excerpts of the call sent our way by her office.
Hillary also promised extensive future visits to the state on Obama’s behalf. “I will be back campaigning up and down the state to make the case that the failed leadership of the last eight years should not be rewarded with another four,” she told the donors.
Obama’s team has been working closely with Hillary and Governor Strickland. They have an excellent ground game and lots of new voters. It will be interesting to see if that puts Obama over the top. I still think he has better opportunities in Virginia and Colorado, but he can probably lock up the election with wins in either Ohio or Florida.
Ariana has some excellent advice for the Obama campaign – ignore Sarah Palin and focus your energies on John McCain and his ties to George W. Bush:
Listening to McCain, you’d think it was the Democrats who occupied the White House the last seven-plus years and it was time to throw the bastards out.
Given that 82 percent of voters believe we are heading in the wrong direction, it’s a logical position to take. But for the American people to buy into the notion that McCain, who has raced to Bush’s side on tax cuts, on offshore drilling — even on torture — is this campaign’s agent of change, it’s going to require an incredible suspension of disbelief. Or a serious case of amnesia.
And this is clearly McCain’s campaign strategy: inducing amnesia about the past and confusion about the future, attempting to hoodwink the American people about what he has become. Which is where Sarah Palin comes in. As a major distraction. In the effort to divert attention from the matter at hand — McCain’s embrace of all things Bush — Palin is the perfect storm.
Americans love the outsider plucked from obscurity. And Palin provides bucketfuls of the new and exciting. As long as voters and the media are caught up in the latest installment of As Sarah Turns or the Alaska version of All My Children, they aren’t paying attention to the lack of solutions McCain is offering to the serious crises that face us.
Forget worrying about the economy or health care or the housing crisis — think about how many people live in Wasilla, whether Bristol and Levi will live happily ever after, and if Sarah and her “First Dude” really want Alaska to secede from the union.
This is why the McCain campaign wants Palin front and center — did you notice how much time McCain spent during the speech praising Palin and how quickly the celebratory post-speech music shifted from “Raisin’ McCain” to “Barracuda”?
And it’s why Democrats need to ignore Palin, and keep the focus on reminding voters about the stark contrast between an Obama and a McCain administration. It’s tempting to prime the Palin attack pump. But Obama and the Democrats do so at their own peril.
John McCain wants to distance himself from Bush, cloud the huge policy differences between him and Obama, and hope his compelling life story carries the day. Obama’s job is to make sure he doesn’t get away with it. Forgetting Sarah Palin is a good place to start.
The Obama campaign has already figured this out. They are attacking McCain and the GOP for ignoring the problems of health care, jobs etc. You don’t hear them mentioning Sarah Palin.
Hillary Rodham Clinton has no intention of becoming a Sarah Palin attack dog — but has no qualms going after John McCain, people close to the former first lady say.
“She’s not the answer when it comes to winning conservative women — she never was — and we’re not going to be anybody’s attack dog against Sarah Palin,” said a Clinton insider. “To be fair to Obama’s people, they haven’t asked us to do that.”
This makes sense. John McCain has embraced the Bush economic policies, and that’s what this election needs to be about for Obama to win.
John McCain says the economy is fundamentally sound. John McCain doesn’t think that 47 million people without health insurance is a crisis. John McCain wants to privatize Social Security. And in 2008, he still thinks it’s okay when women don’t earn equal pay for equal work.
With an agenda like that, it makes sense that George Bush and John McCain will be together next week in the Twin Cities. Because these days they’re awfully hard to tell apart.
This is a good choice. Mark Warner would have been the perfect pick for Obama’s running mate, but he’s running for the open Senate seat in Virginia, and he’s practically guaranteed to win.
Warner has tremendous appeal to white, Southern voters, and he is very respected on economic issues. Expect him to drive home the theme that middle class voters should be voting with the Democratic Party this year.
It’s also helpful that Warner’s keynote address will happen on the same night that Hillary Clinton speaks. He’s a unifying figure, and will give the press many talking points to blunt the invitable Clinton drama stories we can expect to hear from the press that night.
MSNBC is reporting that Bill Clinton will speak on Wednesday night at the Democtratic convention, the same night that the Vice Presidential pick will speak.
The media is having a field day talking up the “rift” between Obama and the Clintons. Naturally, the Clintons can’t do anything without a heavy dose of drama, but as usual this is all overblown.
I would have been shocked if Bill Clinton wasn’t asked to speak at the convention, so this is not a surprise. Of course, it should have happened sooner, and we have no idea if this is the fault of the Clintons or the Obama campaign.
In any event, expect great speeches from both Bill and Hillary, which will be a big boost for Obama.