Smoke-Filled Room

Well, it's out in the open now. Howard Dean admitted that the Democratic party would have to step in and broker a deal between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton if the primaries do not yeild a clear winner before the convention.

(CNN) — As predictions of a convention floor fight from the campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama continue to mount, Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean said the party would likely intervene to prevent that scenario.

Dean said Democrats would look to “get the candidates together to make some kind of an arrangement” before the party meets in Denver this August to officially select its nominee.

In an interview on NY1 on Tuesday, before the outcome of the day’s votes was known, Dean said he thought the Democratic Party would have a nominee by mid-March or April.

"The idea that we can afford to have a big fight at the convention and then win the race in the next eight weeks, I think, is not a good scenario,” he said.

If there is no nominee selected by his predicted mid-spring date, or by Puerto Rico's June vote – the last presidential primary on the Democratic calendar – Dean said the party would likely bring both sides together to work out a deal.

“Because I don't think we can afford to have a brokered convention,” he said. “That would not be good news for either party."

The conventional wisdom not long ago said that there would be a Clinton-Obama ticket. But if Obama is leading in delegates, how would an Obama-Clinton ticket play out?

Answer: not well for the Clintons.

Part of me, as I have mentioned before, worries that all the thunder and lightning from the two contenders might be political kabuki and that the CW would prevail. Dean's naked insider move here makes that a bit more likely. But there are a couple of big flies in the ointment here. First off, in general, Vice Presidents do not get promoted to the top office in the US. Historically, it is a fairly rare thing. So whoever gets "brokered" into playing second fiddle will probably be giving up any chance at the top spot. 

Obama has been running extremely well, much better than I initially expected, frankly. For him to give up all his aspirations to be President is pretty well unthinkable. For Clinton, she believes that job is hers, almost as a birthright. I can't see her giving that up, either. So if have a virtually unsolvable problem there. 

Compound all that by trying to imagine what an Obama Presidency would be like with Hillary and her co-Vice President standing over his shoulder the whole time. Or what a completely insignificant role Obama would play when the Bubbapalooza is upstaging him at every turn.

The Democrats are caught in a trap of their own making here. They have played identity politics for years and have the unfortunate historical timing to have two "identity" candidates appear to be viable at the same time. And the "brokering" will likely cause real damage. 

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15 Responses to Smoke-Filled Room

  1. NortonPete says:

    Good analysis.
    If Obama is not the nominee and Hillary is, then the best thing for Obama is to have Hillary run and then lose. That sets up a 2012 run. He is a young man and will attract many more democrats in 2012. However, he must be sure Hillary will fail.

  2. DonL says:

    I agree wholeheartedly with NortonPete. Obama will be young enough in 2012 . . . but he must be able to be very sure the Hillary will LOSE in this election.

  3. feeblemind says:

    Wouldn’t it be ironic, after HRC has run around saying Bush was “selected, not elected” if she was selected by party big wigs for the nomination, even if Obama had earned more delegates?

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  5. Mwalimu Daudi says:

    At one time I believed that a Clinton-Obama ticket was a cinch. But that was when I thought that Her Inevitableness would sweep through the Democrat competition with relative ease.

    If there is a Clinton-Obama ticket it will be the political shotgun wedding of the millennium. It will make Kennedy-Johnson look like Romeo and Juliet by comparison. If Obama has any smarts (always a debatable proposition), he will treat the Veep prospect like plutonium.

    And I find it impossible to believe that, after being top banana for eight years during her husband’s term, Hilly the Hun will settle for the role of backup to someone she so obviously considers her inferior.

  6. Pingback: DNC chair Howard Dean Says … We May have to Broker Clinton-Obama Deal, Clinton Vice President? | Scared Monkeys

  7. DavidL says:

    Barack Obama has already had the audacity to point out the failure of the B.J Clinton administration. Even Obama isn’t naive enough to think that the Clintons would even let him near the White House if he were Vice President. The Clintons are all about themselves and there is no room at the inn for Barack.

  8. C Stanley says:

    Unstoppable object, meet immovable wall.

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  13. kidrob says:

    yeah it would be tough for obama if bubba was his wing man!

  14. Mockinbird says:

    I sure wouldn’t want the Clintons looking over my shoulder. Shudder…

  15. Marvin says:

    I would not sell life insurance to Obama if Clinton is his VP.
    Vince Foster could not be reached for comment.

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