The nightmare ticket

If Obama picks Hillary for Veep after her recent antics, he looks weak. That ought to be a deal-breaker.

Of course I have no idea whether Al Giordano is right in reporting that HRC bluntly asked for the vice-presidency and that BHO just as bluntly said “no.” If it were true, it would explain the otherwise hard-to-fathom nastiness of HRC’s comparison of the situation in Florida, where the Democratic Party is acting according to previously-agreed-on rules, and the situation in Zimbabwe, where the ruling party is carrying out mass murder against the party that won the election.

But one thing I’m sure of: HRC’s behavior has made it virtually impossible for Obama to give her the second prize. What might otherwise have looked like magnanimity toward a defeated but worthy opponent would now look like appeasement. That has to be a deal-breaker.

Footnote It’s a quite astonishing pleasure to have confidence for once that the political cause I cherish is in skilled hands. At the Huffington book party last night I made some convoluted argument about political tactics, and someone asked me whether I’d communicated it to Obama headquarters. The answer was no, for three reasons. First, I have no access. Second, I have no reason to think that anyone there would listen if I could get a message through. But third and most important, I have no reason to think that anyone should pay attention to my thoughts about tactics.

In the past, I’ve often had the thought that if the managers of my favorite candidate would just listen to me we could beat those pesky Republicans. Not this year. If Axelrod, Plouffe & Co. make a decision that’s not the one I would have made, my betting has to be that they’re right and I’m wrong. And that’s part of the reason I think that Obama will make a good President despite his lack of executive experience: he has put together, from scratch, just about the smoothest team ever.

So I’m reasonably confident that Obama and his managers will see the “dream team” idea the same way I do. But if not, then I’m prepared to trust their judgment rather than my own.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: