A sensational theory, but more so for the theater of it than the logic. Imagine: They roll into the convention with no VP named yet and then, with the suspense unbearable, after months of sick-making sturm and drang about “healing” and “unity” and “catharsis,” Barry O concludes his acceptance speech by introducing Lady Macbeth as his number two. The shock would be such that you might actually feel it beneath your feet; the media frenzy afterwards would swallow the GOP convention whole. It’d be the biggest VP bombshell since … ever.
But why would he do it? Ruffini dismisses the big six on Obama’s short list for different reasons but he’s only persuasive about Sebelius and Dodd. Yes, the nutroots hate Evan Bayh; so what? They’re not staying home. Yes, some of Wes Clark’s comments would get scrutiny; so what? His military credentials are worth it. Ditto for Biden, whose loose cannon tendencies would be buried by the media under an avalanche of tributes to his experience. In any case, the issue isn’t whether each of them has liabilities, it’s whether their liabilities are bigger than Hillary’s. Picking her would indicate that Obama thinks he has a bigger problem with Democrats than with independents and needs to purchase “unity” even at the expense of alienating centrists and handing McCain a gift-wrapped GOTV angle. Does he? He’s already crushing Maverick among Latinos and has led by 19 points among women so she doesn’t do much for him there. Unless I missed something, most major unions are already committed to him, too. Is the sore-loser PUMA contingent really so huge within the party that he genuinely fears it’s going to cost him the election? McCain does do better with Democrats in some polls than Obama does with Republicans, but not any better thus far than Bush did in 2004. Which is to say, if The One has a problem with his own side, it might not be a problem that Hillary can fix. And then of course there’s the minor issue of actually having to govern with her and Bill if he wins. If he was 10 points down right now and needed a Hail Mary, I can see why he might be willing to risk that. But with the race tied, and not knowing what adding a Clinton to the ticket would do for McCain’s support? No way.
If he is leaning in this direction, though, it must be a recent move: Bill’s whine-tasting session with ABC was just two weeks ago, and I can’t believe he’d be yammering about having been misunderstood and unloading on people after the election’s over if he thought she was lined up to be on the ticket. Exit question: On a scale of one to 10, how likely is this? (Exit answer: Two!)
Update: Headlines comments imported.
Update: Make that three on a scale of one to 10: Wes Clark apparently isn’t attending the convention.
Update: Also, if this really is a head fake, why would Obama and Hillary go to the trouble of placing her name in nomination? Is that part of the head fake too, to mislead people into thinking the roll call of delegates is her big moment at the convention when secretly it’ll be the VP announcement? Seems like a long way to go for a ruse, especially when not placing her in nomination — which would be perceived initially as a snub — and then announcing her as VP would be arguably more shocking.