Democrats dream of healing their party with a ticket that includes both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, especially after seeing the front-runner lose every single county in West Virginia last night. One influential Democrat disagrees, according to Robert Novak, who told Bill O’Reilly last night that she will do whatever she can to keep Hillary off of the ticket. Since her last name is Obama, one imagines that she can do quite a lot, too:

The longer Hillary stays in the race, the less likely the dream ticket becomes, and ironically the more the Democrats need it or something like it. West Virginia shows that Obama will need high-profile help to win suburban and rural votes even from Democrats, let alone independents and change-minded Republicans. The Clintons can deliver the high-profile and high-wattage boost he needs, but they won’t supply it without having a serious stake in the results. Unfortunately, her insistence on remaining in the race drives the wedge further between the Obamas and the Clintons, especially with Hillary’s aggressive attacking style.

Small wonder, then, that Michelle wants Hillary out — but that doesn’t appear to be a new dynamic, according to Novak. He notes that Michelle began criticizing Hillary last summer while declining to attack any of Obama’s other competitors. Hillary was the presumed front-runner at the time, too, but Obama needed to make the case as the alternate choice for those who didn’t want the Clinton Restoration. If Novak has this right, and he’s expert at these subtleties, Michelle may dislike Hillary enough to insist that she doesn’t want to endure a four- or eight-year partnership with the former First Lady.

Would Barack Obama allow his wife to veto a running-mate choice? Perhaps; he can’t be too happy with the Clintons himself, and his wife obviously serves as a trusted adviser and sounding board, as do most spouses. Hillary really doesn’t add anything to the ticket ideologically or geographically, but perhaps he can find some other way to entice the Clintons to enthusiastically support his candidacy. Would Obama appoint a disbarred attorney to the Supreme Court?