Here we go again!
Thanks to Bob Woodward Washington, D.C. is once again aflutter over the prospect of Hillary Clinton replacing Joe Biden as vice president on the 2012 Obama ticket.
Forget for a moment that Woodward was just trying to get his name in the press and sell more copies of his new book, the idea of Hillary replacing Biden is downright silly. It took me 10 minutes to come up with ten reasons why she would never accept such a position. Give me another hour and I could probably think of 50.
In any case, here are ten perfectly good, logical reasons why Hillary will not be Obama’s running mate in 2012 —
1. Hillary is too good for Obama and she knows it. Right now it is in Hillary’s interest to keep her distance from the White House lest she be tainted with the same odor of incompetence surrounding her boss. Maybe that will change in two years, but keep holding your breath. . .
2. Scorned in 2008 by the Obama team, Hillary has too much pride to give them the satisfaction of saying “yes” in 2012.
3. Obama won’t ask her to run on his ticket. Even though polls show that voters prefer Hillary over Biden by a margin of 2 to 1, dumping Biden would require Obama to admit his failures as president. No matter how desperate things are, don’t expect him ‘fess up.
4. Hillary doesn’t need the job. She has already signaled her intention to leave the Administration after one term and has better options once she retires as Secretary of State. That includes a possible run for governor of New York or returning to the Senate and taking back her old seat. Or she can just sit back on her front porch and play with her grand-kids.
5. Bill Clinton is against her being on the ticket. While Bill certainly doesn’t tell Hillary what to do, his opinion still means a great deal to her. The former president knows that Obama is out of his league and is against having his wife more closely associated with the Administration than she already is.
6. She enjoys the media speculation but hates the idea of being vice president. So what’s wrong with having the press pump up your reputation and mention that you are more popular than both the president and vice president? But to actually become vice president? Are you kidding!!!
7. The rumors increase her leverage as Secretary of State, which makes her even less likely to leave that position. Believe it or not, Hillary actually wants to succeed as SOS, and if foreign leaders and diplomats believe she might some day become second-in-command, then that makes her even more effective. She wants to leave a legacy on the world stage, not commit political suicide.
8. She sees the VP job as a demotion because it reduces her ability to have a real impact on world events. One of the reasons Hillary was so quick to quash the idea of serving on the Supreme Court is that the job would essentially have robbed her of the ability to be the activist, sleeves-rolled-up woman that she really is. That’s doubly true for the VP job.
9. She’s too old to use the VP position as a stepping stone to higher office. If she accepted the VP slot and replaced Biden, by the time the second Obama Administration ended, she would be nearly 70 years old. While that is not too old to serve a second term as president, it is to late to start a second political life as president.
10. When she ended her candidacy for president in 2008, she genuinely switched off whatever obsession she had with the idea of being in the White House. In other words, she no longer wants or needs the job, and certainly not a job as vice president. Although the can be honestly self-sacrificing in her service to the public, there are limits. Being vice president is one of them.