The Dream Team
The Candidates May Not Like It, But The Dream Team Fits
Mario Cuomo had it right. A few weeks ago, Cuomo made the rounds to the Sunday Morning talk shows and he made a pitch that made a lot of sense.
Cuomo wasn't calling for either of the Democratic candidates for President to withdraw from the race. Let them have their spirited campaign. Fight, scratch, claw for every last delegate. And then when it's all over, whoever is the winner should run for President, and whoever is the loser runs for Vice President.
To be sure, Hillary "Never Say Die" Clinton would bristle at the notion at this stage of the game, but that's only gamesmanship. To suggest that she was even considering the possibility of serving as number two on the ticket would drive a stake through the heart of her already flagging campaign.
Barack Obama may be opposed to such a scenario because, aside from making the decision to run for President in the first place, the next great task he will have to make is who will be his running mate. To essentially take the runner up by default does not make him look "Presidential." You can learn a lot about a candidate based on who he chooses for a running mate.
Some people have suggested that Presidential nominees always choose a Vice President who is clearly inferior to him. King George I chose Dan Quayle, Boy George chose Cheney (who, it has been suggested, is perhaps more Presidential than the thief in chief, but who is still inferior to Boy George because he is even more unpopular than Bush!)
Barack Obama talks a lot about changing the face of Presidential politics, and he's not just talking about the color of his face. He's talking about doing what is best for the country. What is best for the country is that a Democrat be elected to the Presidency. Unfortunately, the protracted nominating race has split our party. It will take an enormous gesture on the part of either candidate to lure the faithful from the other side to stand behind the eventual nominee. My money is on Obama, but even if Clinton somehow manages to secure the nomination, the best way to ensure that all those enthusiastic Obama first time voters become Clinton voters is to give Obama a seat at the table.
One way or another, 2008 will be a historic year. Either we're going to nominate a black man or a woman for President. The question is whether we finish the job. Unifying the party behind this ticket will happen if these candidates set aside whatever personal animosity they feel for each other in the heat of the campaign, and recognize that on the issues, they are highly compatible.
Do the right thing guys. Let's admit that as Democrats we ought to get along at least as well as we would with your average Republican.