In Focus: Provocative Longshots in the Veepstakes

Tom Daschle was asked on "Meet the Press" yesterday about Hillary and Bill Clinton's joint intimation that Barack Obama would make a good vice president to her president. "It may be the first time in history that the person who is running number two would offer the person running number one the number two position," answered the former Democratic senate majority leader, himself an Obama man.

There's really no excuse now not to expect the hilarious worst from the Clintons. As last Tuesday's primaries showed, their political careers keep sailing right up to the jagged rocks only to avoid being splintered upon them. And it's never any last minute act of heroics that wins the day-it's demagoguery and cynicism.

Fresh from her victories in Ohio and Texas, Hillary told one journalist that Obama was not a Muslim, "as far as I know." Now comes this graceful act of noblesse oblige from a cashiered aristocrat: the coke-huffing, Somali-dressing maybe-Muslim would make a good running mate on my ticket.

No doubt Clinton-Obama '08 would strike a formidable note among voters, save for the fact that Clinton has done everything she can to blacken the reputation and character of her would-be veep, including, but not limited to, using his blackness to divide the electorate in the Deep South. Still, it would take a member of this family to convince the American people that one of the nastiest and most vicious nominating contests in history was an ignorable prelude to Democratic unity, or, as the likely slogan would go, "Change You Can Believe In On Day One."

There's another interesting suggestion circulating about John McCain's possible running-mate. Henrik Hertzberg has written in the New Yorker that Condoleezza Rice would be the perfect choice:

"Her nomination to a constitutional executive office would cost McCain the votes of his party's hardened racists and incorrigible misogynists. They are surely fewer in number, though, than the people who would like to participate in breaking the glass ceiling of race or gender but, given the choice, would rather do so in a more timid way, and/or without abandoning their party."

Good of Hertzberg to remind us that well-meaning Democrats outnumber Republican klansmen and cavemen. But he's still dreaming if he thinks the maverick's picking a pro-choice Bush holdover would endear him more to swing voters than it would further alienate him from the GOP base. If McCain entertains any real hope of getting to the White House, he'll realize he's already the counterintuitive candidate in this race, and he'll play it safe in selecting his number two.

Bob Parks at Outside the Wire slaps Hertzberg with his own high hand: "Hertzberg may have conveniently forgotten that as far as "incorrigible misogynists" go, regarding the charges against Bill Clinton, he wrote back in 1998 that 'that illicit sex is not nearly important enough to justify all this fuss'. Tell that to all the victims of Clinton's misogynist behavior."

Jumbo Pundits ask: "Would Obama really be that against a "Dream Team" ticket if he somehow managed to lose out on the nomination to Hillary? I don't necessarily think he would be that opposed to it, especially when one considers how it could help the Democratic party (and also his political future...)"

And Gay Patriot adds: "Should she pick Obama, she would open herself to criticism that she's picking someone she has claimed is not ready to lead to take the helm should something happen to her. Tapping him would show that she prefers political expediency to national security, further strengthening John McCain's hand on national security, his strongest issue."

Michael Weiss is the New York Editor of Pajamas Media. His blog is Snarksmith.