Matthew Yglesias notes a really bad reason to hope for a Obama-Hillary ticket:
“Ed Kilgore’s case for an Obama-Clinton ticket has made me like the idea even less. He canvasses various things Clinton would allegedly bring to the ticket, but in almost every case I can think of better people to bring the quality in question. Then there’s this — “She would also bring some national security street cred to the ticket, which is an Obama vulnerability that I suspect is being underappreciated at the moment.”
This reflects, I believe, an incredibly damaging mindset that’s been crippling the Democratic Party for years and the prospect of excising this mindset is the single most appealing thing about the prospect of Obama being the nominee. Clinton’s “street cred” on national security consists, of course, of being massively wrong on the most important national security issue of her career.”
That would be her Iraq vote. Not that I have a major problem with Hillary in general, but how can party elders like Kilgore say that her strength now is national security? In 2002-03 she and every other elected politician faced gut-check time as the Bush/Cheney disinformation war machine marched toward Unnecessary War. Unfortunately she and many others decided to roll over and grant legitimacy to the Bush/Cheney lunacy. Now she has “street cred” on national security?
On the other hand…here’s a really good idea from political scientist Gerald Pomper:
Obama Should Pick Webb for Running Mate
Webb fits Obama’s true needs. The Illinois Senator’s greatest deficiency is his lack of experience in foreign policy and military security. Clinton has made that her chief point of attack — as in the now-classic “3 A.M. telephone” ad — and this area is obviously McCain’s greatest strength. There is no way for Obama to match McCain, even if he could manufacture some “sniper fire,” but the right running mate could give him a measure of credibility, in much the same way as Cheney helped Bush.
Webb is a Naval Academy grad and Vietnam veteran (exactly matching McCain), and a former Secretary of the Navy bringing directly relevant executive experience. He won four military medals in Vietnam, and was wounded twice, a record that, along with awards from the American Legion and VFW, would repel attacks by SwiftBoaters. His term at the Pentagon came under Ronald Reagan, when Webb was a Republican, an advantage in Obama’s effort to achieve a new electoral coalition. With this military background, he reinforces the Democrats’ case against the Iraqi intervention, a position he has articulated from the beginning of the war and with particular force, including a direct confrontation with President Bush at a White House reception. As a novelist, non-fiction author and Emmy-winning television reporter, he also shows intellectual distinction.
Webb also would bring specific political advantages to the Democratic ticket. His rural roots, vigorous language and championing of working class values would compensate for Obama’s evident weaknesses among these voters. Webb provides a populist platform on corporate regulation, trade, taxation and health care that would further extend the party’s appeal to its lower-income base. Born in Missouri, educated in Nebraska, California and the Naval Academy in Maryland, he encapsulates a national electoral appeal. Finally, to the limited extent that state residence matters, he would help to switch Virginia into the Democratic column for the first election since 1964.
Webb is awesome, and yes, he balances Obama perfectly. Obama-Webb 08.