Wednesday, June 04, 2008


By Ivan G. Goldman

When it comes to a spot on the Democratic ticket, that’s no signal Hillary is sending to this upstart who dared to defeat her. It’s a Mafiosa-style message. Put me on the ticket or your presidential campaign will sleep with the fishes.
A signal is something you send out privately. But Hillary broadcast her demand in a conference call with a group of congressional Democrats, which is like shouting it out on the Larry King show. The purpose was to communicate with her supporters, especially the zombies who'll follow her across the River Styx. Now they know what she wants, so she can drive them into further fits of rage when she doesn’t get it. If Hillary can keep them from pulling the Obama lever in November, she can set herself up for 2012.

But here’s the clinker, the true Clinton-esque twist. If Obama gives in, he’ll appear weak to the independents and wavering Republicans he must have to beat McCain, which also sets Obama up for defeat this November and gives Hillary a boost for 2012. The mantra would then be, Well sure we lost. That 2008 ticket was upside down. Obama’s too black, too untested, and worst of all, he’s not even a Clinton.

Meanwhile, Bill has already signaled he’s going to stick to his foundation from now on. The implied promise to Obama is that if he gives Hillary the Number Two spot he won’t have to worry any of those red-faced Bill outbursts will soil the campaign. But anyone who believes that is naive enough to believe Hillary really wants an Obama victory in November. Narcissist Bill never saw a TV camera or a microphone he didn't love.

Obama and his strategists understand all this. The question now is, what to do about it. What they have going for them is they've grown used to figuring out the Clintons, who've succeeded in making themselves the biggest impediment to a Democratic victory in the fall. That's been their purpose ever since they realized months ago that their 2008 campaign was a walking corpse. Defeating a 71-year-old mini-Bush ought to be relatively easy for Barack, but not when a couple of Doberman Clintons have their teeth sunk in his ankles.

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