Ok, old news, but at least it’s now official. What I think is truly amazing about the Democratic primary race this year was the way it ended. Or rather, the way it refused to end. I wonder what Sen. Clinton’s end-game is in all this. Early on I felt like the last thing she would ever want was the VPship. Who wants to sit that close to power and yet have none herself (especially if your last name is Clinton)? There is, however, one good thing that comes with being VP: a presumptive nomination for the next P, and that is something worth having. If Hillary is Obama’s VP and he wins, then she is a virtual lock for the party’s nomination in 2016. Except for the fact that she’d be 69 then (she’s 61 now). McCain, whose age is a major factor in this race, would be the oldest president elect at 71 were he to win. Does Sen. Clinton really think that she can defeat ageism and sexism at the same time? I doubt it.
However, were Obama to lose and Clinton were the VP candidate, then she could play the “I told you so” card and waltz into the nomination in 2012. McCain has committed (who knows if he’d follow through) to only serving a single term as president, so Clinton would really be the only “old guard” type in the race.
But what Clinton wants, I believe, is to not take the VP position, but only after Obama offers it to her (as several political pundits have asserted). In so doing, she’s not tied to Obama in anyway if he loses but would still be the presumptive nominee in 2012. The problem she faces, though, is if Obama wins then she’s locked out for eight years and she’ll have to contend with whoever is the VP for the nomination–a fight that she can’t be looking forward to given this year’s outcome.
What isn’t in doubt is that Hillary Clinton is refusing to go gently into the proverbial goodnight. She knows that she, until tonight, possessed a bully pulpit that she’s likely never to have again, at least not for eight more years. She is sending a strong message to the Democratic party that even though Obama has dethroned her, the “Clinton machine,” as it is called, is still a major power in the party and the party leadership needs to make sure that the Clinton’s keep their place at the head of the table. Her most audacious move was to force the Democratic rules committee to rule on the Florida and Michigan primaries. Her fans, as fans are wont to do, conveniently forgot that she promised not to campaign in Florida and Michigan and agreed beforehand that those states would lose their delegates if they moved their primaries. Fast forward to last week and Clinton is suddenly the champion of “every vote counts.” The move is such a transparent power play that birds crash into it regularly. The only reason to reverse herself so brazenly is to send a message to the DNC: don’t you dare look past me, because I can bring this house of cards down on you and torpedo this election as fast as you can spell H-O-P-E.