This is way premature, I understand. And the likelihood of a brokered or negotiated compromise between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama is between slim and none at the moment. The possibility appears all the slimmer with this past weekend's grand slam, four-state win for Obama and as we head into the triumvirate of so-called Potomac primaries that he's positioned to win on Tuesday. Still, it's fun to consider what a compromise deal might look like.
Let's forget for the moment that either candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination could get to the magic number of 2,025 needed for nomination with or without superdelegates. Let's forget the massive issue of egos and whether either senator would deign to give up a shot at the presidency and serve instead as vice president. Let's also forget the understandable personal dislike that may exist between these two formidable personalities.
Imagine the two agree, instead, to join forces on the Democratic ticket. If there were to be a compromise between the two candidates (my thoughts are on the basis of age), Clinton should be given preference.
But for that preference, she would also have to give up a substantial amount of power.
Since she is 60 now and will be 61 in October, if she were to agree to serve as Obama's vice president, she would most likely be 68 by the time she would be able to again run for president, assuming two successful White House terms by Obama. He, on the other hand, at 46 now, would be 47 when he became vice president with Senator Clinton at the top of the ticket. Assuming the win of a second term for the team, Obama would be only 54 when he would start his next run for president.
A reasonable price for his agreement to serve as veep would be Clinton's pledge to run for just one term and give Obama (as vice president) responsibility for some major issue, as she was given control over universal healthcare during her husband's presidency (and with better results, one would hope).
Again, unlikely to happen, I know. And if Obama continues his winning streak through the Ohio and Texas primaries, he'd have no incentive to broker any deal. On the other hand, if the two don't make amends, each stands to turn off important parts of the Democratic constituency (she: African-Americans and young Democrats; he: older white women and blue-collar workers). And then no one wins.
By Bonnie Erbe