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Opinion: Will Hillary Save The White House For Obama?


With President Barack Obama’s Vice President Joe Biden messing up more and more on the campaign trail as time passes, rumors of Biden being sent home to Delaware for good have abounded since last Friday. Alleged by an online reproduction of a White House meeting schedule, Biden was summoned to the White House to meet with President Obama – and Hillary Clinton. Of course, the speculation of Hillary Clinton replacing Biden as Obama’s vice presidential running mate increased when it was rumored that she was to be at one of several of the meetings with the President and Vice President.

Yet, there was no announcement by the end of the day as some had predicted. There are so many stories about what’s going on behind the scenes at the White House right now, it’s mind-boggling to say the least.

According to the press and political talk show hosts who are usually “in the know”, it appears that the major players in the vice presidential chats are President Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, former President Bill Clinton, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and the President and First Lady’s good friend and White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett. As far as Vice President Joe Biden is concerned, he will probably find out if his White House status has changed just moments before the rest of us do. When it comes to winning this election, loyalty has no place in the alleged-friendship between the President and the Vice President. Obama wants to win this thing at any and all costs.

As the rumor mill churns out the logical suggestions of what’s going on behind the White House’s closed doors, it has been strongly suggested that the only barrier blocking a major announcement that states Hillary Clinton will replace Joe Biden as Obama’s running mate is Hillary herself. As she has said in the past, she really doesn’t want the job.

However, the Obamas – both the President and the First Lady – aren’t taking “no” for an answer very readily even though Mrs. Clinton has said she’s not going to be the nation’s Secretary of State again and she’s definitely not going to run team up with Obama for vice president. As the story goes, the President is trying to convince Bill Clinton that the only way the election can be won by the Democrats in 2012 is if Biden goes and, best of all, Hillary replaces him. Furthermore, it appears as though Michelle Obama is having her close friend Valerie Jarrett work on Hillary rather than the First Lady trying to convince Mrs. Clinton herself.

The problem with both tactics – the President on the former President and the First Lady on Hillary – is strained relationships. To put it mildly, it is common knowledge that President Obama and former President Bill Clinton don’t particularly care for each other. Bill Clinton, in particular, has never forgiven the President for some of the awful things he said about him back in the day. In fact, it is said that Bill Clinton even threatened not to speak at next month’s Democratic National Convention unless he got the high-profile job he was ultimately given – and he won. Additionally, one can only assume that Jarrett is needed for speaking to Hillary because the strained relationship between Michelle and Hillary likely remains from the primary campaign in 2008 where insults and jabs were exchanged.

So what are we left with? There are two hurdles to be jumped to get to Obama’s alleged choice of running mate, Hillary Clinton. First, how bad does Bill Clinton want to see the Democrats – President Obama – win the 2012 presidential election? If he wants it bad enough to help Obama out by convincing Hillary to run, the game is back on for President Obama. More than simply “back on”, it would be tough for anyone to beat Hillary Clinton with her extreme popularity right now – even though she’d only be running for vice president. The other hurdle is Hillary again. Even though Bill and Hillary are a team, is Bill a strong enough influence to convince Hillary to run “for the sake of the Democratic Party”? She very well may follow his advice because she’s gotten pretty far in life by following his lead.

Of course, Hillary may still say “no” because it’s also known that she does not agree with everything Obama does. Allegedly, Obama and Hillary often disagree on foreign policy behind closed doors – even though she is his Secretary of State. Could Hillary possibly stomach four years of promoting Obama’s agenda as his vice president when she doesn’t agree with a great deal of it?

In spite of the power former President Clinton Bill has over Hillary, I’m thinking she will just find it too difficult to work side-by-side with Obama and she’ll thereby continue to say “no” to the offer.

We will all know the outcome of this fiasco within the next three weeks because the Democratic National Convention is just weeks away in early September. Unfortunate for the Democrats, even if they have to settle for Joe Biden again, the ticket is required to have a vice president.

About Scott Paulson

Scott Paulson writes political commentary for and teaches English at a community college in the Chicago area. The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of CBS Local.


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