I couldn’t agree more.

Posted: June 5, 2008 in america, clinton, democrats, obama, politics, voting

Gerald Baker, US editor for the Times UK online edition, writes in today’s lead editorial that Barack Obama’s first true test of strength will be to resist calls for him to nominate Hillary Clinton as his running mate.

He’s absolutely right.  If Obama is to be truly the candidate of Change and Hope, the worst thing he could do would be to choose a running mate who represents the old ways of politics and business as usual.  Hillary Clinton would be that running mate.

Worse, she wouldn’t arrive alone.  She brings with her a lot of baggage, most of it named “Bill”.  Adding Hillary to the ticket would give those two exactly what they’ve wanted for the past eight years – a third, and possibly fourth, term in the White House.  And worse, it would provide them an opportunity to indulge in perpetual political campaigning.  Their personalities are such that they overshadow everything around them.

This country deserves better than a third Clinton presidency.

I’ll let Mr. Baker say the rest:

Barack Obama’s victory in the race for the Democratic nomination has been hailed widely as the end of a 220-year opening chapter in American history.

But for now history will have to wait. The excitement in the Obama camp that has attended the triumph of the first black man to win the presidential nomination of a political party gives way immediately to the more familiar and prosaic responsibilities of a newly minted candidate.

Two tasks require Senator Obama’s urgent attention. The first is to unite his party and deal graciously and generously with his defeated opponent. The second is to pick a candidate for the vice-presidency, a decision freighted with all kinds of political and governing exigencies.

In the past, after long and occasionally divisive primary campaigns, a favoured solution to both these challenges has been for the winner to pick the losing candidate as the number two on the ticket. Ronald Reagan did it with George Bush Sr in 1980. John Kerry did it with John Edwards in 2004.

In 2008 there are particularly good reasons, at least in the minds of her supporters, why Senator Obama should pick Hillary Clinton as his running mate.

The Democratic race was so close that the two candidates finished in what was in effect a tie. She demonstrated, especially in the later stages of the campaign, a capacity to appeal to white working-class voters that Senator Obama sorely lacks.

Unfortunately for Senator Clinton, this enthusiasm is not shared by Mr Obama’s closest advisers. They have long believed that to choose her would undercut the Obama message of change, a new start in the nation’s history. They have wondered whether they could possibly work with a candidate who has expressed so many doubts about Senator Obama’s electability and suitability for the presidency.

Read the rest of the editorial here:

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