Obama as VP – Random Thought

It occurred to me while driving home this evening that, in addition to the personal political calculations that would come into play if Hillary Clinton somehow won the nomination and offered Barack Obama the vice presidential slot, there’s the problem of the particulars of the campaign she’s run against him.

Barack Obama on the Phone

To whit: If something were to happen to President Hillary on Day 2 — and we all know that Day 1 will have gone gangbusters, given how ready she’s going to be then — Vice President Obama would have to step in.

What if the phone rings at 3 a.m.?

Photo via Diatribune via Google

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Len says:

    I’d say the chances of a Clinton/Obama ticket are about as good as the chances of a McCain/Romney ticket (i.e. practically nonexistent, but not beyond the realm of possibly given all the weird stuff that’s been going on this year).

  2. Bithead says:

    There is that, James, but there’s a bigger problem. The ego both of them contain would never allow such a ticket.

    Can you imagine a Bill and Hillary with Barrack looking over their shoulder (and blocking the limelight) for four years? By the same token, the reverse is also true. Let Hillary toss one ashtray, and the whole gig is up.

    Of course the speculation is that the combo, either way it’s presented to the voters would be a winner by about 6 points at least, for whatever that’s worth at this early stage. I guess all this proves is the slippery grip the Democrat voter has on reality. In any event, it’s too early in the campaign for any such measurement to be meaningful. And like I say, ego is the biggest factor here. Ain’t gonna happen.

    No, I expect what’s really happening here is this was Hillary doing an early grave dance, and naught more.

  3. Len says:

    If ego were a factor in politics, Lyndon Johnson would never have been John Kennedy’s vice president.

  4. bains says:

    Different time Len.

    Remember both are US Senators of relatively good standing, particularly amongst their constituents. I see neither willing to submit themselves to the tedium of VP in lieu of the real power they already wield.

  5. Sunny says:

    No. Way.

  6. just me says:

    While I would never totally rule it out, I just don’t see this ticket happening.

    I don’t see what being Hillary’s VP really gains for Obama, and if he accepts and they lose, it may taint him more than just backing out of this years race completely. He is young, he has time. He could go home to Illinois and run for governor or stay in the senate.

    I think the ego thing comes into play as well.

  7. Chris says:

    Hillary knows Obama won’t accept VP, he would be more sensible to remain a senator until the 2012 race (or perhaps go for Illinois governorship in 2010). She is more likely to go for Evan Bayh if she wins comes out on top at the convention, but she wants to skim off a few Obama voters in the remaining primaries, and appeal to the buffoons who think Obama should be her ‘apprentice’ for eight years before acceding to the Oval Office himself. Cynical.

  8. Maggie says:

    Obama as VP!


    HillBilly would NEVER want the “rock star” garnering any attention away from them. If somehow forced to put him on the ticket, you can count on the fact that Veep Obama would be on a fact finding trip, aka permanent mission, to Africa …..

    And how could anyone fault their decision? After all his father was African; he still has family in Africa. The Clintons would make it sound like they are doing him and Africa a really big favor.

    Obama would never be allowed to leave that Continent!

  9. Dave Schuler says:

    Johnson was literally able to deliver the Texas vote for a Kennedy presidency. I don’t think that anybody has the kind of power now. Too much of a paper trail for one thing.

  10. yetanotherjohn says:

    Look at Reagan and ‘Voodoo economics’ Bush in ’80. It can be done, despite harsh rhetoric in the primary. Of course, I agree that one ticket would have a hard time holding both egos.