Washington: Still time for Obama to switch to Hillary
By Laura Washington Guest Commentary August 23, 2012 9:12PM
Updated: September 25, 2012 10:56AM
Here I go again. I’m going to cue up that broken record, beat that old horse down, down into the ground.
Here’s my pitch, one more time. Hillary Clinton for vice president is a hands-down, surefire victory strategy for President Barack Obama’s re-election.
It’s still not too late for the Clinton/Biden switch.
Mitt Romney’s selection of U.S. Rep Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) as his running mate showed that the presumptive Republican presidential nominee is capable of taking a political risk that can pay dividends.
Until Ryan, the Romney campaign had been defensive and dull. Romney’s choice of a young, charismatic and conservative politician means the Right can believe again.
The November election will be excruciatingly close and will turn on the mood of a sliver of independent voters in the swing states.
Both sides must turn out their loyalists just to stay in the game. The enthusiasm factor is pivotal.
The GOP’s got it. The Democrats, not so much.
After Ryan hit the hustings, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee blew out an email about a “disturbing” news report.
The committee’s field director, Brynne Craig, was alarmed about a Romney-Ryan rally in North Carolina that “pulled in an overflow crowd of 15,000 people,” Craig wrote. “There’s no spinning that number. It’s a LOT of people, and the Republican base is energized.”
The Obama campaign should be alarmed. I detect a yawning enthusiasm gap among Democratic voters in this presidential race.
Just stroll around Chicago, Obama’s hometown, and look for the ubiquitous, blue Obama buttons, signs and bumper stickers of 2008. They’re nowhere to be found.
The Republicans are correct when they charge that Obama has abandoned hope and change — except to change the subject from the nation’s ailing economy.
Disappointed voters should have known better. But they wanted to get real jobs, keep their homes and see a bright future.
In two weeks, the Democratic National Convention kicks off in Charlotte. In one gargantuan move, Obama could blow it all out, by presenting Hillary Clinton as his VP candidate.
Obama can dispatch Biden to happily serve as secretary of state, replacing Clinton in a job that Biden reportedly has long coveted.
The Big Switch would rivet every corner of the nation, from the skeptical bookmakers in Las Vegas to Florida’s bingo blue hairs to the drought-weary corn growers of Iowa. This play would make history, all over again.
An Obama/Clinton ticket would, among other things:
Provide the president with a huge convention bounce and generate gobs of media coverage, thus leveling the Republicans’ SuperPac-fueled advertising advantage.
Bring home disenchanted liberal and independent female voters who wanted a Hillary Clinton presidency in 2008 and remind recession-weary Democratic voters of the golden Clinton years.
Lately, Biden, as evidenced by his latest verbal gaffe, seems to have chains on his mind. Obama can liberate Mr. Loose Lips from his vice-presidential shackles and make a dramatic move toward victory.
It’s not too late for a Draft Hillary movement. Let’s get this party started.
Columnist Laura S. Washington was the longtime editor and publisher of The Chicago Reporter, an investigative monthly newspaper specializing in racial issues and urban affairs. She is a frequent commentator on National Public Radio and Chicago Public Radio.