What Does Hillary Want?

Obama should be careful in weighing that question.


"What does Hillary want? the defeated Democratic presidential candidate rhetorically asked supporters on the night her rival clinched the party nomination.

Here is what she really wants:

1. Sen. Barack Obama to plead with her to accept the second place on the ticket.

2. A return to power in Washington to be close to the job she lost and feels cheated about (though as the heavy favorite who blew it).

3. A place at the table for her husband, the former president, who hurt her effort in the primaries with some over-the-top comments.

Rather than give Obama one night to savor victory, Mrs. Clinton played every card on Tuesday. She sent the word that she would consider, yes, consider, being Obama's running mate.

Then she was defiant and refused to concede the election. She was introduced by Terry McAuliffe, her apparently delusional campaign chairman, as the "next president of the United States." In St. Paul, where Obama was claiming victory, he had to be seething over McAuliffe's and her lack of grace.

Lanny Davis, another Clinton zealot, was circulating a petition calling on Obama to put her on the ticket. He said he was acting alone, but that sounds like another whopper from the Clinton camp.

To my mind, Obama should resist being stampeded by the Clinton forces. He's the winner and voters will be watching how he handles this situation.

Perhaps she will wind up on the ticket, but it should be on his terms, not hers. Her disappointment should not rule the day.

Many Democrats and hosts of independents are not eager to see a reprise of Clinton drama in the latter stages of his presidency.

The argument can be made that comics Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert along with the gag writers on Saturday Night Live would have a lot of material with the Clintons on the stage during the summer and fall campaign.

Be careful, Senator Obama. This decision could set a marker on the strength you will bring to the office if you are elected.