What is this fixation with replacing Vice President Joe Biden on the presidential ticket with Hillary Clinton?
Sarah Palin became the latest to make the suggestion, which is a pretty good indicator that it would be a bad idea—or at least, a bad idea for the Democrats. Palin, responding to Biden's remarks in Virginia that GOP contender Mitt Romney's plans for Wall Street would "put y'all back in chains," had the following advice, according to Fox News:
If that's not the nail in the coffin, really, the strategists there in the Obama campaign have got to look at a diplomatic way of replacing Joe Biden on the ticket with Hillary. And I don't want to throw out that suggestion and have them actually accept the suggestion because then an Obama-Hillary Clinton ticket would have a darn good chance of winning.
True, Biden's comments had an unfortunate, although almost certainly inadvertent, racial underpinning to them, especially since his audience had a good share of African-Americans. But then, Romney's recent ad accusing President Obama of gutting welfare reform—a charge that has been widely discredited by independent fact-checkers—has a racial component as well. And telling Obama to "go back to Chicago," a city with a substantial African-American population, could arguably be cast as derisive towards urban America.
But the Clinton talk—which never comes from the White House, but more commonly, from Republicans or some Clinton die-hards who still can't accept that Clinton wasn't the nominee—is still baffling. Biden is an asset, even when he tends to say things without first editing them inside his head (in fact, there's something rather refreshing about that tendency). The vice president is one of the most substantive people in Washington, especially on foreign affairs and budget issues he dealt with for years on the Hill. His relationships with senators on both sides of the aisle help ease the brutally partisan environment in Washington that has kept the two branches from working together.
And while Clinton has done a stellar job as secretary of state, there's no evidence that she would enhance the ticket from an electoral standpoint. There's not only a disturbing degree of racism out there (the determined view that Obama is "other" is sadly proven by the number of people who still don't think he was born in the United States), but there's a strong backlash against female power as well. You think it's hard getting a woman or an African-American elected to high office?Try putting both of them on the same ticket.
Palin, of course, has a right to her opinion. But if she says a Biden-Clinton sub would have been good for the Democratic ticket, you can be well-assured it's not.