March 5, 2008

The time has come for a Hillary-Obama ticket. It is now self-evident that neither candidate will win enough delegates to pass the finish line, unless the Florida and Michigan delegates are admitted and/or the superdelegates cast their votes in one direction.

Hillary wants the Florida and Michigan delegates seated. Obama claims that this goes against the rules. However, he wants the superdelegate votes to be distributed in the same proportion as the elected delegates. It does not bother him that this is also against the rules. It defeats the purpose of having superdelegates, whose role is to look out for the interests of the Party and to help pick the cndidate most likely to beat McCain. Neither candidate believes in consistency.

Should the superdelegates vote in a way that gives Hillary the nomination, even if Obama is leading in delegate count, all hell will beak loose. Should Obama be nominated without allowing votes from Florida and Michigan, huge numbers of Clinton supporters will refuse to vote in the election. In eiher case, what was viewed as an almost certain Democratic victory next November will be endangered.

The only solution is a Clinton-Obama ticket with Hillary at the head. This will not be easy. Hillary has already broached the idea, but Obama has balked. It is time for both a stick and a carrot. Party leaders and superdelegates must try to convince Obama that, for the good of the party, he must accept the Vice=Presidency this time. He will balk, but the stick is a threat by the superdelegates that they will vote for Clinton if he does not go along.

Now the carrot for Obama. Hillary must agree to run for only one term, so that Obama, still young and healthy does not heve to wait too long. If Hillary balks, the superdelegates can apply the same stick and threaten to vote for Obama. The pressure must be intense. And, of course, the good of the Democratic party must be emphasized over and over. Rest assured, they will hate the provisions, but they will agree. Besides, this solution results in a solid ticket with high hopes for victory in November.

Incidentally, this idea is not new. In England, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown made a similar compromise several years ago for the good of the Labour Party. It took a little longer than Brown anticipated for him to achieve his goal. But the idea worked.

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama for President and Vice-President of the United States. What a brilliant break with history.

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