In memory of Rufus and Lynn Flint Shaw, I would like to post Rufus’ last column at DallasBlog.com. The column is titled The Dream Ticket Will Not Work, and was posted on the site only hours before Rufus and Lynn decided to end their lives Monday evening.
The post has offered many an opportunity to share their thoughts and feelings about the Shaws. There have been dozens of comments left in remembrance of the couple who did so much for Dallas. God Bless their family and I pray their are resting with Jesus.
The Dream Ticket Will Not Work
By Rufus Shaw
After Sen. Hillary Clinton’s success in Texas and Ohio, the race for the Democratic nomination probably will come to a chaotic end at the national convention in Denver. In order to prevent a complete meltdown at the convention, there is now renewed talk of a “dream ticket” pairing Sen. Barack Obama with Sen. Hillary Clinton. Given the fact that both candidates have split the Democratic Party into warring factions, party leaders are hoping that the two candidates will unite in order to save the party’s chances of winning the White House in November. However, the chances of the “dream ticket” making any practical political sense in regards to governance are slim to none.
No matter what Democratic Party leaders want, the obvious fact is Obama and Clinton are so vastly different in their approaches to governance and politics, that assuming they could work effectively together is fanciful at best. Sen. Joe Biden ruminated during the campaign that being Vice President in a Hillary Clinton administration is a thankless job since former president Bill Clinton’s influence and involvement would certainly overshadow anybody who became the Vice President. So, why would Obama be willing to bring his vast campaign coffers and his huge following to become a powerless supporting actor in the Hillary and Bill Show?
I cannot quite imagine Hillary Clinton playing second fiddle to President Barack Obama. Her personality and her style of governance simply would not be compatible with Obama’s goal of bringing change to the way Washington does business. How could Obama ever be comfortable with the inevitable second guessing that will surely come from a Vice President Hillary Clinton’s office as the Clintons closely monitored President Obama’s every action?
Clinton’s win of the popular vote in Texas has made “dream ticket” talk somewhat of a political weapon for her. Some folks would vote for Ms. Clinton in the primaries if they felt there was a chance that Obama would be on the ticket with her in November. Obama does not need such help. Texas Latino voters proved crucial to Clinton’s win in the state. But Obama carried Dallas County overwhelmingly thus proving that Latino voters in Dallas County have not quite arrived as the political powerhouse some of their leaders would have us believe they are. However, the efforts of young Latino political leaders who supported Obama were impressive. African-American supporters of Clinton were embarrassed as Clinton was treated like a conservative Republican by the Black electorate here. It also did not help the Clinton campaign’s image when a Black Clinton supporter was chased to an Oak Cliff police station by angry Black caucus attendees who accused the Black Clinton supporter of trying to steal the caucus for Clinton. Not only was this messy but it raises credibility questions for the few Black political players who were supporting Clinton.
Obama’s loss in Ohio was partly due to a news story involving Canadian government officials and an Obama adviser suggested that Obama’s tough stand on NAFTA was just campaign rhetoric. After the election, the story has now been discredited with the Canadian government issuing a statement saying that Sen. Obama never misrepresented his public views on NAFTA to them. The Canadian government has now undertaken a criminal investigation to uncover just how this story came to be. In addition, the Canadian Prime Minister’s chief of staff, Ian Brodie, is quoted in the Canadian Press alleging that Hillary Clinton aides also told the Canadian government that her tough stance on NAFTA was political rhetoric and not her true stance. This was exactly what the Obama story accused him of doing. However, the Clinton NAFTA story did not get the same amount of press that the Obama story got.
To further complicate an Obama/Clinton pairing is a relatively new development. According to New York Times columnist, Maureen Dowd, white women supporters of Sen. Clinton are upset with Obama and his followers for their role in denying the country an opportunity to elect our first female president. According to Ms. Dowd, the animosity and discord between the Obama and Clinton camps over this issue threatens to further fracture the Democratic Party.
When the field for the Democratic nomination was narrowed down to two very popular and well-financed historical candidates, the party felt an embarrassment of riches. But what was once an embarrassment of riches may become just an embarrassment if we are unable to unify the party around either Clinton or Obama. Creating a “dream ticket” with two candidates who have very different world views of politics and Washington D.C. could possibly win an election but it would be a governance disaster. At least that is how I see it from South of the Trinity.