|Author||Rating: 0 Topic: Can the Democrats Make a Deal? (Read 504 times)|
In a post earlier this week I mentioned that Hillary Clinton would make an excellent Senate Majority Leader, but I didn't provide any context for it. In today's post we'll explore that possibility a little further.
There has been some chatter within the Democratic Party about a possible deal being brokered between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.
If necessary, the deal wouldn't go down until sometime in June, after the final primary in
Before I go into this, I should note that this is pure speculation. No one from The Party has publicly suggested this. At this point it is rumor and hearsay.
Assuming that Barack Obama still holds a pledged delegate lead and a popular vote lead, he will be the clear front runner going into the convention. So the big prize of the nomination will be awarded to Obama. That is the easy part.
Sen. Clinton's piece of the deal is a little more complicated.
In exchange for conceding without a divisive and potentially disastrous fight over superdelegates Sen. Harry Reid (D- Nevada) will step down from his position as the Majority Leader in the Senate and support Hillary Clinton to take his place.
There are a few problems with
One, Harry Reid has to agree to step down. The good/bad news for the Democrats is that Reid has been relatively ineffective as Leader and his approval ratings have been bad since he took the job. Bad is actually not the word, wretched is more like it. This deal would be an opportunity for Reid to become a Party hero and possibly save himself politically in the process. He should be easy to convince. First problem solved.
Problem number two, just because Reid steps down and endorses
The good news,
I also believe, despite my current animosity towards Hillary Clinton, that she would make an excellent Majority Leader. She is an extremely divisive figure nationally, as we have all seen first hand in recent weeks, but she is still popular in
The final piece of this equation is convincing Hillary Clinton to accept the deal before it gets ugly on the convention floor. This is the hard part.
An offer of the second most powerful position in the country may be an acceptable consolation prize.
Sure, the Democrats could lose the Senate, making her Minority Leader instead of Majority Leader. The way things are shaping up though, particularly if Barack Obama becomes the nominee, the Dems are likely to make some large gains in Congress (You can check out why that is in my post Screw Delegate Counts, Obama Wins Electoral Votes). Even in the event of a McCain win, the Democrats are likely to have a 55-45 majority in the Senate. There is little chance that she would be anything less than the second most powerful person in American Government. She might even end up as the most powerful Democrat.
A move like this could potentially save her ego and give her supporters something to feel positive about, rather than going into the election with nothing except bitter feelings towards Barack Obama, the nominee.
The infighting would come to an end immediately and if the Democrats were actually able to figure this all out and pull it off it would look awfully good going into the general election in November.
First, if all parties involved seemed satisfied with the deal it would go a long way to healing the Obama vs.
Perhaps more importantly, a deal like this would show the nation that the Democrats are, in fact, capable of solving a difficult problem like this and bringing a conflict to a peaceful ending.
Finally, can you imagine the power of having Barack Obama as President, Hillary Clinton as Senate Majority Leader and Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House? This would make that fun little game the Republicans play, where they bring out their most sexist and racist pundits to accuse the Democrats of being sexist and racist, a lot more difficult to play.
So Harry, Hillary, think about it. You've got some time before you need to decide, but it would help the rest of us out a lot. Thanks.
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I have my doubts about whether or not this would be possible. First of all, the post of SML requires an INCREDIBLE knowledge of Senate rules. Part of the reason Harry Reid is the SML is that he is highly respected for it. After only a little more than a term in the Senate, does Hillary have what it takes? I doubt it.
But more than that, I think that if a "deal" will be reached at all, it won't include Hillary in the Senate. Too many toes to step on. What I could see is Hillary as Secretary of State...VERY possible.
LBJ had about the same experience as Hillary when he became Majority Leader.
As for the Sec. of State thing, I'm sure a lot of people are thinking that way, but ultimately, I think Barack will need to choose someone with a little more diplomatic grace and skill than Hillary. Bill, for example, but I don't think Hillary is the person we want mending the relationships that Condi is currently tearing apart.