Thursday, June 12, 2008

Do Dems have time to recover?

This first published June 12, 2008 in the Boulder City News, a Community Newspapers of Nevada publication.

It's been exactly three months since I wrote about the Democratic dream team meltdown. That column can be found on my blog listed at the bottom of this column.

Now that Obama has prevailed and Clinton has conceded, she certainly has left the door open for the two of them to consummate a deal to seal the dream team, but will he be willing to dance?

It's hard to ignore the fact her spouse is a former president with very distinct opinions. This situation reminds me of something my dad told me more than a few times during his life when I made a decision he wasn't completely sold on. Depending on how little he agreed or disagreed, he would refer to me as Tim, son or boy. He would say “OK, boy, now that you let the tiger out of the cage, let's see if you can keep hold of its tail.”

The question for Obama is if he puts Hillary Clinton on the ticket, will he be letting former President Clinton out of the cage? Is he willing to hold the tiger by the tail?

Actually, it doesn't matter because Bill Clinton is a former president, and he will be an influence no matter who the next president is. That's just the way it is.

Hillary has much to offer the Obama campaign. She has great appeal to women voters. Even first lady Laura Bush said she admires Hillary for her grit and strength, only she wishes the first woman president would be a Republican.

Ah yes, what about the meltdown? Do the Democrats have enough chillers to remold the dream team, or will the Republicans keep turning up the heat? It might be easier to hire a Zamboni and create an ice rink in the desert.

In my previous column, I considered Sen. John McCain as non-threatening to the Democrats, but my consideration is quickly changing.

The election of the president hinges on the quality of the running mate by either candidate.

If I were a tag team wrestling promoter and looking to draw in voters rather than spectators or pay-per-viewers, I would select Obama-Clinton vs. McCain-Romney for a major payday. A matchup like that could give either a party a win.

Its all speculation at this point anyway.

Here's a bit of speculation you can chew on. A friend of mine has suggested to me the Republicans have pretty much given up and are letting the Democrats have the next four years to deal with the mess the economy is in.

That would be a mistake for them. In my opinion, which isn't much, they would be giving up the White House for at least four years and possibly 16. Imagine for a moment that Obama picks Hillary, they win, and she hangs in there for four years, possibly eight. She will still be younger than McCain is today, and he is not too old to run for president. Perhaps, she decides to run against Obama in 2012 — then she could possibly do two terms as president.

This is what I like most about elections, because it allows us the opportunity to imagine strategies that may never happen.

However, if I had a Democratic strategy, it would have been to nominate Hillary first and run Obama the younger of the two as vice president, then in eight years he would have been unstoppable. I'll let you know in November or 2012 if hind site is 20/20.

Tim O'Callaghan, co-publisher of the Home News, can be reached at 990-2656 or He writes a regular blog at