16 Jun

VP chief of staff

The Time blog covers recent Obama campaign staff additions:

In a move bound to reignite speculation that Hillary might be offered the vice presidential slot, the Obama campaign announced that none other than Patti Solis Doyle, Clinton’s former campaign manager, would be ‘chief of staff to the vice presidential nominee.’

Patti Solis Doyle had stepped down from Hillary’s campaign in February in the middle of a series of losses which gave Obama a strong pledged delegate lead. Reaction seems mixed whether Doyle joining the Obama campaign indicates that Hillary is more or less likely to be asked to be the ticket. If you support a joint ticket, why not post a comment on the Time blog to make your voice heard.

16 Jun

Gore endorses Obama

Now that the Democratic nominee is no longer in doubt, Al Gore will endorse Barack Obama tonight at a rally in Detroit. Back in 2004, Gore had endorsed Howard Dean before the official start of the primary season, after which Dean’s campaign derailed and John Kerry swept through the nomination. Many believed Gore stayed neutral in the 2008 primaries so he could help guide and reconcile the party if it become contested, and he may still have a role to play before the convention.

04 Jun

Unity Action Pledge

Democracy for America, the group that emerged after Howard Dean’s campaign in 2004, sent out the following letter to supporters today.

I remember very well what it felt like when my brother Howard didn’t win the Democratic nomination in 2004. It hurt. I was angry. I found myself wondering how I could turn around and support a candidate who I had just spent over a year trying to defeat.

But we all came together behind Kerry and we’ll do it again now, no matter how close this primary season was. Sign the pledge now.

03 Jun

The last day

The last two states voted today, South Dakota and Montana, wrapping up 6 months of voting.

Enough super delegates endorsed Obama today to effectively give him the nomination. In her speech tonight, Hillary congratulated Obama but said a final decision on her campaign will come later.

Dianne Feinstein and many others continued to talk about Hillary accepting the Vice President spot on a unified Democratic ticket.

I think a decision has to be made about whether keeping this nomination wide open is in the best interest of winning in November. I do not believe that it is, and I’m a very strong supporter of Hillary being placed on ticket as a vice presidential candidate. […] The reason I say this is because each one of them represents a different constituency. The constituencies are knocking heads at the present time.

Now that the primaries are over, I hope this web site will become even more relevant as we decide the future of the party and the party platform leading up to the convention. Let’s not take our eye off the ball. We will win in November.

17 May

Hillary wins big, but Edwards endorses Obama

Just 24 hours after Hillary Clinton won West Virginia by over 40 points, John Edwards endorsed Barack Obama. Only days before, Edwards had said he would likely stay neutral. His endorsement of Obama seemed by many a response to Hillary’s win and not a direct play at Vice President on Obama’s ticket, a slot on the dream team that increasingly includes Hillary’s name. Edwards flatly denied wanting to be VP.

During his endorsement speech, Edwards had strong praise for Hillary:

She is a woman who, in my judgment, is made of steel, and she’s a leader in this country not because of her husband but because of what she has done.

An interview with both John and Elizabeth Edwards in last month’s People Magazine pointed to a divided household, with Elizabeth especially admiring Hillary’s healthcare plan. John Edwards is not a super delegate, but he is well respected in the Democratic Party and helps make the case that the nomination is all but wrapped-up. The last primary is in less than 2 weeks.

11 May

Bernstein and Schneider on Hillary VP

In a largely negative opinion piece disguised as news, CNN’s Carl Bernstein provides his own analysis of Hillary’s possible attempts to force herself onto the Obama ticket. It’s a bit all over the map, but worth a read for the anonymous quotes and numerous “landing a plane” metaphors.

Meanwhile, some of the Clintons’ longtime friends and political counselors are intent on trying to talk her down calmly — something almost like a family intervention — to get her concede the Democratic presidential race when the appropriate time comes, in such a way as to heal some of the wounds to the party and to both candidates but allow her to make her best case for the vice presidency.

The race is starting to wind down as West Virginia votes on Tuesday. Bill Schneider covers the West Virginia dynamics and the challenge Obama faces there, wrapping up with another nod to Hillary as Vice President:

If Obama gets the nomination and it looks like the only way he can win is to get those West Virginia Democrats back, you can be sure he will think seriously about asking Clinton to go on the ticket.

Expect the joint ticket narrative to continue to gain strength over the next week.

09 May

Kennedy on Hillary as VP

Tommy Christopher of AOL’s Political Machine reacts to Ted Kennedy’s assertion that Hillary should not be the pick for Vice President:

There have been signals from the Clinton camp that Hillary would be amenable to a VP nod, and it is my observation that, despite hard feelings, Senator Obama is far too smart a politician not to make such an obviously smart move. This is truly a test for Obama, can he win gracefully and shrug off the rancor of this campaign?

The comments on that page are equally interesting, if you skip the hateful ones. John in Philadelphia, an Obama supporter, writes:

Let’s let the dust settle. Hillary is still running those ‘Send me $5’ ads here on AOL. Let her win West Virginia and Kentucky and go out a winner. Let Obama pay off her debts (she’s at least doing her part and trying to raise some money) and then let Hillary, the VP nominee, and Bill chew up the Republicans. John McCain won’t know what hit him.

I think John nails it. Obama can win alone, but in some states it will be a hard fight, despite the rifts in the Republican Party. Now it is the Democrats who are divided. We must bring all of the Democrats together — the core base, women, African-Americans, young voters, working class, new members, independents, and even people who voted for Bush but who are sick of what his legacy has become. Combined, the full weight and passion of what this party stands for will be strong, but alienate either candidate’s supporters and there will be holes in that strength.

08 May

North Carolina and Indiana results

Obama won North Carolina decisively on Tuesday night, and Hillary held on to a 2-point win in Indiana after a late night in which it almost seemed possible that the outcome could go either way. But as Nancy Pelosi said:

A win is a win. Let’s just call it what it is. […] The people should all have the opportunity to speak as long as two candidates wish to compete in those primaries and caucuses. In a few weeks, we will be on our way to nominating the next president of the United States.

Despite calls for her to withdraw, Hillary sent a message to supporters today that she will see the rest of the primaries out: “Today, in every way that I know how, I am expressing my personal determination to keep forging forward in this campaign.”

In their respective victory speeches, both candidates stressed that we will have a united party once a nominee is officially chosen. Hillary also fielded several questions from the press yesterday, saying “I don’t buy that” when asked if her supporters or Obama’s supporters would shift to McCain. Here’s the video on YouTube.

06 May

Anti-McCain ads

As Indiana and North Carolina vote today, the DNC continues to hammer McCain with television ads. It’s important that we go on the offensive even before a Democratic nominee is chosen.

Here are two video clips:

Consider giving a donation to the Democratic Party if you want to see these ads funded and on the air.

05 May

Stop calling for a drop out

No matter what happens tomorrow in Indiana and North Carolina, there are so few states left that most people would like to see both candidates on the ballot for the duration of the primary season so that voters can contribute their voice to the process. This post on DailyKos by Hunter is critical of the Hillary campaign, but also calls for an end to the pointless rhetoric that Hillary should give up when her support is still so strong:

At the same time, however, there seems little value in debating whether Clinton should or should not leave the race. That is entirely up to Clinton, and any candidate with a mathematical chance — even if slim — of pulling out a win has every right to see the race through until that last fateful day. I don’t buy the notion that the campaign is hurting the Democratic party: any election that generates this level of excitement among Democratic voters is hardly a bad thing.

The world is watching what the Democrats too. When the nomination process is over, we will show them how it is done. There will be a great rally around the winner and a brand new race will emerge.