March 20, 2008

A McCain-Clinton ticket?

Diabolical, shudder-inducing thought of the day: If John McCain really wants to be president, once Hillary is finally eliminated from the Dem race, he should offer Clinton his VP slot.

From a general-election standpoint, this would virtually guarantee McCain a win. Sure, it would further depress GOP base turnout -- but it would entirely negate Obama's bipartisan/independent/bring-the-country-together-schtick appeal, would peel off most "Reagan Democrats" from Obama, and would induce a fatal swoon in the media to coronate McCain as the Ultimate Straight-Shootin'est Mavericky Independent of All Time. And the race thing? Fatal. Combine all that with the general populations familiarity and comfort with McCain and Clinton (in increasingly troubled times, low-info voters go with the familiar over the risky), the general election wouldn't be a Reagan-Mondale blowout, but it'd would be a rock-solid 56%-44% (now that I look the numbers up, Reagan:Mondale::58.8%:40.4%; that's ballpark) with a Reagan-Mondale Electoral College blowout.

Furthermore, beyond the bipartisan appeal, Clinton and McCain complement one another in ways that any other GOP candidate wouldn't with McCain. Clinton and McCain also respect and like each other as colleagues and individuals. And there's about a centimeter separating them on foreign policy.

Clinton's been laying enough tile in McCain's kitchen (and echoing McCain's criticisms of Obama, and vice versa) that she could entirely credibly accept McCain's offer. And yes, I've phrased that in such a way as to imply that maybe there's been some sort of intent behind her nice-making with McCain; it wouldn't surprise me in the least if there had been exploratory discussions between the two camps.

And while a certain segment of the GOP base would see such a move as a betrayal, I think McCain could successfully pivot this off of the aborted Kerry-McCain-ticket talks in '04 as McCain turning the tables and "topping"/co-opting the Dems.

As for governance ... yes, a McCain-Clinton administration would be an unmitigated disaster -- the absolute worst aspects of Bush-Cheney, but taken to even more ridiculous extremes.

Clinton would surely think that she could Cheney her way into power (which is the biggest reason I think she'd actually accept the offer); while McCain surely thinks he could control her. It would be Bush's militarism, secrecy, and dim-witted ignorance plus Bill Clinton's triangulation/DLC centrism, paternalism, unmanaged staff infighting, and lack of focus married to overly broad ambitions.

But I really don't see a realistic scenario where a McCain-Clinton ticket would lose to Obama-anyone.


Anonymous said...

This is the absolute best selection McCain can make.
It is really the "dream ticket" for those seeking an end to "the politics of the past". Perfect for anyone looking for a political utopia.
And for those of us that feel disaffected by both major parties, this is very intriguing.

The Confidence Man said...

Uh, so, Anonymous, you apparently didn't actually read my post, did you? Where I describe a potential McCain-Clinton administration as an "unmitigated disaster"?