Tuesday, June 03, 2008

The Democratic Endgame

Reuters: Jimmy Carter set to endorse Obama
CNN: Clinton says she’s open to VP
AP: Clinton to concede delegate race
Reuters: Obama poised to claim victory

It appears that the final Democratic nomination endgame may be seen after tonight. The fate of one Obama is certain, while the future of the other Democratic candidate is much less clear.

The future of Hillary
It is unlikely Clinton will withdraw either today or tomorrow without having Obama and the Democratic National Committee answer some questions, some of which include:
- Her place in the Obama administration
- Her political future
- Her campaign debt

Let’s start with that last one. Clinton has about $20 million dollars in debt, some $11 million of which is her own money that she lent to her own campaign. What are her options for raising $20 million after her campaign has effectively ended? The easiest practice might be to pay back her creditors slowly in small payments. However, this would likely lose Clinton some credibility. One strategy that also has appeal would be to ask Obama’s 1.5 million donors to chip in, a gesture that would also promote Democratic Party unity. However, this isn’t how Obama wants to spending his money and using is donors. A third, possibly less legal option, would be to take the $22 million Clinton raised for the general election and to use to pay off her debts. Whatever the strategy, Clinton’s financial problems will be a difficult problem to solve.

Back to the first and second issues: will Clinton play a role in the Obama administration, and what will be her political future past that? Many of her supporters would like to see Hillary as veep, as, it appears, would Hillary. Nevertheless, there are a good number of Obama supporters that hate the idea. The conundrum for Senator Obama is that, as of now, it is likely many Clinton supporters won’t be voting for him in November. Clinton as veep would change that. Other ideas have included Hillary as Health Secretary, as to allow her to take the reigns of health care reform.

And then of course, there is the possibility that Clinton will stay in the race all the way to August and the convention, for primarily two very appealing reasons: Superdelegates could always change their minds in case of new skeletons out of Obama’s closet, and more time to pay off campaign debt.

Whatever Clinton decides to do, it is likely we will know in the next week. The hype from media will end, the political blogosphere can take a brake…Until the general election starts.


john said...

I actual like to see different type of rules in US. Why not give obama a trial to win and become a president. He seem to be quite okay in term of his personal attitude. I hope so.