Thursday, June 5, 2008

To Reiterate: "Dream Ticket" My Ass

There are many reasons why Barack Obama should not choose Hillary Clinton as his running mate, but one I've not seen emphasized enough is in how it would enable a continued media focus on the Clintons-Obama psychodrama.

Imagine Clinton as the vice presidential candidate: in that case, every word uttered by either Clinton would be finely analyzed for how it reflects the Clintons' resentment over losing to Obama, or how it undercuts Obama's message, or for the degree to which it attempts to upstage Obama, or whether Obama is making progress in assuming the mantle of party leadership from the Clintons, or whatever.

As this sort of content-free, soap-opera campaign coverage requires no knowledge, insight, or effort beyond that regularly exhibited in the pages of People magazine, the news media would overwhelmingly gravitate toward it.

Because the election needs to be decided on the basis of the consequential differences between Obama and McSame, the drama that follows the Clintons needs to stay out of it. The media can be expected to play up the shallow, personality-driven garbage in any case, but it would be a serious mistake to make it easy.

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