The Unity Ticket Redux

Brian Beutler’s really going for the gold in interesting if unlikely ideas of late. Week before last it was making Appomattox a national holiday. Now it’s Hillary Clinton choosing Barack Obama as her running-mate.

As someone who wrote the definitive “unity ticket” piece for Brian’s employer, TNR, back in 2008, advocating Hillary Clinton as Barack Obama’s running-mate, I have to chuckle at seeing the reverse case being made. Brian spends the bulk of his column addressing questions about its constitutionality with respect to the two-term presidential limit. But he appears to consider its political rationale–an urgent need to solidify HRC’s standing with young and African-American voters–kinda self-evident.

I dunno. As noted here several times in the last week, there’s some fresh evidence that Millennials and African-Americans have bonded with the Democratic Party in numbers rivaling their voting performance in 2012 more than in 2014. Yes, HRC will be a “69 year old white woman” in 2016, but unless her opponent is Rand Paul with his alleged libertarian street cred (unlikely to survive the GOP nomination process) or Marco Rubio with his alleged appeal to young-uns, I doubt Millennial or black voters will have a lot of temptation to look elsewhere. And there are obviously alternative ways for HRC to boost her support in key demographic groups–e.g., choosing Julian Castro as her running mate.

The real reason Brian’s idea ain’t happening, of course, is that nothing about Barack Obama suggests he wants to spend a single minute in the White House beyond the expiration of his second term, particularly playing second fiddle (or more likely third, after the First Dude). But it’s always a good idea to consider all options.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.