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The Pros and Cons of an Obama-Clinton Ticket

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The media seem to agree these days that Obama will be the Democratic Party's presidential nominee. So now there is much talk in punditry circles about the possibility of an Obama-Clinton ticket in November.

I cannot quite decide whether that would be a good thing or a bad thing.

Let's take a look at some of the pros and cons.

Pro: It would unite the Obama supporters and the Clinton supporters, many of whom have threatened to vote for McCain or Nader or the as-yet-unnamed Green Party candidate if their preferred Democrat didn't win the nomination.

Con: Chances are good that most Clinton supporters would ultimately rally around Obama, even if he chooses someone else as his running mate, rather than risk another four years of war, torture, corporate rule, and economic upheaval.

Pro: It would give us the best of both worlds: Obama's fresh promises of change and Clinton's hardened-yet-cynical pragmatism honed by decades of experience inside and outside the beltway.

Con: Obama is running on the promise of bringing change to Washington, bringing an end to politics as usual. To some extent, however, Clinton embodies the very kind of political gamesmanship that Obama seeks to overthrow.

Pro: It would combine Obama's high-road style of avoiding negative campaigning and meeting attacks with dignified rhetorical responses with Clinton's more seasoned ability to fight back as ferociously as she is attacked.

Con: Do we really need Clinton on the ticket in order to fight back? Didn't Obama respond quite adequately on his own when he addressed the Reverend Wright scandal with his powerful speech on race in America today? And don't we have and other 527s to do the real dirty work when needed?

Pro: If they won, Clinton would beat out Condi Rice in the glass-ceiling wars.

Con: It shouldn't be a matter of electing a woman just for the sake of electing a woman. It should be a matter of electing the right person regardless of gender.

Pro: We'd have Bill Clinton back in the White House.

Con: We'd have Bill Clinton back in the White House.

Hence my dilemma. I encourage readers to share their thoughts with me on the issue.

But, whether or not Obama chooses Clinton as his running mate, one thing is certain: Any democratic White House would be far better for this country than a McCain-led continuation of the status quo.

It appears that Americans are ready for change. The remaining question is: How much change?
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Mary Shaw is a Philadelphia-based writer and activist, with a focus on politics, human rights, and social justice. She is a former Philadelphia Area Coordinator for the Nobel-Prize-winning human rights group Amnesty International, and her views (more...)
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