Friday, March 07, 2008

WaPo Blogs About Democratic Unity Ticket

"Six more weeks of winter between these two candidates will kill the unity-ground hog."

- Iddybud

Peter Baker raises some excellent points in "The Trail" blog today [WaPo]. Baker writes about the idea of a unity-Dem ticket in November and how it's an appealing idea for Democratic voters and, more importantly, how it is currently not too late in the day to start on a healing, unifying path for the two candidates. What doesn't help, in my opinion, is hearing Obama hounding Clinton on tax records and Clinton's campaign responding by comparing Obama's campaign tactics to those of Ken Starr.

Six more weeks of winter between these two candidates will kill the unity-ground hog.

When will we Democrats learn to win while we have the chance to maximize our chances for a win?

Baker says,

"The appeal of [unity] .. is obvious. The two have not waged an ideological struggle that would make it hard to reconcile in a single campaign. Democratic voters largely seem to like both candidates, according to polling and conversations in various primary states. They may feel more strongly about one than the other, but they seem open to either. As our assistant polling director, Jennifer Agiesta, reported after our pre-primary polls in Ohio and Texas, more than seven in 10 likely voters there said they would be satisfied with either Obama or Clinton as the party's nominee. Having them both on the ticket would in theory capture the enthusiasm each has generated among women and African Americans eager for a historic breakthrough.

Mr. Baker then cautions the two campaigns not to make the unfortunate mistake of the 2004 Kerry campaign:

Clinton need only turn to her own campaign chairman, Terry McAuliffe, if she wants to know how it works to team up with a primary rival. He detailed in his book, "What a Party," last year just how dysfunctional the Kerry-Edwards team was.

McAuliffe wrote that he asked Edwards after the election why he was not out attacking President Bush more. "Terry, they wouldn't let me," an exasperated Edwards answered. "I wanted to go after the Swift Boat guys. I wanted to go after Bush. They wouldn't let me." The Kerry people exiled the North Carolina senator to smaller, secondary markets and would not even share polling data with him, Edwards told McAuliffe.

I'm hoping to have this period in time go down in history as the time that Democrats took the bull by the horns and branded themselves as the historic and progressive party that would not lose again for decades to come.

I believe that unity's the only way to get there.