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Is McCain Right to Point to the Democrat Glass Ceiling?

James Joyner at OTB [1], this morning notes a new Ad from the McCain camp.

James notes there’s a pattern of wrting going on and cites a couple examples:

The campaign also quickly emailed around a CNN Political Ticker [2] story headlined “Some in Clinton circle ‘outraged’.”

Evan as Hillary Clinton praised the newly-minted Democratic presidential ticket Saturday, some in her circle are furious Barack Obama did not appear to give the New York Democrat serious consideration for the No. 2 spot, or even ask for her consultation on the matter.

“Set aside that Obama said she’d be on anybody’s short list, set aside anybody’s feelings on whether she was deliberately snubbed and the pros and cons of whether it should be her,” a former Clinton strategist told CNN’s Candy Crowley. “Focus on the politics of it and you have about a quarter of Clinton loyalists still not joining the caravan…for God’s sake, not to even make a show of taking her seriously is flatly stupid.”

A top Clinton advisor also told CNN they were “outraged,” over how the process was conducted.  “You can’t put [Obama VP vetters] Eric Holder and Caroline Kennedy on an hour plane ride to Chappaqua just to check the box? They should have done it just for the optics,” this person said. “Barack never even said to her, ‘Here’s how I envision the job’- not one discussion with her about [the position].”

“They thought her supporters were mad before? They are really mad now,” this person also said. We knew it was never going to happen but you would have thought they might at least make a show of it.”

Not to be outdone, Bill Kristol [3] weighs in with a blog post entitled “The Democrats’ Glass Ceiling.”

So Hillary Clinton gets about 18 million votes in 2008, and isn’t even considered for-she apparently isn’t even given the courtesy of being consulted-the vice presidential pick. Joe Biden manages to persuade a few thousand (if that) Iowans to support him. And Barack Obama selects Biden? Normally, if the VP pick came from that year’s presidential field, it’s the runner-up (Kerry-Edwards in 2004, Reagan-Bush in 1980, Stevenson-Kefauver in 1956). (Lyndon Johnson in 1960 hadn’t entered the primaries.) And Biden wasn’t even the third most successful candidate this year (hi, John Edwards!), or fourth (Bill Richardson, I suppose), or fifth (Dennis Kucinich!).

What’s more, Biden and Hillary have basically comparable foreign policy “experience” (such as it is in either case). Nor is Biden clearly more knowledgeable in foreign affairs than Hillary. And they have pretty similar foreign policy views. So no advantage to Biden there. And, unlike Jack Reed, for example, Biden didn’t serve in the military. So no advantage over Hillary there. Nor does he outshine her in executive experience (unlike Evan Bayh or Tim Kaine or Kathleen Sebelius)-neither Biden nor Hillary has any.

Stoking the lingering resentments of the Hillary camp is probably smart politics, although doing it so brazenly could backfire and cause more of them to realize that they’re playing into the Republicans [4]‘ hands.

Yes, it could, James but I tend to doubt it will. Look at it this way;

If we are to take the split in the Democrat party as not being very serious, you’d would more likely be right and McCain should move to higher ground in preperation for the backlash.  As it stands, however, rift is very serious indeed.  The Democrats are about as split as they can possibly be while still calling themselves a party. As a result, the backlash is far less likely to cause a backlash as you describe it… the message is resonating with disaffected Clinton Democrats.

I think you underestimate self-centeredness of the average Democrat, and specifically the self-centeredness of the average Hillary Clinton supporter. Remember, like Hillary herself, this is all about THEM. Frankly, McCain’s people are smart to exploit that rift.

Did Obama take “seriously” the idea of putting Hillary on the ticket?  I can’t imagine he didn’t given the delegate math.  But he and his team surely came to the conclusion that giving her the nod would be a disaster, given the hundreds  of sound bytes she gave the GOP and the complications that Bill Clinton brings to the mix.

Then what shall we say about the years-long list of sound bites generated by Joe Biden, such as in the ad both you and I ran yesterday?  My guess is there’s something deeper in that calulation of Obama’s in not even bothering to vet Hillary for the post.  My guess to that point involves a fear of what happens once she gets one step away from the Presidency.

(Repaired link: Bit)