Veepstakes: Clinton Watch

Bob Beckel has an absolutely shameless piece shilling in the worst way for Hillary Clinton as VP nominee. Now one should probably keep in mind that this is the guy who thought the Democratic Convention would nominate Hillary whether Obama wanted her or not, and thereby cut their nominee off at the knees from the get-go, but there’s even more to take apart here.

The chatterers insist she will be a drag on the ticket and bring the Republican base to the polls in huge numbers. If it is not obvious to the chatterers yet, they should pay closer attention the vicious anti Obama tirades by right wing bloggers and conservative talk radio show hosts. The Right will come to the polls all right…to vote against Barrack Obama in droves with or without Hillary Clinton.

 A drag on the ticket. Please. Hillary Clinton immediately expands the electoral map putting states in play that are currently out of Obama’s reach; West Virginia, Kentucky, and Arkansas. She helps move toss up states to leaning Democrat; New Mexico, Colorado and Nevada (if Obama breaks north of 60% of the Hispanic vote he wins all three, Clinton helps get him there). Clinton helps solidify weak Democratic states including Pennsylvania and Michigan; she can bolster Obama’s lead in Ohio and probably makes Florida competitive which it is not currently. Any other VP candidate that can expand the map like this? Not even close.

The antics of talk radio are predictable, but there doesn’t seem to be any evidence it’s having an effect on the rank and file. Nevertheless, the second point is just all kinds of ridiculous, and bordering on dishonest. Regardless of whether you think Hillary Clinton can bring Appalachian voters who don’t like Barack Obama (you know, like that charming West Virginia woman who was worried about his race) into the Democratic fold or not, the rest of it is just flat out misrepresenting numbers. Polls have shown that when Hillary Clinton is put onto the ticket, independent voter support for Barack Obama declines. I think that Beckel would agree that that’s a problem if you caught him off the clock.

Secondly, Obama is already getting 60% or better from hispanic voters according to ABC, NBC, and Gallup. So it’s a far stretch to say that Obama needs Hillary to deliver something he’s already seeing in the polls. Could those numbers change? Of course. But again, it seems a bit silly to base a decision off of a whim projection like that in contrast to the numbers you’re seeing now.

I guess the moral of this story is to beware political strategists peddling “analysis.” Except yours truly of course.