Monday, April 07, 2008

Genius or Sleaze?

An online petition calling for Obama and Clinton to run together is making news.

I'm sorry. I misspoke. An online petition calling for Clinton and Obama to run together is making news. The group is called "Democrats United for Clinton/Obama 08," and the one-sentence petition reads as follows:

We the undersigned call upon the members of the Democratic National Committee to support a unity ticket with both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

The site/petition is "Authorized and Paid For By Clinton/Obama 08."

Nowhere does the petition state who should be at the top of the ticket. This is, I think, a crucial bit of information. If I were to ascribe the most generous motives to the principals of DUCO '08 — names not available — I might say that this is the sticky part, and DUCO wants only to support the general notion of a Clinton/Obama and Obama/Clinton ticket, with the details TBD. The site is about transcending the conflict, and not perpetuating it.

But is it, really? Why does Hillary's name appear first on this page, every time? "Clinton/Obama 08" has an obvious connotation, doesn't it? Not to mention that the idea promoted here sounds a lot like an idea Hillary ingeniously floated a month ago. The site could easily have said, "Sign here, if you want these two on the same ticket, regardless of who is the Presidential nominee." It doesn't. It could also easily have said, "Hillary supports the idea of naming Obama as her running mate. Sign here, if you support Hillary for President and Obama for Veep." It doesn't say that, either.

You have to figure this site means to mislead people. If you favor an Obama/Clinton ticket over an Clinton/Obama presentation, you probably shouldn't sign it, because the Unnamed Principals could easily run off with your signature and proclaim that you and everyone else want the Clinton/Obama ticket.

Verdict: sleazy genius. I.e., it has the Clinton campaign written all over it.