There is a growing effort by the Clintons — led by Bill — to convey a sense of entitlement for Hillary's newly minted vice presidential ambitions. The theory seems to say that she has earned the designation by her strong showing in primaries throughout the nation, particularly by her recent victories in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia and Indiana. Her supporters are demanding a place on the ticket as their right after a bruising primary season.
But ever since Aaron Burr rose from a vice presidential candidacy to contest Thomas Jefferson for the presidency in the House of Representatives, the person who came in second in the balloting for president lost his entitlement to anything. There are no more rewards for second place. No silver medals in the presidential race.
A less arrogant argument from the Clintonistas is that Hillary's presence on the ticket is vital to its chances for success in November. Noting that a Democrat must carry the very states she has won, the theory is that a VP slot for Hillary would make Obama so much more attractive to these voters that his election would be inevitable. (Disregard that Obama carried some states that would look nice in the Democratic column as well like Illinois, North Carolina, Washington State, Missouri, Connecticut and Wisconsin.)
But Hillary won these later primaries largely because the poison spewed by Rev. Jeremiah Wright led racially fearful voters to turn on Obama and find peril in his associations. Will Hillary running for vice president make Obama any whiter? Or Wright less offensive?
Let's not mistake racial fear of Obama for personal popularity for Hillary. Most of the blue-collar working class whites who backed Hillary Clinton, particularly the men, can't stand her. Faced with a choice between race and gender, they decided to hold to their fear of the former and overlook their unease at the latter. One wonders if all these police officers and firefighters and construction workers would actually vote for Hillary against McCain were she the nominee. Wouldn't these Reagan Democrats continue their lifelong exodus from the Democratic Party and back the Republican instead? In any case, it is a far fetched hope that Hillary's presence on the ticket would so ease their fears that they would back Obama in November.