Hillary for VP? The Saga Continues

Kate Hicks

4/15/2012 11:32:00 AM - Kate Hicks

To file under the Law of Unintended Consequences: speculation is rising that last week's "Rosenflap" episode may have paved the way for an Obama/Clinton ticket. Hillary Clinton.

Hmm.

Hilary Rosen is the now-infamous Democratic strategist who shoved both feet in her mouth faster than you can say, "Stay at home mom," and now, it seems, there's some concern over the damage she may have done to a staunchly pro-Obama voting bloc: women. Indeed, both the President and the First Lady issued statements distancing themselves from Rosen, as did key campaign operatives Jim Messina and David Axelrod. The theory goes that if Mitt starts picking up more support of the feminine persuasion, the Dems may have to drop Joe for Hillary.

Michael Goodwin of the New York Post says he believes without a doubt that Team Obama would make the swap if it could secure them a win, despite the fact that they're adamant about keeping Biden. Hillary, he says, is their potential ace in the hole, and the numbers show that Obama desperately needs women to be competative this year.

According to data compiled by Rutgers University, the number of women voters has been higher than men in every presidential election since 1964. While a majority of men tend to vote Republican, women usually lean Democratic and with bigger numbers. They went for Obama by a huge margin in 2008.

Over 70 million women voted, against 60.7 million men, and women gave 56 percent of their votes to Obama and just 43 percent to John McCain. Men split almost evenly.

By comparison, Democrat John Kerry got 51 percent of a lower turnout among women in 2004 and lost to George W. Bush.

True, Obama had an 18-point lead among women, but if the ladies start feeling less passionately about what Obama can do for them, all they'd have to do is not vote, and Romney could clinch a win.

Now, the flip side of this is that Hillary has vehemently denied that she wants to be VP, and has even said she'll retire at the end of her tenue as Secretary of State this term. But Goodwin has a theory about why she might have to sign on as number two:

As for Clinton, some in her camp say it’s not clear she would say yes even if Obama came begging.

They say she doesn’t want to be vice president and doesn’t see how running on his ticket would help her win the Oval Office in 2016.

Good points — up to a point. But if Obama needs her, she has little choice. If she says no and he loses, she’ll be blamed. If she says no and he wins, he will owe her nothing in 2016.

Of course, there's plenty of time for Team O to do some damage control, and it's not even clear that female support has begun to wane for him. But the lefty pipe dream of HRC for VP lives on -- and if that's the case, then the GOP has its work cut out for it.