Clinton Calls It Quits, Joins McCain Ticket for ‘08

In a surprise move, campaign officials for democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton are to announce April 1 that the New York Senator is withdrawing from the Democratic presidential primaries and is joining Republican presidential candidate John McCain’s ticket as his running mate. Political insiders and beltway pundits alike were surprised at the timing of the announcement, but not altogether shocked by this latest development. Clinton has been running second place to Democratic rival Barack Obama for months now, her campaign war chest is running low on funds, contributors to her campaign are tapped out, and many long time political allies have been leaving the campaign in droves. 


According to an anonymous Clinton campaign official, Mrs. Clinton feels she has a better chance of realizing her lifelong dream to become president of the United States by switching parties now. Once the pre-ordained Democratic nominee, a string of primary losses to Obama have put the Clinton campaign into a downward spiral. 

“She sees the writing on the wall. Clearly, this isn’t her husband’s Democratic Party anymore,” said the campaign official. “If we’ve learned anything over the past few years, it’s that sometimes experienced politicians have to do courageous things in order to continue to help America. Joe Lieberman did it in 2006. Hillary is doing it now.”


Some Clinton supporters think the move is brilliant, and will continue to support Hillary no matter what ticket she’s on.  

“I think it’s brilliant, “ said Nancy Bigbee of Westchester, Vermont. “McCain’s like, what, 75 years old or something? She’ll probably be president in no time this way.”

And that nugget may well hold some gold in it. McCain’s health hasn’t been much of an issue in this campaign, but he is 70 years old, and would be the oldest president ever sworn in to a first term if elected. A bitter Democratic primary season has battered Mrs. Clinton among her former party, making it a long shot for her to get the nomination at this point. This is likely her best shot now at getting back into the White House. Obama supporters have mixed feelings about the announcement, being somewhat happy that the bitter in-fighting will finally end, but mostly being indifferent, having stopped listening to Clinton months ago.  


Rumors of a possible Clinton party switch have been circling Washington recently following Sen. Clinton’s media appearances with Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, and Richard Mellon Scaife, a vociferously staunch opponent of Mrs. Clinton and her husband, former president Bill Clinton, for years. Even Ann Coulter loves her. Democrats have been not so quietly rumbling about what they saw as her attempts to cozy up to the “vast right wing conspiracy” she once railed against. Senator Clinton’s own recent comments also seem to have been quietly laying the groundwork for just such a tactic. Earlier last month she repeated on several talk shows that both she and Senator McCain had the lifetime of dedicated experience needed to run this country, something her former Democratic opponent Barack Obama didn’t have. In fact, up until today’s announcement, Senator Clinton had been Senator McCain’s best campaigner, with her repeated attempts to derail the Obama campaign.  

“All of the dirty tricks of the last few weeks, from the NAFTA frame-up against Obama in Ohio to the subtly drawn out race issues and Reverend Wright associations to the sublimation of the primary rules in Florida and Michigan- all these things and more have been part of the Clinton campaign’s efforts to divide the Democratic party and bring some votes over to a McCain-Clinton ticket,” said the unnamed Clinton campaign official.

When asked about the timing of the announcement, coming on the heels of Senator Clinton’s steadfast refusal to leave the Democratic race before the end of the primary season, this same official noted that, “April is clearly the time to strike. We know what we’re doing here. We’re not a bunch of fools.” 


But what does a McCain-Clinton ticket hold for Republicans?  For starters, Hillary Clinton began her political life as a Barry Goldwater disciple, the former Arizona Republican and presidential candidate in 1964. Long embraced by the more conservative Republicans, Hillary’s early associations with Goldwater’s brand of politics probably runs deep in her own political psyche, proving her to be a Republican at heart. It’s not just coincidence that McCain also hails from Arizona.

But more than just her conservative underpinnings, Clinton brings to the GOP ticket that tough, but feminine touch that’s been missing all these years- like Margaret Thatcher did for Britain’s Conservative party in the 1980’s. Conventional wisdom holds that Republicans, especially women, wouldn’t vote for Clinton come hell or high water, but that truth probably won’t hold at the ballot box. During her husband’s Oval Office infidelities, Mrs. Clinton stood by her man to the end. While derided at the time for by many women’s groups, then First-Lady Clinton unknowingly started a trend that has been seen all too often these last seven years during GOP prominence. For every Congressman convicted of taking bribes there’s been a wife by their side. For every GOP sex scandal (from cruising for page boys to soliciting in the airport bathroom) there’s been a tightly smiling GOP wife by her man. These women credit Hillary for their strength almost as much as they do their faith. Clearly Clinton can hold her own with this demographic at the polls. And that’s one area McCain clearly needs help with. Hillary also shows promise that she is willing to carry on with some of the more popular Bush policies like the War in Iraq, by giving life to the falsehood that she had to dodge sniper fire on a trip to Bosnia while serving as First Lady.  Such inspired untruth telling shows she’s not only ready, but also willing to say anything to get her point across. This is the kind of trait Republicans love in there politicians-the power to change reality to fit the situation at hand.  Both Clinton and McCain bill themselves as Bi-Partisan leaders and they’ve proven this much. Both reached across the aisle to support the Iraq War. Both supported the Illegal Alien Amnesty bill brought forth by Senator McCain and Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) before they opposed it. Both supported Bush’s No Child Left Behind program too, and still support it generally despite its high costs to states, narrowed curriculum geared towards testing, and less than stellar results. In these and many other issues, Hillary Clinton and John McCain seem to make the perfect political couplet in generations. 


But the bottom line is that Hillary Clinton has had her sights set on the presidency for decades. It is her life long dream and from her point of view, this year was supposed to be “her” year. She’d hoped to take the prize under the Democrats banner, if only to tie the double-shot secured by the Bush clan. But with Barack Obama clearly the popular choice among registered Democratic voters, and among many Independents too, Mrs. Clinton is realist enough to know that her only ride back to Pennsylvania Avenue is in the back seat of John McCain’s limo- and faced with the prospect of losing it all, a short stint as VP looks pretty good to her now.

The announcement, scheduled for release on April 1, 2008, also noted that both Senators McCain and Clinton would be unreachable for comment for most of the day, as they will be coordinating their campaign strategies for the next phase of the campaign.


(Cross posted at Common Sense)

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7 Responses to “Clinton Calls It Quits, Joins McCain Ticket for ‘08”

  1. Ed Says:

    Ha Ha! That’s funny.
    I can just see it now. “The headlines: McCain Succumbs to a Mysterious Illness, Hillary now President”
    After only in office a week President John McCain died suddenly from a deadly virus …

  2. Jet Netwal Says:

    Heh. Excellent post, Ken.

  3. dusty Says:

    Bravo! Golf Clap Ken ;)

  4. windspike Says:

    What? She’s not standing by her man’s party?

  5. KnightErrant Says:

    I can confirm this story although my informant had somewhat different information. See A Little Reality.

  6. Dan Says:

    Considering this is April 1, this seems to be some type of April fools joke. I find it hard to believe that Hillary Clinton would join with the Republicans, who impeached her
    husband during his Presidency.

    I will believe this when I see it announced by John McCain.

  7. PoliShifter Says:

    Well, Billary praise McCain often. Bill has made it clear that both McCain and Hillary would be fine Presidents and that they both love America.

    I would not be shocked if it happens but I also think they could not win.

    Check out the lobbyst connection between the Hillary camp and McCain camp as well. Mark Penn is the CEO of a lobbying firm that Charlie Black works for. Charlie Black works for McCain.

    “Penn’s firm, Burson-Marsteller Worldwide — with 2,000 employees and $300 million a year in revenue — owns BKSH & Associates, the major lobbying firm chaired by Charles R. Black Jr. That’s right, Black, counselor to Republican presidents, reports to Clinton’s top strategist.”


    Lest we forget the Bill Clinton started the DLC. Steny Hoyer dreams of a Democratic Version of K-Street.

    We seem to forget as well that one of the lobbyists on McCain’s campaign represents United Technology which is making a bid for Diebold.

    Maybe Hillary sees McCain as a sure thing. Those Diebold Machines always seem to be right…