Another theory about Hillary Clinton

Marc Ambinder seems pretty confident that Barack Obama won’t pick Hillary Clinton to be his running mate. What’s more, Ambinder reports, Clinton herself doesn’t even really want the job, though she would take it if asked. But maybe she’s secretly hoping, pace Howard Fineman, that Obama won’t ask. After all, if she really believes Obama ...

594756_080604_time2.jpg
594756_080604_time2.jpg

Marc Ambinder seems pretty confident that Barack Obama won't pick Hillary Clinton to be his running mate. What's more, Ambinder reports, Clinton herself doesn't even really want the job, though she would take it if asked. But maybe she's secretly hoping, pace Howard Fineman, that Obama won't ask. After all, if she really believes Obama can't beat John McCain, she'd be better positioned to run in 2012 if she could hold herself out as "what might have been" than if she had been on the losing ticket. Just look at what happened to John Edwards.

The Washington Post excerpts an interview with Martin Anderson, an top advisor to Ronald Reagan during the former president's 1976 and 1980 campaigns, that could shed some light on Clinton's thinking today:

A call came in from Ford's suite from Dick Cheney . . . chief of staff for Ford. And [John] Sears took the call, and basically Ford wanted to meet with Reagan. Sears tells Reagan . . . "The president wants to meet with you." Reagan says, "No . . . he wants to meet me, he's going to ask me to be vice president, and I don't want to be vice president. And I don't want to tell him no, so I'm not going to meet with him." So Sears got back on the phone, explains to Cheney. . . .

Marc Ambinder seems pretty confident that Barack Obama won’t pick Hillary Clinton to be his running mate. What’s more, Ambinder reports, Clinton herself doesn’t even really want the job, though she would take it if asked. But maybe she’s secretly hoping, pace Howard Fineman, that Obama won’t ask. After all, if she really believes Obama can’t beat John McCain, she’d be better positioned to run in 2012 if she could hold herself out as “what might have been” than if she had been on the losing ticket. Just look at what happened to John Edwards.

The Washington Post excerpts an interview with Martin Anderson, an top advisor to Ronald Reagan during the former president’s 1976 and 1980 campaigns, that could shed some light on Clinton’s thinking today:

A call came in from Ford’s suite from Dick Cheney . . . chief of staff for Ford. And [John] Sears took the call, and basically Ford wanted to meet with Reagan. Sears tells Reagan . . . “The president wants to meet with you.” Reagan says, “No . . . he wants to meet me, he’s going to ask me to be vice president, and I don’t want to be vice president. And I don’t want to tell him no, so I’m not going to meet with him.” So Sears got back on the phone, explains to Cheney. . . .

A little while later, Cheney called back and said, “Look, Ford promises he will not ask him to be vice president.” So Sears tells Reagan, and Reagan said, “He promises? . . . Okay, I’ll meet with him.” . . . So then, the next night, Ford picked [Bob] Dole. . . .

I went up to Reagan. . . . I said, “Let me ask you a hypothetical. The other night, when you went in and sat down with Ford, what would have happened if, when you got in the room, the door shut, and there was just the two of you, and Ford had said, ‘Now look, I don’t give a damn what I promised, but what the polls are showing clearly is that if you go on the ticket with me, we beat Jimmy Carter. And if you don’t go on the ticket, Jimmy Carter may win, and it’s your damn fault.’ “

Reagan said, “Well, I would have gone on the ticket.”

The full interview transcript, courtesy of the Presidential Oral History Program at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center of Public Affairs, is available here (pdf).

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