Clinton as vice president is not the solution to Obama’s problems

In early August, I wrote that when it comes to the idea of Secretary Clinton as President Obama’s running mate in 2012, it’s "not going to happen." Turns out that a scholar of the U.S. vice presidency, Joel K. Goldstein, concurs, writing in Aug. 28’s Washington Post: "It’s not going to happen. Let’s move on." ...

EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images
EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images
EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images

In early August, I wrote that when it comes to the idea of Secretary Clinton as President Obama's running mate in 2012, it's "not going to happen." Turns out that a scholar of the U.S. vice presidency, Joel K. Goldstein, concurs, writing in Aug. 28's Washington Post: "It's not going to happen. Let's move on."

Goldstein's reasons for rejecting the Clinton-as-vice-president idea are different from my own, though (which focus on Clinton's weariness and expressed desire to transition out of government). Among them is this important point: Clinton is simply not the solution to Obama's problems. Goldstein writes (with my emphasis in bold):

Obama has no political reason to dump Biden, who is not the source of the president's problems. Obama's issues stem from the economy and the administration's failure to convince the electorate of its accomplishments.

In early August, I wrote that when it comes to the idea of Secretary Clinton as President Obama’s running mate in 2012, it’s "not going to happen." Turns out that a scholar of the U.S. vice presidency, Joel K. Goldstein, concurs, writing in Aug. 28’s Washington Post: "It’s not going to happen. Let’s move on."

Goldstein’s reasons for rejecting the Clinton-as-vice-president idea are different from my own, though (which focus on Clinton’s weariness and expressed desire to transition out of government). Among them is this important point: Clinton is simply not the solution to Obama’s problems. Goldstein writes (with my emphasis in bold):

Obama has no political reason to dump Biden, who is not the source of the president’s problems. Obama’s issues stem from the economy and the administration’s failure to convince the electorate of its accomplishments.

Some have argued that while Biden is not a drag on the ticket, he is also not able to produce the excitement Clinton would ignite. Although Clinton’s unique stature and the skill with which she has handled her Cabinet role are clear, she is not the solution to Obama’s perceived difficulties. Her popularity would probably suffer if she returned to a partisan role, and Obama would pay a price for removing Biden.

Clinton might have a lot of positives, but putting her name on the ballot alongside Obama isn’t going to magically makes things  better for the president. But there a lot of people out there who relish that fantasy.

Preeti Aroon was copy chief at Foreign Policy from 2009 to 2016 and was an FP assistant editor from 2007 to 2009. Twitter: @pjaroonFP

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