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May 28th, 2010
09:49 AM ET

Vice President Hillary Clinton?

David Gewirtz | BIO
AC360° Contributor
Director, U.S. Strategic Perspective Institute

Reading tea leaves is not science. And what I'm about to discuss is an epic tea-leaf read. But it could make for an interesting strategy for 2012. Suspend a little disbelief and read on.

Here's the background. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hasn't spoken much on domestic policy since she took the foreign affairs gig. For someone so vocal during the campaign, it's been clear she's purposely sticking to her charter and staying out of domestic affairs.

Yesterday, according to Ben Smith at Politico.com, Hillary spoke to the Brookings Institution on national security strategy. That's exactly what you'd expect from SecState.

But then she took an interesting foray into domestic affairs by saying, "The rich are not paying their fair share in any nation that is facing the kind of employment issues..."

The comment itself is what got Politico's attention, but her rare move into domestic policy is what caught mine. Although Mrs. Clinton prefaced her statement by saying it was her personal opinion, that made it even more interesting.

Why would she say such a thing when she's been so disciplined about her messaging? Especially with China and Korea heating up, the Middle East still simmering, and all sorts of other threats and risks across the world - why would she move to the topic of wealth disparity?

Well, here's one idea. What if she's getting ready to go back on the domestic stage? How could it possibly make sense for her or for President Obama?

Here's how: Obama/Clinton 2012.

Think about it. For many true believers, it was the dream team to end all dream teams in 2008, but instead Barack chose Biden. There were many reasons, including Biden's clear foreign policy experience. But another was Obama really couldn't take a chance on being upstaged by Hillary before he'd proven he could be President. And then, of course, there was the Bill Factor.

But all that's changed now. Obama's been President and he's 99.9% likely to be the Democratic candidate in 2012.

Joe Biden hasn't distinguished himself - he hasn't hurt himself much, but he also hasn't been a standout either. As much respect and affection as I have for Joe, he doesn't add anything to a 2012 ticket - and you know 2012 is going to be the battle to end all battles.

Plus, Mr. Biden's recently had some pretty serious challenges with the failing health of his son.

Finally, Biden's not likely to be a serious candidate for the top office in 2016. He just doesn't have the brand power and so he’s unlikely to be the heir apparent.

Here, then, are three solid reasons why Joe probably shouldn't be on the 2012 ticket: 1) he doesn't add anything in an election where every advantage is needed, 2) he's got family health issues that are probably sapping his attention and energy, and 3) he's not going to be able to carry the torch in 2016.

But if Biden shouldn't be in the veep slot for 2012, who should be?

What about Hillary?

First, who (after Obama) has more star power in the Democratic party than Hillary? Not Nancy Pelosi. Not Harry Reid. Hillary.

Next, who can bring more juice, excitement, and support to a party that's kind of lost some of its juice and excitement? Not Pelosi. Not Reid. Not some governor from the sticks. Hillary.

What if Sarah Palin is nominated on the GOP side? She'd automatically grab a lot of the women's vote. Who can counter that, has comparable star power, and also show a tangible difference between "momma grizzly" and world-wide policy experience? Hillary.

And, finally, what if Obama's numbers go low enough that another Democrat tries to unseat him in the primaries? Is there any Democrat who stands even a tiny chance? Yep. Only one. Hillary.

Here we have some very compelling reasons for Hillary on the ticket. 1) she has star power, 2) she can bring excitement and loyalty back to the party, 3) she adds the women's vote element, 4) she has wide foreign policy experience, and 5) she could otherwise be a possible competitor.

Finally, which Democrat has the best chance to win in 2016, at least based on today's information? Hillary.

If Biden were out and Hillary were in, an Obama/Hillary ticket would make for a very interesting campaign season. Plus, there'd be Bill. Every election's tons more fun with Bill involved.

Like I said at the beginning of this piece, I'm only reading tea leaves.

Follow David on Twitter at @DavidGewirtz.

Editor’s note: David Gewirtz is Director of the U.S. Strategic Perspective Institute and Editor-in-Chief of the ZATZ magazines. He is one of America's foremost cyber-security experts and a top expert on saving and creating jobs. He is a member of FBI InfraGard, the Cyberterrorism Advisor for the International Association for Counterterrorism & Security Professionals, a columnist for The Journal of Counterterrorism and Homeland Security, and has been a guest commentator for the Nieman Watchdog of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University. He is a faculty member at the University of California, Berkeley extension, a recipient of the Sigma Xi Research Award in Engineering and was a candidate for the 2008 Pulitzer Prize in Letters.

soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. `Chris Brunner

    W'll since we have now learned that Mr O , due to the disaster in the oil Epic, is useless in leading anyone , including BP, The only way he could possibly get my vote over a Cooper/Carville write in, is to put the first Choice Hillary on the ticket. Better yet, Bump Obama since we will still be dealing with the Oil three years from now and Hillary will have to clean up the mess. Think she and hubby are the only hope for belief in our system. People have short or lacking memories, but think about where you were fifteen years ago. The deficit and unemployment were the lowest in decades and the country was riding high. The Clintons did that , to bad is was overshadowed by a stupid sex scandel. We were so bored with good fourtune we baught into the evil mongers stradegy to discedit the Clintons good.
    Clinton in 2012/two for the price of one. Hallauha!!!!

    June 1, 2010 at 1:08 am |
  2. donkey

    yeah but why would hillary run? her and obama already got what she was fighting for in the first place: health care. we need someone who will really stand up for the environment, who will force us Americans and the world to take sacrifices to really take care of the environment and stop this consumerism that is giving us tragedies like the Gulf oil spil.

    May 30, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  3. Patricia

    Fascinating idea. It would take a big Republican win in 2010 to make Obama agree to have Bill Clinton hanging around the Whitehouse (a fact the Obama would have to deal with if Hillary were VP). I think people should watch James Carville. He's already breaking away from Obama over the oil spill. With Hillary making domestic remarks (in this tightly controlled administration where speaking out gets you kicked out) gives one pause. A big Republican sweep in 2010 might give Hillary the opening to branch out on her own.

    May 29, 2010 at 8:41 am |
  4. Marie Greene

    I wish America people wasn't so stupid as Bill Maher said. Some Americans don't get it. You let the republicans for 8 years messed you up and you want them back in in November. What short memories.
    They are not doing nothing now and why you think they will do something come November. America, please wake up and act intelligence and stop being silly. The republicans screwed you for 8 years and still screwing you now by not doing anything and you want to put them where? Gosh! I see why the world thinks we are ----.

    The republicans don't even have enough professionalism to support their own president. I wonder is it because he is black. Surely, he hasn't done anything to them but ask them to help make this country better and still they don't want to do that and Americans want to put them back in after 8 years of getting richer and the middle class getting poorer. Shame on you America for doing your own country in.
    Give the man a chance. God can work miracles you know–or do you know. Stop talking about the man and pray for him. And you wonder why we are having all kinds of trouble in America. The Bible says pray for your leaders. Keep calling names and keep seeing things you thought you never see. God sees all including the oil spill. Wake up America, God is still in charge whether you hate the president or not.
    Together we stand, divided we fall. Pick your choice.

    May 29, 2010 at 12:10 am |
  5. Annie Kate

    But didn't Hillary already say she wasn't going to run for President again? Wouldn't that include VP as well? From her past remarks it sounded like she was leaning toward going back to the Senate. And even if she does run with Obama, the anti-incumbent feelings that are riding high in the country right now may mean that not even Hillary could pull the election out of the fire. Will be interesting to see what happens.

    May 28, 2010 at 8:01 pm |
  6. Bonnie

    Hillary is my gal!

    May 28, 2010 at 4:38 pm |
  7. Jun

    I love Hillary Clinton

    May 28, 2010 at 4:10 pm |
  8. Sheri

    You know it has to be Obama/Clinton in 2012. 2012 will be an epic battle and Obama will need every bit of what Hillary has to offer to be a contender. There is no tea leaf reading here, the the writing is on the wall.

    May 28, 2010 at 4:02 pm |
  9. intheknow

    Hillary Clinton is foolish, wreckless and power hungry. Obama is a joke and bumbles thru this presidency. Those 2 run in 2012, it'll be the sequel to Dumb and Dumber.

    May 28, 2010 at 3:48 pm |
  10. Evelyn

    What about HILLARY-Obama ticket? is more resonable, and more exciting, isn't?

    May 28, 2010 at 3:20 pm |
  11. malama makena

    I've been saying this ever since she became Secretary of State. This will assure a Democrat in the WH till 2024 and be one giant leap for women.

    May 28, 2010 at 2:55 pm |