It was a historic first, the nomination of an African-American presidential candidate. And what was the focus of the coverage? Hillary. Then Senator Clinton took the podium. What was the focus of her speech? Hillary. Token congratulations for the winner, but mostly more talk from Hillary about Hillary and saying it was all about us.

Obama, in his victory speech, spoke more about her than she did about him.

This should have been his big night, but it was eclipsed, yet again, by the self-absorption of Senator Clinton. Without skipping a beat, without even a concession, she declared she needed a few days to consider her next moves. She has already considered her next moves. She is running for vice president, and she will be spending the next few days calling on party leaders to put the pressure on the nominee to select her.

In the brassiest part of her non-concession speech, she yanked a page from the playbook of Richard Nixon. In 1952, Nixon, who was already Eisenhower’s vice-presidential pick, was under fire for a trumped up “secret fund” scandal that threatened his candidacy. Nixon made his famous “Checkers speech,” invoking the image of his daughters’ little cocker spaniel, and asking viewers to write in and tell him what they thought he should do. The resulting avalanche of support forced the hand of World War II’s Supreme Commander of Allied Forces. Nixon stayed.

Senator Clinton did the same thing last night and will no doubt use the correspondence she receives to squeeze Obama. The only thing missing was the cocker spaniel.

Those hoping for a “dream ticket” are dreaming. They are, again, not taking into account the only factor that really will matter–the personality of Hillary Clinton herself. An Obama/Clinton ticket might or might not bring temporary unity to the party. But it would almost certainly bring disharmony to an Obama Administration. It’s like I told a very intelligent, highly qualified applicant for a position on my staff years ago: “I am impressed and admire your abilities, but I’m not going to hire you. You are not ever going to be anyone’s employee. You are a boss, and you need to find a position where you can be the boss. That’s what you’re good at. We already have a boss here.”

Hillary is a boss, not an employee. She needs to run something. Obama had better make sure she is in no position to run him. She did not win. He did. He does need to enfranchise all the disappointed female voters who feel left out, and indeed they have been left out for far too long. But selecting Hillary for vice president will disenfranchise HIM and all the voters who selected him. She is not the only qualified female on the planet.

Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius, a Democrat, won that heavily Republican state twice, both times with landslide margins. She has an impressive record of success in fighting the insurance companies that are at the hub of the healthcare crisis, and she has beaten other special interest groups. She took an unbalanced budged and balanced it. She is articulate, intelligent, and does not lug around either the baggage or the garbage of the Clinton machine. Women and men alike would find her to be a positive addition to what would be a doubly historic ticket.

Hillary showed herself to be incapable of turning over the spotlight even on the night of her opponent’s victory. If she wins this latest heavy handed power play, she will be his biggest personnel problem. Let’s see if she can be a team player. Let’s see if she will really do “whatever he asks me to do.” Let’s see if she will work her heart out, if asked, for Obama and a female vice president other than herself.

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