After their victories in Ohio and Texas last week, the Clinton campaign started publicly stating that they are open to the idea of selecting Barack Obama as her running mate. When asked about running with Obama Clinton said, “Well that may be where this is headed but we have to decide who is top of the ticket. I think the people of Ohio very clearly said that it should be me.”

Clinton said on the campaign trail, “I’ve had people say I wish I could vote for both of you, well, that might be possible someday.” Bill Clinton also got in on the act by saying, “If you put those two things together, you’d have an almost unstoppable force.” This is obviously a strategy by the Clinton campaign to create the perception among voters that the delegate count doesn’t matter. The campaign is looking to recreate the illusion that the nomination of Hillary Clinton is inevitable.

While campaigning today in Mississippi, Obama sliced through this latest Clinton façade. “I don’t know how somebody who is in second place is offering the vice presidency to the person who is first place. I don’t want anybody here thinking that somehow, ‘Well, you know, maybe I can get both.’ Don’t think that way. You have to make a choice in this election.” Like George W. Bush, Hillary Clinton is a master at not letting the facts get in the way of her view of reality.

Both Clinton and Obama view themselves as top candidates, and I can’t see either one of them ever playing second banana to the other. This campaign long ago turned bitter. These two have no warmth or affection for each other. The truth is that Clinton needs Obama on her ticket, more than Obama could ever be helped by Clinton as V.P. The Clintons bring too much baggage. Keeping the Clintons around for a fall campaign would take away from Obama’s message of change.

To me, this is a desperate tactic by the Clinton campaign. In a way, it seems that they have not grasped the reality that many Democratic voters may not want a return to the 1990’s. Unless Clinton cuts a backroom deal, Obama stands a solid chance of being the Democratic nominee. Clinton would be better served to make the case for why she should be the nominee, instead of pretending that the V.P. slot is hers to offer.

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