Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Robert Johnson wants Hillary as VP

I expect many more of these types of releases in the days to come:

Robert L. Johnson Asks Congressman James E. Clyburn to Unite the Democratic Party by Urging Senator Barack Obama to Select Senator Hillary Clinton as His Vice President

BETHESDA, Md., June 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As a long-time supporter of Senator Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party, Robert L. Johnson, founder and chairman of The RLJ Companies, congratulates Senator Barack Obama on receiving the Democratic Party nomination and urges all Americans to join in support of Senator Obama in the general election in November. Johnson yesterday addressed a letter to House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn requesting that he encourage the Congressional Black Caucus to urge Senator Obama to select Senator Clinton as his Vice Presidential running mate.

The text of the letter is as follows:

June 3, 2008

The Honorable James Clyburn
U. S. House of Representatives
H-329, The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Jim:

Now that you have endorsed Senator Obama as the Presidential Nominee of the Democratic Party; I, as a long-time supporter of Senator Clinton and of the Democratic Party, urge you to do everything possible to unify this party to win the Presidential election in November. For me and millions of other Democrats, I believe that the most important step that you can take now is to encourage the Congressional Black Caucus to urge Senator Obama to select Senator Hillary Clinton as his Vice Presidential running mate.

As a businessman I understand the vitally important role that a Democratic President can play in establishing programs and policies throughout the government that stimulate and support economic opportunities for African Americans. As African Americans we agree that the stakes in this election are far too high to take any chances that this party will not be unified from the top to the bottom in our effort to gain control of The White House.

You know as well as I the deep affection that millions of African Americans hold for both Senator Clinton and President Clinton. You also know that Hillary Clinton has been a long-term advocate for racial and gender equality, from her early days as a lawyer with the Children Defense Fund to her prominent leadership roles on these issues as First Lady and as Senator from New York. But most important, we need to have the certainty of winning; and, I believe, without question, that Barack Obama as President and Hillary Clinton as Vice President bring that certainty to the ticket.

Jim, as the highest ranking African American in Congress, I encourage you to follow your commitment to build a unified party by helping to make this a historic election of Senators Obama and Clinton who both have demonstrated that they have the courage and the ability to inspire and lead this nation to greatness today and for years in the future.

Warm regards,

Bob Johnson

I expect a continued focus on the electability issue as one being stressed that Obama's chances of winning are increased with Clinton on the ticket. Very few will say it publicly but there are those out there who feel without Clinton Obama's chances of beating McCain are questionable. Yet, it does not appear that the idea of having Clinton as a VP is appealing to quite a few Obama supporters who have been very vocal in their anti-Clinton message. Considering the attempt to paint Obama as a "change candidate" some wonder if it's possible to continue the theme the Obama campaign has tried to promote of him not being an insider if Clinton was selected. Of course the reality is that he's just as much of a part of the political machine as any other politician, he's taken money from those related to lobbyists and knew how to play the game when he was in Illinois. The main difference between Clinton, McCain & Obama when it comes to the "insider" aspect is more related to the lack of years involved as opposed to a higher moral political standing. His campaign has done a better job in selling that as a theme, and as noted in this the Obama campaign does deserve kudos for their media management skills.


mark skeldon said...

Welcome back Lisa.

I think the Obama Campaign should seriously look at Clinton as a VP candidate. They have access to a lot more poll numbers than I do, and if an Obama/Clinton ticket in their estimation gives them the best chance at winning then that should be the ticket.

That being said I think the choice should be his, and I hope that he will not be forced into making her the VP if he does not believe that is his best chance to win.

I know we'll disagree on this but I buy into his change message for reasons we've debated here before and probably will again. I'd like to see him either win or lose with this message, and I do think that's harder with Clinton on the ticket. So for me I'd rather see someone else as the VP, but I won't be upset if he chooses her.

Lisa Renee said...

Mark, it's always a pleasure to debate/discuss with you. I agree whether the change platform is truly real or a campaign platform that it would be more difficult to promote that with Clinton as VP.

Yet, I also can see where some of the Clinton base that would have a difficult time supporting Obama might be more inclined to support him if she was VP.

Personally, given the limited tasks of a VP, Clinton as VP or not as VP would not make a huge difference for me as far as how I feel about Obama as President. However, from a marketing/pr campaign standpoint some of that particular base may decide that's enough for them.

Lisa Renee said...

On the topic of my feeling Obama is no different, one excellent example is this Boston Globe article.

A more recent one, is Newsweek. Then of course his political history in Illinois and how he even became a Senator.

My point being not that Obama is "bad" but that he is not very different from just about every other Democratic candidate for President, or any presidential candidate for that matter, for the most part they are politicians who do similar things similar to what they point out is wrong with "the other guy". Given the similarities in his and Clinton's platforms, it's hard for me to buy the whole change theme.

mark skeldon said...

The change slogan in this campaing is both a blessing and a curse for Obama. The problem is that it has been used so much by all of the candidates that the term change by itself has essentially no meaning.

So... let me tell you briefly what I mean by change. The change that I've read, watched, and listened to is changing the D vs R mentality. Recognizing that the majority of each party is in the middle on most issues,and being willing to compromise to get something done even if it's not idialogically (sp) excatly what you'd like, is better than not making any progress on important issues.

I think that media has split us down the middle, either Fox News or Air America, and many candidates feed right into that to excite the base. Throughout the campain it has been clear to me that Obama is the candidate that has followed the traditional D vs. R script the least and that is appealing to me.

His policy ideas are more liberal than my views in some areas. However I think that he gives complex issues the thought and discussion they deserve (wouldn't that be a nice change from what we have now)and so I don't see him as someone who pushes legislation through in spite of the facts or a better argument.

Some who want to use the change message against him paint the message as, he is going to change the world and solve all of your problmes. Part of what he needs to work on for the undecided voters, I believe, is focusing the change message so that they can see that the change he proposes is possible and not just political rhetoric.

As far as the fund raising goes he has re-defined the typical way that candidates raise funds. He's not raising most of his money at 500 dollar a plate dinners like candidates used to, most of it is comming from smaller online donors. To me that is a positive change.

I do like the national political discussion better on this board, and agree with you that it's better to stick local on GCJ. The national stuff became name calling way to quick there.

Lisa Renee said...

I agree change has been over used, to the point people have little faith that it is meant. In part this is because candidates on both sides promise things they can't accomplish as president. Like promising to fix the economy is one of my pet peeves.

Interestingly enough I feel the exact opposite when it comes to the D versus R mentality with Obama, perhaps it's because of the blogosphere where it's been very partisan and very negative at times. Imagine GCJ on steroids...that's how some of the discussions have gone that I've witnessed. To the point I just avoid them rather than even try to engage anyone in discussion.

I just don't see Obama as being able to attract the moderate base that is going to be needed that Clinton did have better success with. The only advantage he has is that McCain is old, so who McCain picks as VP will be a much more important decision than who Obama selects. I don't think the whole "third Bush term" that is being used is going to work when it comes to those voters who did pick Bush over Kerry. Obama is perceived as too liberal for them.

The irony is of course that from a platform position standpoint Clinton and Obama were not that far apart. Perception is everything and it's going to be hard for Obama to get his message out there if that perception doesn't change, yet he can't change it to much or he'll have problems with his own base of support.

I haven't checked recently but last time I did from a per donation standpoint Obama was higher per average than Clinton or McCain. A few articles focused on people maxing out their personal donation limits and making donations in the names of their children which in the cases where the campaign caught it, the money was returned.

truth said...

Obama should be allowed to run his own campaign.He doesn' need HRC's baggage on him.there still remains the problem of HRC credibility. The rules that were ste at t6he beginning of the campaign should have been adhered to no matter the cost. Obama demonstrated that he understands the objective. The effectiveness of his campaign ia witness to his ability to achieve results. HRC's campaign was riddled with incompetence and despite her "brand name" in politics she lost a primary that was hers to win. Obama does not need that HRC baggage. This election is about American People making government accountable to the people,not about personalities or "making history".