If Hillary Clinton's latest gambit--floating Obama as her VP--were a play not a ploy, and the Today crew the theater critics, they would have left at intermission to begin penning a blistering pan.
Interviewing Tim Russert, Matt Lauer kicked off the kicking around of Hillary's idea.
MATT LAUER: Let's talk about this idea. Is it being floated seriously? Is this light-hearted, and who's behind it?You don't have to read too far between the lines to see what Russert was getting at. Mississippi is "an area that's friendly to Barack Obama" in important part due to the large proportion of African-Americans among Magnolia State Dems. When Russert speaks of Dems there seeing Hillary's suggestion as "condescension," the ostensible implication is that she's telling Obama to get to the back of the presidential bus.
TIM RUSSERT: Well the Clintons are behind it, and New York Daily News columnist Michael Goodwin said today that he talked to a Clintonista who said it's an attempt to belittle Barack Obama, that if they can suggest that he can be Vice-President, it's an indication that who should be President?
LAUER: Yeah, but couldn't it backfire? I mean, he's ahead in the delegate count, she needs a miracle. Might it not come off as ignorant, or arrogant, not to be too harsh?
RUSSERT: Well it's an indication, I think, of the state of the Clinton campaign. They're down in Mississippi, an area that's friendly to Barack Obama, and they're trying to indicate it as a sign of respect. Some Democrats are concerned it is seen as condescension.
Russert continued . . .
RUSSERT: And the most important point, Matt, is the point Andrea [Mitchell] showed in her piece: there's been a sustained campaign by Hillary Clinton over the last few weeks, saying she has the life experience, John McCain has a life experience for the Oval Office: Barack Obama has a speech. If he doesn't measure the Commander-in-Chief threshold, then how can he possibly be considered to be one heartbeat away, as Vice-President? It's illogical. And I think the Clinton campaign has to deal with that.Matt certainly saw the logic of Russert's analysis.
LAUER: And has she been pressed on that very question, yet?To judge by the early MSM reviews, this is one play that won't make it to Denver.
RUSSERT: No. I think yesterday [on his Meet the Press] certainly with Senator Daschle and Governor Rendell, and the other programs, it really did rise up as a legitimate issue to debate: you can't have it both ways.