The Unity Ticket
Several people have asked me whether Friday’s rally in Unity, New Hampshire increases the likelihood that Barack Obama will choose Hillary Clinton to be his running mate later this summer. Taking up this very same issue on Saturday, New York Daily News columnist Michael Goodwin made the case that Clinton’s vice presidential stock is now on the rise as a result of the event. It is true that in the weeks since her infamous non-concession speech, Clinton has seemed genuinely gracious in her willingness to cede the nomination spotlight to Obama, and both she and Obama appeared quite comfortable with each other at the Unity event. But my sense is that ultimately it won’t have a big impact on the Obama campaign’s calculus for selecting the vice presidential nominee.
Given the divisiveness of the primary contest between Clinton and Obama, the Obama campaign must be quite pleased by the speed with which the Democratic Party has unified around its nominee. With polling data showing women moving to support Obama more quickly than expected, and Obama holding solid leads over McCain in battleground states previously dominated by Clinton, the Obama campaign really does not have any more incentive to offer the spot to Clinton now than it did when her supporters were demanding it much more loudly in early June. As Goodwin notes in his piece, all of this could quickly change, but the Obama campaign seems quite comfortable for the moment in charting its own course for the general election.

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