As the primary season nears a merciful end, the Clinton-Obama conflict is giving way to Obama-Clinton conjecture. Many in the Democratic Party support a so-called dream ticket of both, with Barack Obama at the top. They believe Hillary Clinton has earned the No. 2 spot through her feisty, never-say-die campaign, and they worry that her supporters will stay home in November if she isn’t part of the ticket.
Opponents counter that in terms of the electoral vote, Clinton might not help carry any states that wouldn’t already go for Obama. Moreover, the possibility of both Clintons ganging up on a President Obama could make life more difficult for him than anything the Republicans could ever put together.
But there is another way to foster party unity without forcing a political marriage.
It’s likely that the next president will face at least one Supreme Court vacancy. Obama should promise Hillary Clinton, now, that if he wins in November, the vacancy will be hers, making her first on a list of one.
Obama and Clinton have wound up agreeing on nearly every major issue during the campaign; at the end of the day, they share many orthodoxies. Unless the Supreme Court were to get mired in minuscule details of what constitutes universal health care, Obama could assume that he’d be pleased with most Clinton votes, certainly on major issues such as abortion.
Obama could also appreciate Clinton’s undeniably keen mind. Even Clinton detractors have noted her remarkable mental skills; she would be equal to any legal or intellectual challenge she would face as a justice. The fact that she hasn’t served on a bench before would be inconsequential, considering her experience in law and in government.
I think that is an excellant idea. She might have to recuse herself, however, from many cases — especially ones that deal with laws signed by her husband.