Obama Needs Hillary on 2012 Ticket

Monday, 08 Nov 2010 11:37 AM

By Jon Friedman

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Irony is a delicious concept.

Two years ago, Team Hillary felt slighted, snubbed, and kicked around by Barack Obama. Obama stormed to a stunning presidential election, dispatching Hillary Clinton along the way.

Obama chose Hillary as his secretary of state and the reviews have generally been strong. She is being seen as a positive, productive member of Obama's administration — perhaps she is its brightest star these days.

That's exactly why Obama must appoint Clinton as his vice president as he gears up now for 2012. Suddenly, irony is sweet for Hillary — Obama needs her influence desperately because Obama needs to do something drastic.

Obama needs public relations victories where he can get them — in Afghanistan, on Capitol Hill, at U.S. banks. Anywhere.

It's not likely that he can "turn around" the economy. It's also not too wise to look for many clear-cut accomplishments in Afghanistan or Iraq. But by selecting Hillary Clinton to join his ticket, Obama will accomplish three major tasks:

1. show the nation he's the same confident candidate that he was in 2008
2. unite his liberal supporters, who have turned on him with a startling strident tone
3. Challenge the Republican Party to nominate Sarah Palin, Obama's dream candidate, as a way to appeal to women voters.

What about Joe Biden, the standing veep? Oh, he has been around the block and will certainly agree to stand down in favor of Hillary.

Obama and Biden will mouth platitudes to show the nation that they are together on this decision. Biden, ultimately, is a team player and he will say and do all the right things to get behind his president.

All the chips will fall into place. Obama will definitely get some flak, at first. But on Election Day in 2012, he'll get his reward: a second term.

Jon Friedman writes the Media Web column for MarketWatch.com. Click here to read his latest column.

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