The epic battle between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination draws ever closer to the finish line. The outcome is becoming ever clearer, the superdelegates unwillingness to back Clinton means Obama will narrowly take the nomination. Despite this, I commend Barack Obama on a hard fought campaign which has been conducted fairly. Politically I disagree with both the Democratic candidates ona number of issues, however I believe that America needs a fresh start. The Presidency of George Bush has been by and large a disaster and as a Republican sympathiser I believe they need to learn the lessons the Tory party learned in 1997. Only then can they emerge as a better party better equipt to tackle the issues that their nation faces.
This is why I believe a Democrat should occupy the White House in 2009. Admittedly I wanted that Democrat to be a woman, namely Hillary Clinton (Perhaps memories of anothertough female British leader made me slightly more enthusiastic!) I believe Clinton is a passionate politician with a clear agenda and I commend her as much as Obama for the way she has conducted her campaign. She has overcome overwhelming odds that would have seen weaker candidates off, however ultimately despite her resilliance, it was not to be.
This leads me on to my next point and the crucial point of this post. Barack Obama needs Hillary Clinton. Put aside the petty differences and the squabbling and focus on what it takes to secure a Democratic victory at the next election. The outcome of this nomination process will not be decisive. Barack Obama has scraped this nomination by the skin of his teeth and Hillary Clinton has lost it by a whisker. The two apart are weak, the two together are formidable. Obama can pull the young, African-American and wealthy voters while Clinton can pull the blue-collar working class, female and older voters. An election wining coalition.
Poll after poll suggests that Clinton is viewed more favourably than Obama in the crucial swing states, yet Obama leads slightly nationally. This fact should not go ignored. Should Clinton be on the 2008 Democratic ticket as Obamas number two I believe you would be all but guarenteed a Democratic win in the swing states that Clinton does so well in, and ultimately the election. Clinton has indicated tonight that she would be open to the prospect of being Obama’srunning mate. This is an oppourtunity Obama can ill afford to pass by. If, as he so often claims, he really desires to work to rebuild America, If he really has a desire for change and reconcilliation… he needs Hillary Clinton. I will be watching to see whether he will stop talking and start acting. This is his golden oppourtunity to reach out to the Clinton loyalists and swing voters who make up a sizable portion of his own electorate. Should he choose Hillary as his running mate then he is on course for a historic victory, if not then he, and the super-delegates, will rue the day.