- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 5, 2008

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Is Hillary Clinton’s inability to accept defeat Tuesday night helping or hurting her chances to become vice president? After all, until Monday that was a position she had refused to accept.

America got a peek at Mrs. Clinton’s strategy to move forward yesterday morning. She seemingly is not merely asking Barack Obama to be his running mate but demanding it. Bob Johnson’s appearance yesterday on CNN’s “American Morning” is part of the plan.

Mr. Johnson, the sports and entertainment mogul, sent a letter to House Majority Whip James Clyburn that said: “I believe that the most important step that you can take now is to encourage the Congressional Black Caucus to urge Senator Obama to select Senator Hillary Clinton as his vice presidential running mate.”

Exactly which CBC members are going to convince Mr. Obama to bow to Mrs. Clinton’s pressure and name her as his running mate? The CBC that refused to unite around Mr. Obama’s quest to become the first black presidential nominee? The CBC that refused to support Mr. Obama during his Senate run? The CBC that refused to unite behind then-Rep. Harold Ford in his quest for the House leadership post?

No voting bloc is monolithic and Mr. Johnson, who used to work in Congress, knows this. Yesterday, he told CNN that Mrs. Clinton is “absolutely” aware of what he is doing.

Mr. Johnson ridiculed Mr. Obama as a teen drug abuser during a Clinton campaign stop on Jan. 13. He had to backtrack, however, after drawing criticism.

Mrs. Clinton’s non-concession speech was not a good start to begin with. She explained that one of the things she wants is to “have my supporters respected.” One can only conclude that she, at least in part, thinks Mr. Obama disrespected them by beating her in a fight for the nomination that was more than fair.

When John Kerry clinched the nomination he had plenty of time to think about who he would choose as his running mate - months in fact.

It is common knowledge now that Mr. Kerry asked John McCain, who turned him down, and then whittled the list until Democrats agreed on John Edwards.

If Mrs. Clinton is serious about doing whatever she can to help the Democrtaic Party win the White House in November, then she should first concede the nomination and meet with Mr. Obama face-to-face.

History has a lengthy list of winners and losers. It will become America’s pain if Mrs. Clinton keeps that chip on shoulder.

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