Saturday, September 22, 2007

The Clinton Cabinet

The 2008 Presidential race has one very odd feature. The Democratic primary is not so much a contest for who is going to form the administration as who is going to take which role within it.

Krugman notes that the Edwards and Clinton health care plans are practically identical. Barring a major change in the race it looks like a Hilary-Obama ticket. Which leaves Edwards out of a job unless he is offered and takes, say, the portfolio at Health or perhaps even Justice. Similarly Richardson seems to be somewhat tiring of his role as governor of New Mexico. He is a former UN ambassador and Energy Secretary, he would seem a natural choice as Secretary of State.

Unless Hilary stumbles badly her competitors for the nomination have to weigh the risks and benefits of going negative very carefully. Its not just the risk of a backlash from the base they have to worry about, they also risk the chance of plum jobs in the administration. Obama in particular must know that anyone elected as veep in 2008 is going to have poll position in the 2016 race.

All of which leads to a very different dynamic from the deathmatch that the GOP field are engaged in. Whatever happens it is a fairly safe bet that none of the front runners plan to pull any punches going into the final round.

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