How Obama Could Capture Hillary Voters: Answer the Obvious

| Wed Aug. 27, 2008 8:05 PM EDT

Below is a guest blog entry by economist and MoJo author Nomi Prins:

Hillary Clinton's speech has been duly dissected. Bill's will be, too. But the DNC question still lingering for the PUMAs is: Why didn't Obama choose Clinton as his running mate? Dems would be naïve to suggest such people just 'get over it,' Hillary's verbal push not withstanding.

Love it or hate it, it's a valid question, particularly for the women who did and do identify with her. And it's a question that Obama needs to at least acknowledge, if not address.

Why? Because in the absence of a resounding statement from Camp Obama, the bloviosphere has filled in the gap with excuses like these: She's too divisive, he couldn't deal with Bill, the Clintons are too powerful, she wouldn't have wanted it anyway.

Whatever. A strong person campaigning for the most powerful office in the world should be able to answer difficult questions head on. With swing state voters, can Obama really afford to play the Hillary card so close to the vest?

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There may be little Obama can, or feels he should, say on the matter. Some observers will argue that Biden's fine, and the Veep post isn't a deciding factor anyway. Those are presumptive thoughts in a dead heat.

The bottom line is this: Everyone knows someone who doesn't understand why Obama didn't choose Hillary. Until that question's answered, the DNC's usual pundits are missing a key conversation in Denver diners, playgrounds, hospitals, truck stops, and discount stores.

—Nomi Prins