Robert Reich suggested yesterday that Hillary and Joe Biden should switch places, to shore up the 2012 Democratic ticket. Prominent blogger Elizabeth Scalia — “The Anchoress” — calls and raises him, saying there’s an opening for an independent bid for Hillary:
Independents ran to Obama in ’08, and they’re running away from him as fast as they can in ’12, but not necessarily toward the GOP, whose current field of candidates seems like 8 tilting vials of nitro-glycerin, just waiting to fall. Offer them a candidate they can associate with a era of “peace and prosperity” — one who many of them happen to like and think got a raw deal in 2008 — and they will careen toward her like seagulls toward dropped bread.
That vials-of-nitroglycerin line is pretty nifty, I admit; and the prospect of an experienced (i.e., non-fringe) third option for November is something that in principle many Americans would indeed welcome. But could you imagine how thuggish the Obama attack machine would get if it had two targets in the general election instead of one? I frankly would not want to see that. (What, you ask, about the Republicans — wouldn’t they go viciously negative against Hillary too? I don’t think so: I suspect that Romney, or whoever the GOP nominee is, would not be nearly as ugly against Hillary — if for no other reason than that a high Hillary vote would come almost entirely from Obama and thus be helpful to the GOP. Within limits, of course! If she pulled 40 percent that could leave both Obama and Romney out in the cold, and out of the White House.)