You’re going to have to trust me on this one.
It would mutually benefit both parties (people), as well as increase exposure for the party (Democratic) as a whole, if Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were to visit New Orleans on a romantic getaway.
Barack Obama, we know, is happily married. Hillary Clinton is also married. So it’s not the sort of couple you’d have expected to be paired up. And while they’re ostensibly on the same side, let’s face it, visions of 2008 are dancing in their heads; why appear buddy-buddy now?
Barack Obama is a one-man hot-button issue right now, but as every magazine and pundit is quick to remind us, there’s one thing counting against him: a comparative lack of experience. Think how good it would be for him to be seen in the intimate company of a Senator and former First Lady (executive experience, double points!) who can tell him all about her years in government. Who better to instruct him on the ways of a President than someone who’s personally scolded a President on more than one occasion?
And to be sure, it might damage Obama’s character reputation a bit to have him seen cheating on his wife. But come on, he’s riding the biggest popularity wave a man could hope for! And if what the Democrats want is a return to the Clinton years, this is about the best way to position him for that, in so many ways.
Surely Michelle Obama will understand that this is best. As she told “The New Yorker”, being a political wife is hard. It would all be over before the primaries.
Hillary Clinton knows that too. That’s why she needs to get some more sunlight by basking alongside a better-loved politician. She’s been catching heat for her presidential aspirations long before anyone had heard of Obama, who treats his popularity with an authentic aw-shucks demeanor; she needn’t feel above riding a set of coattails. Hillary Clinton has won a few things in her time, but hearts and minds are an issue; a little piece of people’s love for Obama could stand to rub off on her.
Will her husband understand? Will her husband actually notice? These are all difficult questions.
The location is obvious. You can’t play the role of the compassionate politician without looking in on New Orleans, and there’s any number of speeches a Democrat can make after surveying the damage from Hurricane Katrina, biting their lip thoughtfully and solemnly shaking the occasional hand. The black community, ever a supporter of Obama, will be glad to meet him there and wave a few banners, and as for Hillary Clinton, well, last time she showed up in a state at random and decided to make an impact there, it was New York, and evidently it worked out okay for her.
New Orleans post-Katrina boasts just enough of a wild party side to let the pair kick up their heels and get to know each other, and enough of a solemn side to allow them to get back to business before committing any permanent transgression against their spouses.
Perhaps the Democratic Party, mindful of the fact that there’s no such thing as bad publicity, can see toward making this dream date happen. The TV news cameras will provide all the actual coverage; all the Democrats would need to put up for is two nights at a nice hotel and a couple of fancy dinners. The rest sells itself; everyone likes a good scandal.
It does sort of cut poor Al Gore out of the loop, though, doesn’t it. Perhaps a little coffee date between him and Tom Vilsack is in order. After all, if nothing else, ‘Vilsack’ is a funny name, and that’s what sells papers.