No sooner had Lanny J. Davis published a long op-ed in yesterday's Wall Street Journal instructing Barack Obama as to why he "should pick Hillary" as his vice presidential running mate that today's New York Times ran a short piece by Michael Falcone reporting that the "campaign for Clinton ends." And as it has ended though, I shall point out, there are already post-scripts.
Lanny and I are friends, you know, Washington friends, not close but slap-on-the-back cordial. He served as one of Bill Clinton's tribunes, doing p.r. during the mortifying impeachment proceedings. But since this particular flak is a smart lawyer, whatever he says or writes is always couched as a brief.
I remember Davis as one of the many partisan experts on CNN's very routine post-primary shouting matches with Wolf Blitzer, and everything Lanny saw and said redounded to Hillary's good. She lost a primary but could have lost it by a bigger margin. Etc., etc. Donna Brazile talked about the Democratic Party as if it were the mother church. The only commentators from whom one could get a non-sleep inducing, non-partisan take on anything were Anderson Cooper, Jeff Toobin and David Gergen.
But back to Lanny for a moment: He paints Hillary as "the ultimate team player...she knows from experience the importance of a supportive and involved vice president. (As vice president}, she would do everything, everything yes, "everything" twice, to help her president succeed because by doing so the nation and the American people would benefit." I wonder why the WSJ published this op-ed. Was this implausible reading of Hillary Clinton a tactic against her?
And "so what about Bill Clinton?" "Well, what about him? He loves his wife, he loves his country and he would be 100% dedicated to helping President Obama in any way the president wished. If that means be quiet and not distracting from the messages or issues the Obama White House is focusing on, Bill Clinton will do whatever it takes to be helpful."
Now, no one -- not even Lanny J. Davis -- says that Bill Clinton loves Barack Obama. So why would Clinton take a backseat for Barack if he wouldn't (or couldn't) take one for Hillary?
What did I mean by Hillary's post-scripts to her campaign against Obama?
One is her relentless euchring of Obama's campaign to pay off her own campaign debt. Not only on debt to others (like $4.5 million to Mark Penn) but the $13 million she herself loaned during the last innings of the primary game. This was an act of vanity. Everybody knew she couldn't win, including perhaps her husband. But she went right on spending and incurring financial obligations she assumed Barack Obama would be only to happy assume.
I don't know whether he is happy or not. But his contributors are certainly not eager to dip into their depleted checking accounts to help her. After all, given that the Clintons seem to have something like $80 million why should anyone feel sympathy for their absorbing some 16% of their wealth. Some of us, most with lesser assets, have already lost that in the markets.
And then there are the folks who've lost their homes and aren't getting any help from anyone, least of all the Clintons.
Post-script two: An article in todays Los Angeles Times by Peter Nicholas reports that the Hillary camp is now trying to insert into the Democratic platform a proposition that basically blames sexism for Obama's win. Yes, Lanny, she will do everything to help him win...and serve.