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A Ticket to Ride?

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The veteran political consultant Dick Morris thinks Barack Obama is the inevitable Democratic vice presidential nominee in 2008.

Morris worked for Bill Clinton off and on from 1978 to 1996, and since then he has written books trashing the Clintons. Last fall he and his wife, Eileen McGann, coauthored Condi vs. Hillary: The Next Great Presidential Race.

Obama gets only one fleeting mention in the book, but in an interview, Morris explains the circumstances that will carry Obama onto the Democratic ticket. To begin with, Morris argues that Hillary Rodham Clinton has a lock on the Democratic presidential nomination, and under normal circumstances she would win the overwhelming support of African Americans. To prevent that, Morris says, Republicans are bound to nominate secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, an African American. In turn, “it is certain, not possible but certain, that [Clinton] will have to choose Obama” for vice president to secure the black vote, Morris says.

Aside from its claim to clairvoyance, the Morris scenario seems to pose problems. For one thing, Rice has never run for elective office. While serving as provost of Stanford University and in other high offices, Rice has always disdained politics, Morris and McGann write, as though this were some sort of recommendation for a potential candidate for president.

I asked Bill Daley, a top adviser to Bill Clinton and Al Gore, to evaluate the Condi/Hillary-Barack theory. “Dick Morris is an idiot,” Daley said. “I thought that years ago and I still think that today.”

Obama was more diplomatic: “I think Dick Morris is just selling books.”
–J. M.

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