saternow, lynn 2010

Lynn Saternow

Hillary Clinton has been a burden on Barack Obama for months. Now that he has unofficially won the Democratic nomination for president, that burden is over.

Or is it?

While Obama can celebrate winning the nomination, he must now decide whether to choose Hillary as his running mate. It’s a very tough decision, although it isn’t even definite that she would accept.

Some would consider it a dream team. Many of Hillary’s backers would probably swing over and vote for Obama if she’s the VP. If she isn’t on the ticket, those ardent Hillary supporters might not vote at all or might actually vote for (gulp!) John McCain.

Then again, that dream team might be a nightmare.

There are people out there who won’t vote for a woman. Then again there are those who won’t vote for a black man. Call it bigotry, racism or sexism — you also need to call it reality.

If Obama picks a traditional white male candidate as VP, it might sway some of those racist-sexists to accept the ticket.

Anybody who thinks Obama’s race won’t play a role in this election is sadly mistaken. While we try to claim we are an enlightened society, racism still prevails. The truest words I ever heard spoken were: “We are all racists, it just depends to what degree.”

For example, exit polls showed that 93 percent of blacks voted for Obama. That is extreme racism. If 93 percent of whites voted for a white person running against an African-American candidate, people would be marching on Washington.

If you consider any candidate for his or her values, there aren’t 93 percent of any group that could possibly think one candidate was better than another. It simply couldn’t happen without race being a major factor.

This is a historic election. It is a chance to elect the first black candidate to the highest post in the land. There has never been a better time, since Republicans have botched up this country under the leadership of George W. Bush.

However, the person Obama picks as his running mate will have a major influence.

During the next few months leading up to the election, a lot will come out against Obama that might not have been brought out before. And you can bet that the link to radical Rev. Wright will resurface. Did anybody notice that Obama was riding high and winning most of his delegates at primaries before his affiliation to that racism-monger Wright came to light?

After that, Hillary build huge momentum, but it was too little, too late. It shouldn’t escape people that on the final day of primaries, Hillary won in South Dakota, a state that “experts” thought would easily go to Obama.

Obama has a lot to answer in the coming months and the Republican smear machine will be in full gear. Unfortunately it won’t be Bush running it — it will be people who actually have a smidgen of intelligence.

A solid running mate can go a long way to helping Obama fight off the attacks. I say go with Hillary and let the battle begin!

The Herald’s Lynn Saternow writes this column each Saturday for the Opinion page.

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