Joe Conason is national correspondent for The New York Observer, where he writes a weekly column distributed by Creators Syndicate. He is also a columnist for Salon.com, and the Director of the Nation Institute Investigative Fund. His books Big Lies: The Right-Wing Propaganda Machine and How It Distorts the Truth, and The Hunting of the President: The Ten-Year Campaign to Destroy Bill and Hillary Clinton, with Gene Lyons, were both national bestsellers; his latest book, It Can Happen Here: Authoritarian Peril in the Age of Bush, was released in February 2007. His writing and reporting have appeared in many publications, including Harpers, The Guardian, The Nation, and The New Republic. He also appears frequently on television and radio (notably as a regular Friday guest on Air America’s The Al Franken Show). He lives with his wife in New York City.
Question: Will we see a Clinton-Obama ticket?
Joe Conason: Hillary and Obama ticket, well them they are both making it harder and harder to do that every day on thing.
If Hillary says Obama is not prepared to answer the phone at 3 am, then she really shouldn’t make him her vice president because it should some thing happened to her, then who is going to answer the phone at 3AM, not him and I think on from his side.
I think what it is foreign policy advisor say yesterday, she is a monster, some thing like that and so much of power, although she has apologized now.
I just think that there is a level of animosity that they would make it tough for them to not only run as a ticket but to work together. I can’t see Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama as the type of vice president who sort of fades away. That’s not what vice presidents do any more, for instance Al Gore was a vice president, they have had a real role, I mean Cheney his lead primary will be actually running things.
So I would be very surprised by that, but I should say, there is a tremendous amount of pressure, for that solution growing with in the party, lots of people want that.
I think we would find it hard to accept that either of these candidates would decline that offer when in the lot of ways, you would be a very powerful, to take it think, would be hard, if they could do it, it would be hard to beat them.
Question: What are other potential Vice Presidential candidates for the Democrats?
Joe Conason: There are lot of names floated around are ready and you hear people like, you hear the names of people, who have supported either of them, who given them sort of critical supports you hear odd names, for that people mentioned that former senate majority of leader Tom Daschle, who is the Obama supporter, would be a potential vice presidential nominee. And I don’t think he could win his home state. He is mentioned.
And people for a while were mentioning the governor of Iowa or Tom Vilsack as the vice president for Hillary, but Iowa was a long time ago and didn’t go that well, I don’t think, she is going to pick them.
Then they have mentioned the governor of Ohio Ted Strickland; that went better and if they certainly to win Ohio in the fall, but I would be surprised, if she chose him too.
The person I think, they ought to take the hard look at both of them is general Anthony Zinni, the former central commander, who has, what I would say outstanding military and diplomatic experience and has been a strong, critic of the [George W.] Bush administration.
Some one like that any way and from the democratic side if you are running against John McCain, you need to sort of bolster the military security credentials of either of these candidates and I think that picking some one like that were Wes Clark, former NATO supreme commander West Clark, who is a strong democrat has been a supporter for Hilary Clinton, would be another good choice.
March 7, 2008