Thursday, October 7, 2010


Do I hear Bonnie Raitt singing lustily,
 Let's give them something to talk about. A little mystery to figure out. . .????

I love this stuff. Love it! Love it! Love it!

All these sage talking heads talking solemnly about whether or not President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are planning the uber corporate shake-up: a 2012 job switcheroo for Mr. Biden and Ms. Clinton.

To me, it conjures up an image of the two of them, blind-folded, playing Pin the Tail on the Job.

Bob Woodward, arguably the doyen of talking heads, brought such a possibility up during a Tuesday interview with CNN's John King.
"President Obama needs some of the women, Latinos, retirees that she did so well with during the [2008] primaries and, so they switch jobs, not out of the question, and the other interesting question is, Hillary Clinton could run in her own right in 2016 and be younger than Ronald Reagan when he was elected president."
But wait! No stranger a source than George W. Bush's former Chief of Staff, Andrew Card, had speculated about such a high-level job switcheroo on CNN way back on October 1st. 
"[It] wouldn't surprise me if she became the vice presidential nominee. And the vice president [Biden] became the Secretary of State," Card said on CNN's American Morning. "That would shake things up."
But wait, again! From an aside in an article yesterday in The Wall Street Journal (an interview with former Clinton campaigner Howard Wolfson), I gather this talk has been simmering  for a while now. . . perhaps just waiting for a slow news couple of days to come to a boil?
Don’t ask New York City Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson, who worked on Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, whether she would be a good vice president. He’s just not going there.

Following a breakfast forum in midtown Manhattan Wednesday, Wolfson deflected a flurry of questions about the possibility of President Barack Obama replacing Vice President Joe Biden with Clinton on the 2012 ticket, a possibility that’s been the subject of speculation among political observers recently. The talk seemed to have died down lately (my boldface), but on Tuesday night Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward reignited the chatter by suggesting the White House is talking of a possible switch.

There's been enough chatter on this subject to draw a White House denial and a Clinton dismissal. Jenna McGregor took note of the switcheroo rumors yesterday in her Washington Post blog PostLeadership, and had this (among other things) to say:
I have nothing to further the speculation, but I can ask this question: why not? Rotating executives between top jobs happens all the time in business, and is seen as good management and corporate governance. It's a natural way for leaders to challenge themselves, develop their skills and stretch different management muscles for a few years.
To which actual, source-based speculation, I ask, does Ms. McGregor have nothing to add? Where did this rumor come from? And why is it being bandied about now?

I found the most interesting speculation on the reason for the current eruption of switcheroo speculation embedded in The New York Times political blog, The Caucus. Michael Shear writes mid-way through yesterday's 2:32 PM post:
Just as the buzz from his latest blockbuster book had started to fade, Bob Woodward, The Washington Post journalist and author, found another way to set off the cable news chatter.

In an almost off-hand comment in an interview on CNN on Tuesday night, Mr. Woodward asserted that the White House was considering swapping Secretary of State Hilary Rodham Clinton and Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. on the 2012 ticket.
Is that what all this is about? Mr. Woodward's desire to sell more books? Bob Woodward does appear to admit this in an e-mail to The Caucus, in which he writes that “the issue [the Clinton-Biden job switcheroo] is outlined in the book [that's his new book, Obama's Wars]. . ..”

That sounds to me  like a book tease. Does it sound like a book tease to you?

If so, I ask you , Mr. Woodward, where's your dignity? Surely we Americans still want our news kept separate from reality TV, where the dramas are admittedly created whole cloth for corporate profits..

Don't we?

So what was Mr. Biden's reaction to all this windy, journalistic speculation that the president might ask him to switch jobs with Mrs. Clinton? According to The Caucus,
An official close to Mr. Biden says the vice president could “care less” about the chatter, and that he chuckled when told of the report.

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