James Miller, writing in the WaPo, suggests a way for Obama to appease Hillary (ooh, I know Obamites don't like that word "appease") without offering her the VP slot - promise that he will appoint her to the Supreme Court.
Either Mr. Miller or I have lost our marbles - is there any chance in the world that Republicans would ever allow this? C'mon, if Robert Bork wasn't qualified, how could Hillary be?
Mr. Miller says this:
Senate confirmation would be all but certain, even putting aside the gains that Democrats are likely to make in November. Clinton could be confirmed in the current alignment. Democrats would want to support their new president, and those who like Clinton would vote for her. Members of either party who aren't fans might also be happy enough about her leaving the Senate to vote to confirm her.
Dare we even mention the Whitewater/Travel Office debacle? I am a huge fan of "innocent until proven guilty", but that means we don't throw people in jail unless there is clear evidence of their guilt, not that we throw them onto the Supreme Court unless there is clear evidence of their guilt. This is the Times editorial summary of the Ray Report on the Travel office:
The independent counsel Robert Ray has concluded that Hillary Rodham Clinton was ''factually false'' in sworn testimony about her role in the firing of seven members of the White House travel staff in 1993. At the same time he has concluded that he cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt in court that her statements were ''knowingly false,'' and therefore will not pursue criminal charges against her. Judging from the voluminous public record, Mr. Ray's decision to drop the case is legally sound. Judging from the same record, his characterization of Mrs. Clinton's account of her role in the matter also seems on the mark.
...As to Mrs. Clinton's truthfulness, the underlying issue is whether she had any ''input'' or played a ''role'' in the firings, which were themselves legally permissible. On at least two occasions, including sworn testimony to the independent counsel in 1995, she denied playing such a role -- a point made again this week by her lawyers, who said that while Mrs. Clinton had been concerned about financial improprieties in the travel office, she did not ''knowingly'' intend to influence the decision to fire the seven employees. Mr. Ray, although conceding that he could not prove a criminal case against Mrs. Clinton, clearly did not believe this account. He cited conversations and memorandums suggesting that the firings had occurred because White House aides understood that that was the outcome desired by a powerful and persistent first lady.
Or we could re-hash the whole Whitewater debacle (Times summary of final report) with the missing billing records and the phony Castle Grande option deal. Ray did not think he could prove she was lying, but unlike with the missing FBI files, he did not assert her innocence either.
We can't prove she's a crook, so let's make her a judge? I don't think so.
MORE: Jack Balkin questions the political wisdom:
If Obama has something like this on his mind, however, he is unlikely to announce it publicly during the middle of a Presidential campaign. Telling the Republicans that he plans to nominate Hillary Clinton to the Supreme Court would be like waiving a red flag in front of a bull. It would make particularly concrete to the conservative base -- who are otherwise wary about John McCain but who are very concerned about controlling the judiciary-- why they needed to defeat Obama in the fall.