One of Hillary Clinton’s key Iowa backers says the best option for Democrats may be a Clinton/Obama or Obama/Clinton ticket in November. Jerry Crawford, a Des Moines attorney, has been involved the campaigns of the last five Democratic presidential nominees and he’s Midwest cochair of Clinton’s campaign.
“People are going to have to take a deep breath. I promise you that I have many confidants in the Clinton campaign who flat out don’t like Barack Obama. I promise you the reverse is true. My brother happens to be one of the reverse. We’ve got a family feud going on this very subject,” Crawford says. “Having said that, this election is more important than Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton. For the good of the party and the good of the country, they’re going to need to put aside their differences and take a very hard look at running together.”
That should happen, Crawford says, regardless of who wins the nomination. If neither Obama or Clinton secure the nomination isn’t decided before the Democratic Party’s National Convention in Denver in late August, Crawford argues having the two run together as a team will be the only way to resolve the fight.
“If they don’t come together it’s possible that neither of them can get to the magic number in Denver and then it’s conceivable the party could start to talk about looking somewhere else,” Crawford says, “and when you’ve had an African American candidate and a woman candidate compete this well this long to then turn to a white male, I think, would not send the right signal as a party.”
Crawford acknowledges it would be “tough” for either to agree to be the vice presidential running mate of the other. “I think it is reality that the convention could deadlock. Should that happen and the party be forced to turn to a third party I think there are names that are better, frankly, than Al Gore,” Crawford says. “I think John Edwards is a name that’s better than Al Gore. I think Joe Biden is a name that’s better than Al Gore. Why? Because they were in the contests this time. Neither of them have aligned with any one else. I think that currency would well serve the party.”
Crawford made his comments during taping of the Iowa Public Television program, “Iowa Press,” which airs Friday evening. The other guest on the show was former Iowa Republican Party chairman Mike Mahaffey of Montezuma who offered his doubts about the two Democratic candidates agreeing to run together.
“I just have a hard time seeing Senator Clinton take second chair to Senator Obama and vice versa,” Mahaffey said. “These are two very strong individuals.”
Mahaffey also pointed to the “hard feelings” between supporters of the two candidates. “Jerry may be right. It may end up being that but, boy, I’d like to be a mouse in the room when those negotiations take place,” Mahaffey said.