Nearly every day, the media pluck a political storyline from the
campaigns and run with that one basic story over and over again.

Today, it’s the ‘Veepstakes.’ It begins with speculation about Hillary Clinton.

They’re all reporting that both John McCain and Barack Obama are starting to consider their options.

Fox News referred to it ’VP Mania’, to have fun with all the buzz.

Meanwhile, some political reporters are trying to figure out what Clinton is really up to by staying in the race this long.

Which gets back to speculation about the potential for the number two spot on the Democratic ticket.

Because otherwise, she has no exit strategy. Does she?

…how Obama treats Clinton — and vice versa — is likely
to have as much impact on any final settlement between the camps as the
final vote tallies. Jesse Jackson, who knows a thing or two about
waging a long and bitter primary battle — and about reconciling when it
is over — said recently, “The winner really needs the loser.” But then
he added that unless the loser gets over the “pain” of coming in
second, the party is doomed. Nothing is more likely to bring the
loser’s supporters aboard than seeing their candidate throw herself
wholeheartedly behind the winner. On the other hand, when the
post-primary relationship doesn’t gel — Democrats remember how
excruciating it was to see Jimmy Carter practically chasing Ted Kennedy
across the stage to grab his hand at the 1980 convention in New York
City — it can be fatal.

Some version of this story will probably continue to be the story of the day for the next month. At least.

Perhaps the knottiest question in the end will be this:
If the vice presidency is not in Clinton’s future, what role will she
be permitted to play at the convention? She has earned by effort alone
a chance to speak there. Several party officials believe she is likely
to insist that her name be placed in nomination on the first ballot,
opening up all the divisions once again. Whether and how Clinton and
Obama can work their way through the terms of surrender will tell
voters a lot about both of them.

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....