05/08/2008 11:41 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Hillary Clinton and the Veepstakes -- a Logical Move for Her

With the last chances of winning the Democratic nomination slipping away, the question increasingly arises whether Hillary Clinton should hope for the number two spot.

The answer is a clear yes.

I am a big fan of Josh Marshall and Talking Points Memo and often agree with him, but I disagree with his conclusion that there's nothing in the two spot for her. He makes good points about her stature, but getting the number two nod helps by denying a stature-boost to someone else.

Look at things from the Clinton point of view -- she presumably would like to run for president again, and wants to best position herself for a 2012 or 2016 run.

Say that Obama-Clinton wins, meaning her next opportunity comes in eight years. As vice president she is the near-certain heir apparent and front-runner for the Dem nod in eight years. See: Gore, Al; Bush, George H. W.; Mondale, Walter; Humphrey; Hubert; Nixon, Richard. Sen. Hillary Clinton or Gov. Hillary Clinton would likely still have the stature to challenge a sitting VP, but if she were the vice, the field of Dems on her par would be narrowed.

Say that Obama-Clinton loses, meaning she runs in 2012. She is the presumptive front-runner anyway ("I warned Democrats what would happen and did everything in my power in the primary and general elections to prevent it ..."), but again -- whoever does run with Obama gets a stature-boost. Better for her to be on the ticket and deny a possible rival the spotlight boost.

To be clear: I'm not saying that Obama should select her (I actually have my doubts on that) or that such crass political calculations should be the main basis upon which to seek or accept the VP slot (they shouldn't); or even that the VP slot is inherently worthwhile (in point of fact it should be abolished). But ... crass political considerations remain unavoidable, and there they are.