Back in the 1990s, if you had predicted that journalists would suggest using Hillary Clinton as an emissary to Reagan Democrats, people would have laughed in your face. And yet here's Tom Brokaw interviewing Joe Biden on Meet the Press yesterday:
Will you send Hillary Clinton into those working class states that she won and where there are a lot of independents or the so-called Reagan Democrats who have not made up their minds, states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Indiana, will she be a big player for this campaign for your candidacy in those states?
Brokaw doesn't seem to grasp what should be an obvious point: the fact that Hillary Clinton got more votes from working class Democrats than Barack Obama doesn't mean she is some sort of incredible surrogate. She was the wife of the former president running against a "wine track" black candidate with an upscale liberal base. It would have been shocking if working class Democrats didn't back her. And on the margin, her campaigning might help keep Obama's numbers up with that demographic group. But the question isn't the Democrats who vote in party primaries -- it's the disaffected ex-Democrats and independents who aren't sure who to support, and I'm pretty sure that Obama can find someone who is more appealing to that group than a culturally polarizing figure with unfavorable ratings in the mid-40s.