I know that the idea of an Obama-Clinton ticket isn't very popular around these parts. However, for the moment, try to set your dislike of that ticket aside, and consider this map:
Obama and / or Clinton 300, McCain 152, Toss-up 86
(Dark Blue means "Solid Obama / Clinton," or Obama / Clinton +10% or more
Light Blue means "Lean Obama / Clinton," or Obama / Clinton +4.1%-+9.9%
White means "Toss-up," from between Obama / Clinton +4.0% to McCain +4.0%
Light Red means "Lean McCain" or McCain +4.1%-+9.9%
Dark Red means "Solid McCain," or McCain +10.0% or more
NE-01 and NE-02 are toss-ups, while NE-03 is solid McCain)
That's a pretty sweet map. It combines the Clinton and Obama maps against McCain, taking the best Democratic performance for each state. The result is a blowout, where Democrats hold a statistically significant lead in states with 300 electoral votes, and McCain's "solid" states drop to under 100 electoral votes. If Democrats were to gain only five more points on this map, an entirely doable proposition given the overwhelming Democratic advantage among fundraising and volunteers, and this is a realignment map. At that point, Democrats would win over 400 electoral votes, something we have not accomplished since 1964.
I don't know if having Clinton and Obama on the same ticket would mean that the ticket would produce the above map. However, I do know that we are not going to achieve a realignment unless we win all of the states where one candidate or the other is strong. We need Obama's strength in Alaska, Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon and Washington. We also need Clinton's strength in Arkansas, Florida, Missouri, Ohio and West Virginia. If we are going to truly realign the country, we need to win all of those states, plus a few others like Texas, North Carolina, Virginia and Indiana, four seemingly red states where both candidates are performing reasonably well.
In other words, we need to combine the Clinton coalition with the Obama coalitions, rather than arguing over whose coalition is superior. The nomination campaign is over anyway, so that argument is moot and academic. And, correct me if I am wrong, but isn't the most obvious way to combine the Clinton and Obama coalitions to put them both on the ticket? It isn't a perfect method, and it won't work out like the above map, but it is probably the best method available. And really, when one looks over the conservative crop of names that are being floated for VP, like Strickland, Webb, and Bayh, isn't Clinton actually preferable to all of them, too? Not to mention that we are going to have to heal the party, and giving Clinton the VP slot is probably the fastest way to do so.
I've been an advocate of a "reinforcing" VP pick for a while now. I even arrived at Sebelius by process of elimination, using my basic logic. However, as time goes on, I have to wonder if political concerns, not to mention the general weakness of other available options, actually makes Clinton the best choice for VP. It isn't ideal, but it could be the best of imperfect options. And that is a pretty sweet map.