Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Obama/??? '08

I was talking to the Hippie Conservative not too long ago where we were discussing potential VEEP candidates for Sen. Obama. I tend to avoid posts that include predictions and suggestions (especially in the likelihood that I'm wrong), but in the off-off-off-off-off chance that Sen. Obama finds my blog (everybody laugh with me now), I put together a list of my choices for VP. *Note: although a previous post suggested that Obama needs Hillary to win (and I still believe that -- to an extent), I would absolutely LOATH an Obama/Clinton ticket. I'm praying that it won't happen.

  • John Edwards: You already know how I feel about Edwards and how he and Obama would make the real Dream Team. Edwards -- being a southerner -- would be a breath of fresh air for a Democratic nominee trying to gain footing in the deep south. The GOP will be a lock in many of those middlebelt states, but I think that Edwards' southern roots can make Obama a little more appealing to those ostensibly unchanging white, lower to middle class southerners come November. Politically, he and Obama are as similar as two people can get without being carbon copies of each other; particularly relating to energy policy, grassroots organizing, and the ecomony. Edwards' initial support of the war in Afghanistan could be a hinderance, but I doubt it. I mean, even I was supportive of actually going after the real bad guys (as opposed to the ones we made up in Iraq). These similarities could be helpful as Obama plans to launch a campaign focusing on his message of "change" over the next few months. While most of the other potential candidates were unmistakably Washington insiders (none more than John McSame and Hill Spawn), Edwards bring a fresh, youthful (50 something is a newborn compared to McCain. Just keepin' it real), and innovative ideology that has been missing in the billions of years of old, white men running the White House.
  • Kathleen Sebelius: What better way to kill all of the nonsensical cries of sexism from Hill Spawn than by selecting Gov. Sebelius as a VP? As a commenter of my blog mentioned: if these so-called feminists are so committed to breaking the glass ceiling, should it matter that the pioneer is not Clinton? VP Sebelius would be the ultimate litmus test to Hill's claims that it's time for a woman (not named Clinton) to make her mark. Issues of gender aside, Sebelius still makes a great choice politically. What I particularly love about her is that she truly shares in Obama's vision of 'reaching across the aisle' to make things move for the country. Rather than focusing on partisan bickering and muscling the opposition, Sebelius has used her civility and class to extend to her opponents without relinquishing her progressive idealogy. To have a so-called "Red State" govenor on the Democratic ticket (even when she's not Republican herself) could be seen as the ultimate in unification. Now, I'll admit: when it comes to issues of national security, neither she or Obama have any real experience to speak of. But what they both do possess is the competence and willingness to put together a solid team of advisors (I suspect from both parties) who can be fruitful in establishing sound policy. I'm definitely riding the Sebelius bandwagon.
  • Bill Richardson: Hippie seems to think that he is the most suitable candidate, but the highest he can get on my list is third. I'm a little torn on Gov. Richardson. But it's not because I dislike him. It's just that (1) I think he is an antithesis of the "change" mantra and (2) it's possible (not likely, but possible) that the role of Hispanics will be overestimated in November. In the event, however, that their role will be as significant as it was during the primaries, Gov. Richardson would be a most suitable candidate. Additionally, Richardson brings tons of experience on foreign policy (where diplomacy is needed now more than ever), responsible spending, energy conservation, and strategic planning (all pets he gained during his tenure with the Clintons).
Those are my top three picks. But others could include:

Gov. Ted Strickland: I hate to admit this one, because I have my bones to pick with white evangelical types in high political positions. But being a more moderate Democrat, he could provide the balance necessary to win over key states like Ohio and Florida.

Representative Jim Marshall: Also a well-known war vet, another moderate Democrat, and another Democrat in a Republican populated area, Rep. Marshall could be equally successful (I think) in captivating more of the white southern vote critical to Obama's campaign. Just as Gen Clark, Rep. Marshall can use his service as a counter to McCain's military experience pitch. Outside of that card, McCain doesn't have much else to play.

Former Representative Cynthia McKinney: It's both a good and bad thing that she's rolling with the Green Party. Good, because it's long time that we kill this two-party nonsense. Not so good because she's running during a time where a Democrat could actually be the changemaker we've been seeking. On top of that, she is set to pull another Ralph Nader with Hill Spawn's supporters. All of this is unfortunate because she would make a terrific VEEP to compliment Sen. Obama. Plus, I have to admit: it would be cool to see black faces in the two highest positions of the Executive Branch. I'm just sayin'...

General Welsey Clark: While I agree with some of the critics who cite Gen. Clark's blunders with NATO, Gen. Clark can offset McCain's trump card; his military experience. Again, as our foreign relations' image is the worst it's been since Somalia, Clark's overall experience could be a good thing. But I'm not holding my breath for him.

John Kerry: Uh...scratch that.

Please don't be suprised that Hill Spawn is not on this list...

As I've said before, Obama is not in an enviable position. Selecting the right VP will be critical if he is to repair some of the damage made by Hill Spawn's relentless and viciously attacking campaign. I'm praying that he makes the right choice.

- ACL

3 "Insiders" spoke their mind. Join in...:

The H.C. said...

Hey Dre,
O.K. I'll go through them one by one.
John Edwards-Unfortunately John can't even promise his home state of North Carolina to Obama. Add to that the fact that he was on a losing ticket and doesn't even come close to moderating Obama's ticket and the Ex-Senator is out of the running.
Kathleen Sebelius-I think Kathleen would be a fairly good choice and has a moderate chance of getting the nod.I worry that she shares too many of Barack's opinions and does nothing to satisfy the groups outside of women. She gets low ratings from Gun owners and social conservative Dems. Kansas is also a state that isn't even in play. It's clearly a Republican state and will stay that way whether or not Kathleen is on the ticket. I won't write her off though. 30% probability.
Bill Richardson-Easily the best choice in my opinion. Karl Rove understood the value of the movable Hispanic vote and I believe it's one of the big reasons G.W. managed to pull off a series of wins. Add to that an "A" rating from the NRA, that he was a popular Clinton appointee, was a U.N representative, brings in massive foreign policy experience and could help win his home state of New Mexico, plus Colorado, and dare I say it, even possibly Texas, and you have a winning ticket. The only problem? Pick him too early and then McCain picks someone like Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin in response and you could lose those pissed-off Clinton women. If I had to make a prediction, it would be Bill Richardson.
Ted Strickland- Also not a bad choice. Ted is very popular and could bring in Ohio, moderates and the white male vote that Barack has been lacking. I hate to play the electoral game, but Ohio is important and could be a make or break state in the electoral count. Ted's chances are fairly good.
Jim Marshall- Another good choice for all the same reasons as Ted with the advantage of being from the south. Your right about his military experience, it could come in handy.
Rep. Cynthia McKinney- You can't be serious. Isn't this the women who created a big scene at Congress where she struck a guard? Popular among blacks? Maybe. In the running? Not even close. The last thing Barack needs is someone prone to saying and doing things that reaffirms white fears. I'm sorry my friend, but you fell off the deep end on that one.
General Wesley Clark- Too partisan and too prone to saying things for effect. Respected by the left wing, but not by virtually anyone else.

Just to continue the game, let's throw a couple more in the running.

Evan Bayh- The Indiana Senator is an ex-Clinton supporter and a good looking guy. I know I'm being superficial, but looks help. He also gets good reviews from moderates and brings in an important electoral state.
Janet Napolitano-The Governor of Arizona brings in the female vote. On the up side, she has Republican ties and could cripple McCain in his own state. She also has an excellent record and is well liked. As a bonus, she could make Barack look like the "good guy" who's nice to the ugliest girl in the room.
Jennifer Granholm- Just Kidding. I wouldn't pick her if she was the only one in the running.

One last point on the V.P.slot.

After Hill announced she was "open" to the idea of V.P., I panicked and said that my gut told me it would be Obama/Clinton (I still worry about her Superdelegate supporters forcing the ticket) However, after a further "gut-check" and reviewing the thoughts of several pundits, I no longer believe Hillary will be on the ticket (thankfully). I'm sorry if I scared anyone, sometimes your first instinct is not your best.

KC said...

Dre,

I thought this was a well put together list. But I have to share in the h.c.'s question: You're not serious about Cynthia McKinney are you? I mean, I like Cynthia as much as anybody, but you really didn't have HER in mind to break that glass ceiling, did you?

Andre said...

OK, OK. I was only half serious about McKinney. Sheesh. But, HC: Granholm would at least be a good choice if one needed eye candy in the Oval Office. Just don't put her anywhere in same vicinity as Big Willie Clinton. :)

FYI, I thought you'd find it funny that my comment was deleted on that Clinton site...