Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Veep picks

Not that anyone asked, but here are my thoughts about Obama's pick for vice president.

I don't think he should pick Hillary Clinton. Yes, he needs to think about unifying the party after a divisive primary season, and yes, that would do it. But that's not the only thing he needs to think about. He needs to think about winning in November, and I'm not convinced the ticket is any more electable with her on it. Yes, she potentially makes Florida and Arkansas more winnable, but she also galvanizes the right in a way that Obama doesn't -- at least not yet.

That said, he should pick someone with close ties to Hillary. Someone whom Hillary and her supporters would deem an ally. In this category I'd put Gov. Ed Rendell (PA) or Gov. Ted Strickland (OH), both governors of key swing states who have been strong backers of Clinton. Such a VP candidate would help bring the party together, make a swing state a bit more winnable, and balance the senator at the top of the ticket with a governor below.

Wes Clark wouldn't be a bad choice, either, as he has close ties with the Clintons, potentially puts Arkansas into play (although I doubt it), and gives some military experience to the ticket, which isn't bad going against McCain.

I've heard Gov. Kathleen Sebelius mentioned a few times. She's not a Clinton supporter, but I imagine a lot of Democrats would be gratified to see a woman on the ticket. She's quite moderate. Does she put Kansas in play? I doubt it.

I was originally excited about the prospect of Sen. Jim Webb (VA) on the ticket, both to shore up military credentials and to help put Virginia in play. But now I'm not so sure. A main concern is that he had some pretty goofy views on women in the armed forces until fairly recently, and he has been terribly dismissive of women complaining of sexual harassment. He may have sincerely changed his views on these issues, but his previous comments would come up frequently in the campaign, and this is not a great way to win over Hillary Clinton's people.

I still like the idea of John Edwards, Bill Richardson, or Bill Ritter in the #2 slot, but I'm not sure these guys serve the goals of party unity and ticket electability the way the others do.

As for McCain? He probably shouldn't take my advice, but I imagine SEC chair Chris Cox would be a very good choice for VP. He had a great reputation in Congress, and he's an authentic conservative who doesn't sound like a loon. I don't trust Romney, and as much as I love Huckabee, he could be a real trainwreck on the ticket.

1 comment:

Ted said...

After watching both McCain’s and Obama’s speeches on TV Tuesday night, McCain no less than NEEDS to run Alaska Gov Sarah Palin as his VP mate.