Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Vice Presidency ponderings

Generally, the vice presidency ain't worth a warm bucket of spit until a John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, or Leon Czolgosz comes along. In fairness, Darth Cheney has managed to make the job worth his time by taking the lead on various issues. It almost seems like we now have a co-presidency, which has its own set of good and bad points. I'll save that debate for the What Happened review. Scott McClellan offers some interesting insights into the current powers of the vice presidency.

Regardless, it is time to debate who gets the consolation prize from the primaries. I will allow the GOP to debate their choice because they are going to go with *insert boring white guy's name here*. The pressing matter here is who Senator Obama will pick. Here are my top choices:

New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson. His state has been leaning Democrat and has five electoral votes. More importantly, he would attract the Hispanic vote that generally went to Senator Clinton. He might also bring a bit of rationality to the illegal immigration debate.

Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius. Kansas has six electoral votes that have been same GOP for a long time. However, Kansas did elect a female Democrat as governor. For a bit more about Kansas politics, check out this book. Gov. Sebelius has the potential appeal of a female (who isn't Hillary) on the ticket. Her appeal might also extend into other parts of the Midwest and tip a few other close contests there.

Virgina Senator Jim Webb. A darling of the Democratic party, Webb is a champion of the working class, much like John Edwards. He is a bona fided Vietnam hero with credentials that far exceed those of John Kerry (and he did not testify at the Winter Soldier hearings, for what it's worth). He's also a Southerner, which should help and might even secure 13 electoral votes from Virginia. However, he has some liabilities like a history of insensitive comments on race (and his running mate would be a Black man?); he's a former Republican; and *gasp* he has tattoos. Here's a really good article comparing Webb's pros and cons.

Obama should probably go with a governor or former governor so that he can claim some executive experience in his administration. Legislating is a whole different game than being the chief executive.

One other name I want to throw out there is Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell. Sure, he was a Hillary supporter. Yes, he is prone to the more than occasional gaffe. Here in Pa., we understand that that's just Ed being Ed. The problem is that the rest of the country does not understand that, nor does the rest of the world. I think he would do a fair to good job as VP, but I am in the minority on this one. Additionally, Pennsylvania is probably going to vote Democratic anyway (if for no other reason than Gov. Ed wants us to do so {LOL}).

In any case I have every confidence that the Obama camp will do this right and get a good candidate.

And speaking of doing things right, Obama picked three people to head up his VP search committee. One member has resigned over the merest indication of impropriety and does not want to be a distraction to the campaign. Cheney, on the other hand, was the chairman of Our Fearless Leader's VP search committee. Guess who they picked. (see paragraph six.)


1 comment:

American Girl said...

I believe it was Christopher Buckley who wrote a piece for the New Yorker about Cheney's VP search efforts. It was for the humor column Shouts & Murmurs and was very funny.

Gotta tell you, I think Obama's VP shouldn't be a white guy. Something about it smacks of dumbass DNC strategizing.

Okay, the only guy I think is worthy of it is Bill Richardson. Otherwise, I still lean towards Hillary. She is a powerful campaigner. I think the Governor of Kansas should stay put. Kansas needs her guidance.

You're right it does speak volumes about Obama's team that even the whiff of impropriety on the part of a campaign staffer is grounds for dismissal.