Conservatives Dominate Veep Speculation

by: Chris Bowers

Fri May 23, 2008 at 15:17

One of the ultimate engines of conventional wisdom, the Washington Post, weighs on the vice-presidential front-runners:

Among others, Obama is expected to look at seasoned Democratic statesmen such as Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (Del.) and former senator Sam Nunn (Ga.). Biden, who has twice sought the presidency, including a 2008 bid, comes from a working-class Irish Catholic background -- a demographic Obama has struggled with in the primaries. Sen. James Webb (Va.) is another potential prospect, a decorated Marine and former Republican with strong working-class support in his GOP-leaning state.

Some Obama insiders think he will consider a number of female candidates, including Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano and Sen. Claire McCaskill (Mo.). All three endorsed Obama early in his campaign.

In the interest of party unity, Obama could turn to a Clinton supporter from a swing state, such as Sen. Evan Bayh (Ind.), Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell or Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland. Republicans who could land on his radar screen include Sen. Chuck Hagel (Neb.) and New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, now a political independent.

This is a very conservative list. In fact, it is so conservative, that it makes Biden and Sebelius look like hard-left, flaming liberals. Webb and McCaskill both rank below all of the Senate Presidential contenders on Progressive Punch and National Journal. Ed Rendell was the founding member of the "frainthearted faction" on Social Security (among many other things). Ted Strickland is anti-choice, and generally socially conservative, which is a really, really bad way to unite the party after a woman was defeated in the primary (Webb is just as bad on this front).  Hagel and Bloomberg aren't even Democrats. Napolitano doesn't think troop withdrawal from Iraq is a good idea, and will come at McCain from the right on immigration. Evan Bayh has long been one of the most conservative Democrats in the Senate, ranking 49th for 2007-2008 on Progressive Punch, ahead of only Ben Nelson.

Progressives are completely shut out of prominent veep discussions. This is connected to several longstanding problems, from the lack of progressive voices in the national media, to progressives being taken for granted as voters, to progressivism never being seen as the future of the Democratic Party. The options are so conservative, that only Sebelius would arguably be to the left of Hillary Clinton. This is basically why I have arrived at Sebelius by process of elimination: she is the only frequently floated name who wouldn't suck as the future face of the party.

It is also slowly pushing me into Paul's camp, favoring John Edwards. While it would be weird to have the same Veep for two different nominees, while Edwards was of questionable value to Kerry in 2004, and while Edwards has sworn off being Veep again, he does run as a progressive, and polls by far the best of any other VP option. That would make him a decidedly non-sucky choice, which is something that is hard to say about most of the other names that are being floated in national discussions on this matter.

Chris Bowers :: Conservatives Dominate Veep Speculation

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Polls... (4.00 / 1)
Doesn't his name recognition among voters kind of skew what we can learn from those surveyusa polls??

I love John Edwards, but I don't think he's the best choice for VP this time around.

John McCain believes "Women shouldn't have a choice."

Check the polls. He's the most electable at this point. (4.00 / 1)
I know polls can change, but it would give us a running start.

He's also one of the most progressive. Yeah, we could pick Feingold or even Berny Sanders. But why not pick someone who could shut the media up about those "white working class voters" and actually seems to poll extremely well with that demographic?

You can't find a better pick than Edwards. ... if he wants it.

[ Parent ]
VPs never seem to matter as much as voters tell pollsters they do. (4.00 / 2)
Edwards clearly didn't play a major role in the general in 2004, and he of course didn't deliver North Carolina --- which isn't to knock Edwards, but just to say that way too much is expected of VP candidates.

One Million Strong --- Join up!

[ Parent ]
Edwards did boost Kerry in NC. Only southern state where he improved on Gore. (4.00 / 4)
The difference:

Kerry ran a swing state strategy and NC was completely ignored: didn't spend a red cent there.

Obama will run a 50 state strategy and is within striking distance in NC.

Edwards can be a difference maker here. And even if not within his region, then within the demographics he represents around the country: rural voters, white working class voters, union voters...

[ Parent ]
NC might not be where he helps (0.00 / 0)
I'm not sure if he could pull in NC (although it would be fantastic). But I think where he would be of TREMENDOUS help is in OH, PA, MI, WI, and MO. Those are states with still a lot of white union members or white working class folks where I think Edwards could serve as a "vouch" for Obama for voters who would be open to him, but are a little wary.

In Ohio, this would be key because with him, Sherrod, and Strickland triple-teaming to help Obama, I think it'd be more than enough to put him over the top. And win Ohio and you win the presidency.  

[ Parent ]
Can't put Sanders on the ticket... (0.00 / 0)
I'm sorry, but you just can't put a self-described socialist on the ticket.  While it'd be fun to see conservatives heads explode, I think that'd be extremely damaging.

Edwards and Feingold are definitely at the top of my list.  I will say, at this point, however, that I just hope he can avoid putting Hillary on the ticket... For some reason the media loves it, and Clinton supporters seem to be advocating it even more, which makes it sound like she's really pushing for it.  I suppose this will be Obama's final test as a candidate: whether he's made to look weak by giving the VP slot to someone he clearly doesn't want to give it to, or if he's somehow able to avoid it without ripping apart the party.

[ Parent ]
Yep, I agree. I think Edwards is the best of both worlds for that reason. (0.00 / 0)
Not only progressive, but a great advocate for progressive positions. he makes progressivism sound "American", like it's non-partisan and just "the right thing to do".

And yet, he's extremely electable.

I'd love Feingold. I think Obama could win with Feingold. But for the people who are worried about white working class voters, union voters, unifying the party, and so on... Edwards has his benefits.

Push comes to shove, I'm anybody but Hillary.

[ Parent ]
Al Gore! (4.00 / 3)
Really.  He's the only one who clearly outranks Hillary in gravitas and in experience.  He is the one with the most if Bill and Hillary's friends are going to make heavy-handed attempts to strongarm her onto the ticket.  He would have the chance to galvanize the US and world on global warming before it is (probably) too late, which is why I think he would take it.  He was right on the war and right on the importance of global warming, the two most important issues by far of this generation.  Who better?

John McCain--He's not who you think he is.

[ Parent ]
personal preference aside, you really can't argue with that! (0.00 / 0)

[ Parent ]
Everyone Chris named is to the right of Hillary Clinton..Sibelius as well (0.00 / 0)
I have met and spoken to her at small events....she's a moderate, not a don't get elected in Kansas being a liberal.

Gore will refuse to be's as likely as the earth falling onto the sun.

Edwards has said he doesn't want it.   not quite as unlikly as Gore but I think not.

So except for personal animus....why is so hard to see that not only does Hillary unite the Democratic party...which is a move that is needed just to keep from losing as much as one desired to win big....that Hillary is far more progressive on every measure than anyone else being considered.  Chris noted that in his post on the combination map.

Nothing like letting your own biases skew the best outcome.  There is no good reason not to choose her....Obama and his supporters have to let go of their own dislikes ...if they want to get to the White House in January.

I will be frank...putting a anti choice, extreme right wing Republican like Hagel (who is only good on Iraq)  is such a non starter that I don't think any prochoice woman should vote for that ticket. No antichoice Democrat should be on the VP list...not a one....If Obama did that it would show such bad judgement that I would hope everyone would reconsider their support for him.

"Incrementalism isn't a different path to the same place, it could be a different path to a different place"

[ Parent ]
Dodd (4.00 / 2)
Politico seems to think Dodd is getting pushed forward as a candidate. Certainly someone I could get behind.

Nope (0.00 / 0)
I seriously doubt Obama would pick someone who voted for the war. His running mate has to have the same solid judgment that Obama has made the central theme of his campaign.  

[ Parent ]
Rules out Edwards, too. (4.00 / 3)
I don't really disagree, but it's hard not be a little in love (OK, like) w. Dodd after the FISA heroics.

[ Parent ]
Agreed. Also, though I don't think this is gonna (4.00 / 5)
happen, choosing someone like Edwards who voted for the war, then realized what a mistake it was, might actually be wise. Many, many Americans were for the war then realized they were wrong; why not 'embody' them in a VP choice, someone who can articulate that mistake and lesson, and to whom Obama can symbolically say something other than 'I told you so.'

Also, someone in that position can boost Obama. "I voted to give this president authorization to invade Iraq. That's one of my greatest regrets, and I hope I learned the lesson. But Barack Obama didn't make that mistake. He had the judgment at the time to make the right call."

[ Parent ]
Better someone who smartened up on the war than someone who STILL hasn't smartened up on FISA. (4.00 / 2)
Dodd and Edwards would be great picks. Hagel and Webb don't get to be put on a platform for being smart on Iraq, since they haven't really done much to get us out either.

[ Parent ]
This Is Versailles-Shallow Punditry (4.00 / 5)
Judgement is not simply not making mistakes.  Judgement is also learning from them.

The majority of people who were convinced by the Bush disinformation campaign may be more effectively reached by a duo that includes a junior partner who was mislead, just as they were, along with the senior partner, who was not.

If we want to have a more nuanced, more thoughtful foreign policy that can handle a more complex world, then we need to be willing to campaign in a way that's consistent with that.

One can draw clear distinctions for the future that are actually stronger because they encompass shades of gray from the past.

Bottom line:  What matters for the VP is a totallity of considerations, and someone with compelling strong points should not be vetoed on this kind of basis.  A balancing test is called for instead.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
You are right (4.00 / 2)
"Judgement is not simply not making mistakes.  Judgement is also learning from them. "

But, as far as I can tell, the lesson that Edwards learned from his vote in favor of the AUMF was that George W. Bush and his Administration were not above trying to use cherry-picked intelligence to fool people like John Edwards.  That may be a useful lesson, but I would contend that the more fundamental lesson from the run-up to the invasion of Iraq (not to mention previous scandals such as the Iran/Contra scam) is that the US Congress has to re-establish its place as an effective check to the war-making powers of the unitary executive.  I still contend that had the US Congress not abicated its constitutional duty to declare war after a public debate on the issue - very few of these folks would have been "duped" by the Neo-Con Junta.

Their mistake was not being fooled.  Their mistake was ALLOWING themselves to be fooled.

"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."

[ Parent ]
"As far as I can tell" (4.00 / 3)
somes up much of the analysis of Edwards actual statements on the subject. Not many of you bothered to tell much more than what you decided versus what he actually has said. Which is easy enough to google. As has been said- a vast majority of Americans believed Bush. Do you also want to exclude them?

[ Parent ]
I listened to him and googled him (4.00 / 2)
but that's what I glean from his apologies and comments.

I admit, he's done more than most and I give him credit for that - but that does not change the fact that the US Congress simply did not do their job on the AUMF issue.  

"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."

[ Parent ]
That's not the benchmark (0.00 / 0)
for whether people correct their errors. It becomes a non win type of positon "well since you made the first mistake, I don't see what else you did since then."

[ Parent ]
You miss two points (0.00 / 0)
1) I gave Edwards credit for his honesty and apology - he's well beyond others.

2) I'll choose my own benchmarks, thank you very much

"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."

[ Parent ]
Uhm- if were were in the republic of Spitball (0.00 / 0)
your personal benchmark might matter. but since it's not- you need to provide more than what you gave us. essentially a selective (a charitable description) analysis of what has happened. At any rate, your last comment sort of proves my point.You are making shit up and I am not interested in what "spitball wants to make up in a vacuum" without regard to what was actually said or done by most Americans- not just Edwards. so, this will be my last post i n this thread on the subject with you.  I am more interested in people with reasonable rather than solely self based analysis.  

[ Parent ]
I cast my vote, so my benchmark is applicable (0.00 / 0)
to that personal decision.  

Please show me what "shit I'm making up" - Did Edwards NOT apologize for supporting the AUMF on the basis that he was wrong for trusting Bush not to use it to launch an invasion?

If I have missed his, or any other major candidate for Pres. or VP statement that the US congress failed to fulfill their constitutional duty with regard to declaring war after a substantive public (even closed door) debate on the issue - please show me where such was stated.  

I'm in the position of trying to prove a negative, which is notoriously difficult.  So if you can prove your positive statements that either, 1) I am nor entitled to make my own decisions, or 2) that Edwards has apologized for his part in allowing the US Congress to avoid their duty with regard to declaring war (which I equate with "allowing Bush to fool them into believing that such was not necessary"), please provide the evidence.  

"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."

[ Parent ]
I don't think enough people care (0.00 / 0)
I seriously doubt people are going to hold it against Obama or his VP that he had the judgment and foresight to be against the war from the start, instead of being fooled by Bush and then correcting himself later.

The fact that Obama was against the war from the start is a character issue, not a policy issue. Compared to McCain, Obama and Edwards have the same position on Iraq today. But one of them shows better leadership qualities by being right from the start.

[ Parent ]
And Obama's message is even bigger (4.00 / 1)
He's not only against the war, but he's against the foreign policy outlook that even hinted that this war was a good idea.  During a time when the war is more unpopular than ever, I don't think it's wise for Obama too pick someone who co-sponsored the war authorization, ran a primary and a general election campaign by dancing around and defending his vote, than all of a sudden saw the light and rejected his past self.

I like Edwards, but I think we'd be much better off choosing someone who was right the first time (Brown, Webb, Sebelius, Feingold, et al).

Besides, how good a choice can Edwards be if he's a three-time loser in Presidential politics? Al Gore he ain't.  

[ Parent ]
This Hardly Strikes Me As A Fair Assessment of Edwards' Position (4.00 / 1)
But, as far as I can tell, the lesson that Edwards learned from his vote in favor of the AUMF was that George W. Bush and his Administration were not above trying to use cherry-picked intelligence to fool people like John Edwards.

It would be pretty good snark, tho.  If only it were accurate.  And about half as long.

The rules of snark:

    (1) Short
    (2) Sharp
    (3) True

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
tell me almighty oracle (0.00 / 0)
what else he has learned?

"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."

[ Parent ]
Possible (4.00 / 2)
It's possible, but honestly I'd love to see Dodd as the next Senate Majority Leader.  I'm sure he'd be an excellent VP, but he could be much more useful pushing a solid agenda through the Senate.  And if his first act as Majority Leader were to strip Lieberman of all his committees, I'd name my first-born after him.

Not sure about name recognition, but as other people have mentioned, Brian Schweitzer strikes me as having a lot of potential.

[ Parent ]
Why pay attention to stories about people under consideration? (4.00 / 2)
These stories, about people under consideration, seem really worthless to me.

For one thing, there is huge incentive for the parties to control the process, so as to avoid the selection process from becoming overly public.  Second, I think that often names are leaked solely to placate groups and as a form of disinformation.

Having said that, I'll stick with my own personal favorite: Sherrod Brown.

Because (4.00 / 1)
Otherwise, we have to talk about

1) Delegates
2) Michigan/Florida
3) Hillary Clinton

It's something new to talk about.  Well, maybe not new, but less played out.

Things You Don't Talk About in Polite Company: Religion, Politics, the Occasional Intersection of Both

[ Parent ]
Sherrod Brown (0.00 / 0)
He's my favorite too. But like Edwards, he says he's not interested and wants to spend the rest of his career representing Ohio in the senate.

Who knows though what would happen if any of them were actually asked.  

[ Parent ]
Electability X Progressiveness = Edwards for VP (4.00 / 2)
Any more progressive than him and you get into risky poll numbers.

Any more conventional wisdom about Obama's electability and you end up with Biden or Webb who have their "centrist" streaks.

Not to mention that it concedes to the media that Obama is inexperienced and not fit to be commander in chief. If he's experienced enough and ready to lead our military, then he shouldn't back down.

Close to Edwards on that equation is Richardson. He's got some pull in his region and ethnicity, and he's good on a lot of progressive policy issues. Just that he constantly flubs on the microphone.

Senator Brown (4.00 / 7)
I think we should unite around Sherrod Brown and make as much noise as we can to get him on the ticket. I think he would be the most acceptable progressive for the media as he's a fresh face in the Senate, likable, and from (in media terms) THE swing state. He's a netroots favorite and unquestionable more progressive than 90% of that list.

If we want to have an impact on the VP selection process, we have to be united behind one candidate. Right now Webb, Richardson, Edwards, Brown, Sebelius, and Clinton are all vying for attention on the progressive blogs.

Honestly, no one cares about VP selection as much as they did the primary battle. I think we should focus more on the VP selection instead of general election polls or the latest Clinton screw-up. We're not going to get an acceptable VP if Obama's short list is filled with Bayhs and Bidens.  

I could get behind Brown. Electable and progressive. (4.00 / 1)
Let's stop giving mention to names like Webb.

[ Parent ]
I thought he said firmly "not interested" (0.00 / 0)
I saw a post on openleft about that.  Otherwise he's my first choice.  I like Edwards a lot but I really had a problem with him sitting on his hands for so long when he could have helped finish Clinton off a long time ago.

[ Parent ]
I'm of the school of thought... (4.00 / 1)
That nobody turns down the VP offer. At most they'll ask the candidate, "Are you sure about this?" before accepting. Heck, I'm fairly confident that even Gore would accept if asked.

[ Parent ]
Get your own damn camp, Chris. (0.00 / 0)
I'm in Paul's camp, favoring Feingold.

Seriously, though, I don't think the chatter matters. Somewhat to my regret, Obama doesn't seem to respond to that sorta thing. (And I think Edwards is unlikely ... but on the other hand, why not? A few jokes about being the bridesmaid twice, and the second-time-around thing is old news.)

I DO Favor Feingold (4.00 / 1)
But if one wants to make "reaching out" electability arguments, then Edwards is the leading candidate on that front.

It's worth noting, however, that Obama has yet to sew up Wisconsin, which is part of a troubling weakness in his own backyard that's the only real problem he has with the national map.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
It's already May 23 and he hasn't sewn up Wisconsin yet! (4.00 / 1)
Run fetch me the smelling salts, Pa, I feel a bit faint!

There is absolutely no need to choose the VP based in any part on the need to sew up Wisconsin.

[ Parent ]
Look How Strong Obama Is Elsewhere (0.00 / 0)
The failure to sew up Wisconsin does stick out as a sore thumb, particularly given Obama's solid win in the primary.

I'm not saying this is a compelling reason to put Feingold on the ticket.  Indeed, I question the whole logic of looking to a VP to guarantee a state.  I'm just saying that if one follows that logic--which is being used to push a number of candidates--then Feingold has that going for him, too, and should not be disregarded on that basis.

So, thanks for making me explain in more detail.  I'm sure that others were unclear as well about the point I wanted to make.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
Of course Conservatives dominate. . . (0.00 / 0)
Obama is viewed as by the media elites as a progressive and there's a natural desire to balance the ticket by the party elites.

As far as Edwards goes, I don't want him as the VP nominee again.  He wasn't a good VP candidate last time, and he won't be one now.  

Blaming Edwards Is Missing The Target (4.00 / 2)
I think it's arguable that the #1 reason Edwards doesn't want the VP slot this time is his frustration with his role last time out.  He was used the way that Kerry determined, and his effectiveness cannot be judged independently of those decisions.

The one thing we know with absolute certainty is the Edwards vehemently opposed the decision to abandon the Ohio voters before all their votes were counted.  The rest is murkier, but seems to be consistent.  (See, also, the degree to which Edwards was missing from national news coverage.)

The simple fact is that this campaign is going to be nothing like the 2004 campaign, so one can only draw comparisons that take into account that difference.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
And (0.00 / 0)
Edwards has shrugged off any notion of DLC sensibilities this time around.  

[ Parent ]
So candidates remain static? (4.00 / 1)
You also don't explain why he won't be one now. Would be nice to see the reasoning.

[ Parent ]
Conservative list (4.00 / 6)
I think the reason the list is so conservative is because the Washington Post decided to construct a conservative list. I don't think we should pay it any more attention than all the other crap put out by the MSM. My first choice is Sebelius and my second is Edwards, neither of whom is conservative, and I would bet that when Obama puts together his list of those seriously under consideration it will have a good number of progressives.  

How about (4.00 / 3)
choosing Elizabeth edwards? I heard no one suggest her...

I Would Love It (4.00 / 2)
But it's a total nonstarter.  First, she's never been elected to any office.  More importantly, she has incurable breast cancer.  She doesn't have a death sentence, by any means, but it would be a huge issue.

Given all that, I would be in love with an Obama-Elizabeth Edwards ticket.  That would be amazing.  Even better would be the opposite, with Edwards at the top of the ticket.

[ Parent ]
Bloomberg (0.00 / 0)
I think part of why Obama might pick him is to deny McCain from doing the same.  Bloomberg is pretty dangerous combined with McCain, given the fact that the McCain group would likely plant him in Florida and have him spend $50 million to lock it up.  It will be tough to win the white house if that happens.  Also, as the american economy crumbles, having an economic technocrat on the ticket that you can sell as your "economic czar" would be a huge boon to mccain.  Not to mention the media swanning over a McCain/Bloomberg post-partisan dream ticket of foreign policy and domestic experience.  

For me to be ok with bloomberg as VP he would have to repent for all his sins as a republican these past 8 years, ala Ariana Huffington when she converted from an economic royalist republican to a dem.  

Bloomberg and Florida (4.00 / 1)
We don't need Florida.

[ Parent ]
Bloomberg Is ALMOST As Big A Joke As Guiliani (0.00 / 0)
The pair of them could easily lose 40 states.  Let them spend $50 million winning Flordia.  That'll guarantee that they lose Virginia and North Carolina, plus a whole lot more we aren't even talking about yes.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
Bloomberg is simply not ready for prime time (4.00 / 1)
And he probably never will be.

He's not particularly eloquent nor charismatic and he's a snooze as a campaigner. His skills as a politician make Lee Iacocca look like Bill Clinton in '92.

Add to that the fact that he's a bit of a megalomaniac prick and I'd say he's a non-starter.

Not just because he's not progressive enough for my liking (which he's not) but because he thinks with his ego and when the bright lights of a national campaign shine in his yes he's likely to say or do something stupid and could sink any candidate he's associated with.

If Bloomberg could have drummed up any support to run for President this year, believe me, he would've. But the fact is he has next to zero appeal outside two or three of the five boroughs, and among a few Think Tank types inside the Beltway. He also is Pro choice, and pro Same Sex marriage which would send the Wingnuts (who are already pissed at Mccain) into a frothing freak-out and possible boycott of the election altogether.

In short, if McCain tabs a self-centered Manhattan billionaire for the ticket that would be great news for Obama. That locks down Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, plus the western swing states like Colorado, New Mexico, and Nevada. It helps in Ohio and Virginia and maybe even puts the Carolinas into play.

One of the few places Bloomberg would help McCain is Florida, but the Republicans will probably win there anyway...

[ Parent ]
I'm Not Sure He Warrants That Much Thought (0.00 / 0)
But you nailed it perfectly.

And perfection is it's own justification.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
I'm Starting to Lean Towards a Reinforcing Pick (0.00 / 0)
Whatever that means.  So, the best candidates are those that reinforce a message of change and good judgment.  The worst are those that open him up to charges that he is playing the usual politics of pandering to a particular segment of society.  I'm not sure who it would be, but I would like his choice to be someone who can be spun as a bold pick who demonstrates that Obama is not a risk-averse politician.

Who are the progressives in the House who are generally dismissed from this conversation for not being prominent enough?

Things You Don't Talk About in Polite Company: Religion, Politics, the Occasional Intersection of Both

Richardson (4.00 / 1)
I find it interesting that Bill Richardson doesn't even get mentioned in the Washington Post article.

I also find it interesting the Washington Post doesn't even hint at a source for their "Obama is expected to look at" list. Was it based on anything?

And just for the record, since these names came up in this thread, let's remember: Webb and Brown have publicly stated disinterest in the presidency in terms at least as strong as Edwards. McCaskill has stated disinterest in terms strong enough we should assume she can't even be takled into it.

Why would you buy that? .. (4.00 / 2)
Is there anyone(besides Clinton or her surrogates) that will admit to the media that they want to be VP?  It rarely happens ... they'll all deny it .. it is unseemly to be seen politicking for the job out in the open

[ Parent ]
I'm scared of Richardson's debating skills (0.00 / 0)
I like the guy and would be perfectly content with him as the pick but his more or less consistently poor performances in the debates scares me off a bit. That's a bit part of the VP campaign comparison -- how they do in the VP debate.

[ Parent ]
Should read 'big part' not 'bit part' n/t (0.00 / 0)

[ Parent ]
Is Bowers psychically broadcasting his thoughts? (4.00 / 3)
Cause I have been arriving at the same conclusion.

I would say my top three are: Richardson, Edwards, and Sebelius, for all the reasons stated in the post.

I do, however, think that the SUSA polls comparing potential tickets are pretty much crap.  By asking all 16 possibilities of each respondent, you pollute the sample.  You cannot tell me that any reasonable VP choice makes a 20 point difference in voting intention.  For a valid comparison, they need a full sample for each pairing.   As an Edwards supporter (he dropped out just before California voted, otherwise I would have voted for him, as I did in 2004), and I think he'd help the ticket, esp. in the blue collar base, but I think his big lead in the polls has more to do with name recognition (versus Rendell?  Hagel?  Sebelius?  Most people have no idea who they are).  They should have polled Edwards, Richardson, Sebelius and Webb or Clinton.

Original Pick Still Good (4.00 / 2)
I like Sebelius for VP, and was impressed by Chris' reasoning as posted earlier this week.  Edwards makes a far better AG than VP.  Sebilius is a great reinforcing pick.

[ Parent ]
Re: Sibelius--You Need To Read Up On The Peter Principle (4.00 / 2)
Here, for example.

Thus far, there's no indication that her performance so far will translate into competence at the highest national level.

This is not a slam against her.  She has accomplished remarkable things.  But that doesn't mean she is automatically guaranteed to be great at a higher level.  It would be quite different if she had some major national exposure with a positive track record, but she doesn't.  The wishful thinking about her is, to a large extent, a reflection of the tremendous deficit we have in creating space for female leadership within the party.

But the answer is not to overburden the few individuals who are around.  It's to develop a much broader and more adequate field to draw from.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
Female leadership. (0.00 / 0)
I've never understood why Boxer isn't getting anymore attention, at least on the blogs. Her age?

[ Parent ]
Too Progressive (4.00 / 1)
You wouldn't want someone who actually took majoritarian positions on women's issues, the environment, health care, domestic spending, etc., would you?

Not to mention that Constitution thingie.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
Senate (0.00 / 0)
The problem is that presumably Governor Gropenator would appoint her replacement, so we'd lose a U.S. Senate seat.  If that is not the case in California, let me know...

In fact, given the talk about him running against Boxer, I wouldn't be surprised if he appointed himself to the seat under that scenario, if he were actually interested in going to the Senate.  Mind you, turning the state back over to the Dems (Lt. Gov. John Garamendi) would probably be the last straw for the wingnuts here...

[ Parent ]
How about this? (4.00 / 2)
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.)
"I'm not the right choice for the Democrats because they're going to carry California. So they should really look elsewhere. And I can really help them right here in the Senate as chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee."

Also she would be replaced by a Republican.

John McCain: Beacuse lobbyists should have more power

[ Parent ]
I am surprised .. (4.00 / 2)
that PA voters would pick Edwards over Rendell ... actually I am not .. as Rendell is starting to wear out his welcome

[ Parent ]
both Edwards and Richardson are good (4.00 / 1)
but don't get Sebelius. She's really not that good.

[ Parent ]
The Choice Of VPs WAS Terrible (0.00 / 0)
But I can't agree with the rest of your argument.  They did a reasonably good job with their methodology, particularly given that we'll have 17 states of data when they're done.

They should have polled Clinton, and probably Richardson, even though he's a notoriously bad campaigner. He would still establish a useful benchmark.  I'm not sure what Rendell was supposed to do, outside of PA.  And Sibelius simply confirmed that she's yet to register in most folks' consciousness.  And Hagel?  Well, like I said in a comment somewhere, why not Kant?  

They should have done something like:

(My personal favorite)


(Dodd was a candidate this year, after all, and did stake out a strong position.)


(My least favorite, but I think it would probably show how little impact Biden really has, which would be a good thing.)

They did a much better job on the GOP side, however, and it was certainly useful to see how the different Dem choices did against this much more realistic array of GOP choices.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
VPs (4.00 / 1)
I don't think Rendell could handle the campaign (physically). I saw him at a rally in PA in 2006 right before his reelection. He wasn't really the epitome of fine health.

I also wonder about this whole Sam Nunn thing. I think this is something Stuart Rothenberg of David Broder floated 6 months ago and now it's become conventional wisdom that that has to be someone Obama considers. It's silly. He's almost as old as McCain and it's been 12 years since he was in the Senate. Do people really think he'd help in the South? He's probably much more well known in Washington these days than he is in Georgia. Which explains why his name keeps popping up.

[ Parent ]
He Should Be Ambassador To Chevy Chase (4.00 / 1)
Or from Chevy Chase.


"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
One consideration (4.00 / 2)
is who is likely to replace the VP candidate in their current job.  This is in argument in favor of John Edwards.  Feingold or Brown would undoubtedly be replaced by less progressive senators, possibly even Republicans.  Mark Warner and Jim Webb would be unlikely to be replaced by anybody much more progressive, either of them could very easily be replaced by Republicans.  This is also an argument that favors Hillary to some degree since she would be fairly likely to be replaced a Democrat, possibly a more progressive Dem.  Dodd and Biden would also seem good bets to be replaced by Dems.

Dodd would be (4.00 / 2)
replaced by a Republican which rules him out.

Connecicut has a Republican Governor who would appoint his successor.

Edwards isn't in elected office now so we wouldn't have to worry about him which is another reason why I'm warming up to him.

John McCain: Beacuse lobbyists should have more power

[ Parent ]
Thinking ahead (0.00 / 0)
I wasn't thinking of the short term, as much as the medium term.  I assume there would be a Senate election in at most 2 years. It's much easier to elect a decent Dem in Connecticut than in (say) Virginia.  

[ Parent ]
Which isn't to say (0.00 / 0)
you don't make a good point.  The beginning of the first term is an important time and we need every vote we can get.

[ Parent ]
The post (0.00 / 0)
and other insiders push who they like.

Nunn will not be under consideration. Neither will Stickland, Rendell, Webb, McCaskill or Napolitano.

Nunn's policy positions will quickly rule him out. Stickland, Rendell and McCaskill will not accept being vetted and Webb and Napolitano will not get far in the process.

Bloomberg and Hagel will probably both be vetted but they have enough stuff to pretty much guarantee that they don't get picked.

Sebelius and Edwards are the two best picks at this stage. Neither are perfect but oh well.

Biden wouldn't be a disaster but the guy's been in Washington since he was freaking thirty. That doesn't really mesh with a message of change.

John McCain: Beacuse lobbyists should have more power

Which points to Al Gore (0.00 / 0)
For the reasons I listed above.  Really, he's the logical choice.  Every other one is flawed in some respect.  His virtures and current stature outweigh his flaws.  And he's big enough to stand up to the Clintons.

John McCain--He's not who you think he is.

[ Parent ]
Just for the sake of the argument (0.00 / 0)
What about Barbara Boxer?

Sorry to keep harping on this, but: (4.00 / 1)
In Boxer's own words:
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.)
"I'm not the right choice for the Democrats because they're going to carry California. So they should really look elsewhere. And I can really help them right here in the Senate as chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee."

[ Parent ]
That's fine on one account (0.00 / 0)
It is another when Boxer also aligns with Obama in many other ways and would get the women's vote.  

[ Parent ]
Sebelius, And Thoughts On Clinton (4.00 / 1)
First of all, I'm down with much of the OpenLeft conventional thinking.  My current first choice is Sebelius as both a reinforcing pick and as a female candidate--I think that would be effective on many levels.  I also like putting John Edwards in as Attorney General, rather than bringing him in as VP.

I would be fine, also, with Edwards and Richardson.  They are semi-reinforcing, in my views.  Both of them are strongly against the Iraq War, with Edwards having explicitly apologized and Richardson having had the strongest exit plan in the primaries.  I don't see them as being particularly undercutting of Obama's change and judgment messages.  Further, Edwards might (okay, probably wouldn't) shut up the press about Obama's mythical "working whites" problem and Richardson could put away New Mexico and create strong appeal among Latinos, which could help considerably in other states.  They certainly bring their strengths.

Now here's where I'm probably going to annoy half the people here.  I want to look at selecting Clinton.  First of all, I don't necessarily consider her the ideal choice, but I'm less convinced she's a bad one.  And if the current speculation is true (possibly a tenuous prospect) then she would be more liberal than most of the floating names.

I see two problems with Clinton.  One is the notion that picking her makes Obama look weak.  I think that's a very valid concern.  The second is that she not only is not a reinforcing pick, but that they have been campaigning against each other and both have been undercutting the others' arguments, in very clear terms.

I think in terms of the first notion, that's a problem that might be able to be solved.  First of all, the primaries have to finish.  Michigan and Florida have to be seated.  Then--and this is where it gets tricky--Obama and Clinton basically have to come to an agreement that she will be VP, and it has to be kept absolutely quiet.  There can be no leaks at all.  Clinton then needs to bow out of the race, call it a day, and start campaigning like hell for Obama, working her ass off to bring her supporters behind him and to make it clear that the race is over, there are no hard feelings, and she's behind him 100%.  Obama has to go through a VP search and then, in late July, announce her as the VP pick.

The key is getting away from the fight of the primary and bringing news stories about animosity between the two of them to a close.  If he picks her two months from now, after she has been campaigning hard for him without any talk of her having to be offered VP, it might be able to come off as a pick seen as logical and strong, rather than weak.  It seems weak now, in this atmosphere, with all the news stories bouncing around about Clinton demanding the VP position.  If those stories go away and you have a month or two of heavy campaigning by her for Obama, then it may not come across as a weak decision.

My second issue--that she's not reinforcing--is not as easily resolvable.  But I would argue that the strengths Clinton could bring to the ticket, and especially in terms of uniting the party, probably would overshadow that potential weakness.

One big issue with my scenario, though, is what do we hear from her supporters?  There can't be constant outcries from Clinton supporters that Obama must pick Clinton as his VP or else, or that undermines any ability of his to make the pick without appearing weak.  I don't know if that's a solvable dilemma, since my scenario depends on creating an extended period of time in which Clinton has conceded without any kind of guarantee of the VP position.  So I don't really know if it would work or not.

Anyway, I don't consider Clinton the ideal VP pick, but I'm not convinced she's a terrible one and I do worry about whether or not Obama can completely shore up the Dem base without her on the ticket.

I like your clever covert campaign design (0.00 / 0)
as a supporter, I think that would work to calm the anger that is building both at the media and his overly zealous campaign for endlessly nitpicking every minor gaffe.
Obama and Clinton basically have to come to an agreement that she will be VP, and it has to be kept absolutely quiet.  There can be no leaks at all.  Clinton then needs to bow out of the race, call it a day, and start campaigning like hell for Obama, working her ass off to bring her supporters behind him and to make it clear that the race is over, there are no hard feelings, and she's behind him 100%.  Obama has to go through a VP search and then, in late July, announce her as the VP pick.

The key is getting away from the fight of the primary and bringing news stories about animosity between the two of them to a close.  

I doubt this witch hunt would end though, which is what is fueling the gathering rage of her 17 million voters. It depends on exactly what is fueling Clinton Derangement Syndrome.

I could well imagine the leering speculations "why is she is being so nice?" - like when she stood up for him against Bush in Israel, the punditocracy speculated that she was trying to make him look weak blah blah.

John McCain vetoes every Environmental Bill already.

[ Parent ]
David Walker (0.00 / 0)
Here's a wild card choice for VP that I just commented on in another diary.

Is everyone familiar with David Walker? Former head of the Government Accountability Office (the country's chief accountant for 9 years), he recently resigned to focus on waking the public up to the fiscal crisis. He's been holding a series of forums around the country to educate people.

Walker is an independent and like a better version of Bloomberg. He's charismatic, incredibly smart on economic issues, has an intimate knowledge of D.C., and no Republican baggage. Incidentally, Walker was the one who took Cheney to court in 2002 to try and obtain release of documents from the energy task force.

The editor of Roll Call wrote this week that Obama or McCain should pick Walker as VP:

He appeared on CNBC today explaining the fiscal challenge and what we need to do. As much as I like Obama, I'm concerned over whether he has the stomach to tackle the real change that is needed. Walker might make a great partner.

Here's the full list of Walker's CNBC segments in order (the first two cover the meat of it):

I've posted a diary here with analysis on 20 top candidates... (0.00 / 0)

I'd love additional feedback and to discuss this analysis further - Edwards is certainly a strong pick on my rankings, as is Sebelius.  But I'm also making a very strong push for Schweitzer, whose strengths have been underappreciated so far...

Wes Clark (0.00 / 0)
is also very conspicuous in his absence from the Post article and others I've seen. I'd bet dollars to donuts he'll be on the Obama short list though. Experienced, articulate, progressive, highly qualified, possessed of serious gravitas... plus he helps pull in the Clinton camp into the Big Tent. He  just makes too much sense from so many angles.

He's also become a much, much stronger campaigner since '04.


If Edwards is willing to run that's also a good move because he clearly would help deliver labor and other traditional Dem voting blocks in places where Obama needs to make some gains. The guy can flat out campaign, and he stays on message like a laser beam. Elizabeth Edwards would obviously also be a huge asset.

Sebelius is much better than a lot of people (including myself until a few weeks ago) realize. Yes, her SOTUS reply was very underwhelming, but I YouTubed several of her talks and speeches and she's usually quite compelling in a soft spoken, intelligent way. Her style is composed and folksy but also focused and personal in a manner that's not unlike Obama's.  If she gets the nod that would look like a very bold stroke, but I'm sure Obama's people will have done a lot of internal polling that would assure them of it's wisdom. Certainly if it helped sway women to come out in huge numbers and vote for Obama it would change the race dramatically.

Sharrod Brown is the other guy I think could be a terrific choice. Very bright, very progressive, very tough, and like Edwards, a link to traditional working class Democratic voters. Might even help carry Ohio too, which would be huge. He sounds serious when he said he's determined to keep working for the people of Ohio in the Senate, however, so that might be a long shot.

Turning around Vince Lombardi (0.00 / 0)
Winning might not be the only thing, but its pretty close to everything in this election.

Ceteris paribus, I would love to see a progressive candidate on the ticket.  But if a more conservative candidate gives us a better chance of winning, even ever so slightly, then that is whom I'm backing.  The politics of the Vice President are not that important in the end, and there is simply too much at stake in this election not to pick the ticket that gives us the best chance of capturing the presidency.

Of course, who gives us the best chance is open to debate.  But if a more conservative candidate even increases the probability of winning by a seemingly paltry level, like .02, I think its worthwhile.  The stakes are just too huge - the future of our foreign policy, of our welfare state, of our judiciary - not to scrap for every advantage possible, especially when the VP's politics are mostly symbolic.

John McCain: Health insurance for low income children represents an "unfunded liability."

Sebelius (0.00 / 0)
Obama/Sebelius. Good for all the right reasons.

The only reason to knock it is that it doesn't have the foreign policy creds. But it's beginning to look like Obama can hold his own in that arena.

The truth about Saxby Chambliss

Joementum rears its uglyu head (0.00 / 0)
no more Joe Liebermanns!

Republican-lite (0.00 / 0)
1] Sibelius has no national standing or following. She's from Kansas, for god's sake - a total of, what 7(?) EVs. She's no feminist - and if you're trying to win over Hillary Clinton's staunchest supporters - Sibelius doesn't cut it by any measure, particularly not in the accomplishment field. Neither does Claire McCaskill (who, by the way Sen. Clinton campaigned for, raised funds for in her HISTORIC election bid).

2] Have you seen the light yet? I can see and hear you getting little hairs of concern rising on the backs of your necks; little doubts starting to creep in; questions -most small, but some bigger: "WTF?"

I expect that by the time November rolls around (assuming, of course, that Obama IS the nominee), the left will finally get the message: You backed the wrong horse. Thing is, if - and that's a very BIG if - he wins the GE, he'll be rolling up the carpets to constituencies and other "left" interests like he's rolling up the left's fundraising and media efforts.

He's no liberal/progressive. He's a politician - and a very good one: charming, handsome, young, brilliant, AA. He's Republican-lite, with little experience, a lot of unanswered questions and some very discomfiting flip-flops on issues, a sexist to boot, and an opportunist - this is his "resume."  

It sounds more like you are wishing for the Democrats (4.00 / 1)
to lose rather than forecasting a lost. Like with your fellow posters from TalkLeft you miss the point. Just because you feel it, doesn't make it true.  

[ Parent ]
Obviously (0.00 / 0)
if Sebelius were chosen it wouldn't be because Obama thinks she might help carry Kansas (or even Ohio, where she was born and where her father was a very popular Governor).

Whatever her qualifications, accomplishments, and political strengths might be, it would be in large part because of her gender, and her perceived ability to transform the narrative of the election across state lines.  

You know that as well as I do, mabelle, so I don't understand why you bring it up to bolster your argument.  

[ Parent ]
Sure the conventional wisdom is for conservatives (0.00 / 0)
but there is no reason to believe that this is where Obama's mind is about VPs.  I highly doubt he puts an Iraq war supporter on the ticket, so that cuts out a lot of the conventional wisdom candidates: Bayh, Biden, etc, etc.

Napalitano's statement about the Iraq war, while disagreeable, is one vague statement from 14 months ago...


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