I have learned from a trusted inside source that the Obama campaign has approached, and held talks with, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) as a possible Vice-Presidential selection.
Murray was first elected to the Senate in Washington State in 1992, the "year of the woman" in the U.S. Senate. Murray would be a reinforcing pick for Barack Obama in that she is one of the few sitting Senators or Governors who opposed the Iraq war from the start, voting against the Authorization for the Use of Military Force against Iraq. back in October of 2002. Murray also mirrors Obama in that, before her career in electoral politics, she was a citizen activist and community organizer on environmental and educational issues.
Murray also does much to balance a ticket for Obama. As an early supporter of Hillary Clinton, she would give that wing of the party a place on the ticket. Further, in addition to a different policy focus (environment and education), Murray was once dismissed as a "mom in tennis shoes" during her time as an activist. Murray would potentially appeal to many of the same demographics where Senator Hillary Clinton, particularly suburban women, but also those interested in "experience."
Personally, I think that Patty Murray would be an excellent Vice-Presidential pick by Obama, and I am glad that she is under consideration. While she isn't the sort of name that the elite fawning (Bloomberg), testosterone owrshipping (Webb), or conservative obsessed (Hagel, Nunn) punditry will suggest, she has many strengths and very few weaknesses as a VP selection. In addition be serviing as both a balancing and reinforcing selection, she consistently ranks in the top third of the Democratic caucus in terms of progressive voting record. Further, the possibility of two anti-war, community organizers at the top of the Democratic ticket is very appealing.
Patty Murray needs to be on the short list of Vice-Presidential selections. Along with Sherrod Brown, Wesley Clark, John Edwards, and Kathleen Sebelius, she is certainly on mine.