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A Place for Chet Edwards in an Obama Cabinet?

DENVER -- One of the biggest -- heck, maybe the only -- surprise during Barack Obama's vice presidential search was the emergence of Texas Rep. Chet Edwards as a serious contender for the number two slot.

Edwards was ultimately passed over for Sen. Joe Biden but, according to a source close to the vetting process, the Obama campaign came away impressed by the congressman and could well tap him for a post in an Obama Administration.

"He was a proven vote getter in a Republican district," said the source. "A guy who had a clear ability to work across the aisle and a great familiarity with defense and veterans' issues. [He was] well liked by his colleagues. [He] could be a strong contender for cabinet spot if he wants to leave the House."

Intrigued, The Fix reached out to Edwards to gauge his level of interest in such a promotion. He wouldn't bite; "For me to even speculate about a cabinet position I would be putting the cart before the horse," said Edwards.

But, the very fact that he made it to the last round of the vice presidential vetting process suggests that bigger things may be in the cards for the Texas congressman.

First elected to Congress in 1990, Edwards is one of the few remaining Democratic elected officials in the state -- having survived a series of serious and well funded challenges earlier this decade.

While Edwards, a Texas A&M graduate, was well regarded in the House as a dealmaker, it was still something of a surprise when Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that Edwards was her pick for vice president.

The story was quickly forgotten, dismissed as nothing more than Pelosi promoting one of her own, with little chance of Edwards being considered.

Behind the scenes, however, the idea of Edwards as vice president was being taken quite seriously by the Obama campaign. Obama himself called Edwards on June 30 to tell him the campaign would like to vet him and ask his permission. Over the next three weeks Edwards and his team scrambled to provide scads of documents to Eric Holder and Caroline Kennedy -- the lead vetters for Obama. By Aug. 10 Edwards received another call from the Obama campaign informing him he had made the final shortlist.

For Edwards, it was a rapid rise for a relatively unknown congressman from central Texas. In the aftermath of the vice presidential picking process, many people said the focus on Edwards in the final hours before the pick was made was nothing more than the Obama campaign making Pelosi, whose support they will need down the line, happy.

Regardless of the reasoning behind him being considered, the attention provides Edwards an opportunity. His profile has been raised significantly but, given the Republican nature of Texas, what can he do with it?

A run for Senate or governor seems a stretch -- at least in the foreseeable future. Sen. John Cornyn (R) is up for re-election this fall; Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R) is rumored to be considering a run for governor in 2010 but even in an open seat situation that would be a tough race for Edwards.

His best bet might well be in Obama's cabinet. Given his work in Congress on veterans' issues, Edwards could well be a potential candidate for the head of the Veterans Affairs.

Time will tell. But, Chet Edwards is a name to watch in the coming weeks and months.

By Chris Cillizza  |  August 25, 2008; 5:47 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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HISPANICS ON OBAMA:
more than 60 percent of Hispanics say they support Obama
I see a sunrise and a sunset,'' said Republican Dwayne Chavez, a 43-year-old blood-bank technician from Aurora, Colorado, describing the differences between Illinois Senator Obama and his Republican rival, Senator John McCain of Arizona. ``One with a future ahead of them, and the other in the twilight.''
The Biden selection shows Obama is ``open to bringing in people who don't necessarily agree with him,'' said Democrat Carlos Gomez, 37 of Littleton, Colorado.

The focus-group voters, while praising McCain's patriotism and experience, expressed concerns about his age.

``This guy is already forgetting things,'' Moreno said.

3-to-1 Margin

A poll of registered Latino voters released last month by the Washington-based Pew Hispanic Center showed they favored Obama over McCain by a margin of almost 3-to-1. Obama, 47, is perceived as best able to handle the issues of greatest concern to Hispanics: jobs, health care, education, immigration and cost of living.

Democrat Paloma Gamarra, 34, a single mother and data analyst from Boulder, Colorado, said Obama is in touch with the concerns of Hispanics.

``He was raised by a single mother,'' she said. ``He knows our struggles.''

Welcome to Latinos for Obama
A community of people who support Barack Obama and want to spread his message of change throughout the country.

Former San Antonio Mayor Henry Cisneros, an ardent Hillary Rodham Clinton backer in the primary fight, says he will campaign for Barack Obama, including in Nevada, New Mexico and other states with blocs of Hispanic voters.

Mr. Cisneros, the former housing secretary under President Bill Clinton, said Mr. Obama will do well among Hispanics.

"As long as Obama makes his agenda visible to Latinos, they will vote for him," he said. "Latinos will see a clear distinction between the Democratic and Republican strategies. "

Posted by: Katerina Deligiannis | August 27, 2008 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Denver Source Wrote

Load of Bilge Water. You can obtain notices of this discrimination to Obama dating back years. All over the internet and including Denver. But it is a mystery why Obama continues to do nothing. You seem to know all about what I'm hearing here now...

My Comment:
You haven't challenged the substance of my comments. Its "all over the internet" because of a single poster. Its a single
"charge" against Obama which is based on no substance. Obama does nothing about it because it is not something that he can do anything about. It is being done by TWO state agencies in Illinois. He is not a member of the State Government, he's a member of the Federal Government. And this "charge" isn't given any credence in Illinois either. If it were, wouldn't, for example, Con. Luis Gutierrez be standing up and complaining about it? He's not. This is a load of bilge water.

Posted by: Still a Load of Bilge Water | August 26, 2008 7:22 AM | Report abuse

Don't forget Jesus Patti is being paid not donating her support of this racist Obama...

Posted by: Crabby | August 25, 2008 11:40 PM | Report abuse

chris, don't you find it a little odd that "many people said the focus on Edwards in the final hours before the pick was made was nothing more than the Obama campaign making Pelosi, whose support they will need down the line, happy". And that the Obama team never truly vetted Hillary.And they DON'T need her support down the line. Down the line??? They need it NOW! And yet they'd rather keep Pelosi happy. Way to LOSE

Posted by: randan in chicago | August 25, 2008 11:31 PM | Report abuse

The only thing worse than his last name is his first name.


.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 25, 2008 10:54 PM | Report abuse

"WHY would Patty Solis Doyle, the sister of a major Hispanic Politician in Illinois sign on to the campaign"

I see Bilge one token Hispanic makes what Obama is doing all better. We should all go out and vote for him now, no hard feelings. I for one think he should denounce this discrimination in Denver! And be specific about Hispanics having the same right to say race discrimination as non-Hispanics.

Posted by: Jesus | August 25, 2008 10:50 PM | Report abuse

It is clear something uncool is going on between Obama and Hispanics. Don't tell me no one in the media like Chris has heard Obama discriminating against Hispanics. I have seen it posted enough including here on chris's own blog. I don't doubt Denver source heard about it in Denver of all places. And by the way that other thing he mentioned did happen also. I think the lady who was called Uncle Tom was named Cobb or something.

Posted by: Melting pot | August 25, 2008 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Is that just like an Obama zealot like Load to tell us there is nothing to see here, move along you stupid Hispanics. We need your vote not your scrutiny! We are not just votes. We have rights the same as you. Well now i'm hearing apparently not! Right Obama!

Posted by: Alondra | August 25, 2008 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Bilge, Denied his claim! Try denied him his right to protection from race discrimination. It's about being denied the same language non-Hispanics take for granted. Even Obama would know that he is not stupid just racist!

Posted by: Amowat | August 25, 2008 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Load of Bilge Water. You can obtain notices of this discrimination to Obama dating back years. All over the internet and including Denver. But it is a mystery why Obama continues to do nothing. You seem to know all about what I'm hearing here now...

Posted by: Denver Source | August 25, 2008 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Denver Source wrote

The example below is what I call a Substantiated rumor. You can say it did not happen, or is not happening but...
It did and it is.

My Comment:
So your "substantiated rumor" is that of a single whacko posting constantly on the internet an allegation about Obama relating to conduct which he did not engage in and over organizations over which he has no oversight, power or control.

The charge, as I understand it, is that a Union allegedly discriminated against a single person, he filed a complaint with two state of Illinois agencies and they denied his claim. So he is now claiming that the three of them are discriminating against him because he's hispanic and that Obama is discriminating against him because he did not intercede with the State agencies. That's not a legitimate charge against Obama. And you know it.

Heck, why not also blame him for the actions of any neo-Nazi groups in Illinois as well. After all, its a "substantiated rumor" that he hasn't taken any steps to go to the bank and confiscate their money.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 25, 2008 10:04 PM | Report abuse

The example below is what I call a Substantiated rumor. You can say it did not happen, or is not happening but...
It did and it is... Load

Posted by: Denver Source | August 25, 2008 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Denver Source wrote:

Load of Bilge Water Obama, UFCW, IDHR, EEOC. Interesting stuff!


My comment:

The paranoid ravings of a lunatic. Its a single guy who shows up on blog after blog attacking Obama because of some perceived discrimination involving Illinois and Obama's alleged refusal to intervene on his behalf because of an alleged unfairness by two STATE OF ILLINOIS organizations. Even assuming that its true, which is a big stretch considering the number of hispanics in Illinois and the political clout that they possess, it is nearly certifiable to suggest that this, in some way, rebounds on Obama, the United States Senator.

This isn't as credible as the wholly uncredible claims that Obama was not born in the United States.

Posted by: Load of Bilge Water | August 25, 2008 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Two Delegates from Chicago. One male one female both black. The male calls the famale a "Uncle Tom". The male is a Barack Obama supporter. The female is for Hillary. What do they have in common? Both were in Denver at this convention when it happened...

Posted by: Denver Source | August 25, 2008 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Load of Bilge Water Obama, UFCW, IDHR, EEOC. Interesting stuff!

Posted by: Denver Source | August 25, 2008 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Hey "Load":

Maybe Solis-Doyle was a MOLE and the "rift" with Hillary was just a subterfuge.

Well played!

Posted by: scrivener | August 25, 2008 9:27 PM | Report abuse


"Denver Source" wrote:

What I'm hearing is no one wanted to go near Obama. Nobody with anything to lose did. Hence Joe Biden.

My Comments:
From whom are you hearing this? The little voices in your head?

"Denver Source" wrote:
The fact is has been a substantiated rumor going around about Obama condoning discrimination against Hispanics in his home state. Between that and Hillary supportes chanting "Unity my Ass" it was a smart move to stay away.

My commnet:
Substantiated Rumor? What utter nonsense. If this were true then WHY would Patty Solis Doyle, the sister of a major Hispanic Politician in Illinois sign on to the campaign. The only people saying this have been a few right wingnuts on the internet without any support for this.

Posted by: Load of Bilge Water | August 25, 2008 9:15 PM | Report abuse

Hillary can ask all she wants. The fix is in. The roll call will proceed from Alaska to Wyoming. Take it to the bank.

Posted by: scrivener | August 25, 2008 9:11 PM | Report abuse

This info some of you might find interesting. It seems Hillary is being pressed to "stand up on her own" and suspend the the delegate roll count. Obama's camp really wants that to happen. Lets see if they get her to do it...

Posted by: Denver Source | August 25, 2008 9:00 PM | Report abuse

That has already been confirmed a no JakeD

Posted by: Denver Source | August 25, 2008 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Chis is clearly pro-Obama. Why would he ever want to hurt Barrack Obama with anything as damaging as that Sergio?

Posted by: Dana Gould | August 25, 2008 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Chris:

Could you ask someone in the Obama campaign if Hillary made it to the last round of the vice presidential vetting process?

Posted by: JakeD | August 25, 2008 8:44 PM | Report abuse

He could start by adressing Obama's involvement in racism against Hispanics Ann. If there is some I want to know?

Posted by: Sergio | August 25, 2008 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Chris, I think all the negative Nancys are out in force this evening. Do you want to accuse Obama of kicking kitties too?

Posted by: Ann | August 25, 2008 8:37 PM | Report abuse

I have heard the same thing about Obama and him dicriminating against Hispanics.
I think it is odd Chris does not have his ear to the ground on this considering that there is a well ddocumented problem with Obama getting those votes. I keep hearing how important Hispanics are but not from Chris? There is something to this there has to be if he won't debunk it.

Posted by: Carol | August 25, 2008 8:35 PM | Report abuse

I see pelosi speaking.

think she could mail out extra copies of her books that aren't selling so us average americans can use them in the fireplace for some heat (albeit stinky ) this winter?

Pelosi says no to drilling how would she feel about all those unsold books she's sitting on?

How embarassing for her, barely been able to sell 3,000 copies.

Posted by: dano | August 25, 2008 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Umm, Chris:

With the last name "Edwards," I really don't think he was under serious consideration. This wasn't the year for an Edwards...

On to more pressing matters:

********************************************

FLASH! TEPID REACTION WHEN PELOSI MENTIONS BARACK OBAMA AS "NEXT PRESIDENT" ... (7:18 p.m.) HILLARY'S MENTION GETS BIGGER CHEER!

********************************************


WE'RE NOT THE PARTY THAT FALLS IN LINE."

-- Hillary Clinton this morning, to her supporters


It's "Game On" for the Hillary putsch!

Hillary Clinton has given her tacit approval for her supporters to demand a real roll call, despite the talk of stopping the voting when they reach New York State.

Does anyone really believe the Hillary delegates from states that follow New York will allow the podium to stop the vote? It just won't happen, despite Hillary's faux entreaties.

As word spreads among delegates that the Obama people lobbied hard for a stop-the-vote deal, the strategy will have been sealed.

The Clintons are the most politically savvy people in the free world. Would they allow Hillary to be embarrassed? They surely know the delegates won't accede to an "acclamation proclamation" -- it's not an "acclamation" if a sizable number of delegates are hissing and booing. So the thinking here is that they must know they've got enough votes to rock the political world.

If they don't, and they try to end the roll call too soon, the PUMA-leaning delegates will seize control of the agenda. How can the Hillarians get their "catharsis" if they all don't get a chance to have their votes counted? It would be no catharsis for those who would be denied the chance to cast their votes.

If if was okay for JFK to take LBJ on his ticket when he really didn't want to, where does Obama get off passing over a rival who arguably garnered more votes than he did? Obama didn't do what he could and should have done to win. Now he'll pay the price for his hubris and poor judgment -- judgment he couldn't count on, as it very well may turn out.

The surprises may not end there. Given the rift in the party, it's possible that Hillary would throw her delegates to Al Gore, and return to the Senate in triumph to await her installation as majority leader, with a promised Supreme Court appointment in her future.

If this is the way it goes, it would be brilliant politics -- a vindication of the Clinton legacy and a historic milestone.

As for Obama; don't worry, he'll be in the White House, as VP. Not a bad consolation prize for a Senator with only three years under his belt.

BUT WILL THE ELECTION EVEN MATTER? Not when government-supported "vigilante injustice" squads are "gang stalking" American citizens, making a mockery of the rule of law:
http://www.nowpublic.com/world/get-political-vic-livingston-opinion-expose-state-supported-vigilante-squads-doing-domestic-terrorism

WHAT IF THEY COULD SHOOT YOU
WITHOUT LEAVING A TRACE? THEY CAN.
http://www.nowpublic.com/world/zap-have-you-been-targeted-directed-energy-weapon-victims-organized-gang-stalking-say-its-happening-usa-1


Posted by: scrivener | August 25, 2008 8:29 PM | Report abuse

What I'm hearing is no one wanted to go near Obama. Nobody with anything to lose did. Hence Joe Biden. The fact is has been a substantiated rumor going around about Obama condoning discrimination against Hispanics in his home state. Between that and Hillary supportes chanting "Unity my Ass" it was a smart move to stay away.

Posted by: Denver source | August 25, 2008 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like Obama is just trying to get him reelected to the house by saying he's doing such a good job he would consider him for a cabinet position.

Posted by: Bo | August 25, 2008 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Edwards being on the short list was simply a favor to Nancy Pelosi. Chet may get Veterans, but nothing more.

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: matt | August 25, 2008 8:15 PM | Report abuse

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