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Veepstakes: Divining Obama's Thinking

UPDATE, 5:45 pm: The Tim Kaine boomlet, set off by Barack Obama's comments to Tom Brokaw over the weekend, is growing. In the last half hour Politico and the Post have posted stories detailing the fact that the Virginia governor, as has long been suspected, is under serious consideration to be Obama's vice presidential pick.


"I'm going to want somebody with integrity; I'm going to want someone with independence, who's willing to tell me where he thinks or she thinks I'm wrong; and, I'm going to want somebody who shares a vision of the country where we need to go, that we've got to fundamentally change not only our politics but how our politics works, how business is done in Washington."

-- Barack Obama on his vice presidential pick during an interview with "Meet the Press" host Tom Brokaw (emphasis added).

Barack Obama pledged several months ago that he would not speak publicly about his vice presidential pick again until he was ready to announce his (or her) identity. And, to the disappointment of political reporters everywhere, the Illinois senator has largely kept to that pledge -- keeping his deliberations about his second-in-command almost entirely private.

Given the paucity of information coming from either Obama or his campaign about the pick, statements like the Illinois senator made over the weekend during a taped appearance on "Meet the Press" are put under a microscope for signs of how he is thinking about the choice.

Ears perked up all over Washington when Obama offered Brokaw a laundry list of characteristics important to him in selecting a vice president -- particularly when Obama seemed to suggest that his veep pick would need to be a change agent ready to shake up Washington.

Conventional wisdom quickly formed: Obama was signaling his preference for an outside-the-Beltway pick (Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine or Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius) rather than a Capitol Hill type like Sens. Evan Bayh (Ind.), Joe Biden (Del.), Chris Dodd (Conn.) or even Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.). (For more on the stark dichotomy in veep choices Obama is faced with, make sure to read the piece Shailagh "Shazelle" Murray and The Fix wrote last week.)

Maybe -- but also maybe not.

Obama and his team have been extremely careful to let almost nothing slip when it comes to his opinions about what sort of politician would make the best vice president. It's hard to imagine then -- given that level of secrecy -- that Obama would let such a major piece of news about the traits he is looking for "slip" during a taped appearance on the most-watched Sunday talk show.

While there is little doubt that Kaine, and perhaps to a lesser extent, Sebelius are under VERY serious consideration as Obama's number two, it is equally true that Bayh, Biden and Dodd also remain contenders.

Our guess is that no matter who Obama picks -- whether it is a fresh face or someone who has spent considerable time on Capitol Hill -- he will cast that choice as a change agent.

If it's Kaine or Sebelius, the case is far easier made since neither has ever served in Washington. But, if it's Bayh or Biden or Dodd, Obama can pick and choose from their respective records in Congress (or, in Bayh's case, his eight years as governor) to highlight ways in which each man has been a change agent in his own way.

In other words, don't read too much into what Obama had to say over the weekend. Could it be a window into his thinking? Of course. But, it's equally plausible that Obama's definition of "change" is broad enough to include almost anyone he is seriously considering.

By Chris Cillizza  |  July 28, 2008; 3:05 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Next: McCain and the "Mole-Like" Skin


hi chris,
my comment is something on another topic. my question is, why has the media dicided to become maccain's publicity puppets? since Obama went on the european and middle east tour, all i have been hearing the media do is pick up on the maccain campign's talking points and then beating them to death, yet everybody keeps saying the media is for him, for example the maccain camp started saying that he was being presomptuos, and be4 the day was over, the whole msm was regurgitating the same word over and over, he was acting too presidential, the media followed suit, now he is arrogant what does the media do? you guessed it, why can't anyone speak out and tell the media, that in their effort not ot look like they are favoring obama, they have basically ended up promoting the maccain campaign's propaganda of making obama look bad, i hope someone wakes up to it please be that someone

Posted by: julie | July 30, 2008 6:02 PM | Report abuse

I think Hagel would clinch it but the best pick would be Mike Gravel he is the most revolutionary and visionary idea maker and creative individual who would help Obama really change this country for the better and Obama is right there whith him even Obama Girl was seduced by him. Gravel has great ideas for energy, government by the people, foreign policy, healthcare, taxation, and saving the environment, and on all these issues Obama nodded in agreement with Gravel.

Posted by: paul | July 30, 2008 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Barack Obama's superior leadership qualities will ensure that whosoever he chooses as VP will deliver. Otherwise, no other name conjures up in mind when I try to think of any other candidate with 'intelligence' and integrity' to match that of Obama's.

Posted by: Anju Chandel | July 30, 2008 2:13 AM | Report abuse

Chet Edwards of Texas is the only candidate to meet all the requirements Obama needs. SLAM DUNK!!!!!!!

Posted by: Lots of Thought | July 29, 2008 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Posted by:

Republican Women Say No To McCain

Full news article here: 6/18/MNS211BBRL.DTL&tsp=1

Short quote from the article: "The challenges facing Sen. Barack Obama as he tries to woo supporters of former rival Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton could pale in comparison with Sen. John McCain's troubles with female voters - if the voices of a growing number of prominent Republican women are any indication. "I cannot see a more counterproductive candidate for women," said Jillian Manus-Salzman, a leading California Republican activist and generous GOP donor in the nation's most populous state, an ATM for presidential campaigns. "I cannot vote for McCain."

Posted by: Katerina Deligiannis | July 29, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

I've been saying since Obama got in it that if he got the nomination he should go with Biden. Despite the politics of it, the most important measure that any candidate should have when picking a running mate is ability to do the big job should the need arise. And to be blunt, the first African American President needs to think very hard about that. Biden fits that role and his foreign policy credentials are legendary. He can go toe to toe with McCain over Iraq in the press and let Obama talk about the economy, health care and education. He would also likely clean the clock of any republican in the VP debate. The only other practical choice is probably Kane though I still think if he wants a governor he should draft Ed Rendell.

Posted by: Chris | July 29, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Hillary would help O into the White House . Without H, O would be in trouble, and H would have a very serious chance to be nominated by the Democratic Party 4 years from now. If H wants to be the first lady President of USA, she should not join O.'s ticket. She is still young and patient enough to wait for 4 more years

Posted by: Nguyen H. Chi | July 29, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

No matter what criteria you use in guessing whom O will pick for running mate, the 1 person who will bring more to the ticket than anyone else is Hillary.

Posted by: Bernie in VA | July 29, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

I've known Tim for about 14 years and worked with him for about seven. He's a fantastic and talented person who I admire greatly, but I don't think Obama should pick him. He really makes very little sense in terms of the experience and background he brings. He's been governor for two and a half years, which isn't a good match when most people's number one reservation about Obama is experience. Plus, he is not pro-choice, having stated that he has "faith-based" objections to abortion. I just don't see it happening. Bayh, on the other hand, is a much better fit.

Posted by: Kevin20 | July 29, 2008 8:58 AM | Report abuse

There are several other people more qualified to right this ship. If America elects an inexperienced candidate this will embolden but our needs will not be met. We cannot afford to waste another four year term on the hopes of serendipity. That just won't happen.

Posted by: seedobecome | July 29, 2008 6:34 AM | Report abuse

Thinking like Obama should not be hard for you Chris. Most times when you talk Obama's lips barely move. You two got your act down pact.

Oh and I bet we all could think like Obama just keep saying "I deserve this," with passion. " I did not earn it, but gimmie gimmie!"

As for his VP it's got to be some fool who will do all the work. Obama will just photo-op and thats about all he has to do on his end.

Posted by: Listen to this | July 29, 2008 2:45 AM | Report abuse

The reason why Obama cannot break past the 50% threshold of support for his Presidency is because of those 18 million voters who supported Senator Hillary Clinton. If he wants to decisively win the Presidency, he should choose Clinton as his VP. If he's arrogant enough to simply dismiss his need for the support of this huge voting block, he deserves to lose to McCain. Women everywhere are waiting to hear him 'do the right thing' and select Hillary as VP. If not, he should be prepared for the real October surprise -- from women within his own party!

Posted by: | July 29, 2008 1:17 AM | Report abuse

In order of VP possibilities. 1. Biden 2. Kaine 3. Bayh 4. Richardson 5. Sebelius. Obama should rule Clinton out, if he hasn't done so already. She doesn't help the ticket but engerize the rep base.

Posted by: teddy | July 29, 2008 12:43 AM | Report abuse

Best choice for Obama is HRC or Richardson- but neither is to be chosen. It would be great for Richardson and less so for HRC, who should be a supreme court justice. It will likely be Kaine as he is an Obama lackey that is unoffensive to anyone except that he has even less experience than Barak. Bayh is a good choice and so is Biden (although Biden mispeaks constantly)

McCain will pick Romney if he is being political or Tom Ridge if his rebel streak comes out.

Leftists like myself will be forced to vote for Barak so as to not allow another right wing government- but he will disappoint us time and again as he is just a politician.

How come being seen with lots of rich old men or nominating old white men politicians that have been in government since the 70s/80s is "change" but nominating a woman is "same old". There are 17/~200 female leaders in the world and 52% of world population is female. There are over 30 African leaders (in over 30 African countries) and they make up a small percentage of world population- so who is really change? Who had the more ambitious/progressive policy proposals?

Oh well, there is always Canada.


Posted by: Anonymous | July 28, 2008 11:42 PM | Report abuse

Chris I think he is floating Kaine (because I can not in my deepest places of my brain see him picking a guy with NO foreign policy, no national cred at all...and who would be a huge crap shoot in the debate...and he would flip virginia down ballot back to predominantly red)...

this is what I think

he is floating

a name that supported Hillary Bayh

a name that supported him Kaine

and a name that stayed neutral Biden

but in the end the debates are showing they are more and more important...
in a one on one debatwe on policy who would you want...

I really think if Obama is the guy I have seen (many times up close and personal this past year)

He's going to pick Biden. Obama is too smart not to.

Even though again Kaine IS a lefty...haha.

but two unknowns...not a chance.

Change is more accepted when it is walking next to the familiar.

Posted by: dl | July 28, 2008 11:31 PM | Report abuse

Disenchanted, I LOVED what you had to write...

It is absolutely amazing how the media, in its attempt to appear on top of the game, seem to have moved from reporting truth to reporting speculation as truth. From reporting fact to reporting opinion as fact. Just FYI, the affect is that most Americans are becoming more disenchanted with the media. We are bombarded with so many irrelevant points and references that when you finally have a breaking story, the audience has moved and shifted. Chris, perhaps I would have done better to know the insight into why Bush has yet to be impeached...ah yes I know he didn't get frisky with an intern but he did turn a budget surplus into a deficit and not only a deficit but $490billion in the red and thats not even taking the war spending into consideration. I'll be checking in for insight later. Thanks

please contact me,

Posted by: Alessandro Machi | July 28, 2008 11:30 PM | Report abuse

"the republican leaning caucus states"

And thank God for those Republican-leaning caucus states. Because now BHO is up in Pennsylvania, California, Michigan, and all the other Kerry states--just as we knew he would be. And he's pushing the line into Virginia and Colorado, which means he's doing more than just clinging desperately to the blue state status quo. Redrawing the map indeed.

Posted by: red stater | July 28, 2008 11:28 PM | Report abuse

He needs Hillary to win. All of the other names being talked about won't matter with Joe Voter. Tough call for Obama, but you gotta win first. And Hillary brings the W.

Posted by: Cal | July 28, 2008 10:50 PM | Report abuse

I agree that Doerr would be an excellent pick for vice president. As Bill Clinton noted, elections are always about the future, and this guy represents that. If Obama wants to make the United States a country that does more than grudgingly follow Europe's lead on energy and the environment, or complain bitterly about China's rise, it needs the energy and ideas of someone like Doerr.

Doerr would be a bold, forward-looking pick, and he could play the role of investor-in-chief, advising Obama on the specifics of the big issues he should be investing in: education, energy, emerging tech, health care innovation, and improving the country's infrastructure.

Posted by: Jonathan | July 28, 2008 10:49 PM | Report abuse

Obama's best VP pick ... Caroline Kennedy

Secretary of State - Joe Biden
Secretary of Treasury - Warren Buffet
Secretary of Commerce - Ross Perot
Secretary of Labor - Ralph Nader
Secretary of the Interior - Ben Nighthorse Campbell

Obamas biggest job is going to be rebranding america to the world ... We rate the status of a "junk bond" in most of the worlds eyes ... our word is untrue ... our intelligence flawed.

The overall goals of getting out of Iraq ... addressing Global Warming ... and a myriad of other direction decisions are pretty much made and only have to be manned by the appropriate people ...

Rebranding america to the world as other than "a country eager to stay in a perpetual state of war" is a job only Obama can do ... and to do that job Obama needs Caroline.

Obamas european trip is an indication of his ability to acheive success. McCains european trip is an indication of why he would fail.

Posted by: beaupritchard | July 28, 2008 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan would be an exellent choice as Barack Obama's VP. Then again Obama might be saving him for Supreme Court Justice.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 28, 2008 10:20 PM | Report abuse

I dont see how the vetters can get past Kaines creepy eyebrow thing. I mean really have you ever watched him speak its like he's a cartoon. I cant ever hear what he's saying cause I'm wondering if a Dr can help him or not.

Posted by: mountain man | July 28, 2008 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Barack has a stronger field of potentially very good and a second tier of fairly good persons to choose his vice-presidential nominee. Whereas John McCain has, other than Colin Powwll, second or third tier individuals to choose from.

The best Vice-President would be Al Gore or Bill Richardson. However, neither of these are mentioned as being seriously considered. None of those in the second tier, in my opinion, would significantly help Barack win.

Posted by: Independent | July 28, 2008 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Someone mentioned John Doerr and Kathleen Sebelius, so since out of left field and telegenic are in play, how about Blythe Danner? Seriously, it has to be Biden, but how about Ms Danner in the Arts and Humanties post that Jane Alexander held in the Clinton administration?

Posted by: justicat | July 28, 2008 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Sebelius is "quite attractive"???

Maybe for a 60-year-old hausfrau.

Posted by: Hank | July 28, 2008 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Barack Obama should name himself as VP and offer Hillary the Presidential slot, then Barack Obama would be showing an incredible level of integrity and truthfulness after the ridiculous manipulation that went on in the republican leaning caucus states, and the ridiculous delegate allocations that went on in several swing states.

Posted by: Alessandro Machi | July 28, 2008 9:14 PM | Report abuse

The buzz is certainly growing. Seems to be a tossup between Bayh, Biden and Kaine.
An interesting chart of their Intrade quotes...

Posted by: Matt | July 28, 2008 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Sebelius for VP for sure. I agree she is very telegenic. Quite attractive.

Posted by: Agnes Moorehead | July 28, 2008 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: TedP | July 28, 2008 3:42 PM

Sherrod Brown would be a great choice.

Posted by: smartinsen | July 28, 2008 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Bayh is the safest pick, he has extremely good message control and gives Obama almost all the balance he could want while still looking young. He is a bit dull, which is not really a problem if up against Pawlenty or Portman in a debate.

Biden is the "counterbalance" pick, he has just gotten better over time. Biden has an expansive mind and has gotten much better about being succinct. Slightly smarter, less telegenic, less message control, and less electoral help compared to Bayh. Biden is the one I feel best about going up against Romney, just because I think he would stick him on more of his flip-flops.

Sebelius has a very strong track record and is telegenic and intelligent, but she obviously brings little foreign policy expertise. She is in my opinion the strongest outsider/double down on change pick, and her turnaround job in Kansas could be a major asset. She is also the one I feel best about running in 2016 should Obama win two terms (knock on wood). If it weren't the for the Clinton effect I would expect her to run away with the nomination.

Kaine is a much less experienced male version of Sebelius from a swing state. Surveys show he has no impact on Obama in VA. I would still be satisfied with Kaine, but frankly I'd rather have Mark Warner.

Posted by: John M. | July 28, 2008 8:40 PM | Report abuse

Oh well I see once again WAPO OBAMA Shill
Chris The Dippy Drizzle didnot read the
memo that voters are fed up and tired of
hearing endless,OBAMA! OBAMA! And More Damn
Obama! So Cool It Chris On Obama!

Posted by: Sherry Kay | July 28, 2008 8:36 PM | Report abuse

We are getting towards the end. What I believe to be BO's long list for veep (in order of preference), with some annotations(from staff?). The good news for HRC supporters, I guess, is she made the list.
1. Claire McCaskill (by far our most intense supporter, but that's a good thing)
2. Tim Kaine
3. Wesley Clark
4. Chuck Hagel
5. Caroline Kennedy
* * * * * * * * *
281,421,899. Mrs. K. Sebelius (will Tenn. women's basketball team let her join us?)
281,421,900. Elizabeth Kasselbeck (re-do IQ test, no score recorded)
281,421,901. Verne Troyer (deserves break)
281,421,902. Dara Torres (could enhance performance of campaign, but consider weekly testing)
281,421,903. Maricopa Sheriff Joseph M. Arpaio (Hispanic outreach maybe?)
281,421,904. Christian Bale (after he makes bail)
281,421,905. Mrs. H.R. Clinton
281,421,906 Lt. William "Rusty" Calley

Posted by: Broadway Joe | July 28, 2008 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Please, I voted for Tim Kaine, and he's a fine fellow, but he hasn't been a particularly good Gov to date, and not a whit of foreign policy experience.

Posted by: justicat | July 28, 2008 8:14 PM | Report abuse

The Kaine story would not leak on his end without instructions from the Obama campaign. This is a classic trial balloon to see how Kaine would be received. Trials balloons are always leaked from the person who is being floated's side.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 28, 2008 7:43 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure if this means anything or not. But, it gets a whole lot of coverage in the press, most of it positive, and lots of free headlines. So, in that sense, the extended tease is a good thing.

The Obama campaign is doing a good job of working the news media with positive stories. McCain's press is mostly not as good (mole removal) or is based on attacking Obama (some of the attacks have been pretty silly).

McCain needs to make a positive case for why he should be president. If it is mainly that he isn't Obama, he is showing signs of weakness. Doesn't look to be his year.

Personally, I still go with da gov of Ohio....

Posted by: PatrickInBeijing | July 28, 2008 7:32 PM | Report abuse

you all have to keep in mind the VP cnaiddate has one of their best issues is going up in the debates against the OTHER VP cnaiddate...and Kaine...


if it's Pawlenty it is one thing...but if it's Romney or Ridge...Kaine would at worst be trounced...

at best (unless he just became an expert insider and none of us knew he was hanging out in insider circles) would look new and young and not matured in the issues enough yet.

Romney would crush him on economics... and might even crush him on foregin policy...

Remember Romney has been through the national debate ringer now...and has even debated with old timers like Kennedy and Kerry when he was back in Mass on a couple of occasions...

so Kaine and Sebelius as potential running mates still baffles me.

Posted by: dl | July 28, 2008 7:12 PM | Report abuse

I cna see Doerr maybe with treasury, sec of energy maybe......working with this group thta met today...but outside that ...maybe a little too much business (and somewhat liberalbusiness cred) and a little too little foreign policy, social policy and administration background)

but I also think he would be great on some board looking at the real feasibility of carbon credits and green jobs...and where our "national r& d" needs to go...but yeah not for VP.

Posted by: dl | July 28, 2008 7:06 PM | Report abuse


Kathleen Sebelius??? the most credentials???

I don't know what you're smokin' but I think it came off a Kansas cow pattyy.

Credentials...with a national platform?

or foreign policy?

...yeah all the governors have as much credentialing as she does...but in a vice presidential pick...the whole executive experience cuts both ways...because they are the VP for the probable entire administration's term... meaning they don't call the shots unless something happens.

Kathleen Sebelius...governor of Kansas.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 28, 2008 6:55 PM | Report abuse

I have an idea for a darkhorse pick that would fit the criteria that Obama mentioned, and I'd like the thoughts of the readers of this blog.

The pick is John Doerr, perhaps the country's preeminent venture capitalist and someone who is passionate about supporting Democratic causes. He has traveled the world, has a wealth of economic experience, knows how to negotiate, and is passionate about cutting edge issues like education reform, disease control and prevention, cleantech and all things Internet related. He is also an excellent communicator, as you can see if you enter his name in youtube.

There was some speculation in 2000 that he would be a potential Veep for Gore. He was also a Hillary supporter, which should make her supporters happy. All of this plus his incredible fundraising capacity makes him, in my mind, an ideal choice. Thoughts?

Posted by: JD | July 28, 2008 6:54 PM | Report abuse

buy the way

if McCain is picking Romney ...why not announce during the Olympics...or right after or right before... He was the ex-head of the Olympics...he is going to get a lot of Press in China if he is also the VP nod from McCain.

Posted by: dl | July 28, 2008 6:51 PM | Report abuse

if obama was goin strictly on credentials he would pick kathleen sebelius shes the best of the whole lot and she has a track record but obama is a very cautious person and only does risky things he can get away with like having his convention speech b4 75000 people but when it comes to policy hes realy very cautious a bold statement would be to pick kathleen sebelius and break the back of the clinton people who i think are daring hm to pick another woman reading ryan lizzas terrific piece in the new yorker really opened my eyes to obama style a bold audacious pick would be sebelius a safe pick would be tim kaine altho im sue he will be a great vp.

Posted by: jines | July 28, 2008 6:50 PM | Report abuse

...and Chris remember picking Kaine out of Virginia...

what that would do to all of Virginia down ballot...

the blue they are seeing would flip back if Kaine left and the Repub lt.Gov took over.

lots o problems with Kaine... ...and way too early for him. 2 years as governor of one national foreign policy judgement of record... and now he has the whole stuff about election fraud coming up.

I get baffled when "experts" and pundits don't see all this.

every week we go to one idea then back to Biden...another idea and back to Biden...another idea and back to Biden.


Posted by: dl | July 28, 2008 6:49 PM | Report abuse

I'm concerned that the story re Kaine leaked at Kaine's end. Does this meet the stringent "no drama" rule and particularly the Obama campaign's hitherto excellent leak management standards (in which the only leaks are deliberate ones, as far as I can tell)?

Or perhaps it IS a deliberate leak, but I doubt that, given the publicity value of a true surprise announcement.

I really really like Tim Kaine, but the surprise destruction of our transportation package by the Virginia Supreme Court, of all people, has robbed him (and all Virginia drivers) of a big achievement. Since then the Republicans in the General Assembly have gone into do-nothing mule mode, I think partly to hurt him in just this way on the national scene. Shame on them.

Posted by: Cautious Optimist for Kaine | July 28, 2008 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Wait. . . .something is coming to me. . . it's pretty murky but it's getting clearer now. . .I think I can see it, YES! it's the brain of Barack Obama, and there, a solitary figure standing inside his brain, yes, I think standing. . .can't quite tell. . .might be a woman but not sure. . .no, definitely a man. . .he's shaving, I think. . .MUST be his Vice-Presidential pick. . .it's. . .it's. . .IT'S!. . .no, it's gone. Might have been fog, now that I think about it. . .Guess we'll have to wait for the convention.

Posted by: dch | July 28, 2008 6:39 PM | Report abuse

although Kaine is another lefty. lol

Posted by: dl | July 28, 2008 6:37 PM | Report abuse

but seriously about the "integrity" comment...I think Obama was talking about...



Biden is the poorest Senator (or maybe the second pooorest now I am not sure) because he promised 30 years ago when he first ran for office, he would never own a stock or a bond in a company...and he still doesn't.

I don't think a lot of people know that but they will.

so if you are going to say he doesn't have integrity because of the stupid speech thing 25 years ago...

I think when that would be thrown out would end up being a non-starter.

Obama's issues with integrity are really more prioritized on lobbyists than a speech from 25 years ago.

Posted by: dl | July 28, 2008 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Joe Biden

I agree has the speech thing from 25 years ago...

but he also is

the guy who goes on TV and out on a limb every other week fighting against this administration and there political and fear mongering.

and if anyone has been vetted it's Joe Biden so I don't think you really LOL need to worry about skeletons in the closet ...


Rove and the rest would have trashed him after the 10th time he went on MTP calling them out.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 28, 2008 6:07 PM | Report abuse

I just can't see how he is going to pick Kaine based on one state and his friendship with the guy.

He is picking someone for the rest of the country to then pick.

and he has stated he is going to pick the person that #1 would be the best President.

How can a guy with Kaine's resume and no visible recorded judgement on the issues be sold to the American public as the person that is a heart beat away.

a guy you have to throw into the lion's den of a vp debate.

I think Kristol and the post and Politico just got lead down a back alley by some people who want to think they are mroe important than they are.

or if Obama picked Kaine because of one state and his friendship ...he knows how that would be viewed on his judgement.

It would put him ahead of the country...and I know from seeing this guy for a year and a half back in my homestate to start... Obama doesn't do that when it comes to this election...he is really is as smart as most say.

He can't take that hit.

Posted by: dl | July 28, 2008 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Didn't Obama say on Meet the Press that the #1 quality he is looking for in a VP is "Integrity"?

That pretty much rules Joseph Biden out, since he was guilty of plagiarism not too long ago. And lord knows how many other skeletons lurk in his closet. He has no exectuive experience, either.

Just My 2 cents

Posted by: steveo1983 | July 28, 2008 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Probably means it will really be Tom Daschle, since he doesn't particularly have any thing to do right now, and everyone else would vacate an office the Dems ought to keep filled.

Posted by: | July 28, 2008 5:47 PM | Report abuse

and just so it's a little clearer that I am not basing all this on some "Biden glorification"...because I think he talks too much

in the past 2 weeks

today Biden is pushing the new crime bill that has a good chance of passing that focuses on increasing "homeland security by increasing police.

this past week he passed bipartisan bills with Lugar

Pakistan assistance (coinciding with Obama's push about how to deal with Pakistan)

a new environmental plan that incorporates what Obama has been saying...

aids funding bill last week

two weeks ago went on MTP and fought against oil drilling and gave the most referenced succinct reasons why we shouldn't drill when we have approved mileage to drill that hasn't been yet...

when the senators traveling to the middle east were allowed to bring one "aid" with them each ...reed brought his...Hagel brought his...and Obama brought Biden's

everyone needs to step back and look at the events of the past month...

that's all I am saying.

Posted by: dl | July 28, 2008 5:37 PM | Report abuse


did you catch the Harry reid comments about Biden and oil drilling today...

and last week he put forward the environmental initiative he had been pushing ...

his list of bi-partisan bills on pakistan and healthcare and a few other things...

all across the board issues.

I know everybody is thinking I am "selling" Biden...

but to me it's really clear...

everything that has come out of obama's mouth and those around Obama's mouth...
Biden's behavior for the past few weeks...

this new commentary from people like Reid and Gore...about biden being right and "thank goodness for Joe Biden saying something... about oil drilling"

Step back and look at the whole picture of what is going on...

yeah he may be Sec. of State... but I am pretty sure everyone is just confusing Obama's statements on "changing the way we do business"

I have heard him abnswer this way many times but when you get to pick up the variety of things with it...

it's not about age bayh does business the same way by the definition you are taking.

He won't pick Kaine just becaus ethe guy is from his hometown and from virginia
He is not going to pick Sebelius...not strong enough in foreign policy and her being a woman does not move her past more qualified candidates.

Reed unfortunately I think is too short (although he is tied for second choice)

Nunn is too flatlined...and whose energy and persona would be a drain on the enthusiasm of the ticket.

and Clinton is too negative with independents...but I think she is right behind Reed.

Loud mouthed as he is...gaffes as much as people over exaggerate that he does (when in all actuality it's becaus ehe is the one who has been on tv fighting the most with this administration...out of ANYBODY)

and even if you think he is an east coast elitist...

chances are McCain picks Romney... in a debate who looks more elitist...and in a debate with Pawlenty who looks the smartest by a mile...

Nobody's perfect and you never know but...all said and strictly by the numers and qualities...

he'll pick Biden.

Posted by: dl | July 28, 2008 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Chris again on MTP he said after this when pressed that he is looking at the position to have a person who is a wealth of knowledge ...a resource. He did not want it to be some quiet side position.

He is picking Biden.

I know I know...but listen to the whole answer... that he ahs given several times now

the change of the way washington does politics... does not conflict with Biden.

It conflicts with Lobbyists.

Biden is the poorest member of the Senate partly because of this.

He may have been there a long time...but he is totally of the changing the way they do things mindset...go back and listen to his speeches over the last 6 years on sunday mornings.

After the MTP answer there is no way anyone should be thinking anyone other than Biden.

sorry y'all not reading it right.

MSNBC took the same quote ignoring the later more important quote...

Posted by: dl | July 28, 2008 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Anyone see this Daily Kos poll on an Obama/Bayh ticket? Surprised more people haven't participated.

Posted by: JonnyD | July 28, 2008 4:59 PM | Report abuse

JerseyBoy writes
"I'm sure Ridge creating the Department of Homeland Security certainly does provide a lot of comfort to voters who believe security is an important issue."

Yeah, I think of Tom Ridge every day when I drive by the airport & see that informative sign 'Threat Level Orange'. Its said that since the day it was put up 5 or 6 years ago. WTF does 'threat level orange' mean anyway? Couple that with the idea of wrapping your house in duct tape and plastic in the event of biological or nuclear attack & you have to wonder how many cylinders this guy is firing on.

Posted by: bsimon | July 28, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

I agree Soonerthought...
"Chris" - can't take you seriously if you voted for Gore in '00 and Bush '04. still haven't heard a good justification for that slip up...

Posted by: Anonymous | July 28, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

obama needs to appeal to the center. he has already energized his base so now he needs to pick off independents. kaine does that, bayh does that -
not sure about biden or dodd. chris i still don't see you you spin those guys with change.

mccain has the tough pick in my mind. it's not clear that he has much independent support (since his transformation from 2000) and he clearly does not energize the base. thus his conundrum - if he energizes his base, he may further alienate the center. and if he doesn't energize the base does he even have a shot at all?

Posted by: nicolasny | July 28, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

I'd say that the previous poster, "Chris", (who sees fit to sling mud)should be disaqualified from voting this year if he voted for Bush in '04; and don't get me started on Ross Perot.

Posted by: Soonerthought | July 28, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Windy City. I'd read about Ridge being a possibility but had no idea he had the qualification he did. As a former governor of one of the nation's largest states he has executive experience that even Obama or McCain can't claim.

I opened another internet page and I'm googling him as I write this. What an impressive history. He even graduated from Harvard and was a District Attorney before winning six Congressional terms. He is certainly knowledgeable about how DC works and how to get things done there. And I'm sure Ridge creating the Department of Homeland Security certainly does provide a lot of comfort to voters who believe security is an important issue. I opted to read about Obama's VP choices and now I'm convinced the best VP choice in either party is Tom Ridge.

Posted by: JerseyBoy | July 28, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse

As an independent Ohio voter who voted for Reagan twice, Perot in 1992, Clinton 1996, Gore in 2000 and Bush in 2004, the only way I could vote for Obama is if Evan Bayh is on the ticket. Bayh was a terrific governor of Indiana and remember him fondly.

I could care less about Barack Obama's hopey-dopey change rhetoric. I want an Obama Adminstration that is serious about governing and running this great country.

Sorry, but some East coast loudmouth and plagarizer like Joe Biden or a token woman like Sebelious or a one-term governor for 3 years like Tim Kaine doesn't impress me. It will only show Obama is all rhetoric and no substance.

Posted by: Chris | July 28, 2008 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Sorry Hillary, Vice-Presidential candidates don't select themselves

For the last 50 years, the selection of the Vice-Presidential nominee in both parties has basically been the sole prerogative of the Presidential nominee. What is more, those who might have coveted the job were obliged by custom to at least feign indifference or perhaps outright non-interest.

The most recent exception was in 1956 when delegates at the Democratic convention actually chose the Vice-Presidential nominee, but only after Presidential nominee Adlai Stevenson threw the selection process open to the delegates. Even in this instance the prerogative of the Presidential nominee was predominant.

Never ones to be bound by custom or taste, as Hillary's prospects for winning the top spot on the ticket grew increasingly dim in May and June, the Clintons suddenly decided, "well, okay, we'll take the Vice-Presidency." It wasn't that explicit of course. First there were Clinton surrogates suggesting a so-called "dream ticket" of Obama and Hillary, then it was revealed the Bill Clinton said Hillary had "earned" an offer of the Vice-Presidency (one wonders what Bill's reaction would have been in 1992 if he was told Paul Tsongas or Bob Kerrey had earned the offer to be his running mate and he was obliged to make the offer?). Finally, it was reported that in conversations with supporters, Hillary did not reject the plans to mount efforts to "encourage" Obama to choose her.

The taboo of expressing uninvited interest in the Vice-Presidency has been broken before. 2008 also-ran former Senator Mike Gravel submitted his name for the Vice-Presidential nomination at the Democratic convention in 1972 but was soundly trounced by the Presidential nominee George McGovern's pick Thomas Eagleton. What is unusual is the speed in which Hillary began a campaign to anoint herself Vice-Presidential nominee and intensity of her supporters' tactics. Blogs have been set up to promote her candidacy, Hillary supporters are being encouraged to flood online polls, they are employing hot rhetoric to demand Obama choose her.

What Hillary and supporters don't seem to understand is Vice-Presidential nominees are not self-selected. Even if selecting her was a good idea, and it isn't, the tactics of her supporters look like an ultimatum to Obama. For him to agree would be a sign of weakness.

Posted by: Philip Meyer | July 28, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Last week I thought it was down to either Bayh or Biden. This week I think it's down to either Kaine or Bayh. I'm sure he'll come to see Sebelius as too risky and Dodd as not worth it. But I'm disturbed that he's actually considering Kaine. That's some gall along with weak judgment, politically or otherwise.

Posted by: Justin | July 28, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse

As a strong follower of Mr. Obama I find it impertinent that anyone would try to "divine" his intentions.

Who are you?

Mr. Obama is not a Washington hack, therefore, beltway bloviators are admonished that only fools try to "divine" the intentions of a great leader.

Posted by: Bob North Smithfield | July 28, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

I much more intrigued by who McCain will choose as his VP. Obama's core support will not be significantly swayed by who he chooses. But McCain needs to pull in independents to win.

In that respect I think the best VP for McCain is Tom Ridge. A former popular Pennsylvania governor and congressman who won with huge majorities. He was the first head of the Department of Homeland Security and had the impossible task of bringing 22 government agencies together to protect Americans right after 9/11. He not only did the impossible, he did it very well and we have had no attacks on our soil since.

Ridge is a decorated war hero. He is a pro-choice Catholic but only in the cases of incest, rape, and danger to the health of the mother. This is a stance acceptable to most Republicans and Democrats and more importantly embraced by many independents. His choice would please probably give McCain-Ridge Pennsylvania's 21 electoral votes. He had a reputation for balancing state budgets and being strong on crime. He was even was well received by environmentalists.

McCain would hit a home run with Ridge as his choice for VP. Obama would be caught totally off-guard by a decorated war hero who is pro-choice and who won the Pennsylvania governorship with 57% of the vote. Not to mention the man who created from scratch the Department of Homeland Security. The American people would sleep soundly knowing Tom Ridge was second in command. He would be a bold and strategically brilliant choice.

Posted by: WindyCity | July 28, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Maybe the reason Obama isn't talking is because he suspects there are bloggers out there with nothing better to do than parse his denials.

Chrikey, Fix: no means no (although I agree with your parsing of his denials - Kaine is the guy).

Posted by: bondjedi | July 28, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

McCain of 2000 got beaten by the Republican sleaze machine down in South Cacalacky and never fully recovered.

Rove et. al. blasted him, falsely, for having a bastard black baby etc.

If you can't beat 'em join 'em. McCain sold his independent soul for a shot at the big house.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 28, 2008 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Gen. Powell should be SecState. He knows best the failures of the Rumsfeld Doctrine and how to undo the damage it caused us with our allies.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 28, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Sen Obama said
"I'm going to want somebody with integrity; I'm going to want someone with independence, who's willing to tell me where he thinks or she thinks I'm wrong; and, I'm going to want somebody who shares a vision of the country where we need to go, that we've got to fundamentally change not only our politics but how our politics works, how business is done in Washington."

Sounds to me like he's going to offer the job to John McCain, circa 2000.

What happened to that guy, anyway?

Posted by: bsimon | July 28, 2008 3:56 PM | Report abuse

"I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy," -Joe Biden, Jan '07

Seems like Biden is crushing on Obama. I guess we'll find out soon enough if the feeling is mutual.

Of course, his comment on Obama is a little creepy. Not sure I'd want to have a 2iC who called me bright and clean and nice looking- unless of course my 2iC was a hot babe.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 28, 2008 3:56 PM | Report abuse

I see some abuse of Chris going on here and I have to weigh in. It should be noted that Chris is not acting strictly as a reporter for this online column. It's a blog, not a straight news piece. If he wants to "muse out loud" about the veepstakes, that is perfectly fine for a political BLOG. (And yes, as a matter of fact, I did go to journalism school. I have been a reporter, editor and columnist--now I'm a blogger. I can assure you there is a difference between all four of those vocations.)

Posted by: Soonerthought | July 28, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Stop saying Biden people...He is going to Sec. of State in the Obama administration. Also, stop saying chuck Hagel, because he's going to be Sec of Defense. Also, stop saying Clinton because the Senate will need a new "Lion" after Ted Kennedy. Lets get serious people. Its either going to be Bayh, Nunn, or Dodd.

Posted by: matt | July 28, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Chris needs to "fix" his reporting. When I read these meaningless article I want my time back and I also ask myself the question "Did any of these people go to journalism school".

Posted by: The Fix | July 28, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

In other - shorter - words, you have no clue and neither does anybody else but Obama.

That was another edition of saying simple things in a complicated manner.

Posted by: benjamin | July 28, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

I agree; Obama's main concern is preparing Hillary's supporters for the inevitable disappointment they are going to experience when the VP pick is announced. The comments to Brokaw were purely about making it clear it's not going to be Hillary.

Purely from a HorseRace entertainment value-perspective, I still hope he pulls a rabbit out of a hat and picks someone like Sherrod Brown or John Tester. Other than that, I think Biden - despite his healthy and vigorously public ego would clearly make the best President, and, by extension, the best Vice President.

Posted by: TedP | July 28, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

My vote (yes, pun intended) would have to be Biden... he has a wealth of foreign policy experience and is not afraid (maybe he should be just a little afraid) to speak his mind.
However if Obama does want to throw out conventional wisdom and really want to include members of both parties in his administration, then Chuck Hagel.

Posted by: PeterPamZ | July 28, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Before leaving Europe on Saturday, Obama told reporters he might suffer a small drop in the polls after being out of the country for more than a week. In the AP interview and an appearance on NBC's Meet The Press, he indicated he intends to shift his focus quickly toward the economy and other domestic issues in the coming days.

you see people have figured out he's totally out of his depth with a photo-op foreign policy whirlwind. Result - the numbers drop. quick barry get back to something you can fake easier.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 28, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

It is absolutely amazing how the media, in its attempt to appear on top of the game, seem to have moved from reporting truth to reporting speculation as truth. From reporting fact to reporting opinion as fact. Just FYI, the affect is that most Americans are becoming more disenchanted with the media. We are bombarded with so many irrelevant points and references that when you finally have a breaking story, the audience has moved and shifted. Chris, perhaps I would have done better to know the insight into why Bush has yet to be impeached...ah yes I know he didn't get frisky with an intern but he did turn a budget surplus into a deficit and not only a deficit but $490billion in the red and thats not even taking the war spending into consideration. I'll be checking in for insight later. Thanks.

Posted by: Disenchanted... | July 28, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Obama should pick Sen. Clinton. Let's face it, the Republicans are nasty, vicious people (see McCain's charges of sedition) and the Clintons know how to play that game.

Simply put, with Hillary and Bill in DC, with no other responsibility than to wield power and abuse the people on the enemies list, the democratic party could basically destroy the republican party.

The republicans have ruined their brand name by corruption, conniving and failed policies. It's time to finish the job.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 28, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

When I watched the Meet the Press interview, this is the exact section that made my ears perk up.

What I heard was, it's not Hillary Clinton. One of the key disputes during the primaries was whether to chose a nominee who knows how to play the existing Washington game better or a nominee who is running to change the game. (Phrased differently by each candidate, but that was the gist of it.) The italicized section of the quote thus is almost a 180 degree difference from Hillary Clinton's arguments during the campaign. I don't think it meant a thing about anyone else.

Chris was right to post this. Lighten up, people.

Posted by: Fairfax Voter | July 28, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse

▁▂▃▄▅▆▇█ OBAMA - LEAHY '08 █▇▆▅▄▃▂▁

Obama can certainly handle foreign affairs, and with Leahy, we get to exfoliate the repugs. I support this combo because it drives the repugs to bleed out their discharge shoots in fear (Congressional investigations with Executive Branch teeth...)

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | July 28, 2008 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, this is pretty meaningless. You can spin anyone to seem a change candidate. Heck, even Bush has Washington debating the merits of torturing people. That's quite a change.

Posted by: DDAWD | July 28, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

It's Biden. Or at least Biden hopes so--he is doing everything possible to position himself as the best pick. Check out Biden's campaign manager/sister's most recent email to supporters here:

Posted by: Soonerthought | July 28, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Another pointless post. You give a quote from Obama implying who his VP might be, spend a few paragraphs analyzing his every word, then conclude by saying we shouldn't read too much into Obama's words. Net information gain: Zero.

Posted by: Blarg | July 28, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

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