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FixCam Week in Preview: The Final Countdown!

With the Democratic National Convention slated to begin a week from today, Barack Obama is nearing the end of his long search for a vice presidential running mate.

As we noted Friday in our Veepstakes Line, there still appear to be five people under serious consideration although the ultimate pick is expected to come from one the Final Three: Sens. Joe Biden (Del.) and Evan Bayh (Ind.), and Gov. Tim Kaine (Va.).

Biden remains the hot name, a status only bolstered by a surprise weekend trip to Georgia to meet with top officials of the embattled country. Can you say foreign policy bona fides?

The news that Obama would make a stop in Virginia on Wednesday coupled with a report that an advance team has been scouting out event sites in Richmond briefly returned Kaine to center stage although most of the sharp political observers in the party believe that former Virginia governor Mark Warner's selection as the keynote speaker all but rules out his successor as Obama's veep.

If not Biden then, the conventional wisdom suggests Bayh will be the pick. Bayh performed well (more on this later) in what could well be his final tryout for the job on "Face the Nation" Sunday. Some on the liberal left are unhappy with Bayh but his resume -- two term governor of a red state, moderate voting credentials, Midwesterner -- could appeal to Obama's sense of ticket balance.

The two choices that would be termed surprises are Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (Kan.) and Sen. Jack Reed (R.I.). Both have gone through the vetting process but don't seem to be at the same level of consideration as the top three. Still, any time you make it this far in the vice presidential search you have a shot at being the one.

Looking for a real darkhorse? Try Sen. Chris Dodd (Conn.). He is beloved by the liberal wing of the party and carries significant policy heft -- both on foreign and domestic matters.

Soon enough this extended guessing game will be over and the identity of the vice president will be revealed. We can't wait.

By Chris Cillizza  |  August 18, 2008; 9:36 AM ET
Categories:  FixCam  
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Next: Sunday Talk Shows: Who Won the Gold?


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Posted by: tgcuhf biyouzar | August 26, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: jihuwbrg tqgsaezjm | August 26, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

I think people are so stupid sometimes and they don't think before they making silly comments. It's clear that Senator Obama is and will be the nominee for President Hillary doesn't have a chance I don't think the superdelegetes will override the voters if they do then McCain can start celebrating now.

Obama for President

Posted by: Jacie - San Leandro, Ca | August 18, 2008 5:14 PM | Report abuse

the polls don't take into consideration all

and when they look at "likely voters" it tends to be on demographic characteristics that are heavily swayed Republican.

so these polls aren't going to be close...and i am not talking as if there is going to be this huge youth turn out...
I'm saying enthusiasm is by far not in Mccain's all.

Posted by: dl | August 18, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

If Biden is the pick I will actually pull the Democratic lever come election day. Otherwise it's a deal breaker. No presidential vote.

Posted by: 4everateo | August 18, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

I want Hillary.

Posted by: Chris | August 18, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse

"Rice may secure McCain the city of Palo Alto, but I doubt she could do more than put the tiniest of dents in Obama's hold on CA."

(I was kidding)

Posted by: DDAWD | August 18, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Rice may secure McCain the city of Palo Alto, but I doubt she could do more than put the tiniest of dents in Obama's hold on CA.

Not to mention the fact that she won't be the pick. He can't proclaim his "maverick" status while simultaneously putting the only available standard bearer of the Bush Administration on the ticket.

Posted by: JamesCH | August 18, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

"I put CA in there for people who may be deluded enough to think that McCain has a chance in CA."

A Condoleeza Rice VP pick should wrap up the state for him.

Posted by: DDAWD | August 18, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

"Well, lets just say that the conventional wisdom isn't being challenged and even if it were, how do you adjust for what you think the turnout will be? I have no idea how to even begin guessing."

We can start by looking at the incredible difference in turnout during primary season up to and including the primaries of Feb. 12 (Potomac Primary), when both races could still be considered open.

However, let's just look at up to Super Duper Tuesday.

NH - Democrats 283,274 Republicans 233,381 (+49,893)
MO - D: 800,571 R: 578,940 (+221,631)
TN - D: 583,329 R: 533,658 (+49,671)
CA - D: 4,196,387 R: 2,393,406 (+1,803,341)
CO (caucus) - D: 117,931 R: 55,845 (+62,086)

This doesn't include some obvious D states like IL, NJ, NY, CT, MA. I put CA in there for people who may be deluded enough to think that McCain has a chance in CA.

Posted by: JamesCH | August 18, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

The funniest thing about this election is, despite the fact that Obama will have millions more to spend than McCain in the run up to November, it isn't TV that will win this thing for Obama.

The Obama ground game is one of the most dynamic we've seen in a long time. McCain just doesn't have the time or the resources to counter that.

Posted by: JamesCH | August 18, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

"And it is done because it's more exciting for the media to pump this up as a closer race than it is."

Well, lets just say that the conventional wisdom isn't being challenged and even if it were, how do you adjust for what you think the turnout will be? I have no idea how to even begin guessing.

I do think that Obama will make more of an effort to increase turnout than Gore or Kerry. Remember, high turnout elections usually favor Democrats with the big exception being 2004. (Man, 2004 broke a lot of trends, even the deadly accurate Redskins rule)

Posted by: DDAWD | August 18, 2008 1:16 PM | Report abuse

"My, you must be taking notes. Such instant recall.
And how do you know the etiology? They don't."

Well, I know about this stuff, so these gross errors jump out at me.

As for whether they know the etiology, they know enough to say that there is well over a fifty year difference in the onset of their conditions (I'll leave it to you to guess which happened first)

Posted by: DDAWD | August 18, 2008 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Most tracking polls do allow for an expected differential in turnout, usually based on how their representative sample identifies themselves.

Rasmussen, for example, is allowing for a 9% differential between Ds and Rs. The trouble is, when polling "likely voters" this early on, more Rs than Ds fit the definition of a "likely voter".

Therefore, the reality on the ground doesn't match what we see in the polls.

Posted by: JamesCH | August 18, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

"Should" Obama be ahead? I don't know what that means. Considering the many factors which make this a good year for Democrats, Obama should be outperforming Kerry. And he is. He's competitive in states that no Democrat has competed in for decades.

Let's turn this around. John McCain is an ex-POW who's been on the national scene for decades. He's been considered a straight-shooting maverick elder statesman for over a decade. Even before running for president, he was a regular feature on late-night talk and comedy shows. And the media consistently glosses over his flaws and mistakes, because (as he admits) the media is his base. His opponent is a mixed-race first-term senator with a funny name. Shouldn't McCain be wiping the floor with Obama? Why hasn't McCain closed the deal?

Posted by: Blarg | August 18, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Once again, the polling data used as an argument for Obama's weakness ignores the fundamental flaw in the polling model itself.

These polls are based on a boilerplate model, very rarely modified. They assume that there will be an approximately equal number of Democrats and Republicans voting in November, with a slightly smaller number of Independents.

The polls fail to reflect an overwhelming advantage in D voter turnout that is not only possible, but likely.

And it is done because it's more exciting for the media to pump this up as a closer race than it is.

Posted by: JamesCH | August 18, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse


But shouldn't Obama be far ahead at this stage, given the economy, the war, bush fatigue, etc.? Seems to me that his "lead" is very fragile, and the polls show it diminishing with each day.

Hillary's delegates probably will stick with her through the first ballot. After she prevents Obama from capturing the nomination on the first ballot, party leaders will go to Obama with the unity compromise. If he turns it down, he could lose the nomination and any hope of national office. If he takes the vice presidency, everybody wins.

Will it be Obama first, or party first?

Does Obama even have a choice?

But I admire your loyalty. I just think it's misplaced... unless you're looking forward to the McCain administration.

Posted by: scrivener | August 18, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Handwriting on Wall, it looks like you're trying to prove that Obama is a weak candidate. But you're wrong.

RCP lists 12 states as toss-ups, representing 147 electoral votes. Of those states, 9 went for Bush in 2004, representing 116 electoral votes. If Obama wins even half of the toss-up states, he wins the election in a walk. How does that make him weak?

And look at the states. In 2004, Bush won Virginia by 8 and Indiana by 20. Now both are ties. North Carolina is listed as a toss-up! Obama is outperforming Kerry in nearly every state! The handwriting is on the wall, but it doesn't say what you think it says.

Posted by: Blarg | August 18, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse


My, you must be taking notes. Such instant recall.
And how do you know the etiology? They don't.
But thanks for listening. Others were hoping you weren't.

As for the RCP polls: res ipsa loquitor.

Posted by: scrivener | August 18, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

How many of the state results from Real Clear Politics posted by "Handwriting On Wall" are within the margin of error?

Posted by: Munir | August 18, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

"Oh, Scrivener, are you still pushing Obama as VP nominee?"

So that people will pay attention to him. Its like him pushing the theory that Ted Kennedy's and Tim Johnson's vastly different conditions have the same source.

Posted by: DDAWD | August 18, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse


Battleground States Obama McCain Spread
Colorado 45.3 45.8 McCain +0.5
Virginia 45.7 46.3 McCain +0.6
Missouri 45.0 47.3 McCain +2.3
Michigan 46.0 42.8 Obama +3.2
Ohio 45.3 46.8 McCain +1.5
Florida 45.4 47.2 McCain +1.8

Posted by: Handwriting on Wall | August 18, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Wesley Clark would be a GREAT candidate and a perfect answer to "Mr. POW." Who better to articulate Obama's foreign policy direction than a 4 star general who, as the NATO supreme commander, was simply brilliant. And has a degree in economics, by the way.

Posted by: BillBolducinMaine | August 18, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

"Make your pick for who won the week in the comments section below. The best entries are relatively concise and creative. We'll pluck the best of the best out and announce it in our "FixCam Week in Preview" post on Monday."

Um, forget something?

Posted by: pedestrian | August 18, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Chris, why aren't you, or the Washington Post, commenting on the claims by McCain and Rev. Warren when they said McCain was in a "cone of silence" while Obama was being interviewed on Saturday evening? The NY Times reports on its web site that McCain was not in a "cone of silence" during the Obama interview but was in his motor home on his way to the church. The McCain camp confirmed that fact but still denies he listened to Obama being interviewed. Whom are they kidding?!

Posted by: Munir | August 18, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

To: "no pumas", "John Kiernan"

Wow! They really must be worried that Barack and Hillary have gotten together and agreed: "We fought to a draw; now let's BOTH unite the party and throw our support behind Al Gore."

And Barack runs as VP... and Hillary goes to SCOTUS when the next seat opens up.

Why else to explain all the agit-prop against the possibility?

Gore-Obama would steamroll McCain, while right now, this week, McCain will overtake Obama in the tracking polls. Friday's Gallup tracking had them dead-even. Tomorrow's other polls could seal the deal.

Posted by: scrivener | August 18, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Chris: You are so far off base, it's as if you thought a diamond was an oval.

The pick is going to be Clark or Webb. Wednesday is about Veterans and their families and there is absolutely NO WAY the VP is going to be a non-veteran.

Why people think Webb's declaration of non-interest is anything but a hedge against not being picked is a complete mystery to me.

Why people have written off Clark for doing exactly what a VP is supposed to do - be an attack dog - is dumbfounding.

Both of these men can be described with every adjective the campaign could possibly want:


It's going to be Clark or Webb.


Ted in Denver

Posted by: Ted Pearlman | August 18, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Oh, Scrivener, are you still pushing Obama as VP nominee? Its passed on! This race is no more! It has ceased to be! It's expired and gone to meet its maker!


With apologies to Monty Python.


Posted by: Fairlington Blade | August 18, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Hillary's pledged delegates should vote for her. It is fitting that, a candidate who ran an almost dead-even campaign against Barack Obama receive her due.

Additionally, it serves as another clear demonstration of which party is the party of diversity. The top two contenders for the Democratic nomination were an African-American man and a woman. Not to mention that a Hispanic man was in the running.

In the meantime, the GOP seems to be using their keynote speaker to deflect the appearance that they are, as they have been since 1964, the white party.

Posted by: JamesCH | August 18, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

These people are elected officials they are up the a&& of the winner. Hillary's chip are spent.


I did, and they all said that they're voting for Obama. Sorry.

Posted by: bondjedi | August 18, 2008 11:15 AM

Posted by: Anonymous | August 18, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse


I did, and they all said that they're voting for Obama. Sorry.

Posted by: bondjedi | August 18, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Can you say foreign policy bona fides? Obama has none. Biden is the only choice. McSame will eat Obama alive if he runs with some one or two term governor with no foreign policy experience. Why did Bushed pick Cheney? HELLO!!!!!!

Posted by: jersey john | August 18, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse


U.S. May Ease Police Spy Rules

The Justice Department has proposed a new domestic spying measure that would make it easier for state and local police to collect intelligence about Americans, share the sensitive data with federal agencies and retain it for at least 10 years.
By Spencer S. Hsu and Carrie Johnson



At a time when members of government-funded volunteer "service" and "watch" organizations are accused of harassing, intimidating and possibly physically abusing citizens, the administration's defense is a "good" offense: Just say anything goes.

Local police authority has been usurped and sworn officers who are charged with protecting their communities from crime are being turned into secret agents.

We have descended into a police state; federal grants are funding the police use of dangerous "radiation energy" weapons that fire concentrated blasts of silent, invisible radiation. Victims of organized "gang stalking" allege that these weapons are being used to degrade the lives of these so-called "targets", whose lives are being financially and physically destroyed by an extra-legal "control mechanism" similar to that practiced by the Nazis, the Stasi and the KKK.

These are the "mechanics of personal destruction," using the war on terror as a convenient rationale for imposition of a police state.

Where are McCain and Obama on this? Will the national press corps even ask the question?

For more on "vigilante injustice" and "directed energy weapons," see:

Posted by: "IT CAN'T HAPPEN HERE" - can it?? | August 18, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

>> Make sure they are voting for Hillary in the convention.

It's not going to happen this way. Think about it: Hillary is smarter than the people who have nothing to better to do than post comments that only OTHER people who post comments read.

What will happen:
Right before the roll call vote, Hillary will get up and make a Convention wide announcement: "Please vote for Obama to show Democratic unity to the Republicans! I will be voting for him and if you care about me, you will too!"

It's the smart "win-win" thing to do. Then when she people vite against her, she can claim she made it happen. When they don't, she can shrug and say "Oh well, I can't stop such enthusiasm."

I'm not a fan of Hillary, but it's the smart thing to do. Unlike the delusional thing to do which would be to rile up for an attempted takeover which wouldn't work anyway, but if in some science fiction scenario did, would cause a black third-party candidate that I, for one (a white middle-aged Obama supporter) would vote for to teach a lesson to the party.

Posted by: John Kiernan | August 18, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Nancy, will do and I'll tell them to vote for Obama. Why don't you go to London and join that other fool, Lade de (or is it "duh"?) Rotchschild. Hillary's moved on and so should you, but wait, there's always McCain and a return to back alley abortions, greater red ink, war mongering and a lot more. Some choice, isn't it? Just like a kid. Can't win so takes all the marbles or upsets the game board and throws a tantrum. Really adult behavior!

Posted by: No Pumas | August 18, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

PLEASE CONTACT ALL HILLARY’S PLEGED DELEGATES IN YOUR STATE. Make sure they are voting for Hillary in the convention. Voters in your district have voted for them to represent the people at your district.

Here is the link for all the Certified Delegates By State :

Posted by: nancysabet | August 18, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

It's such a paradoxical thing, this VP choice. On the one hand it means so little, the common wisdom is that you can't really help the ticket that much, but you can destroy it totally if you choose someone with some hideous skeleton that comes out of the closet after the choice.

On the other hand, in some very real way you're potentially picking the person in line to be the next President after you, if you win, and if a lot of other things line up. It's far from certain but it's a distinct possibility, and everyone knows that.

On another note, I think the most interesting aspect of the whole Saddleback episode over the weekend is the quote it elicited from the McCain camp "How dare anyone suggest that McCain, a former POW, could cheat!"

It's just so revealing about their approach: pretend that "Oh he hates it when people bring that up" then bring it up constantly, even when it has nothing to do with the subject.

Q: "How is Senator McCain today?"

A: "Well, as a former POW, he..."

It's now bound to go down along with "A noun, a verb, and 9/11". Just substitute "POW" for 9/11 and there you have it. They should never have pushed that meme so hard, it's become clear now that they think they can escape any scrutiny about any subject by just yelling "POW! Boo!" and expect everyone to immediately cower and bow down in awe. And stop asking the question they were asking. Sorry McCain camp, not everyone is Bob Schieffer.

Posted by: Bill Pilgrim | August 18, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: scrivener | August 18, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

None of mcCain's surrogates did very well...

the problem is ...the platforms and promises are weak at best...

and the logic behind the judgements is the same as Bush's used for 8 years.

It's bad...even if the campaign itself is good at spin.

Posted by: dl | August 18, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Jindal stumped when asked to name new ‘big ideas’ that McCain is proposing.»
This morning on NBC’s Meet the Press, host David Gregory asserted that the Republican Party “used to be the party of big ideas.” Gregory then asked his guest Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA), “What’s the big idea Senator McCain is campaigning on?” Jindal responded, “I think there’s several,” but couldn’t provide an answer. Gregory asked again, “Where are the new big ideas of the Republican Party that John McCain is, is championing?” And again Jindal couldn’t provide an answer. Watch it:
Jindal is just the latest McCain surrogate to be stumped when asked to defend McCain’s policies. Earlier this month, former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) couldn’t name a single McCain accomplishment on energy in his long congressional career. Similarly, Gov. Mark Sanford (R-SC) recently drew a blank when asked to name a major economic policy that Bush and McCain do not agree on.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 18, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Whatever will be will be. I personally prefer Biden or Dodd because they have edgy personalities, meaning throw them into a fray and they know how to pound the other side. But no one votes for the President because of the VP, so whoever it is I hope brings to the campaign things that offset Obama's weaknesses.

Posted by: nclwtk | August 18, 2008 9:49 AM | Report abuse

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