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The Line: Let's Get Serious About VeepStakes!

Two-and-a-half weeks after Super Tuesday, the Republican and Democratic presidential nomination contests are nearly resolved.

On the Republican side, Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) appears to be the all-but-inevitable nominee -- in spite of the recent hubbub about an alleged inappropriate relationship with a D.C. lobbyist. The way the story is being received by Republicans -- at least at the moment -- is with considerable outrage; influential conservatives like Rush Limbaugh have jumped to McCain's defense, savaging the New York Times for running the story and casting the situation as more of the same from the liberal media.

Even if more damaging information emerges that seems to raise questions about McCain's categorical denials, it's hard to see how someone other than McCain will be the GOP nominee. Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee seems to be playing out the string of contests through March 4 before dropping out. Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney suspended his campaign earlier this month, and we have heard no indications that his would reconsider that decision in the 24 hours since the McCain story broke.

Republicans have decided McCain is going to be the guy -- for better or worse.

On the Democratic side, Sen. Barack Obama's (Ill.) 10 consecutive primary and caucus wins over Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.), his lead among pledged delegates, narrowing poll numbers in must-win Clinton states like Ohio and Texas, and a clear fundraising edge all make Obama the frontrunner for the Democratic nod.

Eleven days -- the time remaining between today and the March 4 primaries -- is an era in politics, and Clinton has made clear she will aggressively take the fight to Obama in Ohio and Texas -- two states that demographically should favor her. But even her own allies acknowledge that it will be tough for her to win big on March 4 and after.

All of that is to say that McCain and Obama are likely to face off this fall in the general election. And so, The Fix's take on the five most likely vice presidential picks for each man are listed below. Since neither candidate has totally locked up the nominations, we aren't going to rank the veep candidates just yet. (We have to hold a few things back, right?)

Remember that The Line is meant as a conversation starter. Agree or disagree with our picks? Do you think this list is missing someone? Sound off in the comments section below.

To the Line!

BARACK OBAMA

* John Edwards: The former North Carolina senator's endorsement remains the biggest "get" in the ongoing battle between Obama and Clinton. On one level, he seems like a natural fit as Obama's No. 2; the two were passionate voices for change in the race and both put a refusal to accept money from special interests at the core of their campaigns. Edwards is also still a relatively young man and would help Obama make a generational argument against McCain. Why wouldn't Edwards be the pick? His six years in the Senate don't help Obama address voter concerns about experience.

Tim Kaine
Would putting Virginia's governor on the ticket swing the Commonwealth into the Democratic column in November? (AP File photo)

* Tim Kaine: Kaine, the governor of Virginia, has long been The Fix's dark horse pick to be Obama's running mate. Not only was he among the first major elected officials to back Obama, he hails from a potential swing state. Also, Kaine's deep faith (and willingness to speak about it on the campaign trail) could help the party's outreach to moderate and independent voters. Like Edwards, Kaine has very limited experience in foreign affairs, however.

* Kathleen Sebelius: Sebelius is the hot name right now among Democratic insiders buzzing about an Obama pick. Sebelius is currently in her second term as the governor of Kansas -- one of the most Republican states in the country. While the idea of the Democratic ticket carrying Kansas is somewhat far fetched (Lyndon Johnson was the last Democrat to do so way back in 1964), picking Sebelius would add to the historic nature of the Democratic ticket and draw huge amounts of media attention. Plus, Sebelius may have an intangible going for her: Obama's mother is a native Kansan.

* Jim Webb: Webb is a beloved figure among the liberal left who all but drafted him into his 2006 upset victory over Sen. George Allen (R). And he has the military credential few can match as a decorated Marine during Vietnam. His biggest asset and potential liability seems to lie in his unorthodox approach to politics. Webb is blunt to the point of awkwardness. Voters often love it, but such straight shooting may not make an ideal veep pick.

* Tony Zinni: Zinni is not only a high ranking military officer(he served as a Marine for nearly four decades and was the head of U.S. Central Command), but he also is a longtime opponent of the war in Iraq. His foreign policy chops are tough to question and his opposition to the war jibes nicely with Obama's own position. Given the likelihood of McCain as the Republican nominee, Obama might well opt for Zinni (or some other military man) to blunt charges that he is naive when it comes to foreign policy and national security.

JOHN McCAIN

Charlie Crist
The popular Florida governor might lock up the Sunshine State for McCain early on. (AP File photo)

* Charlie Crist: Less than two years after winning election as the governor of Florida, Crist is already being talked up in Republican circles as a potential VP. (The St. Petersburg Times even has a Charlie Crist veep-o-meter measuring his chances. In retrospect, McCain's win in Florida was the tipping point in his bid for the nomination, and that victory was fueled in no small part by a last-minute endorsement from Crist. One strike against Crist is that he isn't regarded by movement conservatives as one of them.

* Jon Huntsman Jr.: Huntsman, the governor of Utah, is the dark horse pick of this list. His original endorsement was seen a major coup for McCain -- Huntsman is Mormon, thus his support was seen as a slap at Mitt Romney. Huntsman also has significant chops among the Reagan/Bush crowd; he served in both Bush administrations and was a staff assistant in the Reagan White House in the early 1980s. Did we mention he is the son of the wealthiest man in Utah?

* Tim Pawlenty: The two-term Minnesota governor has to be considered the frontrunner at the moment to be McCain's pick. He hails from the electorally important Midwest, is young enough to balance concerns about McCain's age, and he stuck by the Arizona senator in the darkest days of the campaign. The criticism that Pawlenty is an unknown on the national stage may, in fact, be an argument in his favor -- voters won't bring any preconceived notions about him to the ticket. Never forget that one of the guiding principles in picking a VP is to find someone who is comfortable being seen but not heard. Want more about the man they call "Tpaw"? Make sure to read Jonathan Martin's profile of the man.

* Mark Sanford: If Tpaw is the top choice these days, Sanford isn't far behind. Term-limited out of office in 2010, Sanford is young (47) and the rare Republican who can bridge the chasm between social and economic conservatives. Sanford was an early endorser of McCain during the latter's 2000 presidential candidacy and, even though he stayed neutral this year, retains a good relationship with McCain. Fiscal conservatives -- led by the Club For Growth -- LOVE Sanford and have already begun lobbying on his behalf.

* John Thune: A rising star in the party, Thune is a hero to conservatives for defeating Sen. Tom Daschle (S.D.) in 2004. He also hails from the Plains -- a potentially competitive area with Iowa, Missouri, Minnesota and Wisconsin up for grabs. Thune, like Sanford and Pawlenty, is in his 40s, helping McCain offset any concerns about his age.

By Chris Cillizza  |  February 22, 2008; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008 , The Line  
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Posted by: apugcitvk dskj | April 16, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Unless there are polls showing a huge, huge, feminist backlash Obama is going to pick Mark Warner. Period!

No one else makes sense as his successor.


Posted by: arsonplus | March 15, 2008 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Obama should pick Richardson, who has the resume on foreign policy, has the high level experience in the White House on domestic policy (under Clinton no less!) and the Washington experience that Obama may lack. He also helps to balance out the Hispanic vote for Obama and would make many Red States competitive for Obama (i.e. think Florida and much of the Southwest)

McCain should pick Collin Powell which would give McCain someone younger and qualified as his VP and also someone whom is a know quantity (very similar to Reagan choosing Bush 41 as his running mate in 1980 and thus picking a VP who is younger than he and is prepped and ready to step in as President if something where to happen to him. In 1980 this neutralized the age question for Reagan). Powell obviously also brings in the element of being African American which helps to deflect some of the spin for Obama within the African American Community. This may also help to stop the erosion of gains (those gains made from 2002-2006) made within the African American Community by the Republican Party.

Posted by: ethxjock | March 9, 2008 8:44 AM | Report abuse

Actually, jpkillian, you'll see above your comment that I floated the Obama-Kerry idea on 2/22 at 11:59pm EST.

Posted by: jon.morgan.1999 | March 4, 2008 11:24 PM | Report abuse

For some reason, I haven't heard the name Dan Quayle mentioned lately. Is the GOP ashamed of something???

Posted by: mmiodovski | February 26, 2008 7:06 PM | Report abuse

as a mn resident, i'm happy to report that pawlenty took another hit today. he not only didn't come close to deleivering mn republicans for mccain at the caucuses, but his veto of a popular transportation infrastructure bill just got overridden by the MN legislature.

and dan111's sweet note about how popular pawlenty is failed to rebut the facts presented about "t-paw." he DID barely win in '06 and only because there were two democrats splitting the democratic vote and his opponenet imploded in the last week. in 2002, he won agaisnt two prominent democrats again and he has never passed 50% in the state.

could he improve mccain's standing in the state? maybe, but i sure wouldn't count on it.

Posted by: stpaulsage | February 25, 2008 6:08 PM | Report abuse

You heard it here first: Sen. John Kerry (D - MA) is on the short list.

Would cause major waves with this pick, but Obama trusts him; Kerry's foreign policy bona fides help; Kerry's donor list is a major reason Obama could tap into the grassroots $ spicket.

No crazier than Uncle Dick Cheney as the pick.

Obama-Kerry '08? Very possible I believe.

Posted by: jpkillian | February 25, 2008 5:49 PM | Report abuse

I'm from Utah and Mormon. Huntsman would add no value to the ticket for the following reasons:

1. It would be a geographically weak ticket. McCain - AZ. Huntsman - UT. (Both western states.)

2. Huntsman's no political "balance" to the ticket either. He's no "Reagan" conservative, in fact his politics mirror McCain's on the majority of issues.

3. Jon's own father endorsed Mitt Romney while Jon Jr. endorsed McCain. The assumption has been that the Governor did so because the McCain camp had dangled the carrot of a cabinet appointment. That speaks more strongly to opportunism than statesmanship. His father is more conservative than his son.

Posted by: Cherilyn | February 25, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

good point.

I have confidence though that whoever he picks will be a good choice.

And I think most importantly he has and continues to show good judgement--he's not trying to hide anything. For better or worse he is who he is--personally I think it is for the better--of course I think Bush has lowered that bar.

Posted by: chadibuins | February 25, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

chad

I don't think the Clinton connection will hurt. As for Bosnia - overall, of course, it was very successful. I don't think the incident with the Russians will amount to much. He did get on the wrong side of William Cohen who was Secretary of Defense. As NATO Commander, Clark was semi-independent of DoD and had good connections in the White House, which DOD resented. I think all that will sound like inside baseball to the average voter.

Posted by: jimd52 | February 25, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

NO = New Orleans; not "NO" :)

Posted by: chadibuins | February 25, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

I just have to say I commend Gov Barbour (and I am a Dem) for his efforts with Katrina,

but you cannot compare MS vs LA. LA was harder hit, if for no other reason than MS has maybe 90 minutes worth of coast; and then on top of it LA had NO!!! AND the LARGEST evacuation in American history. I think Barbour did a great job and should be commended and loved by his state; but I don't think that translates as an overall vote of confidence to Reps over Dems.

Posted by: chadibuins | February 25, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

For McCain... what about Sarah Palin, Governor of Alaska or Haley Barbour, Governor of Mississippi. Palin may not bring much Electorally, but she is female, young, and is a known reformer cleaning up corruption in Alaska politics (even in Republican ranks, aka The Bridge to Nowhere). It would be a confirming effect to clean up special interests and to tighten the pursestrings on wasteful pandering spending. Barbour hails from the Deep South and is a strong conservative. His handling of Katrina in his state is a stark contrast to the failed state effort of his, at the time, Democratically controlled neighbor.

Posted by: mjordan76 | February 25, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Hi Jim D--I am in J'ville too.

I agree with you about clark--I think he should have been Kerry's runningmate as well.

I have just seen two big negs (from an elctable standpoint--not neccessarily my opinion) for him--the Clinton connection and the Bosnia/NATO issue. The second I think is moot, because of the time factor, the first I am not sure how it will play out . . . thoughts?

Posted by: chadibuins | February 25, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

chadibuins

I think Obama will select someone who counterbalances him on experience and national security credibility. One of the main attack lines that will be used against him is that he is naive on these issues. Picking Wesley Clark would provide someone with extensive executive experience and unimpeachable foreign policy credentials. Such a VP will make it harder for McCain to make these charges stick. A four star general who won the Silver Star in Vietnam would trump McCain on national security. Furthermore, Obama-Clark would be one of the most intellectual tickets ever. Obama, of course, was president of the Harvard Law Review. Clark is a Rhodes scholar who speaks a number of languages. Clark was also a vocal Clinton supporter and selecting him would also be seen as reaching out to the Clinton supporters.

If he wants a dark horse, fresh face - he could pick Rep. Joe Sestak, a recently retired three star admiral with a PhD in political economy from Harvard. I have posted more on him earlier in this thread.

BTW, I am in Jacksonville, where in our lovely state are you?

Posted by: jimd52 | February 25, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Cups--excellent argument for Webb--however, JimD (who I am also glad made the comment about the Jeb/Romney support-he's right, anyone in FL knew Jeb and the Bush's were behind Romney)made a good counterpoint.

My issue with Webb being too new, is not really about experience, but electability, what are the chances Obama would pick a freshman Senator as a running mate. while I do not buy the whole "too much change on a ticket" argument against him having a woman or Hispanic as VP, I also don't see him picking another newbie, especially when white men are a dime a dozen in politics.--no offense intended--just humor. :)

Posted by: chadibuins | February 25, 2008 9:17 AM | Report abuse

I think that John Edwards would be the smart choice for Obama. Edwards has already been vetted because he has been there before. For the person that said that he would get attacked on his haircuts and the size of this house, geez this is hard politics at this level. If that is all that the repugs can throw at him, then fire away. This just proves that they have nothing to hang on him substantial. Edwards would help in the south especially. For the true progressives, Edwards is the real deal.

Posted by: JPOWERS2 | February 24, 2008 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Prior to either candidate announcing, my ticket was Obama / Richardson , and I have not changed my mind. Richardson brings serious experience to the team, can draw in the SW and among Hispanics, and MOST importantly, could step into the presidency if the horrible need to do so were to happen. I really would like to see that be a bit more of a criteria. I do like the Kansas governor whose name I am not going to try to spell, and the name of Bob Graham, while it had not crossed my mind for awhile, is not all bad, for a number of reasons. But no one brings as much to the ticket as Richardson.
I do have to add that as a Virginian, it gives me pride to see the names of Tim Kaine and Jim Webb on the list...both really good men, but men we still need in Virginia. And there is no doubt in my mind that our former governor, Mark Warner, should also be on the short list, but again, we need him to be our other senator from Virginia. Give us another 4 / 8 years , and maybe we can spare one of them!

Posted by: potrafka | February 24, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

i would argue that gore helped win TN for clinton in 92 and 96.

it sure looks like wesley clark at this point, although richardson and webb have their plusses (again kaine would appoint either a strong candidate to fill the seat - boucher or deeds - and we could breathe a lot easier with va in our column). i do take those points about webb annoying women seriously.

Posted by: stpaulsage | February 24, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Obama (D) - Lugar (R)
and
McCain (R) - Siptzer (D)

*****What is this world coming to?*****

I still think that it would behoove Obama to pick (a Democratic) military man. He already constitutes enough of a change, and I think that picking a woman would go against him. Perhaps Webb is has some disadvantages, so how about Clark? Noting from above that he speaks Spanish would be immensely helpful in wooing the Latino vote. Anyone that could campaign in fluent Spanish would virtually deliver 99 44/100 th percent of that vote. Seriously.

I also think that McCain would be well served by a woman. I think the only way that he any chance to win is to court the center. The Republican hysterical right is becoming increasingly marginalized. Also someone younger to balance his age.

Posted by: SMARTINSEN | February 24, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

One comment I would like to make about Obama's VP choice. Certainly, it would make sense to balance the ticket with someone strong on national security. Despite the protests of my Obama supporting friends, doesn't this remind you of the Dem-hated team of domestic Bush and National Security Cheney. While I would like to think they would be much different, an Obama VP who is strong on national security certainly wouldn't be reducing the power of the VP anytime soon.

In response to a Star Tribune article I saw in the comments section saying how Pawlenty won't be the VP, this is exactly one of the driven crazy liberals who can't stand Pawlenty's appeal. He claims Pawlenty squeaked by in 2006. Senator Klobuchar demolished Mark Kennedy in the Senate race, but Pawlenty still one in a bad year for Democrats. This number of cross ticket voters really demonstrates his appeal. He should also take a look at how high Minnesota's tax burden already is on a national scale. It's not that we don't have enough money, its that we haven't figured out how to spend it correctly. And the transportation bill he talks about would have raised the metro sales tax to .13 on the dollar and pumped up the gas tax. Can I not that these are all regressive taxes? I guess my point is take that commentary with a grain of salt.

Posted by: dan111 | February 24, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

LiveFree

McCain will not pick another 70-something as a running mate. Powell is 70. Also, McCain has problems on his right flank and cannot afford a running mate who will alienate the base. Powell is considered a moderate and the 'movement' conservatives will not accept him.

Posted by: jimd52 | February 24, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

If Senator Obama is the Democratic nominee, he will most likely select a running mate who will compliment and support the reasons for his presidency - change in leadership, change in the government's purpose to benefit all of the American people, domestic policy initiatives that will improve quality of American life, an end to the occupation of Iraq, and a foreign policy that provides moral leadership and US involvement with friends and enemies alike.
I agree that another senator or Washington insider would not advance the Obama campign. Senator John Kerry selected his rival but the differences in philosophy and style proved a decided disadvantage. JFK chose LBJ because he needed a southerner to balance the ticket and work with a contrary Congress. Mr. Obama will have large Democratic majorities in both the House and Senate and will not need either of those qualifications.
Governor Richardson would be the most likely running mate because he is anti-war, a seasoned diplomat who would serve as an emissary from the White House to troubled spots in the world. And he would provide an excellent way to address issues important to the Southwest in opposition to a Senator McCain campaign. He is brilliant and about the same age as the presidential candidate. Mr. Obama does not need someone with charisma or to be an attack-dog.
Senator Obama does not think of himself as a minority candidate and many Democrats don't either. I don't believe he needs a woman on the ticket. He will select the best qualified and most available people for positions in the cabinet.
On the Republican side, Senator McCain might convince Colin Powell to run, and that would probably satisfy the conservatives. Mr. Powell would provide unmatched executive and military experience for the ticket, and it would present an opprtunity to redeem his international reputation.

Posted by: LiveFree | February 24, 2008 9:09 AM | Report abuse

For all those people talking about a deal between McCain and the Bush family in which the Bushes support McCain and he picks Jeb as VP. The one problem with your little conspiracy theory is that Jeb Bush was supporting Romney, although not publicly. He steered all supporters who asked his advice to Romney.

Posted by: jimd52 | February 23, 2008 5:29 PM | Report abuse

I agree with blogo. I think it will be Jeb Bush. A sweet handshake deal was made with the Bush family. And then in 2012, McCain will not run again, but Jeb Bush will run for president. And not to describe anything morbid, but if McCain has any health issues if elected, then Jeb wouldn't have to wait four years to run.

I'm betting on Jeb.

As for Obama, I'm not thrilled with any of the choices, except for possibly Bill Richardson, who wasn't even mentioned. On foreign issues he brings a lot to the table, plus he was a governer and his foreign issues concepts are fairly alligned to Obama. Actually, he would be my first choice. I like Claire McCaskill, but I think she will get a cabinet position.

Posted by: maureen_majury | February 23, 2008 3:57 PM | Report abuse

A NEW LINE:

"Chris - Can I make a suggestion for a new Friday Line topic? How about the states most likely to switch parties in the presidential election, compared to the outcome in 2004?

Stephen, London"

Here's my take on the line Stephen asks for:

10. Louisiana - won by Bush by 14.5% margin in 2004, but his failure to act after Katrina could signal opportunity for the Dems. In the recent primary, over 70% of the votes were cast on the Dem side.

9. Arkansas - won by Bush by 9.76%, but over 57% of the primary votes recently cast were for Dems.

8. Virginia - won by Bush by 8.2%, but the state has been trending Dem, the victory by Jim Webb a case in point. Over 66% of the votes cast in the recent primary were on the Dem side.

7. Missouri - won by Bush by 7.2%, but like VA, seems more purple than red. McCaskill's victory in 2006 a hopeful sign for Dems. Over 58% of the votes cast in the recent primary were on the Dem side.

6. Florida - won by Bush by 5% in 2004 after the virtual tie in 2000. In the recent primary, over 52% of the votes were cast on the Rep side, but the symbolic nature of the Dem contest suppressed Dem turnout.

5. Nevada - won by Bush by 2.59%. Can McCain hold this neighboring state?

4. Colorado - won by Bush by 4.67%. Over 68% of the votes cast in the recent primary were on the Dem side.

3. Ohio - won by Bush by 2.11%, but trending democratic.

2. New Mexico - won by Bush narrowly by less than 1%. Can Bill Richardson deliver it for the Dems?

1. Iowa - won by Bush narrowly by less than 1%. The energy during the caucuses indicates a strong pick up opportunity for the the Democrats.

Posted by: optimyst | February 23, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

One of the good things that I remember about Wesley Clark from 2004 is that he speaks 4 languages including Spanish. His daughter-in-law is from Colombia. He'd be a real plus on a lot of levels so he is my first choice but the Democrats have a lot of good people from whom to choose including Sibelius and Richardson.

Posted by: rccats3 | February 23, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Obama needs a veteran politician - governor, former governor, retd. congressman or someone who has worked for govt in some capacity etc, not a senator (Webb is out), not charming or good looking (so Edwards is out), not female (too much history), is white guy 50-60 yrs old, preferably a war veteran, and finally not from north-east (somehow they all come off as limousine democrat)

p.s I still like Chris Dodd as the VP choice. He is authentic, peace corp guy (aligned with Obama's national service plan), speaks spanish. He should be willing to attack McCain though.

Posted by: gjay78 | February 23, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Ok grab a cup of coffee a coke some diet water.

What is Obama trying to do here?

Where is he weak?

What would sew up the Obama Ticket?

Let's not forget the new big concern in the future is relations with Russia.

So I thought and thought on this.

For a point of reference I used http://www.ontheissues.org/Senate/Barack_Obama.htm

(Holy this guy has done alot for such a short time.)

Richardson would be a great asset for foreign policy and the latino ticket. But the BS that would ensue over that would be just stupid. I have had enough of stupid politics.

Seemingly, the consensus is we need to "fix" America so altho foreign policy is important...America is the priority.

So I thought some more.

What about..
Richard Lugar

I am sure there are other perfect choices...I present this as a viable option. He needs to make an incredibly strong statement with a VP that insures his nomination. He needs to brick wall McCain but mostly show an unfailing unified new frontier. A squeaky clean new government that would be viable.

Let's not forget Unification...Perfect. Experience...well yeah.
Credibility.

Then there is always Ralph Nader :)

Posted by: Lucid_os | February 23, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

VPs are usually attack dogs. What both parties need are people with name recognition: there is a vast shortage of that in the up-and-comers.

Republicans:

Huckabee, Romney, Jindhal (keynote speaker at the convention, for sure!) Crist, Sen. Menendez (FL), Sen. Spector, PA, Gov. Spitzer, NY),

NOTS; C. Powell (dumped by Bush), Giuliani, Thompson, Paul, Gravel, Rice

Democrats: Clinton/Obama Obama/Clinton, Gov. Rendell, PA (if Clinton is nominated),
Webb, Edwards

NOTS: Biden, Graham, Gore

Posted by: bong_jamesbong2001 | February 23, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

VPs are usually attack dogs. What both parties need are people with name recognition: there is a vast shortage of that in the up-and-comers.

Republicans:

Huckabee, Romney, Jindhal (keynote speaker at the convention, for sure!) Crist, Sen. Menendez (FL), Sen. Spector, PA, Gov. Spitzer, NY),

NOTS; C. Powell (dumped by Bush), Giuliani, Thompson, Paul, Gravel, Rice

Democrats: Clinton/Obama Obama/Clinton, Gov. Rendell, PA (if Clinton is nominated),
Webb, Edwards

NOTS: Biden, Graham, Gore

Posted by: bong_jamesbong2001 | February 23, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Here are my picks:

1. Edwards. He is the natural as representing the roots of the democratic party and also as a white man who represents the best of the South.

2. Sebelius. She is independently minded and frankly she's easy to look at for eight years. Definitely flack coming for this I know, but who among us gets physically ill and wants to be free of him when we hear George W. Bush's voice or see his face? (Except for hard-core bushies of course, but them Bushys hate freedum). Maybe men are going for Obama because looking at H. Clinton for 8 more years is nearly a decade ill-spent.

3. No way to Webb. Like the guy but he sold the democratic party down the river on the FISA update bill. Whether he knows or not he's going to get a primary challenge when he's next up for re-election.

Interesting (way) side note on that whole Maccaca episode during the last election. I don't know if its etymology has ever been properly traced. It is a commonly used word in some Italian and Spanish dialects and it translates roughly as cheeky monkey. Kids that are pulling faces and playing the fool are often called Maccaco (for boys) and macacca (for girls). I actually have a CD of spanish reggae which has a song with the word macacco in it. It may have come from trade with North Africa or the Italian colonization of Somalia and Eritrea, so I suppose there could be a racial connotation.

Posted by: itsatest | February 23, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Why aren't there more moderate women Democratic governors with heaps of charisma and foreign policy credentials? Is that really so much to ask?

But seriously, missing in this discussion is how vehemently Zinni has said that he WILL NOT RUN NO MATTER WHAT. Watch the clip from Meet The Press. It is an exceptionally passionate denial of interest, enough to make me believe he actually is not interested.

Webb pisses off Democratic women a lot, though I love him. Sebelius is fantastic but she's SO laconic as a speaker. Napolitano failed to deliver AZ for Obama in the primary and couldn't deliver it in a general against McCain anyway, so she's out. Barbara Mikulski would be wonderful as a woman with great experience except for that whole homosexuality thing. (Same disqualifies Crist on the Republican side).

That leaves Biden for the Dems, or someone truly out of the box (and let's be serious, by including Webb, we're already a bit out of the box).

On the Republican side, McCain would be very very smart to nominate a woman and get some of the frustrated Hillary supporters, though Condi Rice is a horrible choice. She's been totally incompetent running the State Department, so there is no reason to believe she'd do any better in the executive branch. Better for McCain to choose one of his female brethren in the Senate.

Posted by: pinkopatriot | February 23, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Assuming Biden wants SecState and not veep, I'm coming around to Claire McCaskill as my dark horse pick. To the extent that the race has frayed some alliances with feminists, this would mend the rift. Second, in the electoral context, she'd help deliver MO and play well in Middle America. Why McCaskill and not Sebelius or Napalitano? Because McCaskill has a likeability factor that meshes better with the hope and change message of the campaign. The other two seem a little bland for the campaign duties to be expected of them. McCaskill seems more natural and already has been an effective Obama spokesperson in the media.

It may be conventional wisdom to think you need a foreign policy guru as veep to go against McCain. Perhaps, with our looming economic problems and Americans' disgust with the quagmire of Iraq, it will be the domestic focus that will win the presidency. Obama seems quite able to present a contrast to McCain's unpopular stance on Iraq without the reinforcement of a veep with those credentials.

By the way, thank John Kenneth Galbraith for coining that useful phrase "conventional wisdom." We all tend to plagiarize the great thinkers that have gone before us.

Posted by: optimyst | February 23, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

I am assuming that, in return for his full support of W in 2004, McCain got an agreement to receive the Bushes' support in 08, especially for fund-raising, and McCain agreed to take on Jeb as VP.

Posted by: blogo | February 23, 2008 12:15 AM

Except that Jeb was supporting Romney behind the scenes. He advised his supporters to go with Romney although he maintained a public neutrality. This was well known here in Florida and has been reported in the national press as well.

Posted by: jimd52 | February 23, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Why not John Kasich? Because he's gay.

Gore has made abundantly clear that he's done in electoral politics. Besides which, picking him would mean digging up the past, revisiting 2000, and going back to more partisanship. That's exactly what Obama promises to move past.

Lloyd Doggett is great, but not the best debater in the House. Even the GOP-leaning Almanac of American Politics admits it's Barney Frank. There's a good AG candidate.

I don't see why anyone would assume AZ will vote for McCain. It's increasingly a swing state (2nd fastest growing after NV), and voted for Clinton in 1996. It has a Democratic Governor and a 4-4 House delegation. It will probably be closely contested. AZ, CO, NM, and NV are important swing states because they are growing and changing rapidly. FL, MI, OH, and PA are because even though the northern 3 are losing population, they're still big. (MI is projected to have the same number of House seats as NC and GA after the 2010 reapportionment.)

Posted by: jon.morgan.1999 | February 23, 2008 12:45 AM | Report abuse

I believe Obama should pick HRC. She has been vetted, she is taking the votes he is not getting and she brings Bill. It would be another JFK-LBJ moment. Why jeopardize your shot at the White House and our shot at a Democratic administration by choosing an unknown? Edwards underperformed in 04. Taking a Rove page, Obama should role out his senior selections (Biden-State & Edwards-Justice) the week after the convention. This would expand his campaign team and address the experience issue.
McCain will pick Huckabee. Huckabee adds the happy face and optimism McCain lacks. Also, Huckabee has been vetted.

Posted by: sgibson | February 23, 2008 12:38 AM | Report abuse

Sorry for sending my comment more than once. It's the first time I sent a comment to this address - it seems there was a problem with the computer (and me). All the more embarrassing because my hypothesis is probably far-fetched.

Posted by: blogo | February 23, 2008 12:24 AM | Report abuse

Jack Reed is good, and there's no way we'd lose his Senate seat. He's a pretty solid liberal with military experience. He's also been in Congress for 18 years though; doesn't seem to fit with the generational change idea as well as some others.

VPs don't put states in or out of play. THAT is what I wish people would give up talking about. Putting Edwards, Bayh, or Kaine/Webb is not going to suddenly make IN or NC competitive, or VA more competitive than it already is. Nor would picking Bob Graham or Bill Bradley draw more independents (who in WA already favor Obama over McCain 60-34). No running mate has helped a presidential candidate win a state since LBJ in 1960. That era is long over. That's part of why Clinton's picking Gore was so smart; it acknowledged that and moved on to new criteria. Gore didn't help win Tennessee, nor did Cheney in Wyoming. Or for that matter, Quayle in Indiana or Bush Sr. in Texas or Mondale in Minnesota. On the losing side, Edwards didn't carry NC, Lieberman wasn't picked to win CT, Kemp didn't win NY for Dole, and Ferraro didn't win it for Mondale.

Posted by: jon.morgan.1999 | February 23, 2008 12:21 AM | Report abuse

I have a suspicion that McCain made a deal with the Bushes in 2004, sealed in public in a mafia sort of way with McCain's famous fealty hug in which he buried his head in W's armpit. I am assuming that, in return for his full support of W in 2004, McCain got an agreement to receive the Bushes' support in 08, especially for fund-raising, and McCain agreed to take on Jeb as VP. It's just a nagging sort of intuition based on events.

The way things are at the moment, Jeb wouldn't be worse than any other Republican. Failing some last-minute help from Osama bin Laden (as in 2004), the GOP does not look likely to win much of anything in November. McCain can choose anyone, even Cheney! as his running-mate without worsening the final debacle which already seems i-n-e-v-i-t-a-b-l-e.

Posted by: blogo | February 23, 2008 12:15 AM | Report abuse

I have a suspicion that McCain made a deal with the Bushes in 2004, made public in a mafia sort of way with McCain's famous fealty hug in which he buried his head in W's armpit. I am assuming that, in return for his full support of W in 2004, McCain got an agreement to receive the Bushes' support in 08, especially for fund-raising, and McCain agreed to take on Jeb as VP.

It's just a nagging sort of intuition based on events. The way things are at the moment, Jeb wouldn't be worse than any other Republican. Failing some last-minute help from Osama bin Laden (as in 2004), the GOP does not look likely to win much of anything in November. McCain could probably even choose Cheney without worsening the final debacle which seems pretty inevitable.

Posted by: blogo | February 23, 2008 12:14 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: jimd52 | February 22, 2008 11:42 PM
"Also remember that many feminists will be bent out of shape by Hillary's loss. Picking Webb would be rubbing salt in their wounds."

This is a very good point. They are already bellyaching. These people may grow despondent and lethargic, but you don't want them openly fighting you.

I think Clark comes off as somehow phony BTW.

Posted by: Prozrenie | February 23, 2008 12:14 AM | Report abuse

I have a suspicion that McCain made a deal with the Bushes in 2004, made public in a mafia sort of way with McCain's famous fealty hug in which he buried his head in W's armpit. I am assuming that, in return for his full support of W in 2004, McCain got an agreement to receive the Bushes' support in 08, especially for fund-raising, and McCain agreed to take on Jeb as VP.

It's just a nagging sort of intuition based on events. The way things are at the moment, Jeb wouldn't be worse than any other Republican. Failing some last-minute help from Osama bin Laden (as in 2004), the GOP does not look likely to win much of anything in November. McCain could probably even choose Cheney without worsening the final debacle which seems pretty inevitable.

Posted by: blogo | February 23, 2008 12:11 AM | Report abuse

I have a suspicion that McCain made a deal with the Bushes in 2004, made public in a mafia sort of way with McCain's famous fealty hug in which he buried his head in W's armpit. I am assuming that, in return for his full support of W in 2004, McCain got an agreement to receive the Bushes' support in 08, especially for fund-raising, and McCain agreed to take on Jeb as VP.

It's just a nagging sort of intuition based on events. The way things are at the moment, Jeb wouldn't be worse than any other Republican. Failing some last-minute help from Osama bin Laden (as in 2004), the GOP does not look likely to win much of anything in November. McCain could probably even choose Cheney without worsening the final debacle which seems pretty inevitable.

Posted by: blogo | February 23, 2008 12:11 AM | Report abuse

What about the experience/foreign policy/national security question for Obama? No more Biden or Daschle? You seem to be assuming Obama picks a VP on the 1992 Clinton model--someone of similar age and ideological temperament who's won in a red state and thus allows for the argument to be of a new generation in political leadership (in which case MO Sen. Claire McCaskill might be worth discussing). Do you know something we don't?

I can't see Edwards accepting a 2nd VP run. He's also the only one who would actually reduce my enthusiasm for the ticket. I like Kaine and Sebelius. Or here's an interesting idea: Obama-Kerry.

Zinni--a new and interesting pick. Seems like more of a wild card.

Dick Cheney had been Defense Secretary for 4 years under Bush Sr, as well as a several-term House member and White House Chief of Staff under Ford, before W. picked him as his running mate in 2000. Gore had been VP for 8 years. It's not that foreign policy and national security experience didn't come up; it's that neither ticket was weak on that question. Thanks to Cheney in Bush's case. In the primaries, Bush focused on taxes and strengthening the military--it had been a high priority issue for him all along. In 1992, the whole point was that the country was sick of Bush Sr. focusing on foreign affairs, seemingly clueless to the recession we'd fallen into. The desire was for strong domestic policy and turning away from foreign issues. Plus against Dan Quayle, there's really no way Clinton could've picked a running mate who made him more vulnerable. Gore was a new kind of choice for a running mate, but a very shrewd one.

Posted by: jon.morgan.1999 | February 22, 2008 11:59 PM | Report abuse

Again, I will point out that picking Webb would gratuitiously p** off the feminist wing of the Democratic party. If you have read what some of them have been writing lately about the mysogony of Hillary's opponents, Webb would be the last one you would want for VP. I don't think he would attract disaffected Southern white males as number 2 in a race against McCain and with an African American heading the ticket. The swing states are in the West and Ohio and Pennsylvania (demographics are difficult for Obama and the Dems trend conservative). I think Sestak brings everything Webb does without the baggage. He is also far more articulate and polished
and would be a very good complement to Obama. He has gotten a lot more visibility on the Sunday morning shows than any other freshman congressman - because of his military stature. He performs very well in those forums and will help insulate Obama against the inevitable Republican charges of naivete on national security issues. Clark and Zinni would also do this but I don't know if Zinni is a Democrat and if he can speak intelligently on domestic issues - the press would try to trip him up on these issues given his background. Clark and Sestak have dealt with these issues.

Posted by: jimd52 | February 22, 2008 11:56 PM | Report abuse

I also like Sestak, but as a newly elected Rep, I think he lacks the stature of Webb. (Also, given that I am from Pennsylvania, I am praying that he runs for Specter's senate seat!)

Posted by: mjames2 | February 22, 2008 09:39 PM

I would argue that achieving 3 star rank is more than sufficient stature. Also, he does not have the kind of paper trail at odds with the Democratic platform that Webb does. Also remember that many feminists will be bent out of shape by Hillary's loss. Picking Webb would be rubbing salt in their wounds.

Posted by: jimd52 | February 22, 2008 11:42 PM | Report abuse

mark_in_austin

No, Gov. Carcieri wouldn't be naming Jack Reed's replacement because Reed is up for re-election in 2008.

A 2006 RI election law prohibits candidates from being on two ballots (ex: US Senator and mayor). It covers state and local positions so I presume it extends to federal positions too.

Under the unlikley (but intriguing) chance Obama picked my fellow Rhode Islander someone else would run for his Senate seat. And a Democrat would win. No net loss. RI really only elects Republicans to the Governorship. In part to balance** and in part because we've had some lousy Dem. options (cough Myrth York ... ugh)

**The RI State legislature is wildy tilted in favor of Democrats. 60-15 House & 33-5 Senate.

Posted by: cmfalter | February 22, 2008 11:21 PM | Report abuse

mark_in_austin

No, Gov. Carcieri wouldn't be naming Jack Reed's replacement because Reed is up for re-election in 2008.

A 2006 RI election law prohibits candidates from being on two ballots (ex: US Senator and mayor). It covers state and local positions so I presume it extends to federal positions too.

Under the unlikley (but intriguing) chance Obama picked my fellow Rhode Islander someone else would run for his Senate seat. And a Democrat would win. No net loss. RI really only elects Republicans to the Governorship. In part to balance** and in part because we've had some lousy Dem. options (cough Myrth York ... ugh)

**The RI State legislature is wildy tilted in favor of Democrats. 60-15 Gen. Assembly & 33-5 Senate.

Posted by: cmfalter | February 22, 2008 11:20 PM | Report abuse

Pawlenty and Sanford are definitely near the top of McCain's list, but Lindsey Graham is too.

On the Democratic side, look for Obama to pick Zinni, Wes Clark, or Bill Richardson. I actually think the last one is most likely. Hispanics will be a big battleground between McCain and Obama (for reasons regarding McCain's immigration position, which is more Hispanic-friendly, if you will - and the black-brown rift that's been discussed at length).

Posted by: braveheartdc | February 22, 2008 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Take the "no negatives" comment back: Gov.Carcieri would get to appoint a Senator, would he not?

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 22, 2008 9:58 PM | Report abuse

The Jack Reed suggestion has no negatives, as far as I can see.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 22, 2008 9:54 PM | Report abuse

I also like Sestak, but as a newly elected Rep, I think he lacks the stature of Webb. (Also, given that I am from Pennsylvania, I am praying that he runs for Specter's senate seat!)

Posted by: mjames2 | February 22, 2008 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Cupsaredone has the most convincing argument regarding Webb. This election will be won or lost based upon independents, not democratic women (or Democratic African Americans - recall that Webb also called affirmative action state sponsored discrimination). Sure Webb wrote some stupid crap, but that was long ago and during the 2006 campaign he seemed to circumvent that and other Republican attacks. And while he has a downside, he has a huge upside with disaffected Southern whites who are sick of Republicans selling out to corporations.

I do like Jack Reed, but I just don't see him as a change VP.

Posted by: mjames2 | February 22, 2008 9:35 PM | Report abuse

I think Hillary should be Obama's running mate. Have we forgotten what a Veep is all about? They are supposed to be the attack dogs...and what better way for Dems to bomb throw than through her...their very own Dick Cheney. If McCain really wants to win in November he should pick Linda Lingle. As a 2-term governor of a blue state (Hawaii) she could help McCain in an area with lots of retired military and independents. As a woman, she can counter the Democrats' 'historic' candidate. I doubt either would be this bold however.

Posted by: prox76 | February 22, 2008 9:10 PM | Report abuse

The thought of Obama/Bloomberg has some interesting strengths to it. Obama with the visionary inspirational leadership and oratory, Bloomberg with the "independent" credentials, a former Republican with executive experience, a keen economic thinker, high integrity, and loads of money for the Fall campaign. I think he switched to Independent status to be worthy of consideration by either party.

Posted by: dldisme | February 22, 2008 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Crist is a non factor in the VP race given that he is more likely than not a closeted gay man.

Posted by: SeanMagicFan | February 22, 2008 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Bob Graham would be an interesting pick but Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida is also very popular.

Biden wants SecState and would not take VP.

Former Senator Bill Bradley (D-NJ) is an economic genius and trust me...this economy is just starting to tank. Rhodes Scholar with his own version of the "flat/consumption tax" who could pull a lot of GOP/Libertarian/Independent voters.

As for McCain...while Lieberman is not out of the question, Barbour would be a natural fit. If Crist is out due to lifestyle questions...so is Condi.

Posted by: chasmack99 | February 22, 2008 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Against McCain, I do think Obama needs someone with foreign policy and/or military experience, so while Wes Clark would make a great NSC head or Secy of Defense or State as cclaxton suggested, I think he would still be the best pick for VP as far as helping Obama get elected and subsequently being a close advisor even if not in the NSC role.

Posted by: bsmd | February 22, 2008 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Jim, absolutely agree with you about Joe Sestak. Excellent choice. And also the things you bring about Webb, some [like the 3 wives] I didn't know about... and also your point about him and women.

Posted by: drindl | February 22, 2008 7:35 PM | Report abuse

The truth is that the VP doesn't have a lot of power in the Gov't, (except as President of the Senate) so I wouldn't waste Zinni or Clark on that position...they should be head of NSC or Secy of Defense or State Dept.

Obama has a lot of plans to make serious CHANGE, and that is only going to happen with a good Congressional insider....that is why I still like DASCHLE for that position. Daschle spent many years in the Senate and working with the House to resolve legislative differences. He knows the key players in the Congress...he knows all the Parliamentary tactics and rules...and, as President of the Senate, can be a power-broker in the Senate, which tends to be more difficult.

I would be happy with Biden or Dodd for VP for the same reasons, but I don't think they are going to resign their Senate seat to take a VP position, except possibly Biden who may be near retiring anyway.

I agree Daschle may not be the orator of Obama or have the same presence of Obama, but you don't want those things in a VP anyway.

Posted by: cclaxton | February 22, 2008 7:18 PM | Report abuse

I think Webb is far from ideal. He has been married three times and has written some op-eds and some novels that really annoy even moderately feminist women. Obama will not have to pick a female running mate to placate Clinton's supporters, but he won't pick someone who will really p*** off the feminist wing of the party.

As for keeping Webb's seat for the Democrats, wouldn't Kaine have to resign in order to take the Senate appointment? Can he legally appoint himself? Remember that the Lt Governor is a Republican.

Posted by: jimd52 | February 22, 2008 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Senator JACK REED of Rhode Island for Obama.

Nobody has mentioned him, but he ought to be considered.

Yes, he doesn't flip any red states off the bat. And if Obama were to go with Kaine, Sebelius, Webb, Wes Clark or someone else for that reason, it'd be understandable.

But I wouldn't rule out Reed. Here's why.

He's a two-term senator with service on both the appropriations committee and the armed services committee. He's from a working-class background and, at 59 years old with a young daughter, he's not that old.

He's a behind-the-scenes powerhouse in the Senate. AND he's a graduate of West Point, a 12-year veteran of the army and a squadron leader and paratrooper.

Plus, he voted against the Iraq War.

Couple potential downsides: he's up for reelection in 2008. Dems could easily field a different candidate, but if the ticket loses, Reed's out of the job. If he runs for both positions (is that possible in RI?), then the Republican governor would appoint his replacement.

Also, on a more superficial level, he's VERY short. So he'd make an odd visual contrast with Obama. Such superficial things do come into consideration with the VP. But I don't think this should be a serious consideration.

Now, about him not flipping any states -- the VP nominee should be chosen with multiple considerations. Choosing a running mate narrowly based on their state of residence ignores several other things that are important for a running mate.

A running mate should be a good campaign surrogate, should reassure swing voters either by enhancing the existing narrative of the campaign or shoring up the presidential nominee's weaknesses. S/he should be a good debater, since the main exposure most people have to the VP is the VP nominee debate. S/he should also not be someone prone to gaffes and embarrassing the ticket.

Gaffes are why Richardson and even Biden are problematic choices. Webb is a bit of a loose cannon too.

Kaine is a good choice, but will he or Virginia Democrats want to leave the archconservative Republican governor in charge?

Reed may not bring a state off the bat, but he's a good campaigner, he oozes gravitas and authority, he has excellent national security credentials, he voted against the Iraq War and he'd neutralize one of John McCain's big strengths. I'm surprised he hasn't gotten more mention.

Here's a video of him questioning Bush's "war czar":

http://thinkprogress.org/2007/06/07/reed-lute/

Posted by: Aksh486 | February 22, 2008 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Cups...I ABSOLUTELY agree with every point you make about Jim Webb being an IDEAL Obama running mate. As outlined earlier, he was on my short list already, but you've enunciated a further couple of points that I hadn't considered. Anyone who says he's inexperienced hasn't been paying attention to the man. He's not just credentialed, he will totally destroy anything and anyone the Republican slime machine will scoop up and try to fling at him! I especially like the contrast that his bluntness brings to Obama's sometimes flights of oratorical fancy.

If McCain chooses "Elmer Gantry"; Lieberman, the pseudo Democrat; or the Empty Suit, a vice-presidential debate between Webb and any of the three would be one I'd almost pay to see!

Posted by: PETETENNEY | February 22, 2008 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Kaine, too hails from Kansas, unless I am mistaken, and he is the keynote speaker at Kansas' upcoming Washington Days event.

So there's some "factors" to consider, don't know if they mean anything, but apparently there's a Kansas connection working here, somehow or another.

Sebelius could also be a very powerful cabinet member, particularly in Commerce...

She would also make a great Senator.

Posted by: JEP7 | February 22, 2008 5:56 PM | Report abuse

"That's why I think the match up with Biden is favorable. It's the perfect outie-innie ticket."

Perhaps. The other compelling arguments today are for Clark & Zinni. The major negative on Biden, in this context, is his initial vote for the approval to use force in Iraq.

Posted by: bsimon | February 22, 2008 5:55 PM | Report abuse

stpaulsage & optimyst you both make the argument that obama is not an innie, per se, but he's not an outie in the same way as a Governor either. I'm tending to think he's going to lean towards a foreign policy and/or military mind for a Veep pick. I'm thinking a governor carries less weight as a VP; its kindof silly to try to balance Obama's lack of executive experience with a gov as VP.

Posted by: bsimon | February 22, 2008 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Clark is the obvious choice. The central issue is that the Iraq invasion was a huge error of strategic judgement which allowed bin Laden to escape. Clark has the clarity and gravitas to make this argument everyday. Also, someone is going to have to stop the happy h*******t about the surge working and explain to the American public why the Iraq war is unwinnable. In other words someone has to be able to explain that the surge was just a tactic to buy time for Bush to leave office and that it is not up to us to create democracy in a culture which has yet to go through a Reformation. Note that Obama is weak among older voters, largely, I believe, because he is seen as a narcissistic youth who talks about change but has largely failed to address the central issues of our time.

Posted by: scientist1 | February 22, 2008 5:50 PM | Report abuse

minor correction; I meant if Hillary DOES defer, not doesn't...

Posted by: JEP7 | February 22, 2008 5:43 PM | Report abuse

"Sebelius may have an intangible going for her:" Republicans tend to vote for her!

Obama's been reaching across the aisle for a couple months now, and considering no one's lassoed more tuskers in red country than our own Kansas Governor, she fits quite well with that proposition.

If Hillary doesn't defer to Barack first, then Hill might the VP. But if she pushes this muddy slugfest right up to the convention, Hillary won't be our next VP, either.

And Sebelius has a lot of the same advantages going for HER that Hillary does, plus some arguably historic experience managing an entire state government, not just a NY minute...

Posted by: JEP7 | February 22, 2008 5:41 PM | Report abuse

"It cannot be Webb--too new, too loose cannon, too likely to be replaced by a R."
Posted by: chadibuins | February 22, 2008 12:04 PM.

A bunch of folks have mentioned that Webb is too inexperienced, too blunt and is needed for his senate seat to stay in the democrats column.

The inexperience/one-term senator argument is empty. As former secretary of the navy he has experience running something. As having defeated George Allen, he has experience (as Hillary likes to say) with the Republican Attack Machine. Sure, Allen did himself no favors with the Macaca comment. Let's not forget that he was the insider's front-runner for the 2008 nomination, and once it became a horse-race they tried to throw eveything except the kitchen sink at Webb to reverse the tide (a '79 op-ed about women in the military, sexually explicit passages in his novels). They just ended up looking silly, and did Webb the long-term favor of vetting him as well as anyone could.

It is true that Webb is prone to bluntness. He is not especially prone to gaffes. The difference is bluntness (i.e. Obama saying that Raegan was a transformational president) might give someone an opening for trying to score points, but often ends up (especially in the climate of this 'change' election) back-firing on your attackers. Gaffes, on the other hand (i.e. Bob Johnson's 'what Barack was doing in the neighborhood') become bigger stories, as bogus explanations are given ('I was talking about his community organizing).

Webb giving up his VA seat will not hurt the democrats. If Hillary was the nominatee, we'd be talking about Evan Bayh as VP right now. Bayh vacated seat in Indiana would be filled by the appointment of a republican governor. Webb's would be filled by Tim Kaine, who since he is term-limited in 2009, could fill the seat himself.

The drawback to Webb that nobody has mentioned is that he does not want the job (see his most recent MTP appearance). If he would need to be convinced, it would not be different than his running for senate. His lack of ambition for ambition's sake( at the very least relative to most senators) would be another plus in Obama's 'new-kind-of-politics' appeal.

Posted by: cupsaredone | February 22, 2008 5:18 PM | Report abuse

This is probably the more critical issue of all the campaigns, since among Democrats with two oddball candidates, the VP decision can make or break either candidacy.

For McCain, his positive or negative status stands upon his integrity and who the Conservative Republicans are able to force upon him because they don't like or trust his maverick status.

In this election year, where VP can make or break candidacies, Americans have a vested interest in knowing and seeing who is planned to be chosen as "the one" as Oprah puts its so well.

Posted by: pbr1 | February 22, 2008 5:16 PM | Report abuse

I' WOULD LIKE TO SEE A TICKET' THAT COULD
NOT BE BEAT. THAT WOULD BE CLINTON-OBAMA'
THE REPUBLICAN' COULD NOT PUT TOGETHER A
PAIR[' THAT COULD STAND UP.TO IT' AFTER
GEORGE BUSH' BEING IN THE OVIAL OFFICE
FOR 8YR. HE WILL LEAVE BEING THE WORST'NUT
TO EVER BE GIVEN THE JOB' WITH CLINTON AS
PRESIDENT AND OBAMA AS VICE PRESIDENT, THE
DEMOCRATS COULD KEEP THE WHITE-HOUSE FOR
16YR AFTER HILLARY FILLED HER TERM OF 8YR.
THEN OBAMA COULD STEP IN WITH ALL THAT EXPERIANCE. NOW THAT SOUND LIKE A WINNER
TO THIS OLD 79YR. VET. [KOREA] LET GET
TOGETHER LET WIN ONE FOR THE[JIFFER]

Posted by: CSNEED1937 | February 22, 2008 5:15 PM | Report abuse

The innie-outie analysis is interesting, but I'd argue that it is being misapplied here. I believe you have to classify Obama as an outie, even though he is a senator. Two reasons: his change message which is anti-beltway, and this million contributor movement he has built at the grassroots. Also, he's only half way through his first term as senator. And, for some people, by definition, an African-American isn't going to rate innie just yet. My conclusion: outie.

That's why I think the match up with Biden is favorable. It's the perfect outie-innie ticket.

Further, assuming an Obama victory in November, it will continue the case for presidents not coming from the senate. Obama will be seen as a special circumstance, the outie senator.

Posted by: optimyst | February 22, 2008 5:07 PM | Report abuse

I just can't see John Edwards running as VP once again. The suggestions of Webb and Zinni are very interesting & would shore up Obama's weakness in foreign policy. Biden could help there, also, but I doubt he'd help the ticket that much. I think McCain will definitely name a young conservative running mate. The suggestions of Thune, Jindal, and Sanford are interesting. I don't see Pawlenty as conservative enough to satisfy the red-meat wing of the GOP. As possible McCain running mates, I also think US Representative Mike Pence of Indiana should be mentioned, and Governor Mitch Daniels of Indiana, who has long-time ties to US Senator Richard G. Lugar of Indiana. I think Lugar would be a great Secretary of State in a McCain administration should McCain be elected.

Posted by: irishslider | February 22, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

harbourx

I like Graham too - I live in Florida and he remains very popular. In addition to his age, he had open heart surgery in 2003. I do not know if he has any lingering cardiac issues.

Posted by: jimd52 | February 22, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse

claudialong

again, you seem a kindred spirit.

Your info on the security issue is very poignant--I hope it is not only covered on this comment section.

As far as the whole McCain, Religious Right thing--check out my blogpost http://roastedreligion.blogspot.com/2008/02/conservaties-should-be-ashamed-and-yet.html

I'd love your comments.

Posted by: chadibuins | February 22, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Add to McCain's long list:

Marsha Blackburn, 55, Tenn.
Mike Huckabee, 52, Ark.
Bobby Jindal, 36, La.
Sarah Palin, 44, Alaska
Rob Portman, 52, Ohio
Condoleezza Rice, 53, Calif.
Mitt Romney, 60, Mass.

Jindal and Portman are especially promising. Portman has experience as USTR and OMB director, which deepens the ticket's expertise on economic affairs. Jindal would consolidate -- and excite -- the conservative base like no other choice.

Posted by: mriccardi1962 | February 22, 2008 4:45 PM | Report abuse

I'll also add Sam Nunn, I loved the idea of him, a really great thinker and doer, but he's got some cultural issues that can't be gotten around. he's also 72, which kind of takes some steam out of any old man argument. Not to mention he's said he will NOT run as anyone's VP.

Posted by: harbourx | February 22, 2008 04:00 PM

The old man argument would also exclude Bob Graham who is 71.

Posted by: jimd52 | February 22, 2008 04:15 PM


you're right, too bad, I like Graham but hadn't checked his age

Posted by: harbourx | February 22, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

i really like bsimon and csp's research on the innie/outie combo but in some ways you show the limits of such a small sample. most "innie-outie" combos that have been successful int he past 10 elections have had a governor at the top of the ticket.

we will elect a sitting us senator for the first time in 48 years no matter what so it's an entirely different game. more to the point - there is already an outsider on the ticket - obama. his 4 years in the senate do not qualify him for "insider" status.

the challenge is similar to bill clinton's, bush jr's, and carter's which is to assure citizens that there is an experienced adult who understands military force and foreign policy in the white house. each was an outsider and chose an experienced insider to great effect.

richardson, webb, clark, graham all have the foreign policy bona fides as well as exec experience and could help win a crucial state.

i'm also intrigued by colin powell and bill cohen for their thoughtful bipartisan appeal and because they reinforce the historical nature of the ticket in a powerful way.

really they might be the best choices of them all because they would show "a new way of doing things" and show that barack obama has the good judgment to surround himself with good people and hire the most qualified person.

edwards and hillary clinton do not answer his weaknesses and don't really add to his positives. if there were women who obviously filled his weaknesses then they wold be great, but sebelius, napolitano, and gregoire do not have the foreign policy. i think a lot of diane feinstein but being from CA may be a negative and she may be a bit too old - as might colin powell - although his cross the aisle stature might overcome that.

Posted by: stpaulsage | February 22, 2008 4:22 PM | Report abuse

I'll also add Sam Nunn, I loved the idea of him, a really great thinker and doer, but he's got some cultural issues that can't be gotten around. he's also 72, which kind of takes some steam out of any old man argument. Not to mention he's said he will NOT run as anyone's VP.

Posted by: harbourx | February 22, 2008 04:00 PM

The old man argument would also exclude Bob Graham who is 71.

Posted by: jimd52 | February 22, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse

I forgot to mention that Sestak has a PhD in political economy from Harvard.

Posted by: jimd52 | February 22, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Obama's argument last night is a good one - that his (obama's) vote against the huge strategic blunder of the war holds up well against a McCain's arguable tactical victory (voting for the surge) later on. This argument is blunted by having any VP who voted for the war. I think this absolutely disqualifies Clinton, Edwards Biden and Daschle.

Posted by: fourhourelection | February 22, 2008 01:18 PM

That is a very good point - I still believe that Obama needs someone with national security credentials and Wes Clark or Zinni would be good choices. Clark was against the invasion of Iraq.

I'll repeat my dark horse suggestion - Congressman Joe Sestak of Pennsylvania. He is a recently retired three star admiral who was elected in 2006 in a formerly Republican suburban district running on an anti-war platform. I knew him slightly in the mid 1980's when we were both stationed in the same area. He is brilliant and youthful looking for someone around my age (56). He married later in life and has a photogenic young family. He is Roman Catholic - a constituency where Obama could use some additional support. He brings a combination of being a fresh new face with solid national security credentials. On the down side, he has a reputation as something of a bad tempered martinet. He has had trouble keeping staffers.

Posted by: jimd52 | February 22, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Kudos to whoever suggested Lloyd Doggett for veep.

Posted by: Spectator2 | February 22, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

cclaxton - I like the list, except Dennis Kucinich. He's got almost all the positions right, (btw, I like Obama's position on TALKING to your potential enemies before you bomb the hell out of them), but he loses a lot of stature and therefore ability to be taken seriously with his antics.

Posted by: wwtt | February 22, 2008 4:04 PM | Report abuse

There are many great suggestions for an Obama administration. It would be great if he would announce his dream team at the convention. That way all these great people will be out there showing how strong an Obama administration would be compared to a McCain administration and there is no way McCain would be able to jump on Obama's inexperience in foreign, domestic or defense issues.

Posted by: Nevadaandy | February 22, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

There are many great suggestins for an Obama administration. It would be great if he would announce his dream team at the convention. That way all these great people will be out there showing how strong an Obama administration would be compared to a McCain administration and there is no way McCain would be able to jump on Obama's inexperience in foreign, domestic or defense issues.

Posted by: Nevadaandy | February 22, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

names I'd consider---Biden, Graham, Strickland,Zinni, Kent Conrad (Sen,ND) and after some quick research Doggett from TX.

names I pray are quickly crossed off the list---Richardson, Clinton, Edwards, Webb, Daschle

One thing Obama will likely do is add someone that fits his message of change in government, but also someone the voters will feel safe with should he or she actually become president.
So for me it's not about change meaning experience (put down the resumes and look at the person), it's about who has been a supporter of things like transparency, questioning either Iraq or early on how the war was conducted.
-Strickland is only a consideration to deliver Ohio.
-Conrad, not sure if he's the stuff of commander in chief, but i'm not saying he's not, but if you want to get to the bottom of a bunch of numbers, he's your guy, I.E. sorting through a mess of an economy, streamlining government waste, knowing how to get the most bang for the buck out of dollars spent on government programs. He can wax anyone in a debate when it comes to wonking in an affable way, he'd be a Gore-ish sort of VP figure.
-Biden, would make a great president, but a bit too glib so there's a weakness there. Have long been a very big Biden fan, if not definitley Sec of State, and one hell of a one at that. The 1988 plagiarism deal also could be fuel for the republicans.
-Graham, ran a great campaign in 2004, though he dropped out early. Strong on economy and defense to my recollection. FLA connection, the fact he's not a sitting Senator and public service also helpful.
-Zinni- many posters have already given these reasons, he's military. The thing is, historically speaking, ex-Military men don't add a lot to the ticket. A lot of effort would have to spent building his biography.
-Doggett, whoever thought of this really gets it! He lines up well with Obama, issue for issue it seems. Appears to be a fighter who stays above the fray. Being a judge is helpful, compliments Obama's constitutional law background (one thing they can really drive home in the wake of Bush and republican disregard for the document) Also, appears to have a good record on transparency and reform, major Obama issues.

WHY NOTs...
Clinton---she brings Obama nothing he won't already have in the general. Also too prominent for a VP, he doesn't need to take on her negatives. Also, I've always thought Senate Majority/Minority leader when it comes to her. A perfect position for her abilities, and a very powerful position at that.
Richardson--great resume, but, really is too soft and bumbling for presidency. he is prone to pandering and unable to think out of the box. UN all the way, he could do some good things there and would actually have an authority he wouldn't in other positions.
Edwards--NO WAY. brought nothing to Kerry, brings nothing for Obama. In my opinion always a week presidential candidate. The time for mid-twentieth century populism is well over. Maybe AG, but he might over step his bounds and tie Obama into fights he might not want to fight at just the times Edwards was pushing for. would require a lot of pacifying. Better for Sec. of Labor, a more hands on and less theoretical position than AG, but he could still do a lot of good.
-Webb, he's great, but two freshman senators on the same ticket? crazy-talk. Webb should be left as a powerful entity growing in the Senate. Looking down the road we'll see a lot from him, and come 2016, that just might be the guy.
-Daschle, was ineffective as minority leader, a clumsy speaker, no real gravitas to speak of (ever watch one of his responses to the state of the union? softer than Harry Reid, frankly, I'm glad he's gone.) Too much legislative baggage. He'll get something out of his support for Obama, but not VP.
I'll also add Sam Nunn, I loved the idea of him, a really great thinker and doer, but he's got some cultural issues that can't be gotten around. he's also 72, which kind of takes some steam out of any old man argument. Not to mention he's said he will NOT run as anyone's VP.

Posted by: harbourx | February 22, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse

To suspend reality a moment:

If you vote on 'fitness for the office', sometimes called 'experience'. *If* that is your worldview? *If* that is the measure that you use when deciding who to vote for? Seems to me McCain has a big problem.

Malignant melanoma.

His running mate would never be seen with Lance Armstrong, nor speak about the economy at a cancer research institute, nor would the word 'cancer' ever be mentioned when discribing his/her health care plan.

Everyone knows that it's a crap shoot putting someone in the oval office. The only 'experienced' guys around are term-limited out. People vote on domestic policy.

Posted by: DonJasper | February 22, 2008 3:57 PM | Report abuse

bsimon - Harsh, perhaps. I wouldn't otherwise be this bad. I was just putting him up against Al Gore. Even in joining Kleiner Perkins, which is perhaps only a footnote, I notice that Powell joined to facilitate KP's portfolio companies get government contracts, using his connections, a legitimate but hardly noble undertaking. Al Gore, on the other hand, joined to channel money into green technology, and so to further his cause to control global warming. In then end, he even pledge all the money he would make to charity. What a contrast!

Posted by: wwtt | February 22, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

TOM DASCHLE would be a GREAT choice! He would bring the congressional experience that Obama will need to really get things moving in Congress. (And, he is available)I still think Hillary would be a good choice as well, because with Hillary, he gets Bill Clinton. And, Bill knows the geopolitical game. While I really like the policy positions of Edwards, I still can't get over how he lost his own state in the Kerry-Edwards Presidential Election. He doesn't add enough to the ticket. Kerry would also be an excellent choice for VP.

Here is my dream team:
VP: Tom Daschle -Congressional Relations
Defense Secy: Zinni
Homeland Security: Bill Richardson
State Dept: Al Gore
Justice Dept: John Edwards
UN Ambassador: Dennis Kucinich
Dir. OMB: Mark Warner (ex-gov Virginia)
Nat Security Advisor: Wesley Clark
Chief of Staff: Howard Dean

Posted by: cclaxton | February 22, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

BARACK OBAMA/JOE BIDEN '08

I cannot imagine a better ticket. They would campaign together beautifully - no meanness in either of them but Joe is a real scrapper, letting Barack stay above the fray. Biden also mirrors & equals in many ways McCain's years and type of experience, which would blunt that comparison. Biden has all the foreign affairs background you could wish for to supplement Obama's inexperience there, and I think Obama himself could easily, quickly become the 'economics' person. Also, both Obama and Biden are very "comfortable in their own skins": they aren't going to be or to surround themselves with "yes men" but rather both be open to other ideas, new information, working with friends AND others. And there would be no question of Biden's fitness to serve. Just a dynamite combination.

Posted by: esommers2 | February 22, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

wwtt writes
"look at what Colin Powell has done? Nothing I can name."

He spends a lot of time with a kids charity, among other things. I can understand the disappointment with his address to the UN - I share that sentiment. Your overall conclusions are a bit harsh, and misguided, in my opinion.

Posted by: bsimon | February 22, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Don't count Hillary out! If she can convincingly win Texas and Ohio, get the illegitimate Florida and Michigan delegates unjustly seated and counted, and bully the Convention and win by loutishness, she'll need a Southern strategy -- her running mate is to be Jimmy Carter.

Posted by: Prozrenie | February 22, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Obama/Bloomberg would be awesome. It would go a long way toward capturing independents in the election. He's hyper competent. He always sounds very reasonable, in a "I'm really really smart but what I'm saying is common sense" kind of way.

Posted by: weaverheath | February 22, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

No Colin Powell. He has proven himself to be ineffective and unpricipled. He will live with the UN speech legacy, almost to the exclusion of everything else he has done.
Interestingly, I view Colin Powell and Al Gore has having roughly equal stature for a while. But look at everything Al Gore accomplished since 2000, and look at what Colin Powell has done? Nothing I can name.
Ironically, both of the them joined the same Venture Capitalist firm. Colin has since been kicked upstairs.

Posted by: wwtt | February 22, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

bsimon, no the article specifically said 'feds' and 'secret service'--i'm not saying it's a conspiracy, but it sure is damn sloppy and creepy since it was Dallas. and actually at least in the case of the president, the Secret Service can override anyone.

'Several Dallas police officers said it worried them that the arena was packed with people who got in without even a cursory inspection.

They spoke on condition of anonymity because, they said, the order was made by federal officials who were in charge of security at the event.'

Posted by: drindl | February 22, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

ugator wrote, "Who is "Jimd" and "optimyst" and how do they know that bob graham is in bad health?"

I had no info one way or the other on Bob Graham's health. Mark was just mistaken on that one. I will agree that he would make a good veep.

In fact, it was his no vote on the Iraq war resolution that exposed the democrats who voted yes as making a political calculation. His position on the Intelligence Committee allowed him to speak authoritatively on the WMD risk. It took guts to vote no. The Dems voting yes wanted to appear strong and feared the political repercussions of a no vote. Hillary is feeling the effects of that mistake right now.

Posted by: optimyst | February 22, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

One more thing, for the longitudinally challeneged, West Virginia is in the East.

Posted by: bsimon | February 22, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Any chance McCain would choose JC Watts?

Posted by: steveboyington | February 22, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Did any one else get the impression at the end of the Democratic Debate last night that Hillary was tired of the whole ordeal?
http://jtaplin.wordpress.com/2008/02/22/is-hillary-giving-up/

Posted by: Trumbull | February 22, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

A couple of observations...

Don't forget, prozrenie, that your favorite "statesman" general besides being a good little soldier following orders with his UN speech ALSO tried and failed to cover up the My Lai massacre.

Amitai...I SERIOUSLY doubt that having Hillary Clinton as Obama's running mate on the ticket is going to "galvanize" ANYBODY to do anything other than perhaps stay home. Vice presidential candidates just don't carry that much weight on a ticket. On the other hand, PROVEN and actual vice presidents DO have galvanizing capabilities as our present fascist, war-profiteering Manipulator-In-Almost-Chief so graphically demonstrates. About the ONLY people who could "inspire" a few more negative votes on the basis of a VP selection would be her husband and, maybe, Michael Moore!

Posted by: PETETENNEY | February 22, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

If Barrack chose someone to counter-balance McCain - a military / foreign policy wonk - I would be very disappointed. It would be a blunder of the first order. For those voters that actually vote on that sort of thing (both of them!) - then they'd be voting for vice-president.

Barrack can't run against McCain's resume - that's the advantage of being older (ah hem - more experienced) - long resumes. If McCain wants to make experience (and his age) an election issue - if I'm Barrack I say: Coool.

Underneath the word 'experience' is the word 'Washington-Insider' (notice the clever use of the hyphen to make it one word) - and 'old-guy'.

Any military guy will tell you - go with your strengths, not your weakness. Given the the Republican's will field two white guys - I think Barrack's first choice should be an articulate intelligent woman - the purpose to draw more voters into the system. No one is going to register to vote for the traditional old white guy ticket.

Posted by: DonJasper | February 22, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

"South Dakota is in the North"

And, as prophylactic against the inverse error, North Carolina is in the South.


"Hillary has got to be the top choice is Vice President ... it would allow Obama to avoid a protracted fight for superdelegates"

cali_snowboarder, if Sen Clinton fails to win both TX & OH, the question is moot. The likelihood of Sen Clinton still competing for delegates a month from now is growing smaller by the day.

Posted by: bsimon | February 22, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

"I've read about more security lapses at obama events. What is the Secret Service thinking?"

Has it occured to you that the Secret Service can be overridden by event organizers? The news articles cited thus far have not said the Svc is responsible for the decisions to loosen security. Until that is known, conclusions are being reached prematurely.

Posted by: bsimon | February 22, 2008 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Hillary has got to be the top choice is Vice President: she's vetted, tested, and immensely popular among Democrats and all the constituencies needed to win the White House. She would lend experience and gravitas to the Obama campaign, and the pairing of an African American and a woman on the same ticket would be absolutely electrifying.

Also, if arranged properly, now, behind the scenes, it would allow Obama to avoid a protracted fight for superdelegates, and go a long way towards unifying the party.

Posted by: cali_snowboarder | February 22, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

"tom daschle ... handsome white liberal southerner"

South Dakota is in the North, son.

Posted by: bsimon | February 22, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Prediction: If Hillary is Veep, Bill will finally ditch her for a liberated semi-retirement of unrepentant skirt-chasing.

Posted by: Prozrenie | February 22, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

it's going to be tom daschle!
handsome white liberal southerner with a great resume and big supporter of obama from the beginning.

Posted by: octavio | February 22, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

The best running mate for Obama would be Gore, a former Vice President, Senator and Nobel prize winner. The other folks mentioned by commenters in this blog are all good but the nation does not know them and as Obama is looked upon as not having a lot of experience he needs someone the American people know and trust. McCain's best choice would be Kaye Bailey Hutchison or Chuck Hagel, as it's unlikely, but not impossible, for him to choose Joe Lieberman. As an Obama supporter I would not be happy if he chose Hillary Clinton as I believe she is a divisive, polarizing person. Remember this....in the general election you need to draw people to your ticket who may not be Democrats and Clinton rubs too many people the wrong way and will hurt, not help Obama. She will galvanize the currently apathetic Republicans to turn out in force and vote against the ticket. He will not get any new voters if he chooses Clinton.

Posted by: amitai | February 22, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Now I've read about more security lapses at obama events. What is the Secret Service thinking? Again, it causes chills. Right now they ought to be stepping up security, not the opposite. What goes?

"What has failed to be reported concerning Weaver is the fact that he has not only been close to McCain but has extraordinary connections to some of the most important support groups for the Democratic Party. One example is that of the trial lawyers."

The usual R tactic -- attack the messenger. Now Weaver, Mccain's long time friend, is suspect because he's in DC--and get this -- he knows some lawyers. Omigod.

I see, since you brought it up, proud--I wasn't going to -- that McCain is refusing to speak to the press today.

Posted by: drindl | February 22, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Who is COLIN POWELL?

A great man, a good author, a strong leader, a thinking-man's general, a powerful manager, and a fine human being. One who should have proudly walked away from his job at Foggy Bottom rather than go to the UN and give that ridiculous, dissembling WMD speech. And who is still defined by that tragic lapse and may always be.

He knows it. And he knows he'll never be nominated by Democrats, ever. Republicans loathe him for reasons far more twisted.

Posted by: Prozrenie | February 22, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

caribis- very compelling argument for T Thompson over T Pawlenty for McCain. Good dark-horse pick.

Posted by: bsimon | February 22, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Re the note from claudialong on security:

I saw similar lapses when I attended an Obama rally in Seattle (17,000 in Key Arena) the day before the Washington (state) caucuses. My large telephoto-equipped camera got only a cursory glance. The lens in my vest pocket was about the size of a hand grenade, and I also had a collapsed monopod inside my vest. Either of those should have been cause for at least a pat down, but they were not noticed. And my wife's very large purse only got a half second look-in. There couldn't have been metal detectors there as my camera has a metal frame.

KST

Posted by: kitaylor | February 22, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Obama:

VP - Biden or Webb, maybe even Richardson
State - Biden or Richardson
Defense - Hagel

LOVE that idea of Biden as Chief of Staff, but would he ever take it???

Wesley Clark??? Did you see him on Bill Maher's show? He was seriously drunk on Clinton Cool-Aid.

Clinton for anything? Are you JOKING??? She's spent her life as Bill's runner-up - she's not about to be Obama's. The irony is that, if the tables are turned, she has almost no choice but to ask Obama. Must admit, though - Bill Clinton as husband to the VICE President is too hilarious!

Posted by: GordonsGirl | February 22, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

I like either Wesley Clark or Kathleen Sibelius best but others like Jim Webb and Bill Richardson are possible.
Clark is good because of his military background, experience campaigning and being a Clinton supporter he could be helpful in gaining their cooperation.
Kathleen Sibelius is Catholic which would be balance plus she has strong ties to Ohio where her father John Gilligan was Governor and she grew up. In addition her husband's father was a Republican Congressman and she has two grown sons to help her campaign.
Should John Edwards not want Attorney General then I think that would be a great place for Janet Napolitano looking at her background. Jim Webb is valuable in the Senate and Hillary seems like she would make a great Majority Leader.

Posted by: rccats3 | February 22, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Mark, Here's an interesting take on a possible Weaver alterior motive for talking to the NYT...

http://www.townhall.com/columnists/MattTowery/2008/02/22/what_some_might_not_know_about_mccains_story

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | February 22, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

General Wesley Clark.

Posted by: converse | February 22, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

A veep should be picked in consideration of the following:
1. Your strategy for winning the election.
2. Your perceived weaknesses and strengths.
3. Don't outshine the top of the ticket.

In 2004 Kerry had two choices Graham of FL or Edwards. Graham could have delivered FL and not much else. Edwards was supposed to connect with blue collar voters (the opposite of the blue-blooded Kerry) in PA, WV, OH, etc... This illustrates your two basic choices in a veep: deliver a state or deliver a boost in a lot of states. I have never been a big believer in the latter, you don't need a boost you need states. Lose by 1 vote in a state and you lose every electoral vote in that state.

For Obama:
1. If his strategy is that of a movement, he is looking for a landslide and should go with a booster veep. If his strategy is the Gore/Kerry states plus 1, he needs a candidate who is guaranteed to deliver one state he needs.
2. His strength is inspiring people, his weakness is foreign policy and no executive experience. This means NO senator. If his strategy is movement, then Zinni is an obvious pick as is Richardson. If his strategy is plus 1, then Strickland or Kaine would make sense, even though they aren't particularly experienced.
3. Unless he is considering Bono, this is NA.

For McCain:
1. If his strategy is discredit Obama as a pup trying to run with the big dogs, then he needs a boost veep. If his strategy is to hold the Bush states, then he either can go with Crist or an empty the pews type boost veep (aka Huckabee) to play defense or a swing state governor to play offense.
2. His strength is being a maverick and the surge. His weakness is domestic policy and being a senator. Like Obama he should be considering a governor.
3. At times a decent speaker, much better when engaging the crowd in QA, he needs someone about his equal or maybe a little less.

Pawlenty isn't unpopular, but living on the border with MN I'm not convinced he can guarantee MN, and certainly not IA or WI. I also don't see any boost aspect. His most successful anti-tax effort was defeating a transportation tax increase, then that pesky freeway bridge collapsed. If he needs Thune, Huntsman or Sanford to deliver their states, he is going to lose anyway. Crist is the best defense governor and I believe Tommy Thompson is the best offense governor. TT has huge domestic policy chops, could deliver WI, won't outshine McCain and his leaving the Bush administration (based on his farewell speech) can easily be spun as taking a stand if Obama hangs Bush around McCain's neck like an anchor.

Posted by: caribis | February 22, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

There are a crazy number of posts here, so sorry if I am repeating...

Some posts have mentioned Joe Biden for the VP, which is intriguing given his experience, but his skills and depth of knoledge on foreign policy could be put to great use someplace else in the cabinet - Secretary of State. He would be a phenomenal asset to not only the administration, but to the country, helping restore our standing of moral leadership.

As for the VP race, I think Zinni has to be given strong consideration - his experience would be tough to question by the right. If not VP, some above had said Sec. of Defense - also a really good call.

Posted by: winters.adam | February 22, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

drindl asks:

"wtf are these people smoking?"

Perhaps Afghani opiates?
-----------------------
This is a good time for Biden and Lugar to do one of their joint appearances on the Sunday talk shows to explain to the Pakistanis that we actually honor their vote and their defeat of the mullahs running in western "badlands".

Then they can signal that the next Prez will be more grounded in reality.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 22, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

For Obama, it will be Bill Richardson, without a doubt. The man adds instant foreign policy credibility (especially of the diplomatic sort, which is what Obama's foreign policy is centered around), can help Obama secure the latino vote, and has a history of working with members of the GOP. (In fact, his first congressional job was working for a Republican from Massachusetts. Finally, Richardson would take some of the wind out of McCain's southwest sails.

Posted by: BABucher | February 22, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

'Exclusive: U.S. urges Pakistanis to keep Musharraf, despite election defeat

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan _The Bush administration is pressing the opposition leaders who defeated Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf to allow the former general to retain his position, a move that Western diplomats and U.S. officials say could trigger the very turmoil the United States seeks to avoid.

U.S. officials, from President Bush on down, said this week that they think Musharraf, a longtime U.S. ally, should continue to play a role, despite his party's rout in parliamentary elections Monday and his unpopularity in the volatile, nuclear-armed nation.'

wtf are these people smoking?

Posted by: drindl | February 22, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

original source better:

"Sure," said Lawrence, when asked if he was concerned by the great number of people who had gotten into the building without being checked. But, he added, the turnout of more than 17,000 people seemed to be a "friendly crowd."

The Secret Service did not return a call from the Star-Telegram seeking comment.

Doors opened to the public at 10 a.m., and for the first hour security officers scanned each person who came in and checked their belongings in a process that kept movement of the long lines at a crawl. Then, about 11 a.m., an order came down to allow the people in without being checked.

Several Dallas police officers said it worried them that the arena was packed with people who got in without even a cursory inspection.

They spoke on condition of anonymity because, they said, the order was made by federal officials who were in charge of security at the event.

"How can you not be concerned in this day and age," said one policeman.

http://www.star-telegram.com/dallas_news/story/486413.html

ugh. just ugh.

Posted by: drindl | February 22, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

For the Repubs, I like Haley Barbour for the aforementioned reasons. Plus, his handling of Katrina (compared particularly to the Dems in LA) neutralizes that as an issue.

Posted by: gbooksdc | February 22, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

At the political futures prediction market www.intrade.com, the current favorite for McCain's veep is Tim Pawlenty. He's trading at 27% probability. Huckabee (who was up in the 20's several weeks ago) is now down to about 6%. Crist, Thune and the other real possibilities for JM are lumped into the Field, which is trading at about 43%.

On the Dem side, there's no clear frontrunner. Personally I think it's Biden, but he's only trading at 5%, so clearly others disagree.

Posted by: B2O2 | February 22, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

"A Dallas-Fort Worth newspaper reports that someone -- the Secret Service? -- ordered that security be dropped at an Obama rally yesterday. In Dallas. (Please, stop the flashbacks....)

Star-Telegram.com: | 02/21/2008 | Police concerned about order to stop screening: Security details at Barack Obama's rally Wednesday stopped screening people for weapons at the front gates more than an hour before the Democratic presidential candidate took the stage at Reunion Arena.

The order to put down the metal detectors and stop checking purses and laptop bags came as a surprise to several Dallas police officers who said they believed it was a lapse in security.

Dallas Deputy Police Chief T.W. Lawrence, head of the Police Department's homeland security and special operations divisions, said the order -- apparently made by the U.S. Secret Service -- was meant to speed up the long lines outside and fill the arena's vacant seats before Obama came on."

I don't know who or why anyone ordered this, but I hope to god it doesn't happen again... it's just a little too creepy.

http://www.discourse.net/archives/2008/02/look_we_worry_about_this_stuff.html

Posted by: drindl | February 22, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

McCain has a real dilemna concerning his VP pick. He needs someone who will appease the hard core conservatives. The most appealing candidate would be Huckabee but he is detested by most of the non-evangelical right wing. The Club for Growth crowd would be apoplectic. He also needs someone significantly younger. Powell would also be a good choice except he is in his 70s and distrusted by the movement conservatives.

Posted by: jimd52 | February 22, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

brad, it's "Zinni". I hope the problem is with your keyboard, because as I read these posts his name is becoming unrecognizable. [grin]

Hook 'em

BTW, Cong. Doggett was a National Moot Court Champion, as I recall, in law school - a natural at debate, as "spencer" said. He and Chet Edwards were the two TX Congressmen who survived of the 6 targeted by DeLay.

That was not a hollow suggestion.
-----------------------------
I heard the Prez of the ACU on POTUS '08 explain why McC needed to name a "conservative". He liked Sanford.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 22, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

My choices for VP? In order:

Democrats:

John Edwards
Wesley Clark
Joe Biden
Bill Richardson
Hillary Clinton
Jim Webb

Or he could go WAY beyond "established" names and pick someone from outside of government like Bill Moyers...or even a Republican like Christy Whitman or Susan Collins.

Republicans?

Oh, I don't know...They're going to get trounced across the board so it doesn't really matter. He'll probably go with either the snake oil salesman from Arkansas, or "Democrat" Joe Lieberman...but how about:

Dan Quayle
Bill O'Reilly
The Cryptkeeper
My Pet Goat

Posted by: PETETENNEY | February 22, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

I'm surprised no one mentions William Cohen as possible Dem VP. Mr. Fix-- thoughts?

Posted by: dhanks | February 22, 2008 01:22 PM

Well, for one he is a Republican who endorsed Bush in 2000.

Posted by: jimd52 | February 22, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe he would take it but I love General Zuni. Zuni is one tough Marine who would make McCain look like a wimp. Someone who can explain why containment works and why the War in Iraq was not in our military interest.

Posted by: bradcpa | February 22, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

bsimon wrote:

"I have a different read. I was disappointed to see him drop out so early, but figure he saw the writing on the wall - competing against the Clinton & Obama juggernauts was a losing battle, both for fundraising & media attention."

The old catch-22--if you're crazy enough to run for the presidency, you're probably crazy enough that you shouldn't be elected.

Maybe you're right. Feingold probably saw what a bitter, grueling and drawn-out fight this was going to be and decided a comfortable seat in the Senate looked pretty good in comparison!

Posted by: ablackstormy | February 22, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

I like the idea of Zinni or Wesley Clark as both a tactic to blunt McCains likely point of attack; as well as their considerable military and foreign policy chops.

Although I am not a veteran what I have seen displayed by those who are is a serious reverence for our constitution. It has been the "Chickenhawks" who never served who have been forceful in both asserting pre-emptive strikes and the theroy (fairytale) of the "unitary executive".

These would be serious choices for serious times.

Posted by: krechevskym | February 22, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Ladies and Gentlemen,

May I present the best VP option for the spot on the Democratic ticket.

U.S. Rep Lloyd Doggett
A former Texas Supreme Court Justice, the House's best debater, and survivor of DeLay's attempt to redistrict him out of a seat.

Posted by: spencersharpel | February 22, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully Obama will be the nominee. I trust he will use the same kind of ratinal judgement in picking his running mate as he did for his opposing the war. If (and that is a big if) Clinton were to get the nomination she would definitely need Obama on her ticket.

Maybe it's time for a real change in the way presidential candidates run. They should announce who would be running their major cabinet level agencies at the same time they announce their choice for VP. This would show how strong they would be ready to lead on day one. If voters knew who will be in charge of running the most important agencies in government and who would be advising the President and Vice-President, it would help them to decide who they wanted to vote for as President.

I think Obama will pick cabinet members based on their ability to run an agency as well as their knowledge and experience with the the agency's mission. Too many times cabinet secretary's are chosen as a pay back for their support.

I think he should consider the following as his cabinet member:

Richardson or Biden for U.N Secretary or Secretary of State; Edwards for Attorney General; Webb for Secretary of Defense; Gore for EPA. Zunni for National Security Advisor.

Posted by: Nevadaandy | February 22, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

It would be suicide for Obama to run with Hillary, then he gets the racists AND the AnybodyButHillary's aligned against him. Someone like Sebelius is a slapdown of Hillary, because a potential Sebelius candidacy in 2016 sucks the oxygen out of a Hillary campaign. Meanwhile, it brings the Clinton voters solidly back into the fold. Kaine would deserve a nod for his early support, and Webb is a good match.

The best suggestion I've seen is Graham. It flips FL's electoral votes Dem and moots the controversy over the primary. Plus, as his first major decision, it's pretty safe. The old heads in the press will have no grounds to grumble.

Posted by: gbooksdc | February 22, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Chris,

I almost hope you advise the McCain campaign, because they would surely lose. The era of all-white male tickets is pretty much over. McCain has to present a more diverse ticket, a woman or a non-white male. There are plenty of qualified choices for him, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison or former Congressman JC Watts. If McCain chose a Latino-American member of the Senate or House, that would really blow the election wide open.

Obama needs someone loyal, grounded, and really down to earth. Senator Biden would bring a lot of experience, he personally knows every world leader, and he wouldn't have his own agenda, he is an intelligent and loyal man.

Posted by: gckarcher | February 22, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

"Feingold is an attractive option, but I wonder if there isn't something fishy in his background. A year ago, I thought he was well positioned to walk away with the Dem nomination, and instead he just up and walked away from the race!"

I have a different read. I was disappointed to see him drop out so early, but figure he saw the writing on the wall - competing against the Clinton & Obama juggernauts was a losing battle, both for fundraising & media attention.

Posted by: bsimon | February 22, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

I'm surprised no one mentions William Cohen as possible Dem VP. Mr. Fix-- thoughts?

Posted by: dhanks | February 22, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

I choose Bill Richardson. My first choice for president will be second in line, and my second choice will be first. I will be happy all around.

I don't pay much attention to the Republicans, but I would choose former Gov. George Pataki of New York to balance out the ticket and bring in some of the New York and other mid-Atlantic states.

Posted by: corridorg4 | February 22, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

--breaking news, CC

Rep. Rick Renzi (R-AZ) "has been indicted for extortion, wire fraud, money laundering and other charges related to a land deal in Arizona," according to the Associated Press. Renzi and two former business partners are accused "of conspiring to promote the sale of land that buyers could swap for property owned by the federal government."

Renzi, who is one of CREW's 22 Most Corrupt Members of Congress, has been under investigation by the FBI since 2006. At the heart of the investigation was a land deal worth more than $4 million that Renzi brokered for his former business partner, James Sandlin:

UPDATE: Renzi is member of Sen. John McCain's (R-AZ) National Leadership Team as well as a co-chair of his Arizona Leadership Team.

http://thinkprogress.org/?tag=Ethics

Posted by: drindl | February 22, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

I'm a big Biden fan and think he would be a great VP, but, upon reflection, I think his Yes vote on the war disqualifies him. Obama's argument last night is a good one - that his (obama's) vote against the huge strategic blunder of the war holds up well against a McCain's arguable tactical victory (voting for the surge) later on. This argument is blunted by having any VP who voted for the war. I think this absolutely disqualifies Clinton, Edwards Biden and Daschle. I'd still be curious why the Fix didn't list Biden though.

Plus, Biden may unfortunately may redouble the (silly) plagiarism claims against both of them.

How about Gary Hart? I know it's been awhile, but he once was the rockstar frontrunner, has foreign policy chops, gray hair, and our standards have lowered way beyond being bothered by a little Monkey Business.

Also, cupsaredone would be a good "out of the box" pick based on an excellent post on this topic above.

Posted by: fourhourelection | February 22, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

WHAT HAPPENED TO MIKE HUCKABEE? HAS HE RUINED HIS CHANCES AT THE VEEPSTAKES?

Posted by: jsperez | February 22, 2008 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Obama-Barry!

Obama should team up with Marion Barry. Barry would bring with him that old time political machine, as well as the garbage-to-energy transforming machine! And DC statehood. Nuf said!

Posted by: johng1 | February 22, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

I don't know if anyone will get down this far (I did not) but Colin Powell would be great for Obama and I think Chris Dodd should be in the running - VERY experienced, strong on foreign policy, fluent spanish speaker, ran a good (if ignored) presidential campaign, has good ideas on the mortgage crisis and campaigns well.

Posted by: pbegemann | February 22, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Here are the directions Obama could go: Washington experience (Biden), most well known (Edwards), national security (Zinni/Webb), managerial experience/red state governor (Napolitano/Sebelius/Kaine/Richardson). A couple people have also mentioned McCaskill; I think she is too green, she would make it a 2-senator ticket, and she would cost us a senate seat.

In general, I think Obama should amplify the change/outsider contrast, which means no Biden, as much as I like him. Biden for Sec. State. Edwards is just too darn angry, and we don't want to give a sense that we're rerunning 2004. Edwards for AG. Webb is perhaps a little too blunt for the office. Kaine is green, Richardson is just flat out unimpressive to me, and Napolitano lacks charisma. Polls show Obama running fine in NV and CO without a Latino VP anyway.

That leaves us Zinni and Sebelius. Sebelius is a highly regarded red-state governor who would help in OH (where she is a former senator's daughter), MO (which borders KS), and yes, KS, where the first poll shows McCain just +6. Her SOTU response was flat but she does a great job any time she has a crowd or isn't reading off a teleprompter. Zinni is a sharp, charismatic guy and an impressive interview.

So, if Obama wants to neutralize the foreign policy/national security question, Zinni would be my choice. If he wants a red-state governor who helps in some key swing states and neutralizes the managerial ability question, Sebelius would be my choice. Watching interviews, both are a good option.

Posted by: Nissl | February 22, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Oof. Mondale-Ferraro--THAT should have killed the Ds, yet obviously they're still alive and well.

Makes you wonder why the Whigs aren't still around.

Posted by: ablackstormy | February 22, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

If not Sam Nunn, how about West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin as an Obama running mate?

Posted by: bjohnson42 | February 22, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Chris: For Obama VP consideration, consider 3 possibilities:
1. Out of the box --- take Republican Chuck Hegel. His selection would send a strong "Let's all be friends message!" Hegel also has an excellent military record and would possibly appeal to some moderate Republicans.
2. Retired Marine Gen. Anthony Zinni would be my #2 selection.
3. I like Senator Jim Webb with his strong military credentials and take no prisoner style, but his experience in the Senate isn't any deeper than Obama's.

IMPORTANT! I am a woman, and I hope the Obama campaign doesn't pander to get a woman on the ticket just to appear politically correct. If Hillary isn't on the ticket, then don't try to put in a second best; it won't fly with the Hillary supporters.

Posted by: Daisy77 | February 22, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Regarding Obama's alleged weakness in military affairs and foreign policy: I suspect that he'll have the good sense, unlike Bush et al, listen to the advice of his qualified generals and experienced foreign policy professionals, even to the point of slowing down our withdrawal from Iraq -- God forbid.

Posted by: geraldsutliff1 | February 22, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

arthur_ide:

The Dems survived Dukakis. The Repubs survived Nixon. I think both parties will do just fine regardless of this election's outcome.

(I'm not comparing Dukakis and Nixon morally, I'm just saying they were both disasters for their respective parties).

Posted by: ablackstormy | February 22, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

bsimon writes:

"I think you miss the real trend, which is that half the ticket is a governor from outside washington, the other half inside. Exceptions are Dole-Kemp, Kerry-Edwards, Bush-Quayle, Mondale-Ferraro; hardly a promising list . . . . Summary: a ticket of two washington insiders as challengers doesn't work. The most victorious combination is one innie & one outie."

Good observation. To flush that thought out further, don't forget to include on that 1968 and on list:

Humphrey-Muskie (incumbent VP picks incumbent senator)

McGovern-Shriver (incumbent senator picks someone with perhaps the most unique resume of any VP nominee in modern times but still more insider than outsider)

Ford-Dole (sitting president running for president for the first time picks sitting senator as running mate)

Gore-Lieberman (incumbent VP picks incumbent Senator).

There have been ten presidential elections since 1968 (inclusive of 1968). In the eight elections in which an incumbent president running for re-election did not lose, seven of the eight losing tickets featured Washington insiders as both the presidential and vice presidential nominee. The lone exception was 1988.

Additionally, beginning with 1968, there have been six tickets featuring an insider-outsider split. (This doesn't count presidents running for re-elction, since I'd consider those presidents insiders at the time of their re-election campaigns.) Five of those six tickets won (1968, 1976, 1980, 1992, 2000). Once again, the only exception was 1988.

Perhaps those looking to make some money off of Intrade with this election should wait and see whether one nominee picks another insider while the other picks an outsider?

Posted by: csp17 | February 22, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Hillary would be a fool to accept the VP--and would lose the majority of her supporters who would either vote third party, write-in, or sit-out this election. Obama is a divider--not a uniter, and if he is nominated the Democratic Party is dead and will never rise again.

Posted by: arthur_ide | February 22, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

JimD and I think optimyst have told us that Bob Graham is in poor health and cannot possibly be a VP.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 22, 2008 11:08 AM


To be exact, I stated that he had open heart surgery in 2003 and may not be up to the rigors of a national campaign at age 71.

Posted by: jimd52 | February 22, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

I think Obama would be well served by picking a New Coalition Democrat - somebody like Bob Graham from Florida - who can help him with the southern strategy and can help draw moderates to the Democratic party.

Posted by: bjohnson42 | February 22, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

If you can't beat them ,join em. Huh gop. Rather than allowing differant people their representation. Do "liberals" have representation the last 10 years? Now we do. We should give the gop their choice for vp, clinton clark biden? Nope.

the gop had their representation. Now it's time for the country to go in another direction. Not that the gop'ers should not be welcomed with open arms. But everyone must be vigale for gop sabotage. Traitor red coats that choose party and money ovr country. We cannot allow them to infiltrate the leadersuip and rot it from within. Liek they do every single time.

Posted by: JKrishnamurti | February 22, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

For Obama:

Feingold is an attractive option, but I wonder if there isn't something fishy in his background. A year ago, I thought he was well positioned to walk away with the Dem nomination, and instead he just up and walked away from the race! Strange...

Richardson fills in the "holes" that leave Obama a little weak. He's got executive experience, he has extensive foreign policy experience, and even though he's a bit of a dud personality-wise he has proven himself an effective background operative who can get things done. Think Cheney but without the evil and lust for absolute control.

Posted by: ablackstormy | February 22, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

... or Governor Napolitano, to attract Hillary voters and put Arizona in play against McCain.

Posted by: andrewgerst | February 22, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

"Plus [Lieberman] didn't help Gore a bit, so he's a proven loser at the national level."

I don't know how I missed Gore-Lieberman on my list. Another inside-the-beltway combination that lost to an innie-outie ticket. What was Gore thinking?

Posted by: bsimon | February 22, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Kaine would be a great choice for Senator Obama, but it might also be helpful for him to pick a woman to attract the Hillary voters -- thus, maybe Governor Sebelius.

Posted by: andrewgerst | February 22, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse

The best choice for Obama would be to select the VP choice Hillary would have made -- Wesley Clark. He was a four-star General who would bring immediate national security credentials to the ticket, he knows domestic issues from his own previous Presidential campaign, and he has a very likeable personality on the stump. He would also make a very good President if that ever became necessary. And the fact that he has been close to the Clintons would help unify the party.

Posted by: historian4 | February 22, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

The best choice for Obama would be to select the VP choice Hillary would have made -- Wesley Clark. He was a four-star General who would bring immediate national security credentials to the ticket, he knows domestic issues from his own previous Presidential campaign, and he has a very likeable personality on the stump. He would also make a very good President if that ever became necessary. And the fact that he has been close to the Clintons would help unify the party.

Posted by: historian4 | February 22, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Chris, you remain utterly conventional as ever, always slightly behind the curve, a little slow on the uptake - although I'm glad to note you've added Webb as a possibility for the first time, something I've been suggesting for a while.
Edwards is irrelevant to the equation now; he lost his opportunity; Obama would be better served without his old-fashioned populism, his antiglobalization message. That is NOT the future.
Kaine would be the worst imaginable pick, a centrist who wouldn't help set the direction for the future. You like his open declarations of faith; for me it would be his worst aspect.
Sebelius doesn't provide enough weight.
Obama would never pick a general like Zinni (that's just Washington media fantasy).
My problem with Webb, although I would prefer him over most others, is that Obama would be setting him up in his own right for president in the future, and this former Republican is perhaps not the best way to go.
How about a completely off-the-wall choice: Dean? Dean, after all, started the movement in 2003.
Obama's key consideration (rather than regional or other typical ones) will be, Who best enhances the message for the future? He's bold enough not to fall for any other line.

Posted by: Anis_Shivani | February 22, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

The problem with Janet Napolitano is that she's from Arizona. McCain is going to carry that state.

Posted by: eemr | February 22, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

For McCain:

Forget Lieberman. He appeals to a very small group of moderate conservatives (not independents, ironically) and has very high negatives with just about everyone else. Plus he didn't help Gore a bit, so he's a proven loser at the national level. Romney is a much better choice. Picking him would:
A) Show that McCain can work closely with someone for whom he has great personal emnity, but whose abilities he respects.
B) Bring executive experience to the ticket, to balance McCain's legislative-branch career.
C) Put him back in the graces of the social conservative community, who are only grudgingly and unenthusiastically supporting him now.

Posted by: ablackstormy | February 22, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

I'd add Richardson to the Obama list. It gives the ticket executive experience, foreign policy cred, and opens a lot of doors with hispanic groups that Obama's going to have to spend time courting this summer.

Posted by: comtrevor | February 22, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Obama should pick Daschle for VP.

His experience in Congress would help the ticket. He can work well with both sides of the aisle, and his judgement and service are well respected by both parties.

It would be poetic justice. I believe Senator Daschle lost his South Dakota seat in the Senate because he stood up to Bush and said that Bush "failed miserably" in going to war in Iraq instead of solving the problem with diplomacy. How right Daschle was. Iraq is still a huge issue to many in this country, and having another one on the ticket with good judgement on this issue would augment this point.

signed: Dave Daschle

Posted by: dashcol | February 22, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

With all these posts I'm surprised at how few mention Joe Biden. He speaks as eloquently and forcefully about foreign policy as any democrat in Washington and he has an elder-statesman quality that would help balance Obama's relative inexperience. He also is good in a political knife fight, which is always and important quality in a VP pick.

Posted by: kuhoops | February 22, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Obama/Biden

McCain/Dole (Libby or Bob--what difference does it make?)

Posted by: soonerthought | February 22, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

I doubt any Democratic Senator from a state with a Republican Governor would be chosen (i.e. McCaskill is out). Same problem for Kaine -- the Lt. Governor is a really right wing Republican ...

(sorry if this was mentioned already-- I haven't made it through all the posts)

Posted by: eemr | February 22, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Obama should pick Daschle for VP.

His experience in Congress would help the ticket. He can work well with both sides of the aisle, and his judgement and service are well respected by both parties.

It would be poetic justice. Senator Daschle lost his South Dakota seat in the Senate because he stood up to Bush and said that Bush "failed miserably" in going to war in Iraq instead of solving the problem with diplomacy. How right he was. Iraq is still a huge issue to many in this country, and having another one on the ticket with good judgement on this issue would augment this point.

Posted by: dashcol | February 22, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Obama should pick Daschle for VP.

His experience in Congress would help the ticket. He can work well with both sides of the aisle, and his judgement and service are well respected by both parties.

It would be poetic justice. Senator Daschle lost his South Dakota seat in the Senate because he stood up to Bush and said that Bush "failed miserably" in going to war in Iraq instead of solving the problem with diplomacy. How right he was. Iraq is still a huge issue to many in this country, and having another one on the ticket with good judgement on this issue would augment this point.

Posted by: dashcol | February 22, 2008 12:23 PM | Report abuse

On Zinni. I would be thrilled to have him involved in any part of the Obama administration. He is very smart, very well respected and very likable. However he said at a Brookings event a couple weeks ago "Our generals aren't a threat to democracy unless they run for office." So I think he would take himself out of the running for an office. People have been trying to get him to run for years.

That said, Obama should do what he can to get General Zinni in his inner circle, if he isn't already. As SecDef or SecState, you couldn't ask for a better man for the job.

Posted by: sch2383 | February 22, 2008 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Claire McCaskill and Bill Richardson should be added to the D side. They both hail from swing states and she represents the bone he needs to throw to white women currently supporting Hillary.

Posted by: randerson | February 22, 2008 12:23 PM | Report abuse

I think McCain is maverick enough to pick his friend, Lindsay Graham. ...

Posted by: frank.iannuzzi | February 22, 2008 08:19 AM

---

I've heard the same sort of rumors about Senator Graham that was posted here about Gov. Crist. If it's a problem for Crist, it will be a problem for Graham.

(please note that I gave proper credit to the original poster, just in case someone from the Clinton campaign is monitoring the comments ...

Posted by: eemr | February 22, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

I like all of the names suggested by the Fix as Obama veep candidates. But Kaine is the guy I think most fits - a loyal, religious guy who's fairly eloquent and the governor of an important swing state. He's also shown he can handle the pressure of a traumatic situation: he did a good job of healing Virginia after the Va. Tech shooting deaths.

Posted by: roje | February 22, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Hillary for VP - unite the two "movements" and go on to win in Nov.

It will be like the 1960 winning ticket of JFK & LBJ Neither really liked the other but they detested Nixon even more.

Posted by: isart | February 22, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Mark, I know about Addington and Yoo.

Just thought that the idea of Cheney and McCain would stir up some conversation.

Does McCain really want to continue Bush's policies? Seriously, I'm asking: are there any differencs between McCain and Bush?

Posted by: AdrickHenry | February 22, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

lET'S SEE WHO WINS, IN THE GOP .The lying propogandists for profit or the lying politicians. Let's see who really holds the power. :)

If it's the lying propoganidsts for profit, the country OR the gop is in serious trouble.

That is their decision though. They are on the path to their own destruction for a generation. The gop's only hope is to maginalize the propogadists for profit. Can or will they do that? Who knows? but that is the gop's choice.

I have often asked when the republcains are going to turn on the fascists destroying their party and the country. Never happened until, it seems now. But if they allow the rush's and fox's and coulter to persist without ever acknowledging what they do is fascist propoganda, lie spin and discrediting, if will never end. Ever. We stay in perpetual verbal warfare. Forever. I don't want that. Nobody but gop does.

It's not liberals keeping coulter and rush on the air. If the gop wants relevance, they must distance themselves from thsoe who are irrelevant or who have lost credibility. That's the way credibility works. It's not infanite. comes and goes. For the gop it went. But they can reclaim it. If they choose.

Posted by: JKrishnamurti | February 22, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

csp17 writes
"Is there any reason to believe that either McCain or Obama would break this [non-governor as VP] trend?"

I think you miss the real trend, which is that half the ticket is a governor from outside washington, the other half inside. Exceptions are Dole-Kemp, Kerry-Edwards, Bush-Quayle, Mondale-Ferraro; hardly a promising list. The winning side has Bush-Cheney, Clinton-Gore & Reagan-Bush (Bush-Quayle is 1 and 1). Split tickets that lost include Dukakis-Bentsen & Carter-Mondale.

Summary: a ticket of two washington insiders as challengers doesn't work. The most victorious combination is one innie & one outie.

Posted by: bsimon | February 22, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

OK FIX--you made an outstanding argument for Zinni.

I want to suggest Bill Nelson from FL (except his early endorsement of HRC)

It cannot be Webb--too new, too loose cannon, too likely to be replaced by a R.

I thought Kaine or Sebelius would be the first pick (but I get the whole Obama-Kaine phonetic thing--Ex . . .Oba-McCain--not that Oba makes any sense, but you don't want your rally to sound like it is endorsing the other guy)
so that left Sebelius, but I was worried about the foreign policy creds--however, someone else made a convincing argument about the issues does not need to be foreign policy/security or McCain will win--so that restored my faith/hope in Obama/Sebelius.

I think people who say "too much change" are wrong--this would be EXACTLY what the Democrats need to really produce a "Reagan landslide"--Show that there is no way they are moving the country anyway but forward. While I know bullmoose is right about all the people who love Dick Cheney--but I think Obama is on the road to proving America is not as "fundamentalist" or conservative as people have tended to think, and that America is much more open to progress than previously thought; as long as someone is willing to inspire and trust us to listen to our better nature.

In that vein, I think Richardson might even surpass Sebelius because he would offer both "change it up" and foreign creds.

Joe Biden and Bob Graham are my personal dark horse favorites, but while I think both men are incredibly brilliant and likable, I don't see them getting the #2--but I could be pleasantly wrong.

For McCain, DO NOT rule out Crist because of rumors, he has and continues to weather them here in Florida to such a degree among "religious right" conservatives of North and West Florida, that they are not even heard--absolutely silent in any real sense during his election. I live in Jacksonville, and only heard one other person mention them, and that was my wife. And if not McCain, Crist will be on the short list of any Rep nominee for a while, maybe even until he himself is the nominee--see my comments on his uncanny ability to reinvent himself and be who voters want him to be on the last VEEPSTAKES LINE.

Condi Rice was in my opinion too much of a fantasy nominee--but I am hearing that suggestion making traction--maybe, but I think it would only undermine Obama's "unique African-american-ness as a candidate" in the media--to the average African-American voter, they know who is representing their interests and who is not--its not like she has just been a Republican African-American politician--she's been and is HEAVILY involved in all things GW BUSH.

If not Crist or Rice, my bet is Sanford--UNLESS Huckabee delivers reallly strong on 3/4 and forces his way onto the ticket after receiving a promise that this act would bring Dobson and other religious conservs back into the "big tent" ahead of time.

Posted by: chadibuins | February 22, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

OK FIX--you made an outstanding argument for Zinni.

I want to suggest Bill Nelson from FL (except his early endorsement of HRC)

It cannot be Webb--too new, too loose cannon, too likely to be replaced by a R.

I thought Kaine or Sebelius would be the first pick (but I get the whole Obama-Kaine phonetic thing--Ex . . .Oba-McCain--not that Oba makes any sense, but you don't want your rally to sound like it is endorsing the other guy)
so that left Sebelius, but I was worried about the foreign policy creds--however, someone else made a convincing argument about the issues does not need to be foreign policy/security or McCain will win--so that restored my faith/hope in Obama/Sebelius.

I think people who say "too much change" are wrong--this would be EXACTLY what the Democrats need to really produce a "Reagan landslide"--Show that there is no way they are moving the country anyway but forward. While I know bullmoose is right about all the people who love Dick Cheney--but I think Obama is on the road to proving America is not as "fundamentalist" or conservative as people have tended to think, and that America is much more open to progress than previously thought; as long as someone is willing to inspire and trust us to listen to our better nature.

In that vein, I think Richardson might even surpass Sebelius because he would offer both "change it up" and foreign creds.

Joe Biden and Bob Graham are my personal dark horse favorites, but while I think both men are incredibly brilliant and likable, I don't see them getting the #2--but I could be pleasantly wrong.

For McCain, DO NOT rule out Crist because of rumors, he has and continues to weather them here in Florida to such a degree among "religious right" conservatives of North and West Florida, that they are not even heard--absolutely silent in any real sense during his election. I live in Jacksonville, and only heard one other person mention them, and that was my wife. And if not McCain, Crist will be on the short list of any Rep nominee for a while, maybe even until he himself is the nominee--see my comments on his uncanny ability to reinvent himself and be who voters want him to be on the last VEEPSTAKES LINE.

Condi Rice was in my opinion too much of a fantasy nominee--but I am hearing that suggestion making traction--maybe, but I think it would only undermine Obama's "unique African-american-ness as a candidate" in the media--to the average African-American voter, they know who is representing their interests and who is not--its not like she has just been a Republican African-American politician--she's been and is HEAVILY involved in all things GW BUSH.

If not Crist or Rice, my bet is TPaw--UNLESS Huckabee delivers reallly strong on 3/4 and forces his way onto the ticket after receiving a promise that this act would bring Dobson and other religious conservs back into the "big tent" ahead of time.

Posted by: chadibuins | February 22, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

If we wants balance for foreign policy, why not grab Bill Cohen? He had rock star status as Clinton SecDef and is a Republican to help Obama's "post-partisanship" argument. Plus he has been critical of Iraq.

However, if he wants the November debate to be about the economy, why not grab Dick Rubin? The stock market jumps 500 points every time his name is mentioned, he is a policy wonk to butress the "Obama lacks substance" argument. Plus, he is no foreign policy neophyte.

Posted by: Nichevo | February 22, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Chris, I didn't know anything about Zinni and Webb until you so kindly provided the links and background information. Those two people are *impressive*. Now, I like Edwards, but Zinni, especially, is the sort of warrior we need in the Party. He would make a great VP.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | February 22, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Martinez ineleigible, born in Cuba.

Blarg is correct. Except for the Zinni bait, this is now mere rehash of rehash.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 22, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

For Obama my list would be
Leon Panetta
Mark Warner
William Cohen
Bill Richardson

for McCain,

I think he will choose either
Romney or
Mel Martinez

Posted by: aspinwall | February 22, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Adrick, I know you were joking about Cheney, but for others who might not know:

Cheney, his lawyer Addington, and Addington's protege, Yoo, are responsible for the theory of the unitary executive that places the Prez outside the reach of the law for all practical purposes, short of impeachment.

McC opposes this theory as strongly as does BHO.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 22, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Can't we just paste in the posts from the last "VeepStakes" thread? Nothing has changed in the last 2 weeks that would impact the VP race. Why have this topic again?

Posted by: Blarg | February 22, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

McCain will pick Jodi Rell, Governor of Connecticut. She is endorsed him early. Between her and Leiberman, they can competer for the Northeast votes (NH, Maine) It is a west-east thing, governor with a know-how on the economy.

Obama will pick himself as VP. I can't believe someone called him a hero. What did Obama do that earned him "hero" status? Zinni is out -- he messed up big time when he was sent as a mideast envoy.

Posted by: Cornell1984 | February 22, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: JKrishnamurti | February 22, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

'coulter'

That would be entertaining, at least. An answer to the question: "If we wanted to nominate someone who is (a) arguably insane and (b) would probably destroy the GOP, who would it be?"

Posted by: judgeccrater | February 22, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Oh No problem mark_in_austin - sometimes things sound a bit harsher in written word then they are meant to be.
I do think on paper its a great fit and some of the other choices just don't work...
Joe Biden is Secretary of State... that's it.
Gore would never be vice president again.
Webb would do more harm then is necessary.... and undoubtedly become part of the story which you wouldn't want your VP to be.
And then there's Florida..... and what Obama seems to need balanced - a bit more experience, a bit more gravitas, someone who was right on the war, foreign policy experience - and respect and integrity.

Posted by: ufgator | February 22, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

What I saw last night was a great team, whoever ends up in the top slot. I can't see any third person unifying the party at this point. And Cheney has made the veep slot so powerful, it's no longer an insult to run for it.

Posted by: patinlaurel | February 22, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Good point about senators and governators. Govs. Brian Schweitzersand Jon Tester both excellent Western Obama choices -- very popular and upcoming in the Dem party.

Posted by: drindl | February 22, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

"papers doesn't mean we are liberal. There is more of us old timers voting than all the youngins you can register.

Posted by: loo | February 22, 2008 11:37 AM
"

Great. Have your way. But think about the future. Sabotage and mock the youth to your own detriment. To fear the future is to risk eliminating it. You old folk won;t be around to stop progress forever. I love you old folk's. I just think you have been mislead by propogandists for profit for to many decades to acknowledge reality now.

to much rush/fox/hannity/o'liely and old battles of the past to look to the future. You drive your car looking through the FRONT window. Can you drive looking through the rear? No, and neither can american politics.

Posted by: JKrishnamurti | February 22, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Two additional people to watch are Bill Richardson, adds foreign policy experience, executive experience and enthusiasm in the Latino community. Also former Senator Bob Graham of Florida. He opposed the war from the beginning and was the former chair of the intelligence community.

Posted by: jsr8 | February 22, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

'Yeah, nothing like a bridge collapsing underneath your car to impact your quality of life.'

Indeed. This is my main problem with so-called conservatives. There are many -- but this is the worst. You cannot cut taxes, cut taxes, cut taxes, and pay for critical infrastructure. It's not possible. And McCain has promised not only that he won't raise ANY taxes, but also that he will make permanent every bush tax cut and add more of his own. So where will the money come from for another 100 years of Iraq? Where will the money come from for everything else? We can't keep borrowing from the Chinese government and our grandchildren forever.

Also forget Daschle. Most Dems think he was a wimp in the Senate. Also Breaux. Widely disliked. Bob graham certainly an idea. Good man.

Tim Kaine has this wild eyebrow. Watch this-- it looks like it's trying to crawl off his face and escape:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojkUWFMdacs

Posted by: drindl | February 22, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

For the Democratic and Republican tickets alike, neither candidate will pick another senator, or at least doing so seems very unlikely. One reason senators do so badly in presidential elections is that they lack executive experience, and both McCain and Obama will be looking to shore this up. Should McCain pick a governor and Obama go with someone like Webb or Edwards, the move would be almost suicidal.

Edwards, too, won't be on the list. Edwards brings no extra experience to the ticket and no particular demographic appeals that Obama doesn't already command. Add to this how uncomfortable Edwards showed himself playing second fiddle to Kerry, failing to stick his neck out and be the attack dog that Kerry needed, and Edwards seems like one of the worst choices for Obama. Yes, the Edwards endorsement would be important in the fight against Clinton (and would have been huge two or three weeks ago), but the value of the endorsement doesn't translate into Edwards being a good veep choice.

For both candidates, my lists would include no one in Congress, and would be filled with governors, former high-ranking White House officials, and maybe the occasional retired general. The senator who picks another senator or congressperson is asking to lose.

Posted by: blert | February 22, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Amitai, Hutchison or Hagel would be interesting choices.

I think Hagel would tend to split the Rs on too many fronts for him not to be a liability to McC on the ticket.

KBH probably works. Her Senate seat is safely R, and she has been widely rumored to be heading back to Austin in 2009 to run for Gov. in 2010. She is either a month younger or older than I - we are law school classmates - so she does open the future to all the younger Rs who may be lusting for the office in 2012 or 2016.

FDT would be out of the way, in that sense, too, by 2012.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 22, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

"As to Veep criteria, I really think its (1) personality, and (2) region. And, yes, region does not matter as much as it did it the past, but in a close-call state (like Va), favorite son/daughter status could tip the scales. And the dems only need to add one decent sized state to win (if they can hold on to what they've won the last eight years).

Posted by: MShake | February 22, 2008 11:29 AM

"

good rationale.

What region do you think? South, north east or west? I think he has the midwest pretty well locked. If agaisnt maccain the south will be contested, white males and militry. Who knows about the north east (maybe a clinton or dodd could help him).

I think he has to either put up a strong fight (or select a western vp)for the west or get to the right on immagration. If he does that he's not losing any election. But he's to invested right now. Maybe if latinos keep voting agaisnt him he will come around. :)

Posted by: JKrishnamurti | February 22, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Joe Biden or Wes Clark for Obama; he has got to put someone with serious foreign policy gravitas. I think Clark would be the better of the two, although he obviously has close ties to the Clintons. If he goes for a Governor I think Kaine is the best bet and makes VA a likely pick up, especially given that Warner will be picking up the Senate seat. Edwards for AG, Biden/Kerry for SecState...

Posted by: markstephenbell | February 22, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

McCain-Sanford or McCain Graham soidifies the South but that is already solid.
McCain Pawlenty is the obvious choice.

Obama - Kaine best
Obama - Sebelius historic but iffy She could also help in Ohio remember her roots.

Posted by: crc42850 | February 22, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Biden - Too much of a blowhard, and too much of an old, divisive battle axe.

Richardson - Skeletons in the closet... NM is a dirty state politically. I've worked there.

Edwards - Brings in almost no new voters (see 2004).

I'm surprised no one mentioned Ted Strickland, governor of Ohio. He could campaign there for Obama and win the state for him.

Posted by: chriswporter | February 22, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

McCain needs someone younger, a good campaigner since he isn't, and not a senator. Powell sold us out at the U.N. and that video would be rerun as much as the Monica rope line. McCain also needs to soothe social conservatives.

McCain's admitted weakness is the economy so he needs a youngish conservative governor with a good economic record who is a good campaigner. Don't know about his campaigning abilities, but Sanford seems to fit this bill.

Obama can go with a senator with good foreign experience. Edwards has the whiff of a loser since 2004. Richardson is dull and doesn't have the right kind of foreign experience. Seems like Biden would be a great fit and a good campaigner too.

http://whathappenedtomycountry.blogspot.com

Posted by: Truth_Hunter | February 22, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

If McCain wanted to be really "honest" he'd go with Dick Cheney. Right?

McCain says he hopes to continue all of Bush's policies, so would it not make sense to keep the most important component of the Bush Administration in place?

McCain / Cheney '08

Posted by: AdrickHenry | February 22, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

The best running mate for Obama would be Al Gore. To combat the McCain campaign's main attack on Obama being his lack of experience Obama needs the former Vice President, Senator, and Nobel Prize winner. An Obama/Gore ticket will be one the nation embraces. An Obama/Clinton ticket will alienate independents and bring the Republican faithful out in droves to vote against them. If I were John McCain I'd pick either Kaye Bailey Hutchison or Chuck Hagel, both are experienced, centrist Republicans. I don't think McCain will go off the beaten path and select Joe Lieberman but he still remains a dark horse. Imagine a McCain/Lieberman ticket
running against Obama/Gore! :)

Posted by: amitai | February 22, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Maybe you folks are to young to remember 1968.
A nasty year for democrats on their way to getting a nominee,
splintered and left Tricky Dick Nixon to spank HHH(Hubert Humphrey)

The only chance the dems have is Obama/Clinton or Clinton/Obama.
Mike Easley is the sorriest governor NC ever had and will not help the dems.

John McCain's logical choice is Colin Powell, but Condi rice would insure his victory.
One thing the NY Times and Washington Post must know, "because we read your
papers doesn't mean we are liberal. There is more of us old timers voting than all the youngins you can register.

Posted by: loo | February 22, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Gator, I am very gad to hear that Bob Graham appears to be in excellent health. I f he is, then he is BHO's perfect running mate; look no further.

Jim and optimyst are two posters here from FL who both think very highly of their former Senator.

Your info on his health may be every bit as good as theirs. I am in TX and do not have the benefit of FL local news!

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 22, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Thank you Ufgator... that's another reason why to vote for Bob Graham -- whereas Breaux took the usual washington route and stayed in DC and became a lobbyist - Bob Graham went back to his State and started an institution to encourage others to be invovled in their Government. One fits perfectly with Obama's mission - albeit quietly in the background - one completely goes against it.

Posted by: clark55 | February 22, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

I notice that Chris has listed several sitting governors, particularly on the Republican side, as potential VP selections. Every cycle I can remember has also had the names of then-sitting governors listed as possible running mates.

However, here's something to consider, and something I haven't seen brought up above or elsewhere recently: the last VP nominee of either major party to have been a sitting governor was Spiro Agnew in 1968.

This oddity can be partially explained away by the number of sitting governors, like Carter, Dukakis, Clinton and Bush 43, who have been nominated and who have looked to balance their tickets with someone with Washington experience. Nevertheless, there have also been a number of nominees, including Ford, Bush 41, Dole and Kerry who were Washington establishment figures themselves yet still picked an incumbent Senator or (in the case of Kemp) someone more associated with being of DC rather than being an "outsider."

Is there any reason to believe that either McCain or Obama would break this trend?

Posted by: csp17 | February 22, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Does maccain need a young guy as vp, gop? Or do only old white men matter to the gop?

What about coulter rush or hannity? Their iching for it. Ask them, they'll tell ya

Posted by: JKrishnamurti | February 22, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Hi Chris, good column. How about addressing the some of the congressional races, especially with the large amount of GOP incumbents retiring.

Posted by: evanmathews | February 22, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Edwards will not take the veep slot. Kaine is the best choice -- he's good on faith, really puts Va in play, and amplifies the chances of winning even more southern states.

Adding foreign experience to the ticket at the veep slot does not matter -- it did not pre-9/11 and does not now. Also dusting off some foreign policy wonk for the second slot runs counter to Obama's message of change and the value of judgment versus experience. If this comes down to "experience," Obama loses. If, on the other hand, he can sell that the "experienced" hands are the ones to blame for our current problems, due to their lack of good judgment, he wins.

As to Veep criteria, I really think its (1) personality, and (2) region. And, yes, region does not matter as much as it did it the past, but in a close-call state (like Va), favorite son/daughter status could tip the scales. And the dems only need to add one decent sized state to win (if they can hold on to what they've won the last eight years).

Posted by: MShake | February 22, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

can't burn the candle on both ends mark. We see the republcains in the democratic party now. Sabotuers. Nice try gop.

Not going to work this time. We are to smart. You movement had representation, for a long time. now let my movement have their time, free of gop sabotage for political or monetary reasons

Posted by: JKrishnamurti | February 22, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

If I was Obama, I'd pick Hillary Clinton as my running mate. It's the best ticket the Dems have to offer - period.

Posted by: mrmoogie | February 22, 2008 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Obama-Dodd

Obama-Edwards

Webb is not going to happen. He is not with the program, based on votes. Words, yes. Votes no.

Biden? not so sure. Again votes, but he was along side clinton and di fi in allowing bush to do whatever he chose. The gop and bush are responsible for much of what they did. The crimes the murder, the torture, taking our freedoms here, divided america. But many democrat's are accomplices. It is the opposition party that was supposed to at least put up a fight. Reid webb clinton di fi rockafeller did not. They choose the gop over the country and their party. There must be a consequnece for that. For future presedence.


Maybe he needs a "good republcian", like hagel, or bloomberg.

Posted by: JKrishnamurti | February 22, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Do the governors of CO, or TN, or NC give one confidence that they can actually be Prez? I do not know them.

Is FDT not even a possibility for McC? Christie Whitman does have some real positives, I agree. I have heard scattered good stuff about Sara Palin, but could she inspire confidence that she could actually step into the presidency on short notice? Enlighten me.

And Wes Clark should remain on BHO's short list, as well.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 22, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Obama needs a VP with strong military and/or foreign relations background. Either Tony Zinni or Wes Clark could fill that bill.

He could then tap Hillary for Sec'y of Health & Human Services...and give her charge of the health care issue, provided that she is ameanable to his vision.

John Edwards for Attoney General!

Bill Richardson...to the U.N.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | February 22, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Obama - Pres.
Biden - V. Pres
Breaux - S. State
Nunn - S. Defense
Dodd - S. Treasury

Posted by: dab23 | February 22, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

sjxylib and all,
We as Democrats need to understand that change MUST begin with us! My earlier post suggested Sen. Chuck Hagel, and I noticed a following post that says Obama will not pick a Republican. I DISAGREE. Sen. Hagel is a maverick who has bucked his party on many issues, and has a very good relationship with the Sen. from Illinois. He is a decorated war hero, and despises the war in Iraq. He would immediately bring Nebraska into play, as well as other midwest states. Independants would flock to the ticket, and Obama would be viewed as the ultimate UNITER!! Note, Sen. Hagel is in Afganistan right now with Sens. Biden and Kerry. Talks may already be underway!!
This would be BRILLIANT!!

Posted by: tmeqtl | February 22, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

It's very interesting to think about the possible running mates but there are two points no one has mentioned. First, people do not vote for a ticket because of the vice-president; they vote for the president. If someone does not think Obama/Clinton/McCain/whoever would be a good president, they won't vote that way no matter who is the VP choice. Second, has anyone ever been chosen for VP who has been put on any of these lists? It seems that candidates want to show independence and pick without seeming to be influenced by pundits.

Posted by: allenofwoodhaven | February 22, 2008 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Who is "Jimd" and "optimyst" and how do they know that bob graham is in bad health?
I can tell you that I just saw Bob Graham at the University of Florida where he is opening up the Bob Graham center of Public Service at University of Florida and he seemed to be in fantastic health and as passionate about our Country and public service as ever. I think Dr.'s Jimd and optimyst need to check their information....
I can also tell you that whenver other people come to campus --- Jeb Bush, Charlie Crist, John Kerry, etc. there's always at least some level of protest or disapproval and that's never the case with Bob Graham. He's still just so well respected throughout Florida from both sides.

Posted by: ufgator | February 22, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Edwards -- no way, keeps losing; didn't bring anything to the party in "04

Gore -- wouldn't take it

Powell -- definitely wouldn't take it

For McCain -- one of the young Southerners

For Obama -- a military/foreign policy man; Barack will already have the Oprah and he's-so-sensitive vote; he needs to add some testosterone for male independents

Posted by: wordslinger1 | February 22, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Chris, I think you might have missed a couple.

For McCain, Haley Barbour would be a natural pick as Haley has strong ties to the religious right and the GOP establishment. Haley mends fences that McCain needs for the fall. And Haley is a great attack dog, a quality every VP candidate should have.

Also, McCain needs to change the dynamics in the race. Obama will be the historic candidate, unless the GOP finds a way to counter. Sarah Palin would be great as she's also a reformer to match McCain. Marsha Blackburn would be a great orator for McCain and help throw bombs on the campaign trail.

Obama needs to do something that the last two presidential candidates haven't- find a VP candidate that can carry his/her own state and be an attack dog. Obama needs experience- both governing and foreign policy. That's tough as the party has tons on new talent, but none of it is tested or experienced enough for the job. He also needs someone who won't overshadow him. Fmr. Sen. Bob Graham fits the bill, as could Govs. Bredesen and Schweiter.

Posted by: dbroton01 | February 22, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

For Obama, the best choice is Joe Biden: strong foreign policy experience, the best solution for the Iraq fiasco and all that white-haired gravitas. Biden hands down.

If Hillary pulls off the comeback of the century, or steals it at the Convention, her best bet is Obama as Veep.

For McCain: Colin Powell.

Going out on a limb here...

Based on the enormous difference in the Enthusiasm Levels of the Democrats and Republicans, McCain has no chance of beating Obama in the general with conventional thinking.

McCain needs to put the brakes on his "Slide to the Right". McCain needs to be McCain. He cannot now pretend to be like the Right -- it just will not sell.

The conservative base will either stay home (like they have been) or vote for McCain anyway to try to keep a Dem out of the White House.

So... if McCain were to choose Powell as Veep, he puts his ticket -- like the Dems -- in a "history-making" position.

This also makes him stronger in appealing to the independents (most of whom have forgiven Powell's UN performance).

McCain's only chance of defeating Obama is to beat him in the Center -- not by winning the Right. The Right will never vote for Obama, but McCain runs the risk of losing the Center, if he kow-tows to the Right in too supplicating a fashion.

Posted by: AdrickHenry | February 22, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Mark, I concur with your assessment; Gen Zinni would be much better suited to be Natl Security Advisor than veep.

However, he doesn't agree with the liberal ideas about Iraq, it seems to me. "This is not Vietnam or Somalia or those places where you can walk away,"
General Zinni said in a recent interview. (He served in both countries.)
"If we just pull out, we will find ourselves back in short order."

Wasn't it just last night when Obama reiterated his plan to pull out of Iraq because he was "the only one with the judgement to be against the war from the start". He insists on constantly viewing it from the rear view mirror..not from a practical outcomes-based situational-based approach.

The thing is, as President, you deal with the conflicts you have at the time, not the conflicts you want.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | February 22, 2008 11:11 AM | Report abuse

for everyone excited about Webb, that would be the same Jim Webb who just voted in favor of Jay Rockefeller's bill to give the telecomm companies retroactive immunity for helping Bush spy on Americans not to mention allowing warrantless spying to continue unabated. He hasn't exactly been what many of us who elected him had hoped he would be.

I also agree that Richardson is a good pick. But after seeing Obama and Hillary together last night I now believe that she would accept the No 2 spot on the Obama ticket. While she will keep campaigning for a couple of weeks at least it looked to me at the end of the debate like it has dawned on her that the Dems' best chance in November is Obama and not her.

Posted by: fedssocr | February 22, 2008 11:11 AM | Report abuse

This is easy:

Obama - Biden 2008!

Posted by: dab23 | February 22, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

This is easy>

Obama - Biden 2008!

Posted by: dab23 | February 22, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

JimD and I think optimyst have told us that Bob Graham is in poor health and cannot possibly be a VP.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 22, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

All idle speculation. Don't care about McCain. He's toast against Obama unless someone blows up the Sears Tower.

Obama will choose wisely. He should choose someone he can work with, which means a person of strong intellect. He should choose someone who can campaign well, unlike Richardson who has one of the greatest resumes in politics.

Personally, I like Biden a lot. Delaware equals Maryland geographically and is almost Southern. He's smart, experienced, has a sense of humor, and is a very good campaigner.

I also like Wesley Clark for similar reasons, although his experience is military rather than political.

I think that no one should seek to have Hillary's negatives attached to their campaign. I can't imagine Bill being "second gentleman" or Hillary accepting VP.

Note that my likes and dislikes will not affect Obama's decision at all. He'll wait until the convention (or nearly so) to decide so that he has the clearest view of the November political landscape.

I'd love to see Edwards as AG or labor secretary. In the former position, he can start enforcing the laws that corporations break with impunity today. In the latter, he can work on supporting the union movement and lifting the working poor up to a living wage. He can stop us from giving government contracts to companies who do not pay their employees a living wage.

Let Hillary go back to representing NY in the Senate.

Posted by: harry4 | February 22, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

1) Clinton would not take the VP slot -- she will run for Senate Majority Leader.

2) The best role for Edwards would be a free hand to wake up the Department of Labor and turn it into an advocate for worker rights.

3) Were I to be the president in these uncertain times I would want a VP who could negotiate crisis resolutions -- Richardson.

4) However, after defeating Clinton for the nomination Obama will certainly be looking for a woman VP. Start with a list of all female Democrat senators and governors; eliminate any who are constitutionally inelegible (like the gov of Michigan) or who carry too much baggage (Feinstein?); include even those who supported Clinton (Cantwell); winnow it down from there.

KST, from the state of Washington where I got to vote for Obama twice.

Posted by: kitaylor | February 22, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

As to these other persons:

After Gore and Cheney, the evolution of the VP into a credible force who is not chosen by region or for balance is likely.

The VP must be capable of being the Prez on very short notice.

The VP must not detract from the Prez as a ticket choice. FDR dumped Henry Wallace as HW veered toward the socialist left, in favor of hawkish HST,
who had overseen the Truman Commission, not to balance the ticket, but to lose an anchor in favor of a guy who could actually complete WW2.

As JimD said: add Sestak and Biden to the D choices.

If McC does not have to make nice with anybody, I would throw in Bob Gates, who has been one of the good guys, IMHO, cleaning up after Rummy.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 22, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

I think "JudgeCrater" is spot on:
"What Obama DOESN'T need in a VP pick: youth, lack of foreign policy/military experience, minority/female (arguable) status."
And makes me think again that Bob Graham would be a great fit. I hate to say it but older white guy with top of the line experience - and though from a "Southern State" - its the most crucial of them Florida.

Posted by: clark55 | February 22, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

For Obama, it's going to be Hillary. Bill Clinton is already signaling that Hillary will concede if she does not win convincingly in Texas. She can concede her delegates and a united party will face the general election. The Vice Presidency is a prize now. Bush and Cheney have vastly expanded the power of the executive branch, and Hillary will have real power.

Posted by: ejoconn | February 22, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

if it's charlie christ, get ready for McCain to lose the south - CC is a well known "confirmed batchelor"

Posted by: tonysmith | February 22, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

How about Petraeus for Obama's VP. Knock out.

Posted by: mnjam | February 22, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Info on Zinni
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zinni
Sounds like he's had a fairly balanced experience. Worked with McCain in the past, actually, setting up the 'surge.'

Posted by: judgeccrater | February 22, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

I live in Virginia, and although I don't favor Webb as a VP pick, I assure you I have no "buyer's remorse" about having contributed to his campaign and voted for him. He's a bit of a loose cannon and probably a little quirky to be on a national ticket, but he's been very effective so far, and isn't afraid to take on anyone or any issue. (And, needless to say, he's a million-percent improvement over "Macaca" -- good riddance!)

Posted by: jac13 | February 22, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Obama-Gore would definitely help give the global warming issue the attention it needs, as well as being sweet payback for 2000.

Obama-Boxer would offer the women who backed Hillary on gender alone someone to vote for in a far more palatable candidate.

Edwards for Attorney General.

Posted by: cecil2 | February 22, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Proud, your thoughts please?

At 6:56A I announced my fascination with Zinni, my notion that several of us have seen him as useful in any administration, and my suspicion that he is the kind of Marine we want advising, because he will not cut corners or sugar coat anything. I wondered if he would consider VP on any ticket, let alone a D ticket, and I asked JimD what he thought. Later, Jim expressed similar accolades and reservations.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 22, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

I agree that Joe Biden would be a great choice, although Delaware isn't exactly a crucial electoral state. He'd also be mighty fun as Secretary of State 8 )

I'll also second Bill Richardson...

Posted by: bchill | February 22, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

You should call it "Vaporous Veepstakes" for all the bearing on reality it may have.

What Obama DOESN'T need in a VP pick: youth, lack of foreign policy/military experience, minority/female (arguable) status. This narrows your list pretty quickly. What do we know about Zinni? CC's summation is pretty brief.

One thing the primary has made clear: BHO doesn't have to worry that much about the Southern States.

What McCain doesn't need: seniority, military/foreign policy experience. He must also pick someone who'll mollify at least one disaffected wing of the GOP. I don't see him going near a Mormon; this would further alienate the Huckabee voters. Someone young and really religious would make sense. Which reminds me: why isn't Huckabee on this list? Seems like a real oversight and much stranger pairings have happened before. Haven't seen much friction between him and McCain so far this season.

Sanford would be my favorite due to his fiscal conservancy, a trait the GOP has (along with true leadership) completely forgotten. I'm surprised that the CFG endorses him but their "drown the government in a bathtub" philosophy is probably behind that. McCain, however, might want to continue to deficit spend so I don't see that marriage working out. Crist looks better and better (aside from the white hair, which McCain already has plenty of).

Posted by: judgeccrater | February 22, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

If Obama decides to really go for the youth/movement this doesn't work but I do like the suggestion of Bob Graham. Biden just has Secretary of State written all over him and a lackluster performance by Richardson really was disappointing. Jim Webb would also violate that "do no harm" rule - he's just to unpolished and inexperienced.
I just like the idea of a solid, well rounded, experienced individual behind Barack who will cause no waves or cause the attention to be diverted. Someone you couldn't argue with but would never let you down. Aside from integrity, geography, governor/senator stuff - Bob Graham definitely fits.

Posted by: clark55 | February 22, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

"Yeah, nothing like a bridge collapsing underneath your car to impact your quality of life"

The problem is that he's letting dogma replace reason in political decision making. When there's not enough money available to maintain existing roads - much less address demand for new roads - 'no new taxes' is delusional, particularly since our existing gas tax is 20 years out of date (having not been adjusted for inflation).

Posted by: bsimon | February 22, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

bsimon...to answer your question as we are not discussing Clinton as the nominee is because the original 'The Fix" piece is about Obama.

One more note in support of NC Gov Mike Easley. His (Gov Easley) being on the ticket will shore up any Edwards supporters as Edwards would almost have to put his support behind the ticket.

Posted by: gilmoredk | February 22, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

VP Picks for Obama:

John Edwards - No to this one for the same reasons that Edwards didn't inspire the 2004 Kerry presidential campaign. Edwards does not bring anything new to the ticket. So, he's the last choice out of all mentioned here.

Tim Kaine - Maybe, but not much time for Kaine to gain name recognition, not to mention no time to promote his stands on the issues in the short turn around between September and Election Day. Tied with Sebelius as third choice of potential candidates mentioned here (see below).

Kathleen Sebelius - I would say maybe to this one for the same reasons as Gov. Kaine. But, this ticket might bring out the calling of the bigots with Mondale-Ferraro effects. Tied with Kaine as third choice of potential candidates mentioned here.

Jim Webb - Would lean towards yes for his experience as Secretary of the Navy under President Reagan. But, as mentioned here, Sen. Webb seems not to like the experience of campaigning, and Obama does not need a loose cannon who can blow this shot at the presidency. This view is based on what I saw in the Virginia race against former Sen. George Allen (R-Va.). It was only after the misstep by Allen that Webb was propelled to prominence in its wake. Second choice out of all mentioned here.

Tony Zinni - I would look upon as Gen. Zinni as the top pick in the VP category. He is the only one in the group of potential VP candidates who can lend both national and worldwide cred to Obama to help with with military, national security and foreign policy.

Potential VP picks by John McCain:

Mark Sanford seems the only one who qualifies out all whom are mentioned in this list of candidates since he's a fiscal and social conservative. That's the tradeoff that McCain has to make with the conversative wing of the GOP.

Posted by: ldsw | February 22, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Richardson is a Latino, and also he might bring New Mexico's electoral votes, but I still think Biden would be a better candidate -- better on the stump and in debates, and better, more long-standing foreign policy/national security credentials. I agree that Kaine and Edwards both have an experience problem. As for Hillary, I don't see how Obama can say she represents the past, and then run with her. Finally, I think Zinni has more novelty than anything else, and is totally untested in a campaign. (Maybe a good choice for Def Sec.)

Posted by: jac13 | February 22, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

bsimon writes "Having said all that, I think [Tpaw's] overrated & is driving this state into the lower half, in terms of quality of life"

Yeah, nothing like a bridge collapsing underneath your car to impact your quality of life.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | February 22, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

For McCain you missed the obvious: Rice.

Posted by: storyofthefifthpeach | February 22, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

An observation that may only be interesting to me:

Chris only discusses Obama & McCain. Nobody has posted a complaint, that I've seen, that Clinton wasn't included - or even mentioned - as possibly being the Dem nominee.

Posted by: bsimon | February 22, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

I think Sebelius would be the perfect choice for Obama.

Posted by: storyofthefifthpeach | February 22, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

"TPaw couldn't deliver MN, so why would he be considered the top pick?"

1) he's young
2) the theocrats like him
3) the club for growth likes him
4) while he can't deliver MN, he was the ONLY Repub to win state-wide in 2006; which says he has appeal to swing voters

Having said all that, I think he's overrated & is driving this state into the lower half, in terms of quality of life.

Posted by: bsimon | February 22, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

"Senator Obama would be well served with Tom Daschle as VP. Daschle would help him get workable compromises in the Senate as LBJ was able to help JFK. No Democrat has won Nebraska since 1964, but an Obama/Daschle ticket would have an even chance of winning Nebraska, South Dakota and Kansas (among many others.)"

Posted by: owherald | February 22, 2008 09:09 AM

I feel that a heck off a lot of Dem's will see Daschle the same as I do. As a sell out. A Bush suck up, and another of the Gephardt ilk. He did good things, and probably does not deserve the treatment, but still...

With Biden's record of working across the aisle, he would serve the ideology of bringing the government together.

Posted by: CitizenXX | February 22, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

"Senator Obama would be well served with Tom Daschle as VP. Daschle would help him get workable compromises in the Senate as LBJ was able to help JFK. No Democrat has won Nebraska since 1964, but an Obama/Daschle ticket would have an even chance of winning Nebraska, South Dakota and Kansas (among many others.)"
Posted by: owherald | February 22, 2008 09:09 AM
I feel that a heck off a lot of Dem's will see Daschle the same as I do. As a sell out. A Bush suck up, and another of the Gephardt ilk. He did good things, and probably does not deserve the treatment, but still...
With Biden's record of working across the aisle, he would serve the ideology of bringing the government together.

Posted by: CitizenXX | February 22, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Chris- I have a dark horse suggestion- Senator John Breaux. He's Southern, popular in his home state and might be able to help Obama carry La, and he has tons of experience but wouldn't come across as the Cheney to the young pup Bush.

Posted by: gthomas | February 22, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

TPaw couldn't deliver MN, so why would he be considered the top pick?

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | February 22, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

The point was made by other posters that the world has changed markedly since 911 thus rendering my previous observations about Clinton, B and Bush, W's lack of foreign policy experience inapt. I disagree. 911 changed how we (the United States) preceive national security and foreign policy, but the world pre-911 and after are much the same: Russia is still a dangerous force, Islamic militancy throughout the world threatens our economic stability (at least until we can wean ourselves off of Saudi oil), political instability in countries that possess nuclear weapons, the economic ascendancy of India and China threaten our domestic economy and our status in the world, humanitarian crises abound, and our intelligence capability is woeful inadequate.

Simply because one has "experience" doesn't mean one has the ability to achieve superior or even satisfactory results. Cheney was SECDEF during the Gulf War. President Bush I (for whom I voted) was nervous about invading Iraq, for good reason. Cheney appartently didn't think the same way, although I'm sure he had all the access to intelligence that the President did. Cheney and his minions didn't and don't understand the Arab worldview.

Barack Obama has better instincts than most politicians in Washington. Talk to your ememies is grounded in a position of strength rather than weakness. Bush II's administration rejected much of what Clinton, B's did regarding the N. Korea problem. All that happened was the the U.S. eventually went back to the "Agreed Framework" as its position, but with NK have several more nuclear weapons than when Bush II's administration started. So much for experience. Experience has gotten us no place fast unless our goal was to weaken our global economic power, wear out our military, alienate longstanding allies and moderate Muslim regimes, and destroy our credibility.

Someone once said that experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted. Experience gleaned from repeated failure makes one an experienced failure. Mr. Obama should choose wisely not because he doesn't have foreign policy or national security experience but because he is selecting both his heir apparent if something tragic should befall him or if he just serves eight years and retires. If that person happens to have foreign policy or national security experience then that's a bonus.

Let's not forget, John McCain has bushels of military and national security experience. The question is can he bring us peace? He has been lauded by Republicans for bring so right on the tactical decisions regarding the surge, but what is not mentioned is how strategically wrong he was on the decision to go to war in Iraq in the first place.

Posted by: 553810 | February 22, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

JD writes " I'm surprised you left Bobby Jindahl off the list. There's a lot of chatter that he'd be a very interesting VP candidate, even though he's a bit green."

I agree JD. Jindal should be a top contender but the color that is important here is not green but Brown. If you know what I'm saying, and I think you do. :)

Pandering, er... reaching out to a demographic will be critical since we're running against the cult of Obama.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | February 22, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

obama/richardson is who we should LOUDLY be asking for. richardson fills the ticket in every way - executive experience, won't be a "yes" man, foreign policy experience, the list goes on.... that's an unstoppable ticket for mccain and the republicans. and 2 smart guys.... what more could the country and the world ask for?

Posted by: karstrial | February 22, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

For Obama, I think Jim Webb may be his choice if he indeed gets the D nomination, a very uncertain deal. Clinton is fighting hard and if she were to get the nomination, may pick Obama as her own VP. But Webb is beloved by liberals, as is Obama, and has a military background to help guide Obama on foreign policy through this campaign. Gilmore, about your comments on NC governor Mike Easley. He would not excite the liberal base at all. He is against gay rights & for the 2nd amendment. He's a "good ol' boy". His legacy here in my home state is "the education governor", he started the lottery which has so far failed miserably & been involved in scandal before it even began. Easley propably will be an education secretary pick by Clinton or Obama, but not a VP pick. Dems. begged him to run against Dole in 08', but he bowed out saying "The senate is full of meetings, I'm not really a meeting type of guy."

For McCain, I think Pawlenty is definately the front runner. Besides a fight vs. the New York Times, McCain needs to energize social & fiscal conservatives. McCain can't win if social & some fiscal conservatives stay home and win on independents & foreign policy conservatives alone. Pawlenty or Sanford would energize both of these conservative branches. I don't think Crist would be a good pick, as he wouldn't energize social conservatives. John Thune would excite conservatives, but he has no executive experience. So I say scratch Crist & Thune from the list. Huntsman is definately conservative & wealthy, so both of those work in his favor. He is the dark horse for the VP nomination.

My line:

Republicans:

1. Pawlenty
2. Sanford
3. Huntsman

Democrats:

1. Webb
2. Kaine
3.Sebelius

Posted by: bryant_flier2006 | February 22, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Stumpff, you are incorrect.

The correct term is "jibe," as in "to be in harmony or accord; agree" (Random House Dictionary). There is absolutely no defition of jive that would jibe with your usage.

Make a note of it, please.

Posted by: JohninMpls | February 22, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

"On the Democratic side, Sen. Barack Obama's (Ill.) 10 consecutive primary and caucus wins over Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.)"

Actually it's 11 if you count the "American's Abroad" primary, but then again, with all the talk about the super-delegates, their opinions may not matter.

BUT, to the Veep point, I would have to throw in Joe Biden. Below is from his Senate page:

Senator Biden serves on two major committees: The Foreign Relations Committee and the Judiciary Committee. Senator Biden is currently the Chairman of both the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs. He is also the Chairman of the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control.

To learn more about the important work Senator Biden does on these Committees, please click on any of these links.

Foreign Relations:
For three decades, Joe Biden has played a pivotal role in shaping U.S. foreign policy. He has become respected at home and abroad for his well-informed, common-sense approach to international relations.

As the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Biden has earned a reputation for working on a bipartisan basis with top Republican colleagues. Senator Richard Lugar, who is currently the top Republican on the committee, has said: "Senator Biden has a very strong commitment to a bipartisan foreign policy and serves as a good example for everyone in Congress. He has a very broad, comprehensive view of the world. He's a good listener, but he's also a strong and effective advocate of his position."

Judiciary:
A constitutional scholar and adjunct professor of law at Widener Law School, Senator Biden is one of the Senate's leading voices on crime and drug policy issues. Senator Biden was described as "the Democrats' chief anti-crime specialist on Capitol Hill" by U.S. News & World Report. A former chairman of the Judiciary Committee from 1987-95, Senator Biden today serves as the Chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs.

Drug Caucus:
Senator Joseph R. Biden, Jr. is a leader in Congress on combating drug use and stopping the flow of drugs from reaching our shores. In addition to serving as Chairman of the Caucus on International Narcotics Control, Senator Biden chairs both the Foreign Relations Committee and the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs, and is a central player on some of the most important issues facing the nation, from crime prevention and drug control policy to constitutional law and international relations.

Posted by: CitizenXX | February 22, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse

"why not Janet Napolitano?" Having lived in AZ for a few years, I think Napolitano raises the same concerns as Charlie Crist does. Such things don't concern ME, but then again I'm more liberal than the average US voter.

Posted by: Venicemenace | February 22, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse

I think that Obama will need to find a strong national security, experienced vice presidential candidate. That is why someone like Zinni, or somebody like Biden would be a perfect choice for him. McCain is going to label him as weak, liberal, and a newcomer who doesn't know how to get things done. By getting somebody like Zinni or Biden, he can silence those charges. Although, Obama-Zinni sounds rather funny, but hey, Obama has made it this far. I see no chance at Edwards getting the VP slot, he brought little to the Kerry ticket. I can see him become Attorney General though. I think McCain will want to bring in a strong conservative to placate the base. Which in the end will hurt him in the general election.

Posted by: gunsofaugust84 | February 22, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

I really like the Bob Graham suggestion....
Definitely balances out experience/geography/age.
Certainly follows the Number 1 rule of a VP pick -- "do no harm."
Picking him would not cause the Dems to lose a seat and does anyone doubt that if Gore picked him we'd be at the end of the 2nd term of Gore's presidency.
Sounds good to me

Posted by: jashenderson82 | February 22, 2008 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Sebellius is interesting, but if so, why not Janet Napolitano? She fits the same basic profile (popular woman governor of a red state) but her state has more significance in the EC and she's term-limited out of running again.

Posted by: ProgRook | February 22, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse


Obama: Balance the ticket.

He needs to pick a VP who fits the profile of middle aged white male Southern Redneck as closely as possible. Obama said last night that his first priority as President is to keep our nation safe. He needs a man with military credentials. Obama also speaks of transparency in government. Seems like Webb fits the bill nicely. I do not know enough about Zinni.


McCain: Balance the ticket.

His choices are much more difficult if he wants to appeal to the center. This is where the election will be won or lost, not on the far or religious right. Count out Huckabee and Huntsman. He needs someone who appears youthful and who does not fit the profile of your typical rich Republican oligarch. Sanford and Pawlenty are white, that makes them a maybe, Rice is black, that would be good, but would make the ticket too hawkish. Of the two, demographically and geographically, Pawlenty is the better choice.

How about Christine Todd Whitman? I would be pleased to see her in either a Republican or Democratic administration.

Posted by: SMARTINSEN | February 22, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

What about Russ Feingold?

Posted by: Matt4_4 | February 22, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

I think Edwards is great; however, he probably doesn't bring any state to Obama that Obama wouldn't get on his own. Joe Biden's extensive foreign policy and DC experience makes him an idea candidate for the Veep post. Obama needs a VP with strong foreign policy experience.

Posted by: NCpolitics1 | February 22, 2008 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Edwards is such a bad choice on every level. He did not even carry his own state, one of the main reasons for a VP choice, he also served on term and lost the last time around.

Nunn may be strong on defense but Obama has taken enough heat with gays over his October SC fundraiser, Nunn is responsible for Don't Ask Don't Tell.

Which brings the Christ choice. They will never go for a closeted VP.

How about Powell for GOP VP?

I like Webb for Obama but will they risk giving up a senate seat that was red?

Posted by: PatrickNYC1 | February 22, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Let's stop the discussion about Obama taking a Republican as VP.

Good God, no. That will NEVER happen.

The election for Obama is about having the Democrats win the White House, not the Republicans.

To pick a GOP running mate would be a slap in the face to the Democratic Party.

I am not a fan of McCain, but he does need someone younger who knows about the economy.

Why not John Kasich, former Congressman from Ohio?

Posted by: steveboyington | February 22, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Richardson was a pretty lackluster campaigner this season, and doesn't seem to have the attack dog qualities that you might want. He might help grab New Mexico, which has been in play for several elections) and help generally with Latino vote. I saw Webb recently on veterans benefits on the News Hour and he was very compelling--he offered a good defense of what of what the country's obligations are to those who served. He also has a son in Iraq. But don't forget his problematic remarks about women in the service made during the 1970s and 1980s. It could be a big problem given the possible soreness of Clinton supporters/women after a loss. A mainstream Democratic colleague announced to me she would not vote for Obama in the general election unless he chose a woman VP.

Posted by: irvingkagan | February 22, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

here. somebody just sent me this. thought you'd appreciate seeing what 'religious conservatives' obssess over. this guy, rod dreher, is very popular--seriously:

"The bride's a sl*t. They call it progress.

The NYT reports today on a new trend in weddings:

The gown was almost wanton -- fluid but curvy with a neckline that plummeted dangerously. "It makes me feel sexy and beautiful," said Natasha DaSilva, who slipped it on for a fitting last week.

Cut away at the rear to reveal a tattoo at the small of her back, the dress suggested a languorous night in the honeymoon suite.

Except that Ms. DaSilva, who will be married on Long Island in September, plans to wear it at the altar.'

http://blog.beliefnet.com/crunchycon/2008/02/the-brides-a-sl*t-they-call-it.html

it's sort of like a car wreck, it's ugly but it's hard not to look.

Posted by: drindl | February 22, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Bhoomes on Romney as VP: "It would show that he is really reaching out to the conservative base."

Correct me if I'm wrong, but if the conservative base had really loved Romney, wouldn't have have won the nomination? It seems to me that a lot of the base strongly preferred Huckabee, or "none of the above."

Posted by: Venicemenace | February 22, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

I think Governor/Senator Bob Graham is the pick for Obama and here's why:
Florida - Southern State - so important for the electoral college.
Still so very well respected within the State of Florida and inside/outside the beltway.
Won Florida with margins of 60 percent plus - including a 62/63 percent victory against Charlie Crist - and you don't do that in Florida without winning moderates and Republicans
Graham would add a tremendous amount of stature, experience and gravitas to the ticket.
He was absolutely right on the war and at the time was heavily criticized for it.
Yet he's not a "cut and run" person as he argued that it was the wrong war because it would take away from our ability to fight the war on terrorism.
He was the former chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committeee so again would bring much needed foreign policy/intelligence experience to the ticket.
And the argument against him seems to be moot.
1. He's not exciting enough - With Obama on the top of the ticet NOBODY is going to be exciting nor do you need someone to compete. By the way - anyone want to argue that Lieberman, Cheney, Gore, Mondale, George Bush - were "exciting"?

Posted by: cburp | February 22, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

bsimon -- not spitzer. he needs some time to learn the political ropes. he was a great, a fabuous AG, but he's not good at compromising and he's made a lot of enemies here in NY as governor. his style is too pushy. however he's very smart and i have no doubt he'll figure it out, hopefully i time for next election.

Crist--never. you have no idea. Whoever McCain picks, just figure they will be young and as hard right as you can get. Mccain has been steadily tacking to the right to appease the base and that won't stop because he can't win without them -- too many independents will go for obama.

Zinni would be an excellent choice, as would a handful of retired military officers, among them Iraq veterans. Webb would be great, can make mincemeat out of almost anyone. Clark is smart, but somehow not a very compelling campaigner. Biden is great, I hope for something for him in an obama administration, whether VP or SecState. Richardson lackluster persona.

Posted by: drindl | February 22, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

OK, it is Friday- but I have seen no mention of Oprah...

Posted by: davidmwe | February 22, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

How about Hillary Clinton as the VP candidate? The MSM and others were more than willing to demote Obama to the VP slot on a Clinton ticket, when she was the "inevitable" candidate, now that she is losing I don't see anyone demoting her to the VP candidate on a ticket with Obama.
Not that Obama needs Hillary Clinton on the ticket anyway.

Posted by: bringbackimus | February 22, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

For McCain it should be Romney. He's the runner up and has conservative support. I know he doesn't like him, which is all the more reason to pick him. It would show that he is really reaching out to the conservative base. My guess is he will pick on of his supplicants from the Senate, Lindsay Graham, Hagel and maybe even Dewine.

Posted by: vbhoomes | February 22, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Is it the perception that, while McCain must use his pick to shore up Republican support, Obama can choose someone to bolster areas(electoral or policy) in which he is weak?
Is Zinni a Democrat? Choosing him might reassure voters concerning Obama's lack of foreign policy gravitas.
It might also remind them of this. Tough call.

Posted by: rosiebrook | February 22, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Edwards? If Obama picks Edwards as a runningmate, he'll have to revise his line about having superior judgement.

What do y'all think about Gov Spitzer as a potential Veep?

Posted by: bsimon | February 22, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Where is Bill Nelson and Kay Bailey Hutchinson on this list? The last governor in a VP position was Nelson Rockefeller and he was appointed! No one likes a current or former governor in the number 2 position....

Posted by: dbonney | February 22, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

The best Dem ticket is Clinton/Obama, although I am beginning to think it won't happen. The way Ohio turns out will be critical in how the SDs eventually will go. McCain will have to pick a much younger running mate if he does get the nomination, and I am not convinced yet he will.

Posted by: lylepink | February 22, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Hey gilmoredk -- damn good comment. Mike Easley would be a kick ass choice. NC would DEFINITELY be in play. I hadn't even thought of him, but he would be far better than Edwards in the long run. Edwards has the name id, but is a little too far left.

Sebelius hurt her chances with the weak response to the state of the union.

What state is Zinni from? Never heard of him, but he sounds interesting.

Forget about Crist. Too many rumors, whether true or not. Also, forget about Sanford. He has not accomplished a damn thing in 6 years as Governor. Every GOP member of the legislature despises him. He would wilt under the spotlight too.

Posted by: Russell.1 | February 22, 2008 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Webb for VP??? hahahahahhahaha. He is an A-1 Nutjob and a lot of Virginians are having buyers remorse over him right now. I think Sebielus is his best bet. As for McCain he needs some young excitement to his ticket.....Bobby Jindal perhaps??

Posted by: SkinsDiesel | February 22, 2008 9:45 AM | Report abuse

I believe McCain will have to have a younger running mate. His running mate will get a great deal of scrutiny given McCain's age. He will also have to pick someone who is both acceptable to the right wing base since McCain is weak there and, at the same time, won't scare swing voters. His running mate should also be someone from outside the Beltway.

Some religious right leaders like James Dobson are adamantly against McCain. Dobson has said he cannot vote for McCain as a matter of conscience. Will there be a third party challenge from the religious right? Most of the major religious right leaders are holding their noses and supporting McCain but there are a few diehards like Dobson. A minor party religious right candidate might siphon off enough votes in the Southern states to hand those states to Obama considering that there would be a huge turnout of African Americans.

Posted by: jimd52 | February 22, 2008 9:38 AM | Report abuse

I think what Obama needs is someone who brings unquestioned substance and national security chops

Posted by: Venicemenace | February 22, 2008 09:21 AM

I agree completely. I would also agree with Richardson as the best choice if he hadn't been so unimpressive in the debates. I am also not sure that Obama would risk a double minority ticket.

It will not be Webb - he is a loose cannon and would not stay on message.

Posted by: jimd52 | February 22, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

John Edwards would be a huge mistake as the VP choice for Obama. . .he has already proven that he can't deliver a single state in a nation-wide election. Actually, the mention of Easley is very interesting - hubby has been saying to watch out for him on the national scene for a long time. The main problem is that he has no name recognition. When it was mentioned that Obama met with Edwards a couple of weeks ago, both of us cringed. He is NOT a good choice. Obama will have to be very careful with his choice, I don't think it will matter as much for McCain. Hillary would not be a good choice, either. Why does the list for McCain seem to be so much stronger? I don't like Webb. He needs to stay put so that both Senate seats aren't in contention in VA. Obama should not pick a woman, either. I don't think Obama has a wide-range of choices, actually.

Posted by: goodwater1 | February 22, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Use of "jive" meaning "to agree" is an error. It's a common error, but it's still wrong. Like how people will say "it's a mute point" when they mean "moot point". Just because the usage is common doesn't mean it's correct.

Posted by: Blarg | February 22, 2008 9:23 AM | Report abuse

What about Bill Richardson for Obama. He has plenty of foreign policy chops. He'd bring out the Hispanic vote too. As a Mexican, he's the perfect insurance policy for any would be KKK assasins as well.

Posted by: donjaime37 | February 22, 2008 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Webb is the best choice. He may be awkward at speaking, but his bluntness will match up nicely with McCain's blunt, combative rhetoric over Iraq.

When McCain goes on some rant about surrender, just send Webb after him. Webb has the credibility to talk McCain off the ledge. The blunter he does it, the better.

Posted by: steveboyington | February 22, 2008 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Totally agree with blarg on this: "Jibes" is correct.

I've long felt that the strategy of the Democratic nominee picking up a Southern running mate was flawed, because regardless of who the running mate is, the red states vote Republican regardless. I could see an argument that Obama's drawing power with African-American voters augmented by a popular Southern white running mate might tip a few states in his direction. However, I don't think John Edwards is going to bring many Southern voters to the Obama campaign who won't be on board anyway. Edwards, unlike Huckabee, couldn't even win primary elections in the South, so I have a hard time seeing him as the guy who can deliver Southern voters to the Democratic ticket. Sure didn't work in 2004!

Sebelius makes little sense to me, I'm guessing that Obama will carry women overwhelmingly with or without a woman on the ticket, and she doesn't offer much in the way of regional appeal - as with Edwards, her home region is unlikely to vote for Obama under any circumstances, and the Democrats might lose a valuable officeholder in Kansas if she gives up office to run and then McCain wins.

The Virginians are intriguing, although I think that Virginia's recent electoral history indicates it will go D in 2008, minimizing the benefit of adding a Virginian to the ticket. Let's not forget that Webb only won because Allen self-destructed, and the idea that he brings excitement to the ticket...hello, women are passing out at Obama's rallies, I think the excitement quotient is pretty well taken care of. I like Kaine but I'm not sure that he brings anything to the table that Obama doesn't already possess.

I think what Obama needs is someone who brings unquestioned substance and national security chops. Zinni seems to have a lot of potential in this regard, but I also think Bill Richardson has a lot to offer. In addition, Richardson's popularity and skill with the Southwest is a big bonus because I think the West, not the South, is the area that Democrats should be focusing on seizing from the Republicans long-term, and McCain has strength in the Southwest that might be undercut with Richardson on the Democratic ticket. Richardson could be ideal because he offers regional strength, credentials that augment Obama's without redundancy, and as icing on the cake could prove to be the final nail in the coffin of the GOP's scheme to capture the Latino vote.

Posted by: Venicemenace | February 22, 2008 9:21 AM | Report abuse

I really believe that Obama was superior to Hillary on all points: emotionally and mentally. At the very end, however, Hillary (a consumate actress from years in the White House and Scandal) put on another Staged Performance, borrowing lines from Edwards and her Husband to emotionally sway the people to think that, that is the real Hillary coming through. The real Hillary is the one who, time after time, after Obama wins a primary or caucus, comes out on stage and does not Congratulate him at all. THAT IS THE REAL HILLARY!

For VP: Webb, and the (2) Virgians, Kane & Warner. We are finally getting high-quality people, truthful and authentic.

Posted by: wdsoulplane | February 22, 2008 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Realistically, here are three truths about Obama's VP pick:

1. It won't be "out of the box." No Zinni, Webb, Nunn, Daschle. Electing a first term senator is our of the box enough.

2. She/he won't have strong national security experience--this year, it's the economy stupid. Going military would just point to his weakness. If the election is about security then McCain wins. If it's about getting over all that security paranoia and moving on to the future, Obama wins big. Obama can and will cover off on security issues with Biden as Sec. of State and Zinni as Sec of Defense, hinting or even announcing these in the campaign. Plus Colin Powell will find a way to endorse Obama in the general (no pun intended) election.

3. No dream teams--Hillary, Edwards, Clark, Oprah. Such things are the idle musings of people with nothing better to do than lurk on newspaper message boards.

Tim Kaine puts Virginia into play, and the Republicans would respond with Pawenty as VP to try to pick off Minnesota (fruitlessly, since MN is passionately anti-war).

Sebelius also puts a (much smaller)red state in play, and would demographically help allign moderate 40+ women, very important in Washington, New Jersey, and yes, Virginia.

Richardson could be a real third possibility, but he's a Clinton appointee, and thus smells a little musty. Other than his anti-war rants at the end of his campaign, he also sounds affable, low-key, more like your chief-of-staff than your commander-in-waiting.

I'd pick Kaine if I were him.

Posted by: rohnjay | February 22, 2008 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Here is why Charlie Crist will never be on the ticket

http://youtube.com/watch?v=mZ4DyPTEJ6A

Republicans who don't trust McCain anyway will stay home if he is the VP.

******

Posted by: dewanitum | February 22, 2008 9:13 AM | Report abuse

I do not understand the unhealthy fascination with an Obama/Clinton or Clinton/Obama ticket among some pundits. I am in Omaha, Nebraska and cannot tell you how many people have expressed their intense passionate hatred towards Hillary Clinton. It is irrational. It is insane. It is also quite real. If Clinton wins the nomination, then Obama should bide his time and run against John McCain in 2012. Obama would be well served with Tom Daschle as VP. Daschle would help him get workable compromises in the Senate as LBJ was able to help JFK. No Democrat has won Nebraska since 1964, but an Obama/Daschle ticket would have an even chance of winning Nebraska, South Dakota and Kansas (among many others.)

Posted by: owherald | February 22, 2008 9:09 AM | Report abuse

"Editorial failure: The wording you are looking for here is 'jives nicely with ...', not 'jibes nicely with ....' 'Jibes' means 'insults.' "

Posted by: stumpff | February 22, 2008 07:33 AM

Incorrect. "Jive" means to dance, or to talk in slang. "Jibe" means "to be in accord with". "Gibe" means to insult, though apparently it can also be spelled "jibe". But "jive" is definitely wrong.

Sorry, but I see this mistake a lot, and it annoys me.


Actually you are both correct and incorrect.

Jibe (as a noun) does mean an insult.
However, it was used as a verb, where it can mean to agree.

Jive would also work as a verb in the sentence, as it can mean to agree as well.

Posted by: jnoel002 | February 22, 2008 9:09 AM | Report abuse

AFter the way the DNC stripped the delegates in Florida and Michigan verus allowing them half, I don't think the Republicans need to worry about carrying Florida. My guess is there will be a lot of protest votes for McCain, and the Republicans will carry the state.

Posted by: badger3 | February 22, 2008 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Also, with Clinton, you can't deny her appeal with older white women and Hispanics...

Posted by: uckeleg | February 22, 2008 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Webb's the one.

Paraphrasing a great Jimmy Breslin interview from last Friday's "On Point" radio show, there's one reason, one letter, that says why: E for excitement. All the other choices are B for boring.

Boring doesn't get elected. Think of Gore, Kerry, Mondale, Dukakis, Biden, Dodd, et al. The MSM has trouble with this concept, but it's reality.

Webb brings in Reagan Democrats and independents. Shores up the military credentials. And knows how to give and take a punch.

Obama-Webb-2008 !!!!

-- stan

Posted by: Stan | February 22, 2008 9:01 AM | Report abuse

"Editorial failure: The wording you are looking for here is 'jives nicely with ...', not 'jibes nicely with ....' 'Jibes' means 'insults.' "

Posted by: stumpff | February 22, 2008 07:33 AM

Incorrect. "Jive" means to dance, or to talk in slang. "Jibe" means "to be in accord with". "Gibe" means to insult, though apparently it can also be spelled "jibe". But "jive" is definitely wrong.

Sorry, but I see this mistake a lot, and it annoys me.

Posted by: Blarg | February 22, 2008 9:01 AM | Report abuse

The other posters who mentioned this above are right: there is NO WAY Crist would be on the ticket, but the other 4 all seem plausible. I think Huntsman may be the best choice. Pawlenty and Thune are lightweights (Pawlenty barely won re-election, and only because his opponent imploded at the end), and Sanford is to the right of fascist dictators. Although knowing Republicans, that may make him more popular.

I don't know about Obama's choices. I doubt it would be Edwards--he's yesterday's news, and Senate experience doesn't help. Sebelius and Kaine are too bland, and I don't think would add much. I agree that Webb is too new and a bit too volatile, and Zinni is too one dimension--make him SecDef or something.

I think Biden and Rendell make sense for Obama--great politicans, and could help Obama in the mid-Atlantic where he might have some difficulty against McCain. I also wouldn't completely rule out Clinton (but still a longshot, I know). If Obama wants to fill the slot with the typical "attack-dog" candidate, Clinton's probably the best out there.

Posted by: uckeleg | February 22, 2008 9:00 AM | Report abuse

next topic?

Posted by: wpost4112 | February 22, 2008 8:58 AM | Report abuse

SAM NUNN, SAM NUNN, SAM NUNN -Against the war, understanding of arms and weapons. Is there anyone else who brings more to Obama?

Posted by: tgarahan | February 22, 2008 8:58 AM | Report abuse

McCain's #2 will be especially important since folks will consider him as having a much greater chance of taking over, given Mac's age.

It is unfortunate that Jeb Bush will never get a chance on the Republican ticket for obvious reasons. He has all the charms of Crist and more -- he's conservative, popular, a former governor of FL (out by term limits, not a loss), youngish and handsome, speaks Spanish, etc.

Crist is rather untested and, IMO, seems too much like a crony, having bounced around between lesser and rather unrelated political jobs -- FL Senate (6 years), horribly failed bid for US Senate, appointment as Deputy Secretary of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (2 years), special election to Education Commissioner of Florida (a position that was already slated for elimination by constitutional amendment shortly thereafter), elected as State Attorney General (4 years), and in 2006 elected as governor. And, he's not married, which may give social conservatives pause.

On top of that, he hasn't even completed a full term as governor, so the benefit of his outside-Washington executive experience, which it is presumed will be a major asset in Mac's veep, is mitigated (the same holds true for Alaska's beauty queen/governor, Sarah Palin). On the other hand, he might deliver Florida, which could be crucial if conservatives don't stay home in November.

Posted by: quintus.publius | February 22, 2008 8:57 AM | Report abuse

can we plaease quit talking about "foreign policy/national security experience?" What foreign policy/national security experience did Bill Clinton have in 1992? What did Dubya have in 2000? Likely nothing and even if he did he sure hadn't learned anything from it.

Posted by: 553810 | February 22, 2008 08:23 AM

Foreign policy/national security concerns were not very salient issues in the post-Cold War, pre 9/11 world. With two wars and serious instability in Pakistan and other Muslim countries - Obama needs a VP with national security expertise. The Republicans will hammer at the inexperience theme and, should a foreign crisis occur during the campaign, Obama could be at a serious disadvantage versus McCain.

I like the idea of an out-of-the-box selection like Chuck Hagel, but he is a good friend of McCain and doubt he would take it. The press would have a field day comparing Hagel's votes in the Senate with Obama's and with the Democratic platform

Zinni would be an excellent choice - if his views on other issues are reasonably compatible with the Democratic platform. However, if it is to be a military officer, I would think Wes Clark might be a better choice since he has acquired a lot of political experience. A dark horse candidate could be retired Vice Admiral Joe Sestak who was elected to Congress fromm Pennsylvania in 2006 in a formerly Repubican district.

The best non-military choice would be Joe Biden. I would also consider Richardson but I wonder if a dual minority ticket would be too risky. Also, Richardson was not much of a campaigner and appeared out of his league in the debates. However, his credentials as a diplomat, congressman, cabinet secretry and goveror are impressive. Biden consistently performed very well in them.

It will not be Edwards, he brings nothing to the ticket and he wasn't much of a VP for Kerry.

Gore would never accept the vice-presidency again.

Posted by: jimd52 | February 22, 2008 8:55 AM | Report abuse

For Obama to pick a woman he's asking way too much of the nasty little people who make up our electorate. You know, the type of person who absolutely loves Dick Cheney? As it is, a lot of voters, many more than you think, will not support a black man, and many of the men who will simply don't like women very much. Face it folks; without anti-black racism, the Republican party would be about half the size that it is today. That's not a knock on some of the wonderful people that I know who are Republicans, but let's get real. De-Segregation in the early Sixties made the GOP a Conservative Party, and for a brief time, a majority, not theoretical arguments about laissez faire economic theory. Put on Limbaugh for a rousing rendition of "Obama the Magic Negro" or listen to the learned Mr. Savage sometimes. There's a solid 30% that the Dems are not getting, no way, no how, and there's no reason for Obama to handicap himself further with those iffy voters who hate their spouses or their woman bosses or co-workers. You don't have to love a certain kind of person to want their vote.
Pick Webb; don't get too clever. The way the economy's going, the GOP could re-animate Reagan and he wouldn't win.

Posted by: bullmoose717 | February 22, 2008 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Webb is disqualified because of his vote selling out to AT&T and company on the FISA. Pawlenty should be disqualified because of his horrible reaction and inaction in the bridge collapse scandal. However since "drowning government is a bathtub" is movement consevative philosophy, and so is failing upward, I'm sure he'll be the pick.

Posted by: havok26 | February 22, 2008 8:52 AM | Report abuse

I love Joe Biden, but given the media's frequent Obama/Osama "slips," I think Republicans would have a field day with an "Obama-Biden" ticket... silly, yes, but unfortunately, marketing is a huge part of politics and you have to consider the slogan. Say "Obama-Kaine" out loud, too... wonder if it would confuse any voters?

Posted by: airons27 | February 22, 2008 8:51 AM | Report abuse

tp02071,
Agree that a Friday line re states most likely to flip in November would be a great idea.

Whilst on that topic, see the following link from Rasmussen reports:

http://rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/election_20082/2008_presidential_election/election_2008_electoral_college_update

Do you agree with those? On the whole I do, but I believe that of 'safely democratic', the most vulnerable might be California depending on whether Hispanics side with McCain or Obama. I think Delaware should be safely democratic rather than likely.

Maybe West Virginia and Indiana should be 'likely republican' rather than safely?

Interested on people's thoughts.

Posted by: jimoneill50 | February 22, 2008 8:48 AM | Report abuse

I live in Minnesota. Tim Pawlenty is a very popular Governor in a Blue State. He has high approval ratings. He has done an excellent job of managing the state's budget after Jessie Ventura left it a mess. He would be an excellent balance to the ticket.

What the national people probably know about him, is the excellent way he managed the crisis after our bridge collapse. I would be very surprised if McCain didn't carry Minnesota as Pawlenty with his running mate.

Also McCain would be a fool to pick a Senator as his running mate. Why would he pick a Republican from the Congress and Senate, when both houses stand a good chance of a major sweep this fall?

Posted by: badger3 | February 22, 2008 8:48 AM | Report abuse

I think Obama/Kaine would be the best potential ticket for the Dems.
Webb is interesting, however, he is a first term senator and doesn't bring the "executive level" experience Kaine would. I think Obama needs to stay away from the "politics as usual" crowd who has been in Washington awhile. And picking Hillary would turn every Obama Republican/Indie towards McCain.

For McCain, I think an interesting choice would be Huckabee. Try to bring some of the conservative base into play; which is McCain is going to need if he is facing off with Obama because he is going to have a tough time with Indies.

Posted by: jnoel002 | February 22, 2008 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Barack Obama will NOT pick either Kaine or Webb for VP. Virginia is turning purple as we speak, but it still can be considered a red state and the Democrats do not want to upset the balance there. Assuming an Obama/Kaine ticket wins, Kaine would be replaced by a Republican. Webb's seat would probably go to a Republican also in a subsequent special election, as George Allen is sitting around with nothing to do, the Dem bench in VA is pretty thin, and Jim Webb may be the only man capable of holding that seat after 2012.

The VA Dems probably want to consolidate their gains, and Webb and Kaine will be expected to work for in-state victories downballot, which include Mark Warner's pretty safe Senate victory and a victory in Tom Davis' old House seat, and maybe a surprise in VA-02.

Sebelius seems like the safe choice. A woman to placate Hillary's supporters, but also a woman who has won in a tough, conservative state. Having her on the ballot probably won't make Kansas switch to the the Dems, but it will make life much easier for Reps. Nancy Boyda and Dennis Moore. Not to mention Kansas is right next door to Missouri, and Sebelius is probably well-known enough around the Kansas City area, which could help Obama take that state, and possibly help Kay Barnes pick up a House seat in MO-06.

Posted by: ctyankeeboy1638 | February 22, 2008 8:48 AM | Report abuse

I'm throwing one more name in the mix for Obama's VP. Gov. Mike Easley of NC. He's a democrat elected to 2 terms in a red state...he's the former Atty Gen of NC and a former DA. He can help Obama hold on to white male voters, southern voters, and conservative 'law and order' dems. Also...he's Catholic...and he got his law degree from an HBCU (NC Central). This is a perfect choice.

Think about it...

Posted by: gilmoredk | February 22, 2008 8:47 AM | Report abuse

The ansawer for Obama is obvious:

AZ Governor Janet Napolitano - white female, successful on her own merits, from the west - highly regarded governor of John McCain's state with a solid record of working across the aisle in a majority Republican legislature.

Zinni is the most interesting name on your list - but lacks legistlative experience - depends on what Presidient Obama wants a VP to do - and whether the electorate wants another empowered VP?

I understand Colin Powell would love to redeem his repuation by following Bob Gates as SECDEF.

Posted by: stsiros | February 22, 2008 8:47 AM | Report abuse

I'd throw in also for an Obama/Powell ticket. That would effectively negate the inexperience fears that some might have with Obama. A career military man who chaired the joint chiefs, and spent four years as Sec of State. Who else out there would have a better resume? I don't think it would take much pull from Obama to talk Colin Powell into serving his country once again..

Posted by: TheIrishCurse | February 22, 2008 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Obama needs to pick someone who can make up for his lack of foreign policy experience. Was I the only one last night who heard that he would want to talk to Castro (the brother) without any limitations? I cannot imagine Webb since he has some serious baggage. Clark would be a good choice I would think. Kaine would be a good choice if things were quiet in the world these days. Any consideration for Zell Miller? The libs wouldn't like it but could balance the ticket.

McCain needs a conservative. Sanford would be one choice but what about someone like Rick Santorum?

Posted by: Larsen770 | February 22, 2008 8:45 AM | Report abuse

tmeqtl,
Chuck Hagel is a good idea, but I could not see the party going along with someone as there VP who disagrees with there candidate on every issue except one, being the Iraq war. We can get an anti-war Democrat and have a better peace of mind.

Posted by: sjxylib | February 22, 2008 8:44 AM | Report abuse

It's al labout electoral politics stupid (comment is not directed at anybody) If Obama is the nominee, it raises some electoral concrens out west. More money will have to be spent in SoCal as the African American and latino communities do not have the best of relationships. Furthermore, states like CO, NV, NM and AZ that are in play also have significant Latino populations that will require significant reach out efforts (read $) As much as nobody wants to mention this fact, African American voters have overwhelmingly voted for Obama (I think the latest number I saw was at over 90%). This leads to the question"do people vote because of ethnicity or color of skin?" I think the numbers point towards yes except when talking about white voters in this election cycle where it doesn't appear to be the case. The best person to help Obama in his reach out effort in these important states is Richardson.

Posted by: RealMoralMajority10 | February 22, 2008 8:44 AM | Report abuse

*IF* Obama wins the nomination (it's too early to count the Clintons out, unfortunately), then he needs a running mate with serious national security chops. Best options are James Webb, and someone I haven't seen mentioned on this post yet: former Georgia Senator Sam Nunn. One of the most respected Democrats on national security matters, and in recent years he's been focused on the key issue of nuclear proliferation.

Posted by: dschleicher61 | February 22, 2008 8:43 AM | Report abuse

There is an "out of the box" possibility for McCain that could be brilliant or really stupid. That pick would be Joe Lieberman. It shows McCain's independence, portrays him as a moderate, and could bring in many moderates. Frankly, the scenario scares me.

Robert Spiegelman

Posted by: mspiege2 | February 22, 2008 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Chris Cillizza,

I am a little miffed you do not count the Abroad vote as "win eleven".

Sen. Obama 65%, Sen. Clinton 33%

http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/8BDB07CC-3B17-4F36-BBA0-1B0C0F66F133.htm

Posted by: rfpiktor | February 22, 2008 8:42 AM | Report abuse

I think Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri makes a stronger addition than Sebilious. At least the democrats get a chance at a potential swing state. Kerry got 46% of the vote, so the state is within reach. McCaskill has held office in Missouri since 1982. She is also Catholic.

Posted by: m_tommy | February 22, 2008 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Sebelius is my preference for Obama. It would help solidify the women's vote, especially for those who would of liked to see HRC on there for the only reason as being a woman.

Crist with McCain would be a disaster, lol, Crist is more liberal then McCain and even if Crist can deliver Florida, there will be bigger battle grounds come November: NV, CO, MO, OH, and VA

Posted by: sjxylib | February 22, 2008 8:40 AM | Report abuse

553810 wrote. "Let me make a suggestion. Whoever anyone make like for a Veep position, can we plaease quit talking about "foreign policy/national security experience?" What foreign policy/national security experience did Bill Clinton have in 1992? What did Dubya have in 2000? Likely nothing and even if he did he sure hadn't learned anything from it."

In 1992, the country was thinking peace dividend, so that analogy doesn't fit. In your other example of 2000, Bush selected Cheney because he had no foreign policy experience. If Bush had the misfortune of running after 9/11 with his resume, he never would have even gotten the party's nomination.

In light of the country's current military entanglements, your observation appears unwarranted. Foreign policy experience somewhere on the ticket is vital.

Posted by: optimyst | February 22, 2008 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Edwards: As an Edwards supporter I would be very happy to see him on the ticket. Don't think it will happen though, but would hope to see him getting appointed to something.

Richardson: I was under the impression that Richardson was a Clinton supporter? He's a bright guy & would be good on the ticket, but I don't see that happening.

Zinni: Wow, I like this idea. A lot. Zinni is a very smart guy and backed out of the Bush administration pretty quickly with the war. He would make a great contrast to McCain, but I am not sure if he represents the Obama ideals as strongly as the others.

Posted by: asimmy06 | February 22, 2008 8:35 AM | Report abuse

When I first saw Jim Webb's name, I thought that would be nuts, (and I voted for him in VA), but after reading "cupsaredone"'s reasoning, Jim Webb does start to sound like an ideal VP candidate.

Posted by: lerayray | February 22, 2008 8:35 AM | Report abuse

I don't care if a man is homosexual or not, but Charlie Crist is, he won't release a flat out denial. If McCain picks him, it will get taudry. Supposedly Crist has had affairs with 16, 17, and 18 year olds according to what I have read.

Posted by: jmr1601 | February 22, 2008 8:33 AM | Report abuse

You miss the obvious Dem Veep Candidate for the charismatic but inexperienced Obama: AL GORE.

Gore would bring experience, gravitas, and could only increase the excitement of Democrats and Independents.

It would also be the clearest way to repudiate the stolen election of 2000, and the stolen eight years of George W. Bush.

Posted by: WillNewYork | February 22, 2008 8:33 AM | Report abuse

This election will be pitting a WAR HERO(HAWK) against and ANTI war Hero. So the strongest defense Obama needs is an anti war VP with strong Military credentials to completely destroy McCain in November.

So Obama nees a VP with strong military credentials. Webb isnt good for the simple reason that he is too blunt.

Posted by: eenoaku | February 22, 2008 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Let me make a suggestion. Whoever anyone make like for a Veep position, can we plaease quit talking about "foreign policy/national security experience?" What foreign policy/national security experience did Bill Clinton have in 1992? What did Dubya have in 2000? Likely nothing and even if he did he sure hadn't learned anything from it.

Career military and foreign service officers have the national security/foreign policy experience. If the electorate doesn't get that then maybe they ought to read some books and pay attention. Overarching decisions in those arenas are indeed made by politicians, but often the details and implementation are left to those who know what they're doing. I hear C. Rice mentioned as a Veep nominee. Why? So we can have the lady who was asleep at the switch on 911 and who hasn't accomplish much at State backing up the septugenarian?

You get the idea.

Posted by: 553810 | February 22, 2008 8:23 AM | Report abuse

Colin POwell or the man who actually made a difference in a multi ethnic civil war Wesley Clark ???

Posted by: lovtusurf | February 22, 2008 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Chris, I'm surprised you left Bobby Jindahl off the list. There's a lot of chatter that he'd be a very interesting VP candidate, even though he's a bit green.

As for that debate last night:

1) HRC lowered her flag at the end, she's done. Maybe she wants VP spot but Obama'd have to go back on the blow to be convinced that's a good idea

2) The real winner was the air conditioning in that place. Anyone else notice their pads flying over the place? I was waiting for HRC's wig to fly off her head.

(sry if this was addressed in previous blog entries, I hadn't read them)

Posted by: JD | February 22, 2008 8:21 AM | Report abuse

You may want to see this article in Minneapolis StarTribune from earlier this week on why Pawlenty won't be McCain's VP choice.

http://www.startribune.com/opinion/commentary/15780762.html

Start of article: "Gov. Gridlock can't deliver votes for McCain. Despite his "Clintonian" appeal, the state has become less great under his watch."

Posted by: kaufm020 | February 22, 2008 8:20 AM | Report abuse

I agree with the few of you, as well as PA Gov. Rendell, that Joe Biden would be a strong pick for Obama, for his foreign policy experience but also, especially, for the unstated reason: because he would be seen as a place holder by the rising stars in the party, leaving Obama with the leverage that comes with a four year wait to see who (if anyone) he would seek to fill the position in 2012.

I think McCain is maverick enough to pick his friend, Lindsay Graham. He's young, from the South, and agrees with McCain on any number of issues important to the Arizona senator. If McCain were to die in office (a possibility for any president), he could be assured that his successor would carry out a similar agenda simply because they agree on it. Moreover, it would set Graham up to run again Mitt Romney - and possibly Jeb Bush - in 2012 if the current polling proves accurate and Obama wins, which would be a legacy victory.

Posted by: frank.iannuzzi | February 22, 2008 8:19 AM | Report abuse

Edwards is far above any other Dem VP contender. He has an especially attractive package for Obama. White, male, southern. Everything.

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

Posted by: parkerfl | February 22, 2008 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Obama: Webb

McCain: Pawlenty

Posted by: wpost4112 | February 22, 2008 8:08 AM | Report abuse

Some Suggestions

For Obama:
Colin Powell

For McCain:
Condi Rice
Tom Coburn
Vicky Isman (LOL)

Posted by: rolove | February 22, 2008 8:05 AM | Report abuse

Al Gore?

Posted by: mishachellam | February 22, 2008 7:57 AM | Report abuse

Bill Richardson has a better resume than any of the possible veep candidates you mentioned, helping Obama fill the "lack of experience" void. Richard's big drawback is that he's a dud on the stump, but that might not matter because that's Obama's strong suit.

Posted by: gargoyle783 | February 22, 2008 7:55 AM | Report abuse

Chris,
I believe that it is important for Obama to make a clear statement of change when selecting his VP. That is why I believe he will choose someone like Chuck Hagel. What are your thoughts?

Posted by: tmeqtl | February 22, 2008 7:55 AM | Report abuse

Another potentially good choice for Obama may be Gov. Janet Napolitano of Arizona. She's as tough as Hillary Clinton without being nearly as polarizing. And she's won in a red state.

And I second all those who mentioned Joe Biden. He would be a much stronger VP choice than John Edwards, who might loathe to run as the #2 again.

For the GOP, I don't think Mark Sanford is as high on the list as many people think. Remember, he remained neutral in the South Carolina primary, which McCain almost lost. The anti-tax wing loves Sanford for sure, but your regular conservatives don't like him all that much because they view him more as a libertarian.

Good Line, Chris.

Posted by: theseventen | February 22, 2008 7:54 AM | Report abuse

Hi Chris,

I agree with the comment that a closeted gay man is unlikely to make it onto the Republican ticket this year.
What about Bill Richardson as a VP for Obama? He has the foreign policy experience as well as deep experience in the federal bureaucracy. In addition, picking a Latino running mate would serve the Democrats very well in this election and in others to follow.

Posted by: logan1437 | February 22, 2008 7:40 AM | Report abuse

A name not on your list (who should be) is Bill Richardson.

1. An experienced governor
2. Solid foreign policy chops (he'd make a top notch Sec. of State as well)
3. Solid demographic distinction with Obama, likely to help pull in the Hispanic vote
4. Avoids the "paternal white male" roll that LBJ played to JFK

Of those names loated, Sebelius brings the most to the ticket and would be a good choice.

Webb is likely ruled out due to his recent support for telecom immunity.

Zinni should be ruled out simply because of his military background, though he would make a good Sec. of Def.

Edwards is just too similar, not enough breadth to the ticket.

A poster asked why Hillary would not accept the VP slot. She won't because she won't be asked.

Posted by: csmith | February 22, 2008 7:37 AM | Report abuse

Editorial failure: The wording you are looking for here is "jives nicely with ...", not "jibes nicely with ...." "Jibes" means "insults."

Posted by: stumpff | February 22, 2008 7:33 AM | Report abuse

With all the power Bush has pulled in to the unitary presidency, and with the potential for the veep to become president in potentially trying circumstances, I really have to question putting a military guy like Zinni on the ticket. That's no knock on his shining credentials. I just think the electorate needs some assurance that the veep fully respects the constitutional limits on executive power. You get the foreign policy gravitas and a known commodity with Joe Biden. I am shocked he is not on the list. As to the others on the democratic list, I love Jim Webb, but seriously question whether he could tone down his demeanor to fit the job. Edwards, Kaine or Sebelius don't make sense because of their limited foreign policy expertise.

On the republican side, I can only tell you as a Floridian that Charlie Crist has been a surprisingly effective governor. And this is grudging respect from a democrat. He has a natural likeability that would balance some of the rough edges of McCain's personality I think he'd be an asset on the ticket.

Posted by: optimyst | February 22, 2008 7:32 AM | Report abuse

How about Wesley Clark for Obama VP? I know he is big Hillary supporter but that might be even better to placate some of the Hillary folks plus you get your military man with foreign policy and political experience. Seems perfect to me.

Posted by: zbob99 | February 22, 2008 7:32 AM | Report abuse

Very good point "cupsaredone."

Posted by: davidmwe | February 22, 2008 7:28 AM | Report abuse

Obama-Webb.

Of the candidates you mention as possible Obama running mates Jim Webb is head and shoulders the best choice.

Jon Edwards will not be on the ticket this fall. Obama does not need help making a generational argument. He does not need another one term senator. He does not need to face the talking points about the poverty-crusader's $400 haircut and Chapel Hill mansion. If he was seriously open to the idea, Obama would have made that openness clear to Edwards and Edwards would have already have endorsed him.

The arguments for Zinni and for Kaine are the former's credentials on national security and the latter's red state appeal and his ability to put Virginia into play. Jim Webb does both.

Sebelius might be an interesting pick, but I don't think that the knock on the Obama campaign will be that it is not historic enough. She also is without any national security experience, which in a campaign against McCain may be enough to disqualify her. Furthermore, both she and Webb each delivered the democratic response to the state of the union over the last two years, and Webb is much more ready for prime-time.

A couple weeks ago, I posted the reasons for picking Jim Webb on another site:

"If McCain is the nominee, the two biggest tacks on which they will go after Obama is by portraying him as unready to be Commander-in-Chief compared to McCain and by playing up his ranking as a liberal. Mccain's military service and the argument(whatever it's merits) that his positions better serve America in confronting a dangerous world, will help him make the C-in-C argument. The National Journal's ranking Obama as the most liberal senator of last year (again whatever the merits of the rankings) will help him make the second argument.

Webb seriously blunts both of these line of attack. As well as being a veteran, a former Navy secretary and the father of someone currently serving in Iraq, Jim Webb has consistently been one of the most articulate and reasonable critics of the Iraq War. Anyone who saw his response last year to the state of the union, could see how the gravitas he brings to the ticket would hurt portraying Obama as bambiesq.

On the attack that Obama is too liberal, Webb again seriously takes a great of force out of that blow. Imagine trying to marginalize a candidate as a "too far out of the mainstream" when his running mate served in Ronald Raegan's cabinet. Furthermore, Webb's break from being a Raegan-democrat was neither personal nor seriously acrimonious (in other words he's no Dick Morris.)

The worry that these advantages might bring up,is how would they play among the democratic party's base? On the face of it, it would seem that a gun-supporting red-state democrat might be alienating for party die-hards. With Webb, though this is unlikely to be the case. The most important issue for this part of the party is the Iraq War. Webb has been a consistent and articulate critic.

Finally, although his unorthodox approach might be conceived as a drawback, his hotly contested Senate race against an otherwise favorite for the GOP nomination in 2008, saw Webb face, and overcome, the kind of attacks most statewide Senators and Governors have not. His appeal as a red-state democrat, combined with Obama's potential to engender historic black turnout in states like Mississippi and South Carolina, could conceivably change the electoral map in fundamental ways."

Posted by: cupsaredone | February 22, 2008 7:18 AM | Report abuse

The most fascinating name on either list is Zinni. If I were running as an Indie, I would lean toward Zinni as SecDef. I thought he was an R, albeit an outspoken critic of Rummy. Some of us posting here have thought he deserved a place in either an R or D Admin.

While I would be intrigued by Zinni as a VP, he strikes me as the kind of sharp elbows straight-to-the-marrow guy you want as Marine Commandant or trusted private adviser. Apart from whether he would run for VP as a D, or at all, were he elected, how would he be used? Would he double as National Security Adviser?

JimD, can you see this?

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 22, 2008 6:56 AM | Report abuse

What about Joe Biden? He has years of experience and brings some white hair to the ticket. If nothing else, he would make a great Chief of Staff.

As for Senator Webb, I cannot imagine two first term senators running together, and Webb's antics may please the fringe, but I think Obama needs to show more responsibility in his pick in order to close the deal with America.

Sebelius did not impress me with her response to the State of the Union. She seemed very dull. That may not be fair, but it is all many Americans have seen of her.

Posted by: mikedow | February 22, 2008 6:51 AM | Report abuse

An Obama/Edwards ticket would be very strong. Especially against John McCain:

Obama vs. McCain- the Internet Effect:
http://newsusa.myfeedportal.com/viewarticle.php?articleid=48

As for McCain- I wager his only hope to win would be with a McCain/Paul ticket (or some drastic national security event.).

Posted by: davidmwe | February 22, 2008 6:49 AM | Report abuse

Chris--

Charlie Crist is unlikely, since there have been questions raised about his sexual orientation (it shouldn't matter, but would to many Republicans).

One advantage to Sebelius is that her father was a popular governor of Ohio, which is a rather important state in the upcoming election.

Do you really think that Hillary would not accept the VP slot?

Posted by: mtsher | February 22, 2008 6:43 AM | Report abuse

Chris - Can I make a suggestion for a new Friday Line topic? How about the states most likely to switch parties in the presidential election, compared to the outcome in 2004?

Stephen, London

Posted by: tp02071 | February 22, 2008 6:08 AM | Report abuse

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