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The Case Against Kathleen Sebelius

On Wednesday, The Fix made the case for why Kathleen Sebelius should be tapped by Barack Obama to serve as his running mate. Today, the opposite argument.

VP Watch

Like yesterday's piece, this post is meant to spark conversation, so feel free to agree, disagree, condemn or compliment in the comments section below.

Foreign Policy Is Foreign to Her

Obama's most obvious weakness in the general election campaign is the relative thinness of his resume -- particularly on matters of foreign policy -- compared with John McCain.

While Obama was able to beat back the "experience" argument in the Democratic primary race by arguing that he had plenty of life experience outside of the Washington bubble, it's almost certain that McCain will revive this line of attack in the general election.

"I think my record is clear -- 20 years, I've been involved in every national security issue that's faced this nation," McCain said on any number of occasions during his successful primary campaign. "And I have the judgment to handle it, and I've proven it."

Kathleen Sebelius
Obama needs more from a running mate than what Kansas's governor can offer. Above, Sebelius prepares to deliver the Democrats' response to President Bush's last State of the Union in January. (AP Photo)

Since winning his party's nod, McCain has given little indication that he will back off this line of attack. He has cast Obama as too young and inexperienced on the world stage to be trusted with the presidency at a critical juncture in American history.

Given McCain's strategy, for Obama to pick someone with even less experience than he has on national security and foreign policy matters makes very little sense.

Before being elected governor in 2002, Sebelius spent eight years as insurance commissioner and before that eight years in the state legislature. An impressive resume to be sure, but not exactly one that will reassure voters who are concerned about Obama's readiness to handle a world crisis.

Sebelius allies note that she has traveled extensively in her six years as governor, including trips to Israel, Egypt, Japan and China -- travel that belies any notion that she is simply a small-time, Plains-state governor with little interest or experience beyond the borders of the Sunflower State.

Even so, they acknowledge that her resume is almost entirely based on chief executive experience of the domestic sort. If Obama wants to go the route of a veteran military man (or woman), Sebelius is not likely to be the pick.

Shaky on the National Stage

When Sebelius was tapped by the Democratic leadership to deliver their party's response to President Bush's final State of the Union address earlier this year, it was widely regarded as her first major tryout for vice president (or some other major national role in a future campaign).

The reviews of her speech were not good: Sebelius was stilted, shaky and something far short of the charismatic and self-assured figure many expected to see.

Here's a video of her speech:

It's not a bad speech, but it's not the sort of debut on the national stage that supporters of Sebelius had hoped for. It's wrong -- and unfair -- to judge her chances based on a single speech, and Sebelius will have several more tryouts between now and mid August to impress the Obama inner circle. But we all know that first impressions are hard to shake.

She's Not Hillary

It's no secret that by the end of her presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton had transformed herself into a voice for women around the country. In her farewell speech last weekend, Clinton insisted that "although we weren't able to shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling this time, thanks to you it's got about 18 million cracks in it."

The support of women sustained Clinton -- both practically and symbolically -- throughout the campaign, and as the race went on (and on) there was an increasingly vivid sense among that bloc of voters that Obama was mistreating Clinton in ways subtle and not-so-subtle.

With Clinton now formally gone from the race, her most fervent female supporters have taken up the cause of putting her on the ticket as the vice president. To snub Clinton in favor of another woman -- Sebelius -- would be a slight that many women might not be able to reconcile themselves to.

Depending on where you stand, Sebelius's gender is either one of her strongest assets or a major argument against her. Seen one way, picking her would reinforce the historic nature of Obama's candidacy and help strengthen his hand among female voters alienated from him after the race against Clinton. Seen another, Sebelius's gender makes her all but unselectable -- a symbolic provocation to the legions of Clinton backers.

By Chris Cillizza  |  June 12, 2008; 7:15 AM ET
Categories:  Veepstakes  
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Next: FixCam: Obama Tries to 'Fight the Smears'


Hillary Clinton should be Secretary of Agriculture.

Posted by: Ping | June 20, 2008 3:16 AM | Report abuse

Sebelius is a 'do nothing' governor, her main claim to fame is the number of vetos that Kansas has to override. She's Photo-Op Katy, shows up at every tornado or flood for the camera, then she's gone like a cool breeze. Worthless.
Frankly, we'd be glad to have the rest of you take her off our hands.

Posted by: Wheat | June 16, 2008 7:42 AM | Report abuse

Wouldn't help carry Kansas. She is not very popular at the moment. She turned down multiple power plant opportunities because she watched an Al Gore dvd special.

She doesn't bring any substance and Obama is already lacking on that front. Sebelius just utters "lets get to work" as often as Obama repeated "change". To paraphrase Bill Richardson in the NH debate. Quit just saying change, change just for change's sake is pointless.

Posted by: Sebelius | June 14, 2008 5:44 PM | Report abuse

As usual and what has lead us to this point the politicians are so focused on the prize that they fail to listen to the people that they intend to represent. HRC was in this race and they (DNC) failed to listen to the popular vote. Once out there as a candidate not wanting to be considered racist even in the face of losing 35% or more of their voting base shoved Obama down our throats. Obama in his arrogance caused by the foreknowledge that as early as March that this was his deal. No matter what he said or did. Failed to reilize that we the American people can see him for who he is. A politician so caught up in himself and his agenda that anyone he picks for VP will merely be a figure, a showpiece, a token, and will have no real voice, therefore that person will be weaker than him. He has so far to date maintained such tight control over his Ozombies that he actually had the nerve to tell people to send donations directly to him instead of the DNC. So as far as I can see unless his wife is his OFFICIAL VP anyone he chooses will not matter as they will only say and do what he allows, nothing more nothing less. HIllary should not accept the position if offered unless she has no aspirations of running in the future for President. Four years of spouting Obama's rhetoric would put her completely out of the running as in she sold out to be a VP with no voice.

Posted by: Kebby | June 14, 2008 9:22 AM | Report abuse

To reprise an old adage in politics, the strongest R candidate is a woman, the strongest D is a general. For this reason, along with his lack of foreign policy experience it'll be Clark. He's a Clinton team member so this will affect some rapproachment between Obama and HRC, yet he's against the war so there will be no disconnect on this issue. Plus he's the choice most likely to calm any voters nervous about choosing a young black guy as Pres. Clark will inoculate the ticket against soft on defense nonsense, heal the wounds from the primary fight, and help reclaim some of the pro-military Southerners needed to be competitive in Louisiana, Arklansas, Virginia, North Carolina. Hard to resist this combination.

Posted by: Tom Goldkuhle | June 13, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse


Again, false. One church official SUGGESTED Gov. Sebelius voluntarily refrain from taking communion. Nobody has "forbidden" anything. Other Church leaders have taken differing positions.

"Speaking about the debate in 2004, Bishop Raymond J. Boland of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph told a [Kansas City] Star columnist, 'I don't think I have any right to invade another person's conscience when they come to me.'" (See

Attempted religious pressure on government officials is bad enough; outright religious blackmail should be a cause for public outrage.

Remember when John Kennedy had to assure Americans that his church would NOT dictate his policies?

Posted by: FlownOver | June 13, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse


Simply not true. First off, the response wasn't slow. Second, the governor's expressed concerns were about the ability to handle additional disasters.

If you want to oppose Sebelius, that's your right - but you ought to do it with honesty rather than distortion.

Fight the Smears.

Posted by: FlownOver | June 13, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

did anyone notice?
It's holding true. CLinton supporters are NOT turning into obamaclones.

they aren't going to vote for Obama. shows a full 52% -- no support for obamamamamamm

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2008 7:47 AM | Report abuse

I'd love for Obama to pick Sebelius. They'd be the most liberal team anyone could pick to support the pro-life movement. Obama worked hard to defeat the born alive infants act (after a failed abortion) while a senator in Illinois and Sebelius has vetoed all the bills the Ks legislature has sent her to improve accountability on late term abortions as well as embraced the most prominent late term abortionist in the country. With the two of them Roe v Wade would never be overturned and a constitutional amendment to allow late term abortion would sail through the Congress. GO OBAMA/SEBELIUS !!!

Posted by: ksresident | June 12, 2008 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Julie from LA, I too think Clarke would be a good choice for VP. I like Sebelius better, then Bayh. I also agree with the poster that commented that good rapport between the Pres and VP are important.

Posted by: NMAIF | June 12, 2008 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Obama should put Sebelius on the ticket just to minimize Hillary's run and wipe her from history. Hillary's campaign was crass and craven, sleazy of the Bush-sort, and this nation will be better when it is behind us.

Posted by: freeDom | June 12, 2008 9:23 PM | Report abuse

You forgot one important thing as to why it will not be Governor Sebelius -- she is embroiled in a dispute with the Catholic Bishops of Kansas because of her strong proabortion position. They have forbidden her to receive Communion. There will be a lot of publicity about this if she is named by Obama, and the last thing he needs is another relgious controversy and a beef with the Church.

Posted by: wferdsf | June 12, 2008 9:08 PM | Report abuse

What do Clinton supporters think of Wesley Clark?

He was a very loyal Hillary supporter throughout the campaign and just made some excellent points about McCain's LACK of foreign policy experience and military know-how. I can't think of anyone else who could do that.

Plus, he's a war hero himself, very personable, a good leader OR team player, as needed, and brings that "4 Star General-thing" that no one else has.

Plus, with Clark as VP, the excellent senators and governors on the short list are still in place at their jobs, still being effective. (VP isn't the greatest job in the world, but Clark-as-councilor which is Obama's vision of it, would be a great fit).

What do you think?

Posted by: Julie from LA | June 12, 2008 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Clark: If you look around the world, there's a lot of work to be done. And I'm very glad we've got the great team in office, men like Colin Powell, Don Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, Paul O'Neill - people I know very well - our president George W. Bush. We need them there, because we've got some tough challenges ahead in Europe.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 12, 2008 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Senator Casey of Pennsylvania is the best choice for VP.

Posted by: Casey for VP | June 12, 2008 6:43 PM | Report abuse

To choose a "token" female for VP would indeed be an insult. One can imagine using her to get the female vote, then ingnoring her after the election.

But who could imagine Sebelius as token?

She bring exactly the experience to presidency that Obaba needs. She is an experienced and highly talented Govenor who will teach him much. Or has anybody forgotten that Obama's most important role will be to govern America?

A shame that Sebelius didn't choose to run. Still, if not Hillary Sebelius. If not now 2016.

Posted by: Blame | June 12, 2008 6:31 PM | Report abuse

I think that HRC is the best choice and I'm thrilled that Webb is out of the picture, but anybody who can help get Barack Obama works for me, for my country, for my region, for the United States, and for the world.

I'm going to let you all in on a little secret about the rest of the world. Ready? People around the world find John McCain nauseating. I've heard about 4 good jokes about his being a POW. (They're in Spanish and don't translate well). When people talk about Obama or the Clintons they smile and when somebody mentions McCain it gets quiet.

We all heard his Latin policy speech and he made no secret that he is going to war with Venezuela using Colombia as a staging area and against Ecuador and Bolivia using Peru as a staging area.

I'm sorry. That will not do. I don't care how much imaginary foreign policy "experience" John McCain has. Barack Obama's plans and views jibe better with what the world needs.

This is Barack Obama's South America plan. Try to get a truth-and-reconciliation commission re-started in Colombia, with the paras and the FARC both accepting blame with no fear of punishment and then a negotiation led by Uribe but facilitated by Obama on how to resolve some past wrongs and go forward.

WAR OR PEACE? Tough, tough choice.

How did your country go from one of its bes presidents to its worst with a worse one still pending in McCain?

Why isn't Barack Obama running away with this?

Posted by: DexterManley | June 12, 2008 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Obama needs a running mate with foreign policy experience, period. A governor, rather than a senator, will also bring executive experience to the ticket. Sebelius, aside from being a known politician who is well-regarded and who works well with both sides of the aisle, has no real assets to add to an Obama ticket. I think the pressure to add a woman to the ticket factors into her popularity. The VP decision should be a pragmatic decision, not an emotional one, and should certainly not serve to accommodate a gender quota, no matter how passionately people feel about this. I hope that Obama's entire emphasis is on finding the person with the best experience and qualifications -- male or female -- with the assets to offset his weaknesses and to compliment his strengths. This is a tall order, especially when considering that this person must ALSO have a moral compass that is closely aligned with Obama's, which, to my thinking, automatically disqualifies many of the potential candidates.

Posted by: katzooks | June 12, 2008 5:56 PM | Report abuse

The more I read about Lincoln Chafee, the more I like.

A former Republican Senator who seems to be more liberal and progressive then most Dems.

He was the only Repub to vote against the invasion of Iraq
...again, a Republican Senator who voted against going into Iraq!

He publicly supports Obama. In 2004, in protest of Dubya, he wrote in George H.W. Bush.

He is pro-choice, pro same-sex marriage, pro stem cell research.

Pro federal funding of Healthcare.

He is incredibly stong on environmental issues.

Opposed all of Bush's tax policies.

Opposed the nominations of Bolton and Alito

In '04, in protest of Dubya, he wrote in Bush Sr.

He publicly endorses Obama.

This guy is the perfect Democrat; the fact that he was a Republican and would represent bipartisanship, is just gravy.
He is the anti-Lieberman!

Also, just imagine the OBAMA/LINCOLN signs and stickers!

Posted by: trevor1273 | June 12, 2008 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Hagel a centrist? Good Lord NO! He is Rushannity-right on every issue but the war.

Abortion, Taxes, Judges-Alito and Robert, Healthcare, Patriot Act, Environment, etc; You name it, he is a Bush-leaguer

Chuck Hagel, might be good for SecDefense, but he would be an abysmal VP. Can you say Trojan Horse?

Posted by: trevor1273 | June 12, 2008 5:50 PM | Report abuse

I, for one, as a donor of time and $$ to Senator Clinton's campaign, will NOT be offended if Senator Obama picks Governor Kathleen Sebelius. She is competent, works well with Republicans, gets along well with Obama (she is a supporter).

I do NOT think that Senator Clinton should accept the VP nomination. Anything that goes wrong will then automatically be blamed on her or Bill Clinton. It is time for Obama to get the blame, or credit, for all of his campaign.

My second choice would be Evan Bayh. He was the two-term governor of Indiana before he became their junior senator, so he, like Sebelius, has the executive experience that Obama lacks. Before he bacame governor, he was secretary of state. He has been a staunch Clinton supporter. It would be a great thing for the Democratic party if Clinton applauded the choice of Bayh for VP.

Posted by: NMAIF | June 12, 2008 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Colin Powell would be a dreadful choice for VP because of his role in the Iraq war.

Posted by: Eric | June 12, 2008 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Be honest, would people be looking at a Kansas governor if she were not a woman?

In response to this sentiment, I'll point out that the last two presidents were the governors of Arkansas and Texas. It's an exception to the rule that we're looking at Senators this time around.

Posted by: rpy1 | June 12, 2008 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Many good comments here.

I understand the point of those who contend that to select a woman other than HRC would upset HRC partisans. I agree as well with the poster who felt that a woman as VP on the Democratic ticket might be tood much change for many voters.

I think that Obama needs to shore up his appeal to white, working class voters. Hence my support for a candidate like Ed Rendell or perhaps John Edwards or Ted Strickland. Rendell (PA) or Strickland (OH) would also help with key states.

As to the need for a Democratic insider with strong foreign policy experience: a good argument, and Richardson, Biden, Wes Clarke or Chuck Hagel would all be good choices. Hagel has centrist appeal, as a GOP Senator from the Midwest, but I believe that he said that he would not be a candidate in 2008.

I am a tremendous fan of Joe Biden, who I believe would make a superb president. My question is whether he would be better suited to Secretary of State (a position in which he is reportedly interested under the appropriate conditions) or whether the country is best served by his continuingin the Senate.

Posted by: ANetliner | June 12, 2008 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Why some HRC supporters campaign for her to be VP for BHO ?
An experienced HRC must report to an inexperienced BHO?
It's nonsense to me.
It's good for her and for the Country if she stays in the Senate to counter excessive decisions from either BHO and MC.
Remember that if BHO were elected as President and there were possibility that Democrats would control both House and Senate and then our Country would be in trouble.

Posted by: Zien106 | June 12, 2008 5:03 PM | Report abuse

"Andrew, for revealing the truth of the often-stated "I believe in the sanctity of life from conception to natural death.""

Actually, its from conception to birth. I don't see much evidence of the Christian right as a group really caring about people once they are born.

Posted by: DDAWD | June 12, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Searching for"qualifed" runningmates while the obvious one that got almost as many delegates and more popular votes,boggles my mind.Either put Sen.Clinton on the ticket or become an also ran.

Posted by: chaya08 | June 12, 2008 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Okay, so Sebelius has some obvious weaknesses, not the least of which is she can't deliver her home state. Why has no one tossed around Sen. Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas as a potential running mate? She's young, photogenic, popular and not overly liberal (which could help with the interior Midwest) and, most importantly, she could likely deliver Arkansas. So could Hillary (my first choice for VP), but choosing Lincoln, who was a Hillary supporter, could be a meaningful "olive branch" to Hillary's supporters.

And Lincoln has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?

Posted by: VP '08? | June 12, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

To Clinton supporters who refuse to support Obama (esp. the females) - I understand you are suffering the "agony of defeat", but I don't understand how you could refuse to support a candidate that shares the same political platform issues as Hillary.
To state it simply - a vote for John Mccain IS a vote to overturn ROE V WADE. I personally don't think abortion is a good method of family planning, but I'm also old enough to remember when desperate women died as the result of botched abortions and the need to seek backstreet abortions traumatized multiple generations of American women.
Take some time to mourn your candidate's loss, but think hard about whether you want to destroy a women's right to choice just to be a vindictive loser.

Posted by: balto_babs | June 12, 2008 4:21 PM | Report abuse

To Clinton supporters who refuse to support Obama (esp. the females) - I understand you are suffering the "agony of defeat", but I don't understand how you could refuse to support a candidate that shares the same political platform issues as Hillary.
To state it simply - a vote for John Mccain IS a vote to overturn ROE V WADE. I personally don't think abortion is a good method of family planning, but I'm also old enough to remember when desperate women died as the result of botched abortions and the need to seek backstreet abortions traumatized multiple generations of American women.
Take some time to mourn your candidate's loss, but think hard about whether you want to destroy a women's right to choice just to be a vindictive loser.

Posted by: balto_babs | June 12, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

To Clinton supporters who refuse to support Obama (esp. the females) - I understand you are suffering the "agony of defeat", but I don't understand how you could refuse to support a candidate that shares the same political platform issues as Hillary.
To state it simply - a vote for John Mccain IS a vote to overturn ROE V WADE. I personally don't think abortion is a good method of family planning, but I'm also old enough to remember when desperate women died as the result of botched abortions and the need to seek backstreet abortions traumatized multiple generations of American women.
Take some time to mourn your candidate's loss, but think hard about whether you want to destroy a women's right to choice just to be a vindictive loser.

Posted by: balto_babs | June 12, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

This canard about no one asking Kennedy, et al to drop out is false. Absolutely false. Clinton supporters make things like this up out of thin air.

Teddy was pressured to drop out. So was Jesse Jackson. So have many nomination candidates over time, when it's been seen as divisive to the Party. Huckabee got flack initially for staying in, which went away once it was clear he going to attack McCain or even campaign against McCain. He engaged in self-promotion

Do you people think that wanting candidates who are behind and seen as having no realistic chances, or who are, or thinking about, taking it the convention has NEVER happened before?

Join the real world.

Posted by: jackstpaul | June 12, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Obama does NOT need a military guy for VP!

You want to cover foreign policy / military experience? Here's the plan: like what Bill Richardson said on Larry King- that Obama should announce his intended foreign policy team early, SecState, Defense, FP Advisor. He could announce them now and have them start campaigning together as a team, which would also free up the issue so he is able to pick whoever he wants for VP. Imagine this line up touring the Country and the Sunday talk shows...

FP Advisor- Sam Nunn
SecState- Bill Richardson
SecDefense- Chuck Hagel
SecHomelandSecurity- Thad Allen
Veteran's Affairs- Tammy Duckworth'd be like the GlobeTrotters of foreign policy.
I think Richardson is a lock as SecState, but I'm sure somewhere a place could be found for a Clark, Murtha, Sestak, Zinni, etc... I intentionally excluded Biden and Webb as I think we really need them in the Senate.

Posted by: trevor1273 | June 12, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse
"She was first elected to the Kansas House of Representatives in 1986. In 1994 she left the House to run for state insurance commissioner and stunned political forecasters by winning " the first time a Democrat had won in more than 100 years. She is credited with bringing the agency out from under the influence of the insurance industry. She refused to take campaign contributions from insurers and blocked the proposed merger of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas, the state's largest health insurer, with an Indiana-based company. The decision by Sebelius marked the first time the corporation had been rebuffed in its acquisition attempts."

She was able to do what Hillary Clinton was not able to do; that is, she, Kathleen Sebelius, actualy beat the insurance companies and did not take their money.

Posted by: trevor1273 | June 12, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

VP needs to do more than just bring in votes; which she does anyway.

First and foremost they need to be able to get along and work with the President. Chemistry is important, look lack of it failed Gore/Lieberman and Kerry/Edwards. Those were "strategic" picks not smart picks. Obama is building a team, he needs someone he is comfortable with. Sebelius reflects Obama's same values, ethics, policies, and record. She has campaigned across the country for him since the very beginning of his campaign.

Second they should be able to help advise the President, foreign policy is not an issue on this because of the wealth of talent Obama can put at SecState, Defense, HLS, NS Adv. As a Senator he should have someone with actual Executive experience; Governing experience.

Finally I hate to say it but the VP can also be a sort of insurance policy. Personally I think they should be a little to the left of a Dem President. Someone who should give no incentive for a phsycopath, or partisan congress to want to try the 'next in line'. Personally I'd rather Obama picked Kucinich for this and other reasons, but alas.. Also along with the first point the Vice President needs to be trusted to carry on the same platform, ideals and torch of the President.

Posted by: trevor1273 | June 12, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Sebelius speech struck exactly the tone it needed to and reached those that it needed too- those still in the middle and wavering on the right.

What good would have been a full ranting assult? Sure it would have made us already on the left feel a little better and more sure of our positions. It would have been a vicarious release of our frustrations.

But it also would have once again put those that might consider voting Dem in November back on their heels. It would NOT have been inviting to people starved for reason who are finally looking to towards the Democratic Party with hope.

By not "attacking" Bush the man, she left nothing for her opponents(except those who have popped up on our own side) to attack her for personally. She most definetly when after his policies however, and left those as the only things to "fight". That is a fight we will win.

Besides, look at Obama v Clinton; the public is tired of the "fighting", it is counter productive. It is time to move on from that frame of mind and those kinds of politics.

And if any of you saw the scared and stunned look on Brit Hume's face you know she did exactly the job she needed to.

Posted by: trevor1273 | June 12, 2008 4:05 PM | Report abuse

NMAIF wrote: "I wish all the religious fanatic types, from the "pro-life" folks to the suicide bombers, would focus their political energy on improving our infrastructure, our schools, our health care system, etc, and focus their religious energy on worshipping [sic] God."

As opposed to all the political fanatic types cluttering up the comments boards at with their threats, pouting, and commandments to others about how we should lead our lives?

Posted by: Catawba | June 12, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse


You said "She was recently revealed to have hosted the notorious late-term abortionist Dr. Tiller in the governor's residence. She & Obama would make a perfect team in that regard. Unaccepatable for anyone who respects the sanctity of human life, however, and that's still nearly half of the electorate."

Well, that's nearly half the truth.

As I'm sure you know, or should know, Tiller was nothing more than the successful bidder at a fundraising auction for the Greater Kansas City Women's Political Caucus. Gov. Sebelius had contributed a reception at the governor's residence as a prize, without know ing who would be in attendance and certainly without knowing who would be the wining bidder.

As a Catholic Gov. Sebelius respects human life, but rejects the right of government to impose religious beliefs on others.

Fight the Smears.

Posted by: FlownOver | June 12, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Why Obama's Would-Be VP Won't Be

Until recently, for all Kansans knew, Kathleen Sebelius was the best thing to happen to the state since ethanol.

Their "moderate" Democrat governor--there are no liberals in Kansas--had taken major national wall space as a bonafide political pin-up.

And then--da noive!--Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas went and spoiled it all.

In May, Naumann publicly chastised the conspicuously Catholic governor for helping make Kansas "infamous for being the late-term abortion center for the Midwest."

Although this revelation came as news to most Kansans, Archbishop Naumann actually understated the problem. Incredible as it may seem, Kansas has emerged as the late-term abortion capital of the world.

In the past two years alone, women have come from 48 states and sundry points beyond to have late-term abortions in Kansas.

The state's most methodical executioner of this dubious art, Dr, George Tiller of Wichita, has accurately boasted on his website of having "more experience in late abortion services with fetuses over 24 weeks than anywhere else in the Western Hemisphere."

Planned Parenthood's clinic in Johnson County, a Kansas City suburb, cannot match Tiller's numbers, but that it contributes to the totals at all has come as a surprise to its supporters.

Local CEO Peter Brownlie has frequently claimed that Planned Parenthood did not perform any abortions past the 22nd week of pregnancy, the legal definition of "late-term," but recent revelations prove otherwise.

Why Kansas? As one insider told me, "It's cheaper to buy Kansas than California." Sebelius is just one of many Kansas politicians to have taken money directly from Tiller and his various PACs.

In 2002, Sebelius's run for governor called for more discretion. She was promoting herself, after all, as a faithful Catholic. "I am not pro-abortion," she swore in a mailer. "I will not, and never have, promoted abortion."

This likely accounts for the $100,000 mid-campaign donation by Tiller's clinic not to Sebelius directly, but to the Democratic Governor's Association, his first and only gift to that association.

That same year, however, intrepid pro-life Republican Republican Phill Kline was elected Kansas Attorney General, and he promptly began to investigate the abortion clinics' inexplicable prosperity.

What Kline found is that both Tiller and Planned Parenthood simply ignored the state's rigorous abortion laws. They were both aborting the viable babies of perfectly healthy mothers with little or no documentation as to why.

For more than two years Tiller and Planned Parenthood kept Kline's investigation at bay with the help of aggressive lawyers and a Sebelius-friendly judiciary. When Kline kept plugging, the abortion industry decided to get political.

In October 2005, after some serious backstage scheming by Sebelius, popular Johnson County District Attorney Paul Morrison, a moderate Republican, announced that he would switch parties to run against Kline in November 2006.

To help Morrison unseat Kline, Tiller spent $1.2 million through his various PACs and cut-outs. The war on Kline also enjoyed the full-throated support of the media, most notably The Kansas City Star, which won the 2006 "Maggie Award," Planned Parenthood's top national honor for editorial writing.

Morrison won the 2006 election handily. A month later, however, the largely conservative Republican precinct captains of Johnson County shocked the abortion cabal by choosing the now widely scorned Kline to fill the remaining two years of Morrison's term as district attorney.

Despite the crushing indictment of the media, Kline refused to roll over. Just before he left office as attorney general, he had managed to secure redacted patient files from both Tiller and Planned Parenthood.

Kline promptly filed 30 counts against Dr. George Tiller's Wichita clinic for performing illegal late-term abortions. Morrison promised to continue to investigate Tiller's practice "inside out, backwards and forwards, and under a neutron microscope," but his friends trusted he wouldn't.

In April 2007, while Tiller was still under investigation, Sebelius honored the good doctor and his staff at an elegant but extremely discreet soiree at Cedar Crest, the governor's Mansion. (The photos are priceless.)

Back in Johnson County meanwhile, new District Attorney Kline continued his investigation of Planned Parenthood's abortion clinic, Comprehensive Health. What he found was disturbing.

"It was visually obvious that some documents had been manufactured," Kline would later relate to the Supreme Court. Supervising Judge Richard Anderson would tell the same court, "Somebody may have committed a felony in an attempt to cover up a misdemeanor."

None of this seemed to faze Governor Sebelius. In May 2007, a month after her party for Tiller, she attended a gala Planned Parenthood fundraiser timed to celebrate her birthday.

At evening's end, according to the Planned Parenthood newsletter, "Hundreds of PPKM supporters were dancing in a conga line around the concert hall." Leading the "dancing pack" was Peter Brownlie, the local CEO whose abortion clinic was at the center of this deadly serious criminal investigation.

Later that same year, Sebelius suffered a more immediate embarrassment. After slapping Tiller's wrist and clearing Planned Parenthood of all charges, her hand-picked attorney general got caught carrying on a two-year affair with a subordinate.

Worse, the woman claimed that Morrison had used the affair to coerce her into securing sensitive information about Kline's investigation into Planned Parenthood.

Troubled by their state's descent into abortion anarchy, the Republican-dominated Kansas House and Senate passed the Comprehensive Abortion Reform (CARA) in spring 2008.

Ironically but predictably, just weeks after proclaiming April "Child Abuse Prevention Month," Governor Sebelius vetoed the CARA bill.

Her defense of the CARA veto--that it "endangers the lives of women"-- was one lie too many for Archbishop Naumann.

As Kline's investigation had made clear, after ten years of reporting and 5,000 late-term abortions, not one doctor in Kansas had ever cited "protecting the life of the mother" as the reason for the abortion.

To win in November, the radically pro-abortion Obama needs a good chunk of the Catholic vote. To secure it, he needs someone skilled at feigning Catholicism, and that, my friends, is no longer Kathleen Sebelius.

Posted by: Jack Cashill | June 12, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

to pick "another" woman over Hillary,would be so insulting. It would be as if Obama lost and Hillary just picked "another" black man.
I am voting for Obama though I am so upset Hillary didn't make it. BUT! if another woman was choosen by Obama,I would be so mad I'd stay home in Nov!

Posted by: Olga Reyna | June 12, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Obviously I have my own preference; independent of that, I must comment:

Clintonistas, please recognize the consequences of everybody parroting the same phrase to try to make the same point. If I see or hear "slap in the face" once more I may die of laughter. Don't be surprised if you see a "Daily Show" montage of dozens of you saying the same thing over and over.

This endless echo sounds more and more like the ludicrous repetition of "That's not the Scott McClellan I knew," the Bushie line we all heard so often recently - it's a talking point in search of a legitimate argument. Whatever you do, I'd suggest you refrain from perpetuating the image of Sen. Clinton's supporters employing Rove-style tactics.

Even on substance, this position is absurd. Reduced to its essentials, the argument goes like this: "We're furious that our choice lost the nomination, particularly due to sexism. So, in response, we'll oppose the choice of any other qualified woman for VP." In other words, "We'd accept a qualified candidate other than Hillary, but not if it's a woman."

Sorry to break it to you, but there's a common term for opposing a qualified individual on the basis of gender. Care to guess what it is?

Posted by: FlownOver | June 12, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Andrew wrote, "Unacceptable for anyone who respects the sanctity of human life, however, and that's still nearly half of the electorate."

Thank you SO much, Andrew, for revealing the truth of the often-stated "I believe in the sanctity of life from conception to natural death." It is not ALL of the life created by God that you worship, but only HUMAN life. When did God go on vacation and leave you arrogant religious fanatics to sit in judgement on creation?

Go re-read the passage in Luke 14:7-11, which ends with "For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased, and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted."

Go re-read the story of Noah. God told Noah to save ALL the living creatures, not just humans.

And as for Jeremiah 1:5, "Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee..." Scientific studies have shown that 60% of those fertilized eggs you think are sacred fail to implant or are spontaneously aborted so early the woman never knows she was pregnant (sorry, this is an old study done at Johns Hopkins, I don't have an online reference). God knows about that 60%, too.

And finally, take a look at Genesis 2:7, "And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." For me this is a strong religious justification for the argument that ensoulment begins at first breath.

I wish all the religious fanatic types, from the "pro-life" folks to the suicide bombers, would focus their political energy on improving our infrastructure, our schools, our health care system, etc, and focus their religious energy on worshipping God.

Which leads me to one more quote from the Bible, Matthew 22:21, "Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesars; and unto God the things which are God's."

[All quotes from the King James Version of the Bible]

Posted by: NMAIF | June 12, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

I notice my responses have been taken off now regardng Kathleen Sebelius unless there is a page two, but in response to Roosevelt, Reagan and Wilson's governor ship experience being less than Obama's 12 years a a mere state legislator out of a couple of hundred. Reagan was governor of a state whose budget represents one of the top 50 largets budgets in the world and is population wise larger than many countries in the world and in the early 1900 Wilson and Teddy Roosevelt both were governors of what were then two of the most populated states in the country. Furthermore, Teddy had been a rather successful military leader and Asst Secretary of the Navy prior to his VP selection. I might add that Wilson served as president of the college Michelle eventually attended; Princeton. In his role as governor among other things he did was to establish state primaries which eliminated the party bosses from solely determining presidential candidates (which would have pretty much eliminated Obama in the running at all if still in force, most likely), and initiated workmen's compensation. It was merely a continuation of wll he did to break down the elitist system that existed at Princeton when he was appointed president. Both Obamas owe a debt of gratitude for how his influence prior to becoming president affected them personally, if one looks at history.

Posted by: KansasGal | June 12, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

After much anticipation, her rebuttal to the state of the union put me to sleep. Contract that to Hillary's speechifying of late (she started out flat as well but really found her voice and stride in the last 3 months)+ her debate performances and for Obama to pick another woman other than hillary would be a slap to the face of all his sweeties out there.

Posted by: dp | June 12, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Senator Barack Obama is weak. He needs a strong Vice President. Experience matters.
Popular vote matters. Senator Obama needs Senator Hillary Clinton.

Posted by: mmarii | June 12, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

To prove my point about the value of names in Kansas, a woman by the name of Nancy Kassebaum jumped from the school board in a small community to Senator from Kansas in one very quick ascension. How did she make this kind of jump? Well, you might have heard how her father Alf Landon lost in a landslide for presidency against Roosevelt in 1936. So she wisely, 40 years later, sought the position of Kansas Senator by using her entire name at the time: Nancy Landon Kassebaum. She won two or three terms, but never would have won the first term under the name Nancy Kassebaum. She is now Nancy Kassebaum Baker, married to former senator Howard Baker. For a republican she was a relatively decent senator compared to our current two: Sam Brownback and Pat Roberts

Posted by: KansasGal | June 12, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

A point of correction regarding the article here. The writer sates that "vivid sense among that bloc of voters that Obama was mistreating Clinton in ways subtle and not-so-subtle." Implying that it was Obama who was perceived to have mistreated Clinton. In fact, most hard core Clinton supporters blame the bias in the media/press and not Obama personally.
This is a cop-out by someone in...of all places...the press. "Passing the buck" so to speak and washing your hands of the facts.
Second: Sebilius is a good candidate for VP but her USSOU speech was less than inspiring it's true.
She can not bring her own state to the mix and the Right will go after her on her ties to strident abortion groups in KS. Odd that The Fix did not bring that point dicey for The Fix? Worried to offend? Fact is, this is already being mentioned on FOX (of course).
But Sebilius is a strong pick for many many reasons and would galvanize many voters to the ticket. don't agree that Clinton voters would be offended if another woman is picked instead of HRC.

Posted by: AWG | June 12, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to second the suggestion for a similar look at Wesley Clark. Reading about his experience--both diplomatic and military--and hearing him speak, I don't understand why he isn't on the top of everyone's list.

Any chance for something here re: Clark?

Posted by: Julie from LA | June 12, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

No way - Sebelius, Richardson, and Kerry should be totally disregarded as VP candidates. For 3 very different reasons, they would be disastrous - the worst of all being Sebelius. What a slap in the face to the supporters of a woman who got more than twice the votes of Kerry in the 04 primary, more votes than in the total 04 primary, and was just about tied with Obama when the primary ended.

I think she's earned a spot as VP, and Obama has a chance to totally unify our party. Another woman would set off the Clinton supporters. It would be a civil war, and the Obama half would lose this time around.

Posted by: Brian | June 12, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

I'' make a superficial case. The case against her is that she is a Woman unknown to the world on the Nation right now.

She is also a respected Governor of a Red State, her own woman, would be a Moderate Republican in any other decade. Dad is former Governor of Ohio. Family respected in the Midwest. Is Kansas, midwest American woman. Is older and wise. And has used her political assets wisely. Give her a penis, and she'd be a future political star, say President in 8 years?

Posted by: DaddyArmyMan | June 12, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

KansasGal, I concede your point. The VP must be able to step into the Pres's shoes if the unthinkable were to occur. However, that argues for picking someone who is a well-rounded backup with compatible policy views, not a foreign policy specialist. The Cabinet is the place for your foreign policy expert, and for all the other people with expertise the Pres candidate is allegedly lacking .

Posted by: Night Listener | June 12, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

What is John McCain Foreign Policy record? As General Clarke pointed out McCain formulated no policy positions during his tenure as Senator, before September , 2001. Just because you are in the Senate for over 20 years means you have foreign policy and National security experience? Wrong. I went to Prague and Berlin and people knew Obama more than they knew McCain. What is his record. Experience is relative, not inherent due to age and time. Think about the word "Policy" in Foreign Policy.

Posted by: DaddyArmyMan | June 12, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Last week McCain was up by 20 points in Kansas, according to the Wichita Eagle newspaper.

Posted by: KansasGal | June 12, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

In reference to Sebelius' lackluster speech, I seem to recall a heavily panned speech at the 1988 Democratic Convention by some governor from Arkansas. It didn't seem to hurt that guy's chances for higher office later on.

Posted by: mark in germany | June 12, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Obama2008 | June 12, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Night Listnener must be quite young not to ralize just how relevent VP's are: LBJ and Gerald Ford come to mind immediately and the very fact that we may be electing a very pro choice Afro-American in this country filled with folks who have no qualms shooting abortion doctors and many very racist neo nazi types who have even inflitrated our armed forces would be enough to scare me about his welfare. For heaven's sake, even WashPo had an article recently about how the black members of the Secret Service have had to sue because of harassment from other Secret Service folks. You folks who think the Clinton VP possibility would be the only way harm would come to him are just Clinton haters, no matter what. Actually she might be the reason some would not do harm, but when I hear black women commentators on television say things like "if he picks ehr he will need food tasters" like I did last night I recognize the paranoia is pretty high. He has had SS protection for a long time so clearly there are others in the world who have made substantial threats. Never before has a candidate gotten SS support that early in a campaign placed long before he was considered the front runner, so to focus on Clintons is an insult to the intelligence of more reasonable people.

Posted by: KansasGal | June 12, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

i thought about this for a while but the first thing I would have to know is that she could bring Kansas if not then the discussion
is mute. The fact is the Conventions are so
late in the cycle that after the Republican convention there will be less than 60 days till the election and nobody knows about her.

If it it is going to be a woman then it must be Hillary as much as that hurts. The other disparaging comments against a women you don't know is pathetic.

Posted by: Michael Templer | June 12, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

It is not possible in this country to win a presidential election when candidates have odd names like Obama and Sebelius. The thought of "vote Obama/Sebelius" on bumper stickers is a big loser from the start. Compare that to McCain/Romney, two anglo names.

That said, if Obama is worried about offending women by not selecting one as a running mate, then I think he should select a transvestite. That should please everyone in the democratic party.

Posted by: Pixie | June 12, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Is 20 years being consistently wrong about every national security issue that's faced this nation anything to brag about?

John McCain: Experience we can do without.

Posted by: Just sayin' | June 12, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to see the Fix do this on Wesley Clark and Bill Richardson.

They have the international and military credentials, and either would make a fine VP.

Posted by: Captain John | June 12, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

It is 3 AM in the morning. Phone just rang from the White House. VP Kathleen Sebelius could not decide what color hair she wants that morning.

What a joke!

Obama is Bush-Lite! Sebelius is what color hair to wear that morning?

McCain is still going back to complete his economics 101 class.

I see Dow Jones dropping 4,000 points in six months. Price of gasoline is going up to $8.00 per gallon. Miles and miles of foreclosed homes accross the country. America is doomed!

Posted by: Pat | June 12, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

To say, as someone above did, that Sebelius made her way solely on her own is to a Kansan, a ridiculous comment. Had Kathleen run for office using only her maiden name, her run in the first place would have been much harder. Apparently no one on the blog realizes her father-in-law, hence the Sebelius name, was a beloved Republican state legislator in a very republican state (known for balancing out the right wing legislature with democratic governors in 29 out of the last 50 years) and then U.S. Representative. She has done a good job in the positions she has served in our state and I have voted for her for her state wide positions every time initially on name recognition alone, but her first role was as legislator from the same district where her father-in-law served, where there are lakes and edifices carrying the Sebelius name and all the rest. My memory from years ago is that Keith Sebelius headed the State Republican party and even though Kathleen was of the opposite party, people in Kansas go with names they trust {(two Dockings (D) were governors and the wife of a third,Jill Docking, married to Tom Docking,and a Jewish woman from NY in a gentile state) almost beat Republican Sam Brownback in his first senate run and could the next time if she choses to run)} Anyone over 40 or so knows the Sebelius family name and knew Sebelius's son and naturally would give her her first start in politics. She is a good governor, but she and Obama would be a novice couple for the most important jobs in the world. And contrary to most supporters views, I am well aware Obama has a very thin national, international and armed forces resume and so does Sebelius. At least Hillary served on some of the most relevant committees for taking over the reigns of government next year had she gotten the nomination. Going overseas to try and get businesses to come to Kansas or to get countries to accept our beef and wheat might have been fine in a time of peace, but for VEEP? I don't think so! I would vote for Sebelius in a second for Senator, but I would have to think long and hard if Obama does not select someone far more competent for helping him as vice president. If he chooses Kathleen, the message to me will be he wants someone that is no threat to his ego and a total lack of recognition of how much he really needs to learn very fast. He will definitely have failed his first true, valid exercise of judgment! (Sorry, folks, a speech about what he thought of the Iraq resolution followed by consistent votes for everything related to it once in is not enough)

Posted by: KansasGal | June 12, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

"that's still nearly half of the electorate."


Posted by: Spectator2 | June 12, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Realistically, do people think that Obama should pick a foreign policy expert as VP, and then give him/her the foreign policy portfolio for the administration? Isn't that what the Secretary of State is for? The job of the VP is to campaign well and help get the ticket elected. We shouldn't expect or want a president who is an expert in everything, or whose weaknesses can be supplied by a single co-executive, but one who will name and preside over a vigorous, diverse, and intelligent cabinet. The VP is nearly irrelevant to that, and will practically disappear after January 20, 2009.

Posted by: Night Listener | June 12, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

If Obama picks Hillary as VP, he is done. He'll never finish his first term. Let's hope he picks someone good.

Posted by: Jim | June 12, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Win: In every one of those cases you site, we LOST. You can add Regan-Ford as well. In recent history, every single time a primary race has gone to the convention, that party has LOST.

Clinton faced sexism from the media in this campaign. There is no question of that. But pointing out that the only way she could win was by tearing the party apart with a Denver-based strategy is not sexist, it is being realistic. Democrats have actually learned something from all those loses - rule number 1 - do not let the primary go to the convention.

Posted by: nimon | June 12, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

As expected the Hillary camp and their shills will attack everyone on the short list one by one. First Webb, Now Sebelius.

You are not fooling anyone.

BTW Hillary can not pass the vetting process to become VP. Bill will not submit to such scrutany

Posted by: Cyril | June 12, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Just a thought... why not Obama/Kucinich? It would almost be a perfect match... Kucinich is from Ohio, a big swing state. Kucinich and Obama are both on the ulta-liberal wing of the Democratic party. Kucinich is white (for those who need racial balance). Both should be comfortable with each other since their main issue is really Iraq, so the ticket would be consistent with the theme. Also, Kucinich has been in congress for a while, I don't think he is considered an insider.

Posted by: CP Cook | June 12, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Early in the campaign, I thought that Sibelius would be a good two-fer. She's the governor of Kansas and the daughter of a former governor of Ohio. Then I realized that relying on the shoulders of a "man" to get to the top was one reason many self-made women resented Hillary.

More importantly, i recognized the simple math--if Obama were to be successful, and stay in office for 8 years, Sibelius would be 68. Thus, she would have the same 'too old' issues of McCain who seemed far more promising in 2000 than he does now.

Thus, if Obama does choose a woman other than Hillary, he needs to pick one who is in her late 40s or early 50s. This serves two functions: A.) She would still be young enough to run for the presidency and break the final glass ceiling. B.) Like Obama, she would be post Title IX which opened the doors to women competing in high school and collegiate sports, and she would be post the opening of the Ivy League doors to women. Thus, she would be from the "whatever" generation that hasn't felt the explicit oppression of women and African Americans.

Posted by: Richard O. from Ohio | June 12, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Just a thought... why not Obama/Kucinich? It would almost be a perfect match... Kucinich is from Ohio, a big swing state. Kucinich and Obama are both on the ulta-liberal wing of the Democratic party. Kucinich is white (for those who need racial balance). Both should be comfortable with each other since their main issue is really Iraq, so the ticket would be consistent with the theme. Also, Kucinich has been in congress for a while, I don't think he is considered an insider.

Posted by: CP Cook | June 12, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Just a thought... why not Obama/Kucinich? It would almost be a perfect match... Kucinich is from Ohio, a big swing state. Kucinich and Obama are both on the ulta-liberal wing of the Democratic party. Kucinich is white (for those who need racial balance). Both should be comfortable with each other since their main issue is really Iraq, so the ticket would be consistent with the theme. Also, Kucinich has been in congress for a while, I don't think he is considered an insider.

Posted by: CP Cook | June 12, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

been a long-time politico, and every Prez cycle I get lots of people asking me about individual names. What I tell people early is that inevitably it will be a dark horse, a name outside the beltway discussion. Why, because people have thought about Biden, Dodd or a Kuccinich, and rolling around the latest name brings about a freshness to the process.

Anyway, Bush went through all this as a way to keep his campaign in the news cycle, when it was Cheney from the beginning. His name was not floated, it was announced. In much the same way, this strategy will be employed by the Dems, as they use the veep nomination as a support sweep.

That said, the veep will be someone not mentioned in the namestakes but will trump them all.

for my money the dark horse number 1, is Patrick Leahy. Senator Leahy fought the repugs and has an arsenal of tactics and issues to rat-tat-tat the repugs into the defensive all the way to November, from the constitution to the illegal war. This is a solid game plan for the Democrats, as the repugs run against a tanned white guy.

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | June 12, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

As crazy as it seems, I'd like to see him tap Colin Powell as his VP. Think about it, as a Republican he could draw votes that McCain takes for granted, and pull votes from democrats, independents and those sitting on the fence. As a former Secretary of State, he certainly has foreign policy experience, and he's a person of character and integrity. He's highly respected, here and abroad. Can't say he doesn't know how to handle the war crisis being a former general and running a successful war operation.

Posted by: daved | June 12, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

I personally don't want to see Hillary Clinton as the vice presidential candidate. I supported her, voted for her, and felt every sexist hit she took. My point is that if Obama chooses another woman, thinking he can assuage our anger, he is missing the point. Hillary Clinton deserves respect and deference for all she has accomplished and endured in this campaign. No one has ever racked up so many votes to come in number 2.

In 1980, Ted Kennedy had about 1200 delegates; no one said, "Ted, go home." In 1984, Gary Hart had about 1200 delegates and Jesse Jackson just under 500; no one said, "Gary and Jesse, go home." In 1988, Jesse Jackson had about 1200 delegates, and while Dukakis wanted him to go home, no one said it. Can you imagine the outcry!

Yet the media and the Democratic leadership tried to shuffle Hillary Clinton offstage without allowing her (and her many supporters) to savor her accomplishments and to mourn a bit; it was an insult to us all. If Obama doesn't get that, he's toast.

Posted by: win | June 12, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

What is relatively thin about Obama's resume?

Posted by: TK | June 12, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Sebelius is one of the most stridently pro-abortion politicians in the nation. She was recently revealed to have hosted the notorious late-term abortionist Dr. Tiller in the governor's residence. She & Obama would make a perfect team in that regard. Unaccepatable for anyone who respects the sanctity of human life, however, and that's still nearly half of the electorate.

Posted by: andrew | June 12, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Here is the description of the board game created by John Sebelius, the Governor' son. It is sold online but the business has the Governor's Mansion as its address.

Don't Drop the Soapâ„¢ * * * $34.99 * * *

Fight your way through 6 different exciting locations in hopes of being granted parole. Escape prison riots in The Yard, slip glass into a mob boss' lasagna in the Cafeteria, steal painkillers from the nurse's desk in the Infirmary, avoid being cornered by the Aryans in the Shower Room, fight off Latin Kings in Gang War, and try not to smoke your entire stash in The Hole.

The artistry of each handcrafted piece is matched with comparable humor & intelligence on every card. Stack your smokes, sharpen your shank, and get ready for an experience that only someone on the outside could appreciate.

Game Includes:
* 19" x 19" Don't Drop The Soapâ„¢ Gameboard
* 5 Collectible Criminal Tokens
* 7 Decks of Prison Location Cards
* 7 Snap-On Location Icons
* Soap Dish Parole Card Holder
* Deck of Parole Cards
* Stack of Play Cigarettes
* Pair of Dice
* Book of Instructions

The site has the politically correct disclaimer, or warning, that it is NOT SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN.

Ya think!

How about not suitable for people with taste. Not suitable for people with compassion; not suitable for people concerned with the deplorable conditions in many of our prison and who think making light of it while making money from it is disgusting; not suitable for a political party that used to try to "change" such injustices- not make fun of or money from from such situations.

Well, this is the "NEW" Democratic Party. It has already thrown under the bus its four decade old heritage of fighting for expanding the franchise. Maybe the "NEW" Democratic Party is reverting to its older tradition, the one that preceded this now dishonored franchise expanding one. Maybe they long for the days, nearly a century of them, that had the Party dominated by the Dixiecrats- the Party that did more to keep Jim Crow going than any other.

This game fits right in with this "NEW" Democratic Party. Certainly the Democratic Governors Association must approve of it. This association is listed as one of the business's clients.

Posted by: jmcauli1 | June 12, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

With all this talk about doing away with affirmative action, I don't think that it is right to talk about choosing a female because she is a female.

Qualification is important and I think that the committee incharge of recommending a veep should only look at qualification.

I don't think that HRC is a good veep choice because of her husband and his baggage. She will be a big distraction if chosen as a veep and we don't need that.

Posted by: carol g | June 12, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Sibelius' positives are three in number. 1) She's a woman. 2) She's good looking. 3) She's rich.

Posted by: geno | June 12, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Totally agree.

She's a hottie, but can't help him.

He needs (as per Peggy Noonan) a boring
old white guy with STRONG National Security
chops, to offset his lack of same.

Joe Biden, Wes Clark, Sam Nunn, Jim Webb,
maybe even Bill Richardson.

Balance, balance, balance...

Posted by: JIM WHITTAKER, Hemet, CA | June 12, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Chuck Hagel. Like Obama, a moderate, and one that would go a long ways towards ending the attempt by the righties to paint Obama as ultra-liberal.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | June 12, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Catholics are the swing vote that decide who is elected. Sibelius is a bad Catholic being asked by her Bishop not to take Communion. She will turn off Catholics and have Catholic parishes praying in October for a pro-life President as happened in 2000 and 2004. Kerry, a Catholic altar boy, lost the Catholic vote to Bush II in 2004 as Kerry was a bad Catholic abortionist.

Posted by: mascmen7 | June 12, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Initially, I thought that an Obama-Hillary ticket would be a formidable team. But after a bruising primary campaign, I think there are too many hurtful things that have been said. I am also concerned about the role of Bill in this menage a trois. There are many good VP contenders, male or female, with good credentials.

Posted by: Michel | June 12, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

I like Selebiuos but she is the Governor of a small state that probably won't flip. If she were Governor of say Ohio then, she would have to merit very strong consideration.

Despite all the lingering animosity on theses boards, Obama is polling qite well with women. He needs someone with foreign policy cred to be his defacto pit bull against McCain and his so called foreign policy expertise.

Posted by: swalker3 | June 12, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Wesley Clarke!!! Jim Webb can't tout the military credentials of the former commander of NATO. Even John McCain's leadership on foreign policy is less extensive than Clarke. Obama would win the support of many independents with this choice.

Or maybe Hagel.

Posted by: Jim | June 12, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

"'20 years, I've been involved in every national security issue that's faced this nation," McCain said on any number of occasions during his successful primary campaign. "And I have the judgment to handle it, and I've proven it.'"
If you like McCain's judgment on national security, most importwantly his support for starting and continuing the Iraq adventure, you'll vote for him whoever Obama has as VP.
Otherwise, the experieence that Obama has LIVING overseas trumps McCain's record in VOTING about foreign issues. And Sibelius's foreign -policy experience doesn't matter.

Posted by: Frank Palmer | June 12, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

To the women who will accept no other female VP than Hillary: Are you not making a mockery of your cause? Did you all not help to make those 18 million cracks in the glass ceiling? If only Hillary is allowed to crack through, just what kind of movement is this? Does womankind benefit, or just one particular woman? To define only one woman as being an acceptable VP, aren't you converting your movement into a personality cult? Aren't you putting yourselves in a cage, and giving Hillary the only key? Is that what it means to be part of the women's movement today?

Take some time to get over your disappointment in the recent campaign, but please think about the consequences of your cause. Roe v. Wade hangs in the balance.

Posted by: Optimyst | June 12, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

A lot of you seem to be forgetting, it's not just about who complements Obama's attributes, but about who can step into the Presidential Shoes if something should happen to him.

Posted by: Sue | June 12, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

The speech she gave in response to the state of the union was awful. I don't like Bush, but I watched it anyway. When she came on, it was so bad, I turned the tv off. Obama should pick someone who is interesting and has foreign policy experience. It also should not be Bill Richardson. Richardson is not a good speaker and there were all sorts of problems when he was Energy Secretary.

Posted by: George | June 12, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

i appreciate the idea that some of you have that sen obama doesn't need anyone with foreign policy experience because he can just demonstrate that he has the right answers and mccain is wrong. but while that is an easy argument to make in a democratic primary, it is much harder to make in a general election.

the tradition for winning presidential tickets to have a charismatic outsider on the top of the ticket and a relatively dull washington insider with foreign policy experience as vp goes back to 1976 at least: Carter/Mondale, Reagan/Bush, Clinton/Gore, and Bush/Cheney all followed this formula with considerable electoral success.

one could even argue that dole/kemp, kerry/edwards, and now mccain/? suffered and will suffer because the ticket was upside down.

i don't know why americans like this pattern or if it's right, but it sure seems to be the thing they are comfortable with. so as much as i like sebelius and some of the other names, i think it has to be clark, biden, richardson or webb.

Posted by: st paul sage | June 12, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Even though I voted for Hillary, I don't understand the whole thing about not daring to have another woman for VP. So, if it isn't Hillary, no women can do anything? I don't get it. I read the case FOR Sebelius yesterday and as far as I'm concerned it outdoes the case against her. She has a strong record for making touch domestic policy decisions and standing up for the people -- just what we need, someone to take on the health care corporations instead of take money from them. I trust Obama's foreign policy judgment to make up for any that Sebelius might be lacking -- he was practically prophetic about the war.

Posted by: KD | June 12, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse

"It's no secret that by the end of her presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton had transformed herself into a voice for women around the country"

Umm... I know quite a few women who would vehemently disagree with this.

Posted by: Dave | June 12, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Let's not have a token female on the ticket, like Geraldine Ferraro was. Let's pick the best possible person. My bet is that Bill Richardson will get the nod.

Posted by: wertyuio | June 12, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

If this has been stated above, I hope it will give emphasis to the point. McCain may have been involved in foreign policy matters for a longer time, but on some very significant matters he has be egregeously wrong. Why does lenth of time matter more than quality of judgment?

Posted by: Alben | June 12, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

She reminds me of John Kerry--more negative charisma. Anyway, the dems are determined to lose.

Posted by: sam | June 12, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

"I think if Obama chooses ANY female besides Hillary Clinton as his running mate, there will be a backlash like no one has yet dreamed of since no one else who he could choose has the qualifications or the electability that she does! I'm sure at least 18 million people and perhaps more would see that as a real kick in the face!!!"

Again, do you think that Obama is running for president, or running to kick Hillary in the teeth?

Listen, if you don't like Obama, you can hold your nose and vote for him anyways, or choose one of the other options. If you are picking one of the other options out of a misplaced sense of loyalty to a candidate who doesn't give a crap about you (and that would be Hillary), then be prepared to live with your decision.

Hillary Clinton was a poor choice for the Democratic presidential nomination, she is a poor choice for VP, she will be a poor choice for Senate Majority Leader. Get over it.

Posted by: bondjedi | June 12, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Sebelius WHO? | June 12, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Sebelius WHO? | June 12, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Chris on this one, as I oftentimes do. She would be a particularly bad choice for the VP both in terms of the election and in terms of actually governing. Something tells me Obama's too smart to make a choice like this.

Posted by: James P. Coleman III | June 12, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

I think if Obama chooses ANY female besides Hillary Clinton as his running mate, there will be a backlash like no one has yet dreamed of since no one else who he could choose has the qualifications or the electability that she does! I'm sure at least 18 million people and perhaps more would see that as a real kick in the face!!! I, for one, wouldn't be at all happy about it.

Posted by: Sue | June 12, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Sebelius should have run for President, not VP. But I guess her chance was ruined by the Clintons who had the inside track.

Posted by: bodo | June 12, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

I don't think experience is going to be deciding factor as it pertains to defense. It's more a choice between continuing the war in Iraq and expanding it to Iran, or bringing our troops home and and using nonmilitary tactics with Iran. The American people have already decided with foreign policy they prefer, so even though McCain may trump Obama when it comes to experience, the voters see his policies as undesirable.

Sebelius will improve her ability to communicate to a national audience, and Obama's 50 state plan is a long term strategy, so if not Kansas this year, perhaps in 2012.

She appears to be compatible with Obama's vision of government which would make her a solid candidate for grooming for 2016.

I still think she's an outstanding choice.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 12, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

I keep trying to get someone to pay attention to vetting Ms. Sebelius. Her son has published a game called "Don't drop the Soap" about prison life - very tasteless and not the sort of family image Obama wants to project.

Google "Don't drop the Soap"

Posted by: Susan | June 12, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Wesley Clark is a far superior choice to Sebelius,

If the VPs a woman, it would have to be Hillary (though she's not the best choice). But her finances will never be vetted (can Obama have a VP whose husband is a paid lobbyist for a foreign government? No.)

Clark--a four-star general who criticized Bush's war from the beginning and believes in diplomacy first--is a better fit for the tickeet than Clinton, better than Sebelius, better than Biden, Webb, Hagel, Edwards or Richardson.

In fact, Obama/Clark would be McCain's worst nightmare. I love it.

Posted by: Julie from LA | June 12, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

I used to be a big fan of Sebelius's, but in a recent dust-up between Kansas University, the University of Kansas Hospital and big money Republican donors (including Bush Pioneers), Sebelius climbed into bed with the Republicans, allowed Trustees of the Board of the Hospital to violate their ficuciary responsibilities, and generally pandered to the old-boy money interest in the Kansas City area.

It was not her finest hour, and she is not ready for prime-time.

Posted by: bobdevo | June 12, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

part 2

if we need a woman on the ticket, why not Scarlett j, Oprah, Haley, Beyonce, they have more foreign experiemce amd travel !

Posted by: philosopherkingtomas | June 12, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Cilizza again shows his anti-Obamaism.
Hillary used her "nepotistic" advantage to get to where she did. Would any one have taken her seriously if she were not married to a President? Of course not! Sebelius is SELF-MADE and not dependent on a husband's achievement
Get real Cilizza

Posted by: qualquan | June 12, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

i cant forgive the horrible speech she gave, she is mediocre and thats it, it would be an INSULT to Hillary's followers to pick a token replacement, we need Richardson, Bloomberg, Edwards, not a local yokel governor.

Posted by: philosopherkingtomas | June 12, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Looking at the WSJ/NBC polls results by demographics, it's clear that Obama needs a white male running mate to win a bigger share of the white male vote. He's got the women and Hispanics. He needs someone to bring around white working class men. That is not Hillary nor Sebelius (though I really do like her).

Posted by: Anonymous | June 12, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Sebelius is a great choice. She is a well-respected governor and has lots of experience. This is the type of woman for the whitehouse, not Hillary. I find it easy to accept Sebelius as Obama's VP and hope she is chosen. To the Hillary supporters who keep asking "If not Hillary, who?", the answer is clearly Kathleen Sebelius for VP.

Posted by: Jimbo | June 12, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

"Obama was able to beat back the 'experience' argument in the Democratic primary race by arguing that he had plenty of life experience"

I believe this is incorrect. Obama was finally successful in beating back the experience argument when he pointed out that Hillary Clinton didn't have any experience either. That argument probably won't work against McCain.

So maybe in the general Obama should just point out that his ideas are much better?

Posted by: Dave | June 12, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Govenor Sebilius would add little to the Obama ticket. Kansas doesn't bring in enough electoral votes with her, and it is highly doubtful this red state would vote Democratic anyway. If Obama is set on a female VP, he should chose one from a major swing state like Pennsylvania, Ohio, etc. If he wants military experience, he could go with LTG(Ret) Claudia Kennedy. She was a gawdawful Military Intelligence officer, but she is a liberal. Two questionable factors with Kennedy are that she is close pals with Hillary and there is a long-standing rumor that she is a lesbian. (No, I'm not saying she and Hillary are in cahoots so to speak.)

Posted by: KG- from Kansas | June 12, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

I still think Tim Kaine is a better pick for Obama than Sebelius. He brings many of the same attributes (executive experience, change agent, a successful Dem. Gov. of a traditionally Republican state) plus extra leverage to tip the scales in a battleground state that hasn't voted for a Democrat in around 40 years. Kaine could assist Obama in picking up other nearby/neighboring battleground states (i.e. NC, SC and WV). I don't see what states Sebelius brings, Obama won't win Kansas. Other than women what advantage does Sebelius have and from the reaction of Clinton supporters it might hurt more than help.

Posted by: JNoel002 | June 12, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

She has an extremely good reputation a person able to successfully cut spending.She should be considered. However , I am seriously looking at Joe Biden at this time and I am ever more enthusiastic about him as V{.

Posted by: majorteddy | June 12, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

It's not that taking Sebelius would be a slap at Hillary, it's that taking her would look like condecention to women. Look, I'm taking a woman because she's a woman.
Posted by: fulrich | June 12, 2008 10:24 AM

Don't look now, but Sebelius is far more qualified than Hillary. Sebelius earned her own way in hostile territory, Clinton rode her husband's coattails everywhere she's gotten. Hillary's never won anything against a serious opponent. She blew over $20 million in 2006 running for reelection against a candidate whose name you'd have to learn to call her a token.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 12, 2008 11:18 AM | Report abuse


I haven't heard this name mentioned as a possibility for the VP spot, but General Casey seems like a good fit to me. He would bring foreign policy and on-the-ground-in-Iraq experience to the ticket.

Plus a man in a general's uniform instantaneously brings leadership ethos into the picture.

Curious as to your thoughts on an Obama/Casey ticket.


DC Tarheel.

Posted by: DC Tarheel | June 12, 2008 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Foreign policy ! Not even the writer can not explain what foreign policy really is . We live in a world of people and we communicate with each other every day . If the president needs a good talker he hires a good talker as Sec of State . We need a president that will raise his/her hand and promise to obey and enforce the laws made by the representatives of the people . A good VP believes in the policies of the Pres and is a team player and will continue with them if the need arises . An astute political analyst understands this is the most important requisite in selecting a VP . Foreign policy talk is nothing more than a wedge issue conjured up by the media .

Posted by: unionave | June 12, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Joe Biden is the only sane choice

It is not even close. As Ed Rendell and 37 other Senators said. It would be a perfectly balanced ticket.

Obama/Biden '08

Posted by: bigfro | June 12, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Kathleen Sebelius..who??? Where did she come from? What has she done? Why should we consider her an asset? Is she one more person we must get to know? Has she been vetted? Is she one more person who is not ready for the job ala Senator Obama. What makes her the best person to be #2 in line for the presidency? This is getting tiresome.

In their zeal to play the odds...they are considering a woman...but only a white woman. Talk about pandering!!! If they really believe that race is not an issue then why aren't they considering an African American running mate?

The Democratic Party does not deserve the vote of women.

Posted by: Louise | June 12, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

One of the main dangers of Sebelius is that she is an attender and participant in the secretive and elite Bilderberger meetings.

Posted by: Luke | June 12, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

KS has experience dealing as the administrative head of state with a natural disaster in a way much more coherent than the Bushies did given repeated opportunities. When Bush toured her state after it was hit with several major tornadoes, she hammered him repeatedly about the stupidity of taking the *National Guard* to Iraq instead of having them here to do the work they've signed up and trained for.

Yes, McSame has more experience in DC with being on committees and making guarded by helicopters-filled-with-protective-snippers foreign trips. Did he actually *make* policy on those committees? Was he a full part of the process? Or did he "parachute" in on the last day of decisions and expect to be the "decider" instead of being part of the weeks and weeks (or longer) of process in those decisions? Did he even bother to show up to vote in those committees consistently? Being a military grunt who takes orders and then a follow-the-leader Repub minion on 95% of national security issues in the Senate makes one neither qualified to be Commander in Chief *nor* a "maverick".

Posted by: DragonMama | June 12, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

I think Obama should really consider Sebelius as a running mate. They are compatible and it seems that they similar outlook on the role of government. In terms of taxes, Obama and Sebelius seem to be compatible. Obama would raise taxes, while Sebelius is for an interventionist government. In short, both are for bigger (usually more wasteful) government. I want a more efficient government. Chances are, this is a smaller one, with less bureaucracy.

I think don't think it would be wise for Obama nor Hillary to be on the same ticket. Of course, in terms of attracting attention, an Obama-Hillary (or in a better world, Hillary-Obama) would have the star power. Having said that, Hillary will overshadow Obama in terms of qualifications, and not that many Clinton supporters (at least I hope not) would support Obama. For Hillary, it doesn't make sense to play second fiddle to somebody who probably will not win anyway.

Having said that, I hope that McCain wins in November. He seems to have a more consistent plan of government, not that we have to agree with everything in the plan given the wider Demoocratic majorities in Congress.

Posted by: CP Cook | June 12, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

People should be aware of the fact her father was Governor of Ohio so she might be of value there ALTHOUGH, at the end of the day she is the wrong pick. If B.O. wants a woman, it is hard to get past HRC.

The process is going to be interesting espeically after making his first major gaffe with Jim Johnson.

Posted by: mitch kaplan | June 12, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

What foreign experience does John McCain actually have? In all due respect to his service and as a veteren being a POW does does not qualify him as having foreign policy experince. It's like saying Clinton had experience because she was first lady. Let's get real here.

Posted by: Ryan | June 12, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

To snub Clinton in favor of another woman -- Sebelius -- would be a slight that many women might not be able to reconcile themselves to."
He should pick the best person for the job, man or woman. I would argue Clinton would be a terrible choice, as the Clintons would not be team players and support the President's agenda as a Vice President should, but would cause more drama. In addition, she never apologized to Obama for the JFK remarks, which she should have done.

There are many women sick of the Clintons too. Women like me, who would rather see honorable women in the public eye.

Bondjedi, I always enjoy your remarks.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 12, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

I strongly believe that Gov. Sebelius, with more exposure and opportunity to speak to the American people will get better with connection. I can't say the same for McCain.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 12, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

So what constitutes this thinness of his resume that everyone keeps talking about

as someone else pointed out

Ronald Reagan, who served as the President of the United States from 1981-1989, had only eight years of government experience - three fewer than Obama - on his "resume."

Similarly, 20th century Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson won the presidency despite having thinner resumes than Obama (Wilson, for example, served a single two-year term as the Governor of New Jersey prior to becoming President).

This is a common myth perpetuated by the right and reinforced by Senator Clinton who had less elected and legislative experience than Obama. Additionally, both Bush and Bill Clinton had less foreign policy experience than Senator Obama.

And of course, as well as Senator Obama's 8 years in the State Senate of Illinois and 3 years in Congress, a total of 11 years in elected office, he has something that is probably more important and more relevant to becoming President than any one of the candidates who vied for the Presidency this year, and that is his years spent teaching constitutional law.

Since George Bush has repeatedly wiped his boots on the constitution, I can't think of a better qualification than Senator Obama's experience as a constitutional Law Professor for the University of Chicago and his his civil rights experience as a lawyer.

Our constitution is in dire need of someone as President who respects it, and understands it from a legal standpoint.

Posted by: bhrandon | June 12, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

The punditry talks a lot about how BHO needs to pick a VP to match up foreign policy credentials with McC. I understand why all the lemmings like to parrot this line of thinking, but I don't see how it needs to be an essential factor in BHO's VP choice. It's not the VP that makes the final decisions (unless you cede that authority to him a la GWB). He/she will only be one voice (albeit an important one) in the chorus of advisors helping the POTUS make decisions.

In 1992, the Governor of AR didn't choose his running mate in a futile attempt to match the overwhelming foreign policy/national security experience of the incumbent POTUS. He chose another Southern centrist that he thought he could work with in the Senator from TN. And history shows that he did just fine in that election.

Why fight the battle on the opponents' terms? Why not choose someone with fresh ideas and really go after McC having the "wrong" type of experience, "wrong" way of thinking about foreign policy and national security?

Posted by: mnteng | June 12, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

It seems that Hillary's supporters dislike Barack. But they think he should pick her as his VP. I'm not sure I agree with this. If they can't back him now I would be very skeptical about picking her as his VP. Peace.

Posted by: Jey | June 12, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

The only reason this issue is important is electability. VPs don't have to be versed in foreign policy as there is the Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, National Security Advisors, CIA Director and others of whom I am sure will be chosen for their foreign policy strengths. The issue of electability is valid but does Gov. Sebelius cause Obama's electability to increase because of the female vote. Women are ready to have a woman in the White House. They are hungry for a victory for women. Her pull for the female vote certainly makes Obama more electable not less.

Posted by: 1rap | June 12, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

It strikes me that selection of a VP is primarily about the Presidential nominee and secondarily about the VP candidate him/herself(except, of course, with Sen. Clinton, a larger-than-life figure by all accounts, pro and cond). So, if my hypothesis is true, what would any of these selections say about Sen Obama--who he is as a man, as a future president? What does is say about his priorities, his sense of himself and his strenths and weakness, his judgment? It strikes me that if we frame this conversation about Sen Obama, it offers a more resolute lense through which to view the process and make a fair judgment about the presumptive nominee's judgment. And this is the likely impact for the fall election.

So, in the case of Gov Sebilius, I can see Sen Obama selecting her because he is comfortable with her judgment, expertise, steady hand, and vision. In short, he would select her because she would be a leader who reflects his strengths. I could also see him not selecting her for the reasons that CC mentioned--because he feels that he needs a VP who corrects his foreign policy weakeness.

If I were Sen Obama, I would give Gov Sebelius very serious consideration. She will most certainly have a place in his administration.

Posted by: Michael in Seattle | June 12, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

"Obama's most obvious weakness in the general election campaign is the relative thinness of his resume -- particularly on matters of foreign policy -- compared with John McCain."

McCain's experience on foreign there's a gaffe. You mean the guy that labeled Putin as the president of Germany? You mean the man who flip flops on so many issues (on a daily basis), who has so many 'senior moments' (quoting all his MSM bbq / apologetic buddies), ranging from who's really fighting who in Iraq, Al Qaida's fictional safe haven in Iran, to staying the course -down the cliff- for 100 yrs, and who thinks redeployment issues are not important? That McCain?

Obama has more talent and common sense for foreign policy in his left big toe than all the wingnuts combined.

'Maverick', 'independent', rrrright. What goes around, will come around for McSame & the GOP in November.

I wouldn't trust him guarding my bike parked downtown.

Posted by: mindcaster | June 12, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Most of the bloggers responding this blog have no clue on what the Vice President does in the White House. We keep hearing about "foreign policy" experience. What the heck does "foreign policy" experience involved?!?!

Someone the average American thinks that all the Senators and Representatives have abundant knowledge on foreign policy and domestic policy affairs. Being President is all about having good judgment and tempermant. McCain is not a "foreign policy" expert! McCain is stuck in the 1980s. His constant gaffes and misstatements about Iraq and Iran just reinforces his lack of foreign policy understanding. McCain just has military experience, not foreign policy experience

Posted by: Obama-Junkie | June 12, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

As a woman voter of Hillary's era, I admire her, and have followed her long career very closely. Feminism, to my thinking, means you get to use your intelligence and your concern for future generations to make your own choices, and I choose the Obama campaign.

Senator Clinton is a world class politician, and I don't think we need to worry about "snubbing" or "insulting" her - rather choosing the best vice presidential candidate to serve Americans, you and I. As far as I can tell she is not even interested in the position, but that is beside the point.

Not everyone is confident, as I am, that Senator Obama can answer the demands of the presidential office quite adequately, without an old style, Democratic power player by his side. I am voting for real change from centrist politics, to government that represents everyday Americans and our needs.

Also, I don't equate foreign policy with the military leadership. In fact I think it will be better served by people who have intelligence, knowledge of the world in both its historical and current framework, and the integrity and care to make good decisions based on preserving human life and well-being.

Posted by: Deb | June 12, 2008 10:36 AM | Report abuse


I'd like any Democrat who's able to get elected to two terms as Governor of Kansas and then perform as well as Sebelius has in a hostile legislative environment, especially as a complement to a national campaign emphasizing inclusion. XX? XY? Don't care.

Posted by: FlownOver | June 12, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse

"To snub Clinton in favor of another woman -- Sebelius -- would be a slight that many women might not be able to reconcile themselves to."

You would have to be insane to think that Hillary is poison to Obama solely because of her gender. She's a toxic, double-dealing, dishonest, self-centered, conniving, victim-playing, drama queen. If it makes Hillary deadenders feel better, there are many men with these qualities who won't be getting the VP slot either.

Posted by: bondjedi | June 12, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

"If he picks a female VP, then there's still a woman on the ticket; shouldn't that make feminists happy? Would they prefer to have no women on the ticket at all?"

Yes, a well-known male with foreign policy experience is preferable to a woman with little or none. Would a male vote for just any male on a ticket? I doubt it, so why would anyone think that women would. I also think Obama is smart enough to recognize that pandering is unacceptable.

Posted by: faithfulreader | June 12, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

"I think my record is clear -- 20 years, I've been involved in every national security issue that's faced this nation," McCain said on any number of occasions during his successful primary campaign. "

So says (repeatedly) Senator McCain.

Should we not be asking him to specify the details of what he calls "involvement?

"Obama's most obvious weakness in the general election campaign is the relative thinness of his resume -- particularly on matters of foreign policy -- compared with John McCain."

So says Chris Cillizza and countless other members of the prattling class.

These (the prattlers) are the same who by the absence of critical comment allowed HRC to establish the highly flimsy notion that she had, by virtue of 8 years as First Lady,a serious edge in CIC potential over Obama. This contention is arrant nonsense.

Senator McCain has served on a number of relevant committees but his his record of specific activities is more noted for his "stroll" through a Baghdad marketplace than for any serious participation.

His current statements have bee astoundingly uninformed and often totally inaccurate.

Posted by: Wes Cain | June 12, 2008 10:24 AM | Report abuse

It's not that taking Sebelius would be a slap at Hillary, it's that taking her would look like condecention to women. Look, I'm taking a woman because she's a woman. Be honest, would people be looking at a Kansas governor if she were not a woman? Not good enough. Besides, she would not be strong enough on the national stage to attract women voters per se nor does Kansas bring a needed state to Obama.

Posted by: fulrich | June 12, 2008 10:24 AM | Report abuse

"With Clinton now formally gone from the race, her most fervent female supporters have taken up the cause of putting her on the ticket as the vice president. To snub Clinton in favor of another woman -- Sebelius -- would be a slight that many women might not be able to reconcile themselves to."

See that, gay men? You have it LUCKY.

Posted by: aleks | June 12, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: TxAzGa | June 12, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

When all the dirt comes out against obama between now and the convention and his poll numbers tank, will the superdelegates have the balls to go for Hillary? If so, will all you Hillary haters vote for her as you want her supporters to get behind this flawed pol from Chicago?????????????

Posted by: StillforHill | June 12, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Wouldn't the support Hillary's voters could give Barack-If he chooses Hillary as a running mate- give him an unbeatable edge?

Posted by: Brian | June 12, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

The only rason KS is mentioned at all is that she has played ball with the national Dems.

When the Greensburg tornado left 13 dead and scores injured, Ms. Sebelius (channeling Kathleen Blanco) cynically blamed a fictional slow-response on the fact that the Kansas national guard and its equipment were all tied down in Iraq.

This buzz just the reward for being a good soldier and toeing the line when the party powers that be want to politicize a tragedy.

KS has a lot more in common with Katherine Harris than Hillary Clinton.

Posted by: Jason | June 12, 2008 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Personally I liked her speech. It was clean, straightforward, and refreshingly devoid of cheap shots or distortions. The message was one of optimism and working together. I have no idea what her self-appointed media speech critics were looking for, or whether any of them have given presentations like this. They probably wanted a more animated presentation but that wasn't the subject matter or the purpose of the speech. Sebelius is still my personal favorite for VP. My sense is Obama is going to be a foreign policy Presdent, whether he likes it or not. Bush will leave an international mess of Biblical proportions. Obama may even spend a good part of his first term out of the country mending fences. Someone is going to have to hold down the fort and make the trains run on time while new legislation is passed and new policies are implemented. Large, new domestic programs will be rammed through the Congress by legislators like Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi. We need to give Sebelius a closer look before running off to the next media flavor of the week. She appears to be a seasoned, honest, mid-western politican who will pick up on the ways of Washington very quickly and work with both sides of the aisle. This isn't about the hope of getting more votes from white women or the fear of turning off white men. Give the voters some credit. This is a job interview and if she is the best person for this job at this moment in history put her on the ticket. My two cents.

Posted by: maxfli | June 12, 2008 9:33 AM | Report abuse

"It would be better if Obama chose an older white male with foreign policy experience. Someone like Jim Webb ... Obama might also chose Joe Biden. ..."

Webb or Biden make much more sense than a governor hardly anyone has heard of before. Who the heck is K.S.? The last thing that voters need is to see a little-known candidate with a "thin resume" on the ticket with a candidate with thin foreign service experience.

I was a Hillary supporter because of her knowledge and experience and am convinced that she was the best candidate of the three. I will reluctantly vote for Obama only if he selects an acceptable VP. And it doesn't sound like this woman is it. Much better to choose a male with impressive knowledge and experience.

Whoever said that choosing a "woman" as a running mate could be construed as insulting was correct. Give us a break! Obama needs a strong, viable VP. I hope the heck his committee has sense enough to pick one and not try to pander to Hillary's disaffected supporters.

Posted by: faithfulreader | June 12, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

"Sebelius spent eight years as insurance commissioner and before that eight years in the state legislature."
-Sounds a lot like Barry O's level of experience, doesn't it?
-Wm Tate,

Posted by: Wm Tate | June 12, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

I'd like to see the Fix make the case for and against Obama picking Chuck Hagel.

Posted by: tkinnama | June 12, 2008 9:24 AM | Report abuse

I would absolutely trust Sebelius. She could help out with this country's economy, and she may very well form a foreign committee; she's traveled. I don't believe that because she has less experience compared to some others, that she wouldn't be competent in that area.

Go Kathleen Sebelius! =)

Posted by: Obama2008 | June 12, 2008 9:12 AM | Report abuse

FlownOver has again made a concise case for KS. I suggest that anyone wanting to get a feel for KS's strong points ck FlownOver's 8:47A post.

Posted by: MarkInAustin | June 12, 2008 9:06 AM | Report abuse

"To snub Clinton in favor of another woman -- Sebelius -- would be a slight that many women might not be able to reconcile themselves to."

I don't understand this. Why is it a slight if Obama picks Sebelius, but not if he picks a man? If he picks a female VP, then there's still a woman on the ticket; shouldn't that make feminists happy? Would they prefer to have no women on the ticket at all?

Posted by: Blarg | June 12, 2008 8:54 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: LINDA | June 12, 2008 8:49 AM | Report abuse

New polling (at least what I've seen) suggests The Hillary-as-VP issue cuts both ways. There may be a few women willing to practice political self-mutilation over Sen. Clinton's loss of the nomination, and those few are getting undue attention because it's such an extreme response. Boutan correctly notes Clinton herself could resolve this issue if she seriously wants Obama to succeed. As the candidates' positions (rather than their lapel pin preferences) are explored it will become increasingly obvious that both Obama and Sebelius are substantially aligned with the Clinton positions on issues of concern to women voters. Meanwhile, McCain stands in sharp contrast - aggressively anti-choice, anti-SCHIP, etc.

Your list of Sebelius's international destinations omits her travel to Iraq as part of her continuing strong support for American troops; she's called attention to the erosion of National Guard capabilities as more and more U.S.-based equipment is taken to, and left in, Iraq. Beyond the military sphere, her many trade missions have included tough discussions on other countries' practices that slant "free trade" against domestic producers. Granted she's not a creature of the Pentagon, but she's far from lacking international chops.

Few would suggest the Sebelius SOTU response was must-watch TV, but on review it carried a calming and unifying theme that would be a refreshing change from the usual pit bull fare. Obama's lesson is that "hate politics" is starting to wear thin with more voters, and she's a perfect fit for an inclusionary ticket. Her public style is more than a little effective, without the polarization that suppresses interest in the electoral process; to that extent, she would likely represent a welcome departure from the traditional "bad cop" role assigned to the VP candidate.

Overall, still an excellent choice.

Posted by: FlownOver | June 12, 2008 8:47 AM | Report abuse

I think a black man and a woman on the Democratic ticket would be too much change for some voters.

It would be better if Obama chose an older white male with foreign policy experience. Someone like Jim Webb who is a veteran and a descendent of Confederate soldiers--he'd make a good contrast to McCain's warmongering and Webb might be of interest to the racist voters in WV, KY and elsewhere.

Obama might also chose Joe Biden. I have loved his spirited attacks on McCain's many gaffes in and about Iraq.

Posted by: Seneca | June 12, 2008 8:18 AM | Report abuse

It was a poorly delivered read of a speech.
Compare Webb's blistering 8 min. response from 2007.

Two posters yesterday, I think JEP and FlownOver, suggested they were from Kansas and familiar with KS as a campaigner, and that she is a good one. Assuming they are correct, I will not continue my criticism.

It is inconceivable that HRC, who actually did turn our preconceptions around, who actually sees the cause of women as hers, would object to another woman following in her footsteps. It is not inconceivable that some small but vocal number of others would be so petty, or that the media and posters might attempt to generate drama.

Posted by: MarkInAustin | June 12, 2008 8:13 AM | Report abuse

Quite frankly, I think the war is becoming (in the eyes of the American electorate, at least) yesterday's news. Layoffs and $4 gasoline are this year's issues, and so Sebelius, with her record of taking on Blue Cross / Blue Shield, makes a very attractive pick. Everybody hates the health insurance companies, don't they?

She has her negatives, of course, but no more so than any foreign policy or military expert that the Dems have. Kerry? Nunn? Richardson? Biden? Clark? Webb? They're all damaged goods in some respect. If Richardson hadn't performed so badly in the primary, he'd be a shoe-in, but he seemed decidedly unready for prime-time.

Posted by: living in paradise | June 12, 2008 7:54 AM | Report abuse

As much as I don't like to admit it - the last point about Sebelius not being HRC is important.

I think the only way she can overcome this is if HRC makes it publicly known that she does NOT want the VP slot. In that case, Obama's nomination of Sebelius would not look like a slap in the face to Hillary and her supporters - in fact it would look like he was taking up Hillary's cause.

Posted by: Boutan | June 12, 2008 7:52 AM | Report abuse

While it would be great to see a woman on the ticket to do so would be seen as pure pandering, it would be a better choice if he added to his weaker front with someone strong on military issues.

Posted by: patrick nyc | June 12, 2008 7:37 AM | Report abuse

Foreign policy experience should certainly not be the determining factor in selecting a Vice-President and nor should gender.

The Democrats have a wide field of experienced foreign policy experts including Biden, Dodd, Richardson and Kerry. It's important to note that the President, thorough the Secretary of State, sets foreign policy.

Dick Cheney was supposed to be the expert in absolutely everything and look what that got us.

The diminishing number of Hillary's bleating sheep, that have dishonored her campaign, can be upset all they want if Sebelius is the running mate. Do they really want McCain and a possible 3 new right wing Supreme Court Justices that will throw Roe v Wade, equal pay and a whole lot more down the drain? Are they too myopic to see this? From evidence in the past week, I'd reluctantly have to answer yes.

Posted by: Mr. Fix It | June 12, 2008 7:36 AM | Report abuse

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