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Wag the Blog: Name that Veep

There's no way around it: there is NO political story these days other than the speculation over who will be the vice presidential picks of Barack Obama and John McCain.

Reports yesterday in Politico and the Washington Post that Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine is being seriously vetted by the Obama team drew wall-to-wall coverage; McCain's remarks to Larry King last night that no decision has been made drew similar attention.

How much of the frenzy of reporting on the veepstakes (The Fix very much included) really reflects the decision-making going on in the inner circles of the campaigns? Not all that much. The vice presidential sweepstakes is one of the most closely held conversations in the campaign, and the truth is that most people who are talking to reporters are not usually the people on the inside of those discussions.

Our guess as to who genuinely knows what is going on? For Obama: vetters Eric Holder and Caroline Kennedy, campaign manager David Plouffe, chief strategist David "Ax" Axelrod and Michelle Obama. For McCain: vetter A.B. Culvahouse, senior strategist Steve Schmidt, campaign manager Rick Davis, former chief of staff Mark Salter and Cindy McCain. If one of those people isn't talking (and they aren't likely to be doing so) then take anything being said cum grano salis.

That won't stop the speculation, however. And, with veep chatter reaching fever pitch in official Washington these days, it's time for Fixistas to sound off.

For today's Wag the Blog, we want to hear your guess of Obama's and McCain's vice presidential picks. But, don't just put down names -- offer a cogent reasoning for why you believe the two presidential candidates will ultimately go with your guy or gal.

The best picks will be highlighted in a post of their own later this week. Who knows, by that time we may well know the identity of one or both of the veeps!

Go to it!

By Chris Cillizza  |  July 29, 2008; 11:40 AM ET
Categories:  Wag The Blog  
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Next: Kaine Speaks! (with video)

Comments

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Posted by: ламинат | August 11, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

McCain/Pawlenty
Pawlenty:is a possible Catholic,Evangelical,OH,IN,MI,MN,IA,WI,
conservative,and D.C. insider wary indie's deliverer

Obama/Biden

Posted by: "change"sucks | August 6, 2008 5:57 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: laminat | August 5, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Barack Obama:

Obama's criteria for a VP likely are

- foreign policy experience (helps balance the ticket)
- executive experience
- managed the above while emphasizing change
- help with rural voters
- expands the voter base in play

The foreign policy element here is tricky. While the likes of Biden and Bayh will help with foreign policy gravitas, they come with one huge negative: voted for the Iraq War. With Obama's base a little suspicious about his fidelity on Iraq, having an Iraq War yes vote on the ticket would be troublesome. Moreover, it would undo the central argument of Obama's foreign policy argument against Clinton and now McCain: that foreign policy experience means nothing if you didn't have the judgement to oppose the Iraq War.

The only person that works is Bill Richardson (Generals are out since they bring military experience rather than true foreign policy experience). Richardson brings executive experience as well, but is not particularly a change candidate, nor does he bring in rural voters or expand the electoral map much.

The other option for Obama is to forget about foreign policy experience and focus on his other criteria. If so, Tim Kaine is a superb choice: an outsider, executive experience, plays well with rural voters, expand the electoral map by playing to faith voters. And they get along great!

Is Obama willing to drop foreign policy experience? I think so considering the lack of options he has. And I think Obama has great confidence in his ability to make foreign policy judgement after drawing advice from those with experience. As well, Obama is a risk-taker: running against Clinton, making speeches about race, etc. all show confidence that he can do things his own way. Particularly after Obama's foreign trip, I don't think he feels vulnerable on foreign policy.

Obamas Pick: Tim Kaine
Dark Horse: Bill Richardson

John McCain:

McCain's criteria are commonly mentioned as helping with the economy and youth, and maybe rallying the Republican base. I think those are secondary. His first priorities are

1. A true successor. McCain's integrity leads him to want to pick the right people for important positions. He therefore is unlikely to pick a VP to pander. Moreover, while McCain certainly expects to serve his term, I think he does believe that there's a chance that his age could catch up with him and that he _is_ choosing his successor. McCain will choose someone he feels will continue his priorities if McCain has to leave the post. McCain's priorities being ethics in government, reducing wasteful spending, leaner government, and winning the War on Terror through focused and deliberate investment.

2. A Reformer. While the economy, health care, and Iraq get all the attention as election issues, they're subplots in a larger narrative. Change is the underlying theme and narrative of this election and as long as Obama holds that mantle, Obama wins. McCain needs to show that at the very least he's about change as well (and ideally, he needs to become the change candidate). The way McCain can do this is the emphasize his reform credentials, and he'll choose a VP who emphasizes that.

Tim Pawlenty is much talked of as a McCain VP. While he's an outsider, he's not going to help McCain look like a change canddiate. Romney has the credentials of a reformer from his business background and his tenure in the Massachusetts state house (balanced budgets, reformed health care) and brings economic gravitas as well. Unfortunately for Romney, I don't think McCain wants Romney as a successor partly from personal dislike, partly because Romney's priorities (at least from his campaign) didn't jive with McCain's.

McCain could go with someone youthful like Bobby Jindal or Sarah Palin and get ethical, reform-minded, and executive experience all in one package, but they would undermine McCain's experience message, and their resumes of reform aren't yet very long.

Instead, I think McCain will turn to Mark Sanford. He share's McCain's passion for ethics and eliminating wasteful spending. He has a long record of doing so and has executive experience. McCain will seem him as an acceptable successor and he'll look like a reformer on the priorities that McCain emphasizes.

McCain's pick: Mark Sanford
Dark Horses: Mitt Romney, Bobby Jindal, Sarah Palin

- Mustafa Hirji

Posted by: Mustafa Hirji | July 30, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Some of the ones who sound like good choices for McCain have a bit of a problem with being Dumb (namely Tom Ridge and KB Hutchison). I really don't think McCain has a truly good choice. Leaders of the conservatives seem to have to choose between being likable but impure in their conservativism or solidly conservative but personally unpleasant. And I think he does need to shore up his base with the pick.

Ideally, Obama would pick HRC, but it seems pretty unlikely at this point. My second choice is Chet Edwards, who was mentioned by the Speaker. He would make a fresh, attractive but solid and dependable candidate, and while he doesn't have much chance of swinging Texas, in every other way he'd make a good choice, especially with voters who are militarily inclined. I also think choosing a member of Congress would be a good way for Obama to work with the Establishment while retaining his clear status as the Change candidate.

Posted by: Budikavlan | July 30, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Tom Daschle - Obama's surprise choice.
He's been with him from the beginning, brings the experience and insider knowledge that the candidate lacks, plus can help him manage a Democratic Congress which will be feeling its oats.

Posted by: expatriot | July 30, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin -- and McCain wins hands down.
Female, tough, smart, young, experienced, attractive.
Executive experience, anti-corruption, wildly popular with her constituents.
Westerner, journalist, mother, outdoorswoman.
Perfect transition to the future of the Republican Party and a break-through nominee. Complements, does not compromise the top candidate.
Could easily assume the presidency if required - and she would make a great one.

Posted by: expatriot | July 30, 2008 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Two categories: who they are most likely to choose and who they should choose...

McCain: most likely. Pawlenty or Romney
should. Crist
Obama: most likely. Kaine
should. Mike Easley (gov NC)
intriguing but won't happen.. Bob Miller (former Gov. NV) or Gen Clark

Posted by: leuchtman | July 30, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

To add to this great discussion, the Bipartisan Bridge (www.BipartisanBridge.org) has posted on its blog a range of the qualities that both of the candidates should consider in selecting their Vice Presidential candidates. Visitors are welcomed to vote for the qualities that they think the candidates should consider as top priorities (with separate qualities for each of the two candidates. Please visit the blog and VOTE at: http://bipartisanbridge.blogspot.com/

Posted by: Bipartisan Bridge Blog | July 30, 2008 4:40 AM | Report abuse

Obama: Hillary Clinton. Having won 20 states, over 17.5 million votes and half the popular vote, her power as a vote-getter speaks for itself. With 16 years in national politics, her breadth of domestic and foreign policy knowledge and experience would make her a superior all-around adviser to the President. She is unrivaled at explaining middle-class economics and carries the Clinton brand on the economy. Hillary as the running mate would send Obama's already strong fundraising off the charts. More than any other potential choice, she has shown she is ready to run nationally and if necessary serve as President.

McCain: Mitt Romney. Tim Pawlenty might be the "safe" choice, but I don't think "safe" cuts if for McCain at this stage. Romney is strong in two key areas where McCain is weak -- the economy and fundraising. He can act as an intermediary with business conservatives and help in the key swing states of Michigan and Nevada. And based on the primary, there is no doubt he would be a strong attack dog in the general election.

Posted by: Ogre Mage | July 30, 2008 3:26 AM | Report abuse

As a Democrat for McCain, I have two dark horse candidates for McCain

McCain - Christopher Cox
Cox, 55, was born in Minnesota He has served as Chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission since August, 2005. He had served as a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives from 1989 to 2005, representing a district in southern California. For 10 of his 17 years in the Congress, from 1995 to 2005, Cox served in the House Majority Leadership as Chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee, the fifth-ranking elected leadership position (behind the Speaker, the Majority Leader, the Majority Whip, and the Chair of the House Republican Conference). He was Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, and also Chairman of the Select Committee on U.S. National Security that produced the Cox report, an indictment of Chinese espionage and of security failures at several U.S. national laboratories.
Cox, an MBA, JD, in my view would be attractive candidate for McCain.

My other choice would be General James Jones. Jones is the former former Marine Corp Commandant and the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe

From MSNBC,
"So you think you know who's on Obama's veep short list? Well, think again. According to sources on the Hill, Obama veep vetters -- specifically Jim Johnson and Eric Holder -- have been asking Dem members of Congress this week their input about potential running mates. The conversations are free-flowing but one name the vetters are inserting in the conversations is one that is not a household name... Ret. Gen. James Jones, the former Marine-turned-NATO Supreme Allied Commander.

Jones, a Vietnam vet born in Kansas City, MO (swing state alert!), was a career military officer rising to one of the highest posts possible. Now retired, Jones has been critical of the number of troops currently in Afghanistan. He's been appointed to independent posts by both the Democratic Congress and the Republican-run State Department."
Gen. Jones recently appeared with McCain, who he stated his support for, effectively quashing rumors of an Obama-Jones ticket.

Does McCain really need an "economy" expert? Is that what the Vice President is supposed to do...serve as an expert on the economy?
Personnaly, although a McCain-Jones ticket would appear militaristic, I believe it could be presented as bringing a true leader (Jones) to the country who has not only military and security experience but also strong foreign policy gcredentials.

Additionally, in his post military career General Jones serves as president of the Institute for 21st Century Energy,an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and chairman of the board of directors of the Atlantic Council of the United States This brings into focus his expertise in the most significant economic issue...reliance on foreign oil.

As for Obama, I believe the focus on Tim Kaine is to divert attention from Obama's true choice...Bill Richardson. Richardson could have a huge impact on the Hispanic vote and potentially bring New Mexico and Nevada in to play.

Posted by: Steve | July 30, 2008 2:31 AM | Report abuse

Locking in a pick now? There's so many "inside sources" and "rumors" and "speculation is rising" comments still to come before Obama & McCain put us out of our misery!

If I was Obama I'd pick Bayh (he's safe, and he helps with IN/MI), but I'm not him. He has shown a boldness & a willingness to take risks that is quite incredible, and values loyalty highly.

So I think he'll pick Kaine. Kaine backed Obama early (loyalty) and is a bold pick (not a military man, which is a risk if terrorism/Iraq becomes an issue again). He helps with Virginia, and also the West (fluent Spanish speaker).

As for McCain, that's a tough one. He really needs a hail mary pick, given how tough the environment is for him. Someone fresh & interesting for the media to adore (e.g. Palin, Jindal). But I think he'll be pressured to take Romney. Why? McCain is not currently running his campaign. The negativity (and quite frankly, rubbish smearing) against Obama is not in keeping with McCain's ethos (witness 2000 & 2008 primaries). So I think he's allowing himself to be governed by the establishment ("generic GOP") who are all supportive of Romney, the good-looking economically savvy Michigan local. All good reasons for McCain to pick him, I suppose.

Posted by: JayPe | July 30, 2008 2:27 AM | Report abuse

Kathleen Sebelius for VP.

She's a no-nonsense, highly competent person for the job. That's exactly what's needed here.

She has many of Hillary's strengths....but none of the baggage.

Posted by: MBW | July 30, 2008 1:48 AM | Report abuse

Dark horse Veep pick for Obama: Caroline Kennedy. (1) no Washington "taint", (2)the last link to Camelot and when America was the moral compass of the world, (3) she would be acceptable to disgruntled female Hillary supporters, and (4) a veep vetter (hey, if Dick Cheney did it, why can't she?)

Posted by: John | July 29, 2008 11:53 PM | Report abuse

and here is the kicker about Kaine oy

he is and has always been against embryonic stem cell research.

Posted by: dl | July 29, 2008 11:26 PM | Report abuse

and here is the kicker about Kaine oy

he is and has always been against embryonic stem cell research.

Posted by: dl | July 29, 2008 11:25 PM | Report abuse

I am telling you I just left a gethering of broadcasters (many of whom happen to be gay and or are women)

Kaine is a very bad move with his comments on abortion being wrong and his anti-gay rights stance.

A lot of very nervous people tonight who supported Obama.

I din't think Kaine was a good choice before I knew any of this because I thought just because of the debates he would give an opening for McCain to pick Ridge.

Now I am positive he will pick Ridge and get PA, have a better than not chance of Ohio, NH, Michigan, and even Virginia (even with Kaine on the ticket...heavy military state and McCain ridge two military vets... with a lot of experience...oooofff ...just bad oy)

Posted by: dl | July 29, 2008 11:03 PM | Report abuse

For McCain, WHO plays second fiddle to WHEN. With the conventions later than in years past McCain has an advantage by announcing early. If he chooses to announce his choice next week midweek, Obama almost certainly will wait to the convention due to competing coverage with the Olympics. McCain then gets his shot to play offense in a campaign he has consistently been playing defense. McCain then also has the time advantage of having his convention only a week after Obama's. Obama gets a small convention bump and then attention turns again to McCain for his convention bump. With his choice he should attempt to regain his maverick status and pull in independents. He wants to steal the change mantel from Obama, but wants people to know they get change with the experience to bring it about. The choice of Senator Snowe from Maine would help in this respect. McCain has worked closely with Snowe as a member of the gang of 14 and they can point to actual experience working to bring the parties together. Snowe also gives McCain a chance at attracting some of Clinton's female supporters who were voting for Clinton because she was a woman. Her popularity in Maine may even help put both her home state and neighboring New Hampshire in play.

For Obama the operative phrase is "outsider with experience". Top of that list should be Kaine from Virginia and Rendell from Pennsylvania. While Virginia may be in play with Kaine, the midwest is going to be this years battefield. Both candidates need to find a message on the economy that resonates with the Rust Belt and Rendell is best positioned to be a surrogate in that respect. He has the administrative experience bringing jobs to Pennsylvania. Every example that he can pull out of someone going back to work while he was on duty strengthens the economy argument and makes the Rust Belt safer for Obama. His popularity also takes Pennsylvania, which was already leaning Democratic, completely out of reach for McCain.

Posted by: gdaw | July 29, 2008 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Obama should pick Bill Richardson; he ticks the most and most important boxes: outside Washington, deep experience (including some foreign affiars and executive experience), Latino, and swing state. He also courageously endorsed Obama in the face of extreme Clinton pressure and seems to gave a good rapport with B.O.

McCain should pick Rob Portman. He is younger, has deep economic experience (McCain's greatest weakness), and he's from the swing state of Ohio. He also has both Congressional experience and cabinet level experience, is smart and unlikely to make any gaffes, not outshine the top of the ticket.

Posted by: Brian Engel | July 29, 2008 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Whoa. Let's be clear, America: "Joe" is not "Broadway Joe." Not that there's anything wrong with it.

Posted by: Broadway Joe | July 29, 2008 8:12 PM | Report abuse

What about Crist for McCain VP?

Posted by: K. Chesney | July 29, 2008 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Gay activists were on to Tim Kaine as early as 2005. Sam Nunn will NEVER be forgiven by gay veterans for his "shower rooms and sleeping quarters" speech on the floor of the Senate in 1993. Dodd's office doesn't get gay rights (I was a Connecticut activist). Obama's been forced down our throats by too many people, and let's not forget that (1) he's soft on marriage equality, and (2) he's got a HUGE black-church constituency to pander to - let's just say there haven't been a lot of gay weddings at our local C.O.G.I.C. in San Francisco.

Get real. If B.O. chooses a VP candidate that carries even a scintilla of anti-gay sentiment (that means Edwards too), you can forget a unified gay vote. I'll vote for McCain; a Vietnam Veteran in the White House is all the history we need to make right now. Get back to work.

Posted by: Joe | July 29, 2008 7:57 PM | Report abuse

This is what I believe to be the latest BO long list for veep, with some annotations (BO? BO staff?). By the way, some said earlier long lists were "childish" because HRC was ranked so low on them. As it turns out, according to media reports today, Joe ranked her too high. The reports say HRC is on no one's veep list. But the good news, I guess, is that, on this list, HRC dropped only one spot from the previous list. The list follows:
1. Claire McCaskill (BO's most emotionally committed follower)
2. Tim Kaine
3. Caroline Kennedy
4. Chuck Hagel
5. Patti Solis Doyle (what makes a legend? answer: PSD)
* * * * * * * * * * *
281,421,898. Jerry Lewis (then he'll stop that awful Labor Day show)
281,421,899. Robert Montgomery Knight
281,421,900. Sharon Gless
281,421,901. Martina Navratilova (Note to staff: would you double-check this one)
281,421,902. Diana Nyad
281,421,903. Theodore John Kaczynski
281,421,904. James "Whitey" Bulger (does he know Gilbert, Lumpy, or the Beave?)
281,421,905. Dr. Renee Richards (is he, er, she still available)
281,421,906. Mrs. H.R. Clinton

Posted by: Broadway Joe | July 29, 2008 7:40 PM | Report abuse

I'm a firm believer in gut instincts. To date I'm very impressed with Obama's instincts. That said, I'm concerned with the recent attention on Kaine. He's not for me. I had my own gut instinct last night at bedtime...What about John Edwards?

Posted by: nooperdoop | July 29, 2008 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Biden & Ridge

Biden because Obama needs a counter-puncher for the nature of the campaign McCain is running, someone who can get down and dirty while Obama keeps to the issues and the high road. Biden also trumps McCain on foreign policy expertise and can more effectively exploit his frequent gaffes that the media is all too quick too forgive. Biden can shine the light and keep McCain on the defensive.

Ridge because McCain needs two things: he needs a WOW! announcement to get some energy flowing into his campaign. The CW choices just won't do that for him. He needs some buzz. Also it's an offensive move on the electoral chess table. Take PA and OH and now Obama has to react.

Posted by: Optimyst | July 29, 2008 7:17 PM | Report abuse

It won't be Kaine. While all of the buzz is showing him to be Obama's guy, this is all a trick by the campaign!

Each campaign is waiting for the other to pull the trigger on their respective VP choices.

My guess? Now that Alaska is synonymous with corruption, there goes the Palin option. McCain chooses Romney:
Bring the battle right to Obama's backyard. Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin, Ohio. Michigan and Ohio are obviously very important and are must wins for either candidate.

Obama:
To counter Romney, Obama picks Bayh in hopes of picking up Indiana and making sure Michigan and Ohio are safe. This will provide for some amazing backyard battles in America's Midwest!

http://www.destinationwhitehouse.com

Posted by: Matt | July 29, 2008 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Chris before you picked Kaine for 1st choice

did you know that he was anti gay rights and anti choice?

(he has the same stance on roe vs. wade that George Bush did when he got elected.)

I can not get over how bad a choice this guy is turning out to be anti gay and women's choice and he's a dem?

Posted by: dl | July 29, 2008 7:03 PM | Report abuse

McCain-Romney
Romney has similar popularity amoung the Mormon community as Barack Obama has among the African Americans, hence Utah voting for him by 90%, if he can get out the Mormon vote in the critical battlegrounds of Nevada and Colorado (11% and 2% respectively) that could be enough to tilt to the scales for McCain in Nevada during a tight race, and may make the difference in a razor thin one in Colorado. Also the recent buzz that an undisclosed poll in Michigan shows that a McCain-Romney ticket would propel McCain to a "comfortable vicotry margin", whereas a Pawlenty or Huckabee addition would have virtually no effect. Romney is also a well-know commodity in New Hampshire, running a strong second to McCain during the primaries besides being a neighboring governor, it could, possibly be of effect it what looks like a tight race in the Granite State. Romney's creds as a gifted businessmen and he relative youth and distinctive good-looks can only be positives additions to the McCain campaign. The rift between Mac and Mitt seems to have healed, with Mac affectionally poking fun as Mitt crossing the country drumming up Republican support. There have been threats from the Evanglicals that they might react negatively to Romney as VP, Mac should ignore these, eventually when faced with the alternative teh Christian Right will fall in line and I don't predict any significant impact.
Thats my 2 cents.

Posted by: Benton Crane | July 29, 2008 6:51 PM | Report abuse

and on top of it all Kaine is anti-choice.

ugh

what are they thinking...did they remember women and Hillary...

ugh this is bad.

Posted by: dl | July 29, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse

My picks:

McCain-Tim Pawlenty. Pawlenty is lesser known than others, but there are a number of factors that make him an ideal pick. First, he is a Washington outsider with an independent, populist streak that will play well with independents and Reagan Democrats. His famous 'Party of Sam's Club, not the Country Club' Republicanism would appeal to moderates in typically blue states. Second, he is at least acceptable to the GOP base. Third, his working class roots and blue collar personality could provide a boost to McCain in those crucial Rust Belt swing states, including Michigan.
Finally (and most significant), Pawlenty is the perfect complement to McCain. He is young, energetic, and extremely telegenic. To me, he is a conservative version of Obama in terms of stage presence.

Obama-Assuming the tabloid scandals turn out to be , Edwards would make a great pick. First, Edwards would help Obama tremendously with his key area of concern: white, blue collar, Rust Belt voters. Edwards populist, anti-poverty message would resonate with this constituency. Edwards would assist Obama in the South (Georgia, Virginia?) as well as the aforementioned Rust Belt swing states. Second, though he served a term in the Senate, Edwards would reinforce Obama's outsider message. Third, he would bring gravitas to Obama's ticket, presenting a seasoned, knowledgable picture on foreign policy. Obama is seeking the opposite of McCcain in this regard. Finally, Elizabeth Edwards' activism and cancer survival might actually help to placate some of those disaffected Clinton voters.

Posted by: GC | July 29, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse

i think kaine,speaking in spanish at his news conf. says why obama will pick him. he seems to cover a lot of what people say is important. governor,south, not an insider,help with the hispanic vote,not a women to anger hrc supporters.

Posted by: jackstan | July 29, 2008 5:22 PM | Report abuse

I am increasingly convinced that Obama's BEST choice is Bill Richardson. Ideologically compatible, impeccable credentials, and his style is so low-key he will NEVER over-shadow Barack; he may, in fact, make him look even better. He is wooden in debate, but the choice of VP is first and foremost about what it reveals about the judgement of the candidate. By that measure, he comes in first of the "viable" candidates.

McCain has a VERY difficult choice. He needs to find a candidate quick who will help him fill out what is an increasingly grim portrait. He (she) needs charisma, great credibility and some kind of "wow" factor. If he were smart, he'd turn to a woman with executive experience like Christine Todd Whitman, but I fear he will go with a staff-dictated choice: Mitt Romney

Posted by: Dch | July 29, 2008 5:20 PM | Report abuse

McCain Romney

Posted by: warren | July 29, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Don't you think Charlie Black has knowledge of McCain's VP deliberations?

Posted by: Ben | July 29, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Obama's best bet for VP is Hillary. With this combo, they will carry all the states Kerry carried in 2004, PLUS FLORIDA and OHIO. Hillary can carry Florida and Ohio but not Virginia.
As for McCain, Romney should be his VP. If Obama chooses someone other than Hillary, Romney can carry Michigan, and with McCain, Virginia and Ohio plus Pennsylvania.

Posted by: Francesco | July 29, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

John McCain/Lindsay Graham
Barak Obama/Jack Reed

Posted by: wilstac | July 29, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

oops, about my post below, I meant that if McCain announces Pawlenty as his VP, he won't do it until he's at the convention in MINNEAPOLIS. (details details.. i know)

Posted by: div | July 29, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Have to jump on the Tom Ridge bandwagon. Ridge was elected with large majorities to six terms in Congress, and twice as governor as a pro-choice Catholic. He was also tough as nails district attorney. As first head of the Department of Homeland Security he created the foundation for our security since 9/11 by accomplishing the impossible job of bringing 22 agencies under one new department. Try to get one agency working efficiently, well enough 22. He brought high tech to the state government and ran surpluses with the state budget. As governor of a large state he has executive experience and made decisions and signed legislation that affected millions of citizens. He knows how to get things done in DC after 12 years as a Congressman. Governor, congressman, first head of homeland security, decorated war hero, and Harvard graduate. As backup to the Prez, those are pretty impressive credentials. And, of course, there's 21 hard to ignore electoral votes in Pennyslvania.

Posted by: BadgerOne | July 29, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

I don't buy the Kaine buzz. Many of these folks are "teased" in the media to take the temperature of party loyalists and others. If you look at his entire campaign, Obama is ALL about CHANGE. That means his choice - drum roll - is moderate Republican Chuck Hagel. Sure, he will need to talk his way around the issues, but can you imagine Hagel at the convention saying " I put my principles of good bipartisan governing and the balance of power ahead of Party.?"

For McCain, he has to shake it up, too, but he won't allow himself to do it. His choice will be Romney, who ran a terrible campaign. Don't think McCain's comments about how Romney spent a lot of his own money for nothing .. wonder what they'll do with YOUR money?

Posted by: wes602 | July 29, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Obama/Biden: Because Obama needs to look like he respects experience, he needs the foreign policy chops, and he needs someone familiar to the American working class. Biden's a great debater and has the air of wisdom that comes from a guy who doesn't have to carefully measure his words, because he knows that you know what he's really all about. Biden will also help Obama take PA.

McCain/Pawlenty: Because McCain needs the American people to believe he values the economy and local issues. If he chooses Pawlenty,
he won't announce it until he is at the convention in St. Paul. Can you imagine the sensation it will cause for that state? He will take MN in that case. I also think Pawlenty is just great behind the podium; he has a look and demeanor that will be attractive to this year's blue-collar swing voters.

Posted by: div | July 29, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Obama: Although it's looking more unlikely every day, I think his best choice is Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer. He's an outsider, he would be great on the stump, he speaks Arabic, he's likeable, and he's smart.

McCain: I think he'll pick Rob Portman. This gives him a good shot at Pennsylvania.

Posted by: Jeff | July 29, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse


Certop


Just a note on your comment...
"So far voters haven't really penalized Obama for his relatively thin policy resume. Why would they hold his VP pick to a higher standard? If a longer resume is all they're looking for, they've probably already decided on McCain."

I far from agree...this is not just about two people...it's about the decision.

The choice of VP shows not necessarily what you are missing...but what it is that is important to you in your decisions as President...

Making a choice for Kaine...on personal issues when he has a huge wall of "uncomfort" weighing on the people of the country looking at him and worried that they don't know how he will be...

and he chooses his personal relationship over that of a familiar and well-versed advisor...shows a decision process that is less of a Presidential choice but a person who looks at through themselves and what they need rather than through the country and what the country needs...

not to mention I have no doubt that Kaine as VP gives so much cover for McCain to pick Ridge and that will be a tracesty for the dems...

PA will go repub

the right wing will be dazzled by the difference in experience and the unknowns of the other ...so they all will come home

Ohio and michigan and blue collar states will have a heavy movement toward red because an Obama/Kaine vs Mccain/Ridge election inherently frames an election where McCain wants...security and foreign policy... a McCain/Ridge ticket inherently is all about security and macho fear...and it works against two newbies.

I hope there are smarter people than me making these decisions and I am sure there are but if Obama is picking Kaine I have to admit he is not the guy I think he is...


Posted by: dl | July 29, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Obama - I know experience is an issue but he wants to be the candidate of change and I don't know that he achieves that with the older, more experienced Washington Democratic insiders. On the other hand, he would certainly not want to give the GOP more ammunition for their "inexperience" criticisms. Kaine is the "change" choice; Biden, Bayh or Dodd would be the experience choice (I like Bayh because he's relatively fresh compared to the other two and a "safe" choice). Someone who could achieve both goals of change and experience? Hagel! War hero, straight talker, independent minded Republican with solid bipartisan credentials, and recently very complimentary of Obama.

McCain - In my opinion, he needs a "game-breaker" to generate some excitement or enthusiasm about his campaign. I'd like to see Bobby Jindal or Sarah Palin as his pick but I don't think he has the intestinal fortitude to do it. Of the remaining candidates, his best bet is Pawlenty. Romney is too inauthentic, too slickly packaged and his economic credentials as a venture capitalist aren't exactly what I'd want on my ticket in a down year for working-class Americans. Besides, McCain has no chemistry with him and will have a harder time disguising his ambivalence than Reagan, who's nature was more instinctively genial, did with Bush the Elder. I'm a Mike Huckabee fan but his connection with working-class Americans and his populist message would drive off fiscal conservatives already lukewarm about McCain and whose hatred of Huckabee borders on irrational, and independents who are nervous about Huckabee's social conservatism. He needs a little more seasoning, too. He'd do well to build his brand on TV for the next few years and try again in 2012. I like Portman a lot but he says he doesn't want to go back to Washington at this time in his life and it sounds like a family decision that will keep him off the ticket. Pawlenty is the safest choice left.

Posted by: rmiller1959 | July 29, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

an edit to my below post:

So far voters haven't really penalized Obama for his relatively thin policy resume. Why would they hold his VP pick to a higher standard? If a longer resume is all they're looking for, they've probably already decided on McCain.

Posted by: certop | July 29, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

mccain/Jindal 08 Uniting the depends generation with the pampers generation.

Obama/bayh 08: more fun to say than bob loblah and if you saw it fast enough it'll get you thrown off an airplane (o-bomb-a bah!)

Posted by: taylor P | July 29, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

My sense is that Obama's gut choice is Kaine, while there remains a chorus among his advisers prodding him to consider Bayh. My bet is that Obama goes with his gut and picks Kaine, because it's tremendously important for a man whose campaign has been so personality-centered to be able to play off a man with whom he is comfortable.

So far voters haven't really penalized Obama for his relatively thin policy resume. Why would they hold his VP pick to a higher standard? If a longer resume is all they're looking for, they'll probably vote McCain.

Posted by: certop | July 29, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

McCain can win the whole sweepstakes if he goes to the center with RIDGE or better still, BLOOMBERG.


As for Obama, he should look to his alter ego (just to make sure voters see the whole picture): THE PIED PIPER OF HAMELIN.

Posted by: jayjay9 | July 29, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

McCain can win the whole sweepstakes if he goes to the center with RIDGE or better still, BLOOMBERG.


As for Obama, he should look to his alter ego (just to make sure voters see the whole picture): THE PIED PIPER OF HAMELIN.

Posted by: jayjay9 | July 29, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Diannes 1-71 were recalled due to a malfunction in their voice synthesizer. They kept repeating the same phrases over and over.

#72 is now slated for recall as well.

Hopefully, version #73 will offer some more coherent posts, and will admit to the fact that "she" is just another bald, middle-aged, pot-bellied Republican man sitting in his underwear at the computer, posting rants with one hand and browsing porn sites with the other.

Posted by: Doug in NYC | July 29, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

My guess for McCain is Lindsey Graham. My impression of him is that he will pick the vice presidential candidate that he thinks will make the best president (thus dealing with concerns about his age) and he and Graham seem to agree on most issues. Also he seems to value personal relationships and the two of them are very close. I am kind of surprised that no one ever mentions him.

For Obama, I am going to guess Sebelius, since she reinforces the image that he wants to project as an outsider who works across party lines. She also reinforces his 50 state strategy (Kaine also fits the bill, but everyone is picking him after this morning's report). Sebelius might also help get more disaffected Hilary women back (although I don't think this is still a major concern).

Posted by: mbyrns | July 29, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Obama needs the 4f's...in this order...

1.FAMILIARITY (to counter the nervousness that Americans have with his "unknownness")
2.FOREIGN POLICY
3.FIRE (in the belly...in ratio more than a candidate that brings more "coolness" to the ticket)
4.funny...(more laughter and humor...because McCain's is holding him where he is)

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

I'm still with my Dream Team of Obama & Hillary.

This is not a normal Democratic Party election with normal campaigns - it developed into causes for women and Blacks.
To win the Dems must have a united party - to do that Obama must pick Hillary. If the white women stay home and we factor in the racist voters the Democrats lose. Forget about region or Red States - Obama must select Hillary.

Republicans must pick Romney to attract moderate voters who actually understand that "...it's the economy, stupid". There has to be a vetted person who understands economics. The conservatives/evangelicals have no place to go besides the R Party.

Disregard who likes who - winning is the thing!!

Posted by: Peter L. | July 29, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Obama should pick Biden. There's simply no one else who offers everything Obama needs. And there hasn't been a more effective surrogate for Obama all spring: note the op-eds, the TV appearances, the great letter smacking down DeMint...

Posted by: jenny | July 29, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

I think everyone needs to look more tactically at the fact that Mccain is going to pick against Obama's pick.

Kaine not only (oy it is so weak) may help in Virginia...but he would do almost as much as just being the governor...

because not only does he do that somewhat just being the governor with Mark Warner and he campaigning (and that way he getts out of it with a lifelong looking career as mover and shaker) but if he was chosen Mccain would pick Ridge... right wing be da##ed... because with all that testosterone and security and aggresiveness... and the oy ...VP debate...they would have a good shot at not only Virginia...but Pennsylvania...

because they could run exactly what they want a security foreign policy campaign... and trounce Obama/Kaine on the unknowns.

Sebelius would be the same...and she doesn't bring a state that Obama isn't going to get already...and again Romney or Ridge would kill her in a debate.

First do no harm means also don't let the VP debate be a thrashing.

Bayh is too milktoast for a "cool" candidate like obama. Bill Clinton had fire...Gore was cool.

Gore was "coolly wonkish" (back in 2000) he picked Lieberman...who was...ugh... "froggishly cool".
Kerry was "statuesquely" and sometimes "obliquely cool" and not firey...picked Edwards...who was "charmingly cool"...

Bush Sr. was cool and had a "dimly cool" vp...which could beat "nerdy cool" dukakis...but not a candidate like Bill Clinton who hasd a little underlying and almost unstable firey attack you could see just under the surface...

Obama needs more fire than the hang back and smiley...shampoo model look that people have chosen.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 29, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Why is no one mentioning Dick Gephardt? He's got the blue collar chops, everybody likes him, and voters would be able to envision him as president.

He's from a swing state (Missouri). He's come out and said his Iraq war vote was a mistake. His views on trade line up with Obama's. He was also an early Clinton supporter, which could help bring the camps together.

Plus, a huge chunk of Obama's team is made up of Gephardt folks.

BUT, he is a lobbyist. Is this his fatal flaw?

Posted by: Hog-I | July 29, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Dianne, honey, the Angela Davis 'fro was in a cartoon. In The New Yorker. Perhaps you have heard of it.

Posted by: Lonely Pedant | July 29, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Obama picks Richardson. He balances the areas that the electorate perceives as Obama's weaknesses, can address the economic as a governor and energy as a former secretary, and helps in key swing states (New Mexico, Colorado, perhaps Florida, and maybe even Texas and Arizona). Rendell is a close second.

McCain picks Palin. McCain needs someone younger and tied to the economy. He also needs to ruffle the feathers of those who will vote Obama because they are tired of voting for only old white men. (Pawlenty is a close second, but Pawlenty brings nothing that Palin doesn't.)

Posted by: Ryan from Minnesota | July 29, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Obama - Kaine or Sibelius, but my money's on Sibelius. By choosing Kaine, the Republican charge of "most inexperienced ticket" would gain traction. Sibelius, on the other hand, has a record of working across the aisle in Kansas. There may be some sour grapes because she's not Hilary, but I think the positives outweigh that.

McCain - Romney. In light of his other policy shifts during this campaign, it seems only natural that he would pick someone that he personally dislikes if he thought that it would help him win the election.

Posted by: Mr Ecks | July 29, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

If I'm Obama, I go with Bill Richardson. I know the knock against him was that he was very lackluster in his own presidential campaign, but being on the ticket with Obama means he doesn't have to excite voters about why he should be in the big chair. Obama has charisma to spare--Richardson needs to make the argument that he'll be a very capable partner for Obama. Richardson neutralizes the experience factor: he's had executive, cabinet and legislative experience; the campaign can legitmately spin him as an American hero for securing the releases of captured US soldiers by dealing directly with Saddam Hussein and the North Korean government; he's worked across party lines as governor of New Mexico.

Additionally, since he's Latino, he makes the road easier for Obama in New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada and Florida. Plus, he appeals to blue collar Democrats by being pro-gun and basically being a guy who likes to have a beer, smoke a cigar and watch a good ball game.

Posted by: Ron | July 29, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Obama's pick is a tough one. There are no obvious candidates (see Graham (Fl-D), 2000, 2004) and no good candidates except Richardson, who is apparently out of the running. Also, the Obama campaign appears to have gone into run out the clock mode. They have offered no grand plans, or grand rhetoric, on the economy or energy prices. Rather than let the dogs loose on the McCain campaign's recent gaffes, they have quietly plugged along. Kaine brings three things: an honest religious background, a better shot at Virginia's electoral votes and presumably a nice southern drawl. Despite that, I would bet on Bayh. The shared border thing worked for Clinton-Gore, and he plays into the 'keeping it safe' theme of the current Obama campaign.

On the McCain side, it will be either Crist or Pawlenty. If McCain was playing it smart, he would wait until after Obama announced. If Obama announces Kaine, then McCain should go with Pawlenty. If Obama announces anyone else, then it should be Crist. Pawlenty will not bring along Minnesota's electoral votes and I think Edwards proved how a handsome, young, son-of-a-mill worker utterly failed to win WV or OH for Kerry. What I'm saying, is Pawlenty won't deliver any one state because of his working class roots. However, if Obama selects Kaine, McCain will completely lose his edge with the religious voters he needs and Pawlenty is his only pipeline to them other than Huckabee. Obama will never win that demographic, but Kaine could help him narrow the margin which would be fatal to any Republican seeking the Presidency. In the end, I don't think McCain will make that kind of calculation (reactive to Obama) and he will go with Crist, his tan, presumably his southern charm, his vibrancy, his fiance, his non-ties to the brand of Republicanism that is anathema right now and Florida's 27 electoral votes (see Graham (D-FL) 2000, 2004).

Posted by: muD | July 29, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Barack Obama should go with an outside-the-box choice and pick John Doerr as his vice president.

Why should Obama choose this unconventional candidate with whom very few Americans are familiar? Because Doerr fits perfectly with the message that Obama needs to convey to win the election and govern effectively: addressing economic insecurity, changing the way business is done in Washington, and addressing the global issues of the 21st century in a pragmatic, progressive way.

First and foremost, this election is about the economy and America's increasingly shaky position as a world leader and standard setter. As such, Obama needs to pick someone who truly understands today's economic threats, and more importantly, today's economic opportunities. John Doerr, as perhaps the country's most successful venture capitalist, has worked with hundreds of business leaders on the most cutting edge issues of our times, and his investments have created thousands of jobs. In an election where the economy is the main issue, John Doerr is someone who truly understands how to grow the economy not by looking backward, but by making America a leader in the industries and issues of the future.

John Doerr is a Washington outsider. He has never worked in Washington D.C. and would mesh well with Obama's stated criterion of picking someone who wants to change the culture of Washington D.C.

John Doerr has the kind of international experience that Obama is looking for. He has traveled to dozens of countries, met with leaders around the globe and really understands the challenges facing the world: global pandemics, entrenched poverty, and climate change.

Finally, practical considerations point to Doerr. One, he would neutralize a Romney pick. Romney would be picked for his economic experience as a venture capitalist. Well, who better to trump that than someone who is simply a more respected and successful venture capitalist? Two, he is from the swing state of Missouri. Three, he is a former Hillary supporter, and picking him might be seen as an olive branch to Clinton fans.

Overall, no one would encapsulate Obama's can-do, energetic, outsider, future-oriented image more than John Doerr.

Posted by: JD | July 29, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Dear "White Jew",

I am so happy that you found Michelle Shaniqua Obama engaging and articulate. Was she doing fist bumps and ranting against "whitey" when you saw her speak? Did she sport an Angela Davis freedom fro too?

Posted by: Dianne72 | July 29, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Obama doesn't have to work miracles to win at electoral math. He flips Iowa (likely) and here is the kicker Virginia, he doesn't need to worry about anything else. With Tim Kaine, Mark Warner and Barack Obama out on the trail in Virginia who can say no? Keeping with the change motif, he can probably pick up a win in a few of the close Western States for Insurance. At this point, he doesn't really even need to worry about Ohio its just an added bonus, and who really cares about foreign policy anyway? No one.

McCain needs to worry about electoral math too. The idea of picking a Rob Portman is appealing to put up a fight in Pennsylvania, and Michigan,but I just don't think he's got it. He needs to preserve the Bush states (Virginia!). I think Tim Pawlenty would look great out West and Virginia as well.

A tantalizing eventuality is Obama flipping Iowa, Nevada and New Mexico and everything ending in tie.

Posted by: Dan W. | July 29, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Public perception is as much of an important factor as any other when selecting a running mate. I think Kaine would be a terrible choice because he's not been able to accomplish much during his time in Richmond and the GOP would focus on that. Biden is too much of a loose cannon. Reed is good but when he and Obama stand next to one another, the difference in their height is almost comical (a minor point, but not one to be dismissed). Bayh offers experience and would be a good complement to Obama but essentially giving up a Senate seat to the GOP is a drawback. I think Richardson offers the most in terms of substance of resume and bringing the Hispanic vote into play.

I don't think McCain will choose Palin - I've heard and read as much in negatives on her as positives. I don't know if the Christian right would accept Romney and he can't guarantee Michigan but would help with fundraising. Jindal is too inexperienced. Pawlenty would probably be the safe bet but I think Ridge would actually be a good choice and more likely to bring PA into play. KB Hutchison would be a good choice for McCain but I think she's pretty serious when she says she doesn't want it so I doubt she's being vetted.

Posted by: JLF | July 29, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Dianne 72

There is no speech by Michelle Obama...and everyone who was rumored to be involved (including some of the guys at Fox) has now come out and said they were disgusted by that lie.

and just for your info...it is

Michelle Robinson Obama...but Shaniqua is pretty... your using it is racist but the name is pretty.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 29, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

The Battlegrounds are in the West this year, so its only fitting that two uber-popular Western Governors are chosen as VPs.

For McCain its Alaska Governor Sarah Palin for her popularity, her conservatism (including her hunting hobby), her gender (likely to snare some Hillary supporters), and the fact that she is family value oriented (five children). And she is is far away from the Capital Beltway as humanly possible.

For Obama its going to be Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer, someone who has gotten next to no press and will surprise everybody. He is a true Washington outsider with an independent streak, and he will do much better with the average man (he was a farmer/rancher before ascending to the Governors mansion).

It's two out of the box, out of the Beltway picks since Congress's approval rating is in single digits.

Posted by: Wil | July 29, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

and Bill McG

I use to think Reed but unfortunately...the picture is what kills him. I know I know I would love to get by the idea that America wouldn't judge the picture...but if you'll notice the first day they were in Iraq...there were a couple of pictures of obama and Reed standing next to each other on the stage...after that they stopped.

No pics of them together on stage .

...because (and I am a shorter guy) it looked like a circus pic. The height differential just looked to strange...

I knwo i know it sounds stupid...but Reed looked like he had a Pot o' Gold hidden somewhere in the hills of Ireland...and it made obama look weird too.

Posted by: dl | July 29, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Gov. Richardson has everything Sen. Obama needs to complete his candidacy - Experience (Gov of NM - Check), Foreign policy (UN Ambassador - Check), not jaded by being part of the Washington machine (hasnt been in DC since the Clinton administration - Check), appeal to a very imp voting bloc (hispanic heritage - check), help with purple states (gov of NM, proximity and hispanic voting strength in NV - Check)

I cant think of a better candidate!

Posted by: Amod - Portland, ME | July 29, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Has anyone ever listened to Michelle Shaniqua Obama speak? She tries very hard to sound articulate but you can tell it's not natural. It's almost as if at any moment she will slip back into ghetto-speak. I bet that was the case when she gave her "whitey" speech at Trinity Church. I look forward to the release of that tape in October.

Posted by: Dianne72 | July 29, 2008 12:18 PM
-----------------------------

Yes I have heard her speak. Before the Iowa primary I was watching CSPAN and saw her give a speech at an Iowa senior home and she was engaging, intelligent and truly inspiring. But since FOX News has turned her into an African rebel now the racists and the racists commentators have painted a new picture or her, a false picture but the ignorant will still believe it. For the record I am a white Jew.

Posted by: Scott | July 29, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

windycity

I agree almost with your somments on Ridge...but then the ticket becomes all about defense and the military and aggression in reaction to our security...

that hasn't worked so well for the past 8 years.

A McCain/Ridge ticket says ...we see that the lack of diplomacy for 8 years has screwed us but we want to continue down that road.

That ticket would work if Obama and whomever is not strong on diplomacy and world affairs.

So I agree but also know it would be a loser ticket if Obama picks someone stronger knowledge of world affairs/diplomacyand more familiar.

Between Ridge's antipathy from the right and it suddenly accentuating what most see as the problem with the last 8 years (all war all aggression and no diplomatic strength ...vs. educated and experienced diplomacy) that would be bad for McCain.

Posted by: dl | July 29, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

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

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

McCain would hit a home run with Ridge as his choice for VP. Obama would be caught totally off-guard by a decorated war hero who is pro-choice and who won the Pennsylvania governorship with 57% of the vote. Not to mention the man who created from scratch the Department of Homeland Security. The American people would sleep soundly knowing Tom Ridge was second in command. He would be a bold and strategically brilliant choice. No current Democratic VP choices could come close to matching those credentials.

Posted by: WindyCity | July 29, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Jack Reed: Biden's gravitas without his big mouth; military experience but not as overboard (and defensive-seeming) as picking a former general or something; not old (58) so doesn't blunt the "youth/change" dynamic; slight surprise to make the media happy.

Tim Pawlenty: In the end, McCain's personal comfort with the running mate wins out over other considerations. Seems moderate but actually satisfies conservatives pretty well; nice salt-of-the-earth life story; could make MN competitive.

Posted by: billmcg | July 29, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

The sun is shining, the pine trees are swaying in the honeysuckle breeze and Teddy Stevens is getting indicted. I knew it was going to be a banner day. It's a good day for ANWR America and a real refuge our children and grandchildren will inherit. We'll be driving fuel cells, post haste during the Obama administration! Say BYE BYE Teddy!!

Posted by: bob II | July 29, 2008 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Obama: Warren Buffett
McCain: Tom Ridge

Posted by: MK | July 29, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Many people think Obama needs to pick some with experience to counter him when in fact it is McCain that needs to pick someone think experience because his age and his health are constant reminders he is less likely to finish his term than Obama. Pawlenty from the few times I have seen him on TV does not look presidential nor experienced. Ridge is prochoice, to close to Bush and wasn't very good in the early homeland security with his duct tape nonsense. Romney looks presidential and has experience and can win Michigan. His draw back is it makes a Flip flop ticket. The long shot Kay Bailey Hutchison makes the most sense, female can steal some Clinton supporters and has experience.

Posted by: Scott | July 29, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

McCain - Sarah Palin. John McCain desperately needs a candidate who will bring buzz and a sense of excitement to his campaign - basically anyone other than a middle-aged male WASP. This candidate should probably be a newer commodity, so that the press will - however briefly - take the focus off of McCain and whatever his latest so-called gaffes are in order to look into the VP candidate. To me, those criteria leave Palin and Bobby Jindal. If I were McCain, I'd ultimately go with Palin on the chance that her being a woman with a young family might have appeal to disaffected Clinton voters who might have otherwise stayed home.

Posted by: MW | July 29, 2008 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Obama/Kaine: Kaine represents Dem's best effort to put Southern states (i.e. VA, NC) in play and reinforces change message.

McCain/Huckabee: McCain tries to strengthen his base and limit the losses.

Posted by: JNoel002 | July 29, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

This is off-topic, but has anyone noticed that the same MSM that makes headline news about every McCain aide or supporters mis-step or gaffe is now in cover up mode over the John Edwards story? Not a peep from any of them. Who can still claim that the MSM isn't in the Democratic Party's hip-pocket without laughing?

Posted by: madhatter | July 29, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Obama/Kaine. The one pick that both reinforces Obama's message of change/fresh blood, as well as significantly imapcting the electoral map. Virginia will be in Obama's column the second this pick is announced, and it wouldn't surprise me if he ticked up four points in North Carolina as well, where he's already in a dead heat. It is not lost on the McCain camp that these two states combined have more electoral votes than either Ohio or Florida.

McCain/Giuliani. I'm dark horsing here. It seems outrageous this could happen after the scandals that chased Rudy from the race just six months ago. However, I think the GOP is going to need to roll the dice here- I just think after Obama blows them away in Bronco stadium, McCain is going to be trailing by huge margins, and they're going to have to go bold or go home.

No other pick amplifies McCain's core message of "commander in chief who'll keep us safe" more than America's Mayor. Rudy can talk economics with complete credibility, and what's more, is very comfortable playing the role of attack dog.

Are they going to have to deal with a lot of baggage? No question. But six months is an awful lot of water under the bridge; Rudy will try to sweep it away with "They found nothing", and "This is all old news; we're looking forward". There'd be a lot of noise initially, but if there's nothing new to report, the press'll probably let it slide.

That assumes there's nothing new to report. If there is some new nugget out there about Rudy's mistress and how he funded her protection- well, I said it was risky pick.

Posted by: howlless | July 29, 2008 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Obama/Biden
It would help him with foregn policy and also deter some of the "lack of experience" claim by the Republicans.

McCain/Romney
McCain needs someone who can tell a lot of lies to keep up with him. That's a dish Romney can deliver with a smile.

Posted by: Mike McNally | July 29, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Chris

I have commented on this so much I think my posting would be annoying. But here goes...

McCain is entirely contingent on Obama's choice... so if you'll indulge me let's start with this little side story......

As I have said many times before what we need is change.
What does that mean... well forgive my tangent but I think it will shed light on an issue...
... My father worked for 35 years for Polaroid. As he went up the ladder in the later parts of his career there he would often come home and tell me his adolescent son... that Polaroid was becoming a "fat cat" and how they were more focused on suing Kodak over their initial invention and fear of a competitor taking what they had rather than watching where the world was going. He also said every time a new young upstart in management tried to focus on this issue they failed. The older "protectionists" in the company would say "too risky to put money into" and "look, our bread and butter depends on winning this case against Kodak"

If you don't know the history of Polaroid...they are not only a quintessential American company but a reasonable facsimile for our history in the 20th century. I am sure if they could go back and do it again they would avoid the "fat cat" protectionist choices and invest in R & D...but they couldn't just listen to the young upstarts in management.

Those young upstarts needed to be walked into their new offices by someone close to the board and someone who was offering to work with them.

Obama as the President and in his policies is change. What he needs is a familiar partner who agrees with his vision that America knows and feels comfortable with.

That does not mean a VP who just has experience...but a VP that America KNOWS.

Obama is change...now he needs to be walking next to "the familiar."

Loud mouthed, verbose, gaffe machine, and perhaps, like an older uncle on occasion, bullheaded about his views... He will pick Biden.

Obama is smart and he wants the smartest guy he can get in that office just down the hall. Just in the past few months Biden has passed an enormous amount of "change" legislation. He has been at the forefront of attacking this administration and he showed clearly in the primary that he knows when to shut his mouth and let the situation or the people speak for itself/themselves.

Obama is not the firey Bill Clinton with an underlying attack energy...so he does not need a "young Al Gore" type quietness. Neither does he need a polarizing figure.

No doubt that the "do no harm" philosophy ways heavily but on a curve... it needs to weighed with what Obama needs the most...familiarity...if out of respect for the emotions and nervousness of country alone.

Over all candidates when you line them up... like a scene from "Usual Suspects"..

Biden looks like the one that would be the one playing the salty older cop to the young upstart...Obama's "Commissioner Gordon to his Batman"...

Having said that if Obama picks Biden McCain has no choice but to pick Romney. he has to go with the most stable of the choices and the guy who will not ge ttrounced in the VP debate.

If Obama was not who I think he is...and picks a Bayh. Then McCain has a little leeway and may pick Pawlenty...but the bets are still on Romney.

If Obama went way off track and picked Kaine...my guess is McCain picks the candidate he wants...and that would be Ridge. Because Kaine would make the VP debate the possible bloodletting for the Republican ticket. It would mark my words by a trouncing from someone like Ridge ...who would put PA in the Red column and shut down Virginia on security issues faster than a blue light special can turn back to a red handed theft.

So in the end because obama is as smart as people think he is (he is left-handed remember lol) He will pick the choice best for America to accept the change we need to make.

and therefore McCain will pick Romney because of his (somewhat false if you look at Massachusetts and the state he left it in) economic prowess, his attention and reminder that he is about to receive for his past leadership with the Olympics, and his ability and experience now with the debate.

Posted by: dl | July 29, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Chris

I have commented on this so much I think my posting would be annoying. But here goes...

McCain is entirely contingent on Obama's choice... so if you'll indulge me let's start with this little side story......

As I have said many times before what we need is change.
What does that mean... well forgive my tangent but I think it will shed light on an issue...
... My father worked for 35 years for Polaroid. As he went up the ladder in the later parts of his career there he would often come home and tell me his adolescent son... that Polaroid was becoming a "fat cat" and how they were more focused on suing Kodak over their initial invention and fear of a competitor taking what they had rather than watching where the world was going. He also said every time a new young upstart in management tried to focus on this issue they failed. The older "protectionists" in the company would say "too risky to put money into" and "look, our bread and butter depends on winning this case against Kodak"

If you don't know the history of Polaroid...they are not only a quintessential American company but a reasonable facsimile for our history in the 20th century. I am sure if they could go back and do it again they would avoid the "fat cat" protectionist choices and invest in R & D...but they couldn't just listen to the young upstarts in management.

Those young upstarts needed to be walked into their new offices by someone close to the board and someone who was offering to work with them.

Obama as the President and in his policies is change. What he needs is a familiar partner who agrees with his vision that America knows and feels comfortable with.

That does not mean a VP who just has experience...but a VP that America KNOWS.

Obama is change...now he needs to be walking next to "the familiar."

Loud mouthed, verbose, gaffe machine, and perhaps, like an older uncle on occasion, bullheaded about his views... He will pick Biden.

Obama is smart and he wants the smartest guy he can get in that office just down the hall. Just in the past few months Biden has passed an enormous amount of "change" legislation. He has been at the forefront of attacking this administration and he showed clearly in the primary that he knows when to shut his mouth and let the situation or the people speak for itself/themselves.

Obama is not the firey Bill Clinton with an underlying attack energy...so he does not need a "young Al Gore" type quietness. Neither does he need a polarizing figure.

No doubt that the "do no harm" philosophy ways heavily but on a curve... it needs to weighed with what Obama needs the most...familiarity...if out of respect for the emotions and nervousness of country alone.

Over all candidates when you line them up... like a scene from "Usual Suspects"..

Biden looks like the one that would be the one playing the salty older cop to the young upstart...Obama's "Commissioner Gordon to his Batman"...

Having said that if Obama picks Biden McCain has no choice but to pick Romney. he has to go with the most stable of the choices and the guy who will not ge ttrounced in the VP debate.

If Obama was not who I think he is...and picks a Bayh. Then McCain has a little leeway and may pick Pawlenty...but the bets are still on Romney.

If Obama went way off track and picked Kaine...my guess is McCain picks the candidate he wants...and that would be Ridge. Because Kaine would make the VP debate the possible bloodletting for the Republican ticket. It would mark my words by a trouncing from someone like Ridge ...who would put PA in the Red column and shut down Virginia on security issues faster than a blue light special can turn back to a red handed theft.

So in the end because obama is as smart as people think he is (he is left-handed remember lol) He will pick the choice best for America to accept the change we need to make.

and therefore McCain will pick Romney because of his (somewhat false if you look at Massachusetts and the state he left it in) economic prowess, his attention and reminder that he is about to receive for his past leadership with the Olympics, and his ability and experience now with the debate.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 29, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Obama/ Clark

Wes Clark is the most senior democratic official with military experience. Getting Clark as a VP would hopefully settle the problems voters have with Obama's lack of experience. It gives him a man to lean on when it comes to the War in Iraq and foreign Policy which Obama is significantly weaker than McCain. I think its also important to note that Wes Clark has run for President before, and has the experience to go on the campaign trail. He is tested, which is an important quality for a VP.

McCain/ Lieberman

Lieberman has been a long time conservative democrat who recently changed parties to become an independent. However Liberman and McCain's relationship is extremely close knit. Lieberman does not bring much to the ticket that McCain doesn't already have but he does do two extremely significant things. 1) He beats Obama's message of change with a bludgeon. How can you call yourself the ticket of change when the other party is running a republican and independent. Picking Lieberman would make McCain much more competitive with independent voters. 2) Lieberman is not going to be the next leader of the Republican Party, picking Lieberman gives the Republicans four years to find the future leader of the Party, and hopefully for their sake turn around their losses in the Senate and House.

Posted by: Andrew | July 29, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

The first candidate to pick a woman scores huge points. For McCain, it puts independent women and even some disgruntled Hillary supporters in play, especially if he announces a woman after Obama picks a white male. For Obama, it reinforces his change message and electrifies women. Even unhappy Hillary supporters would come around.

For McCain, there may not be so many good choices. Palin has few credentials and growing scandal. But a woman would be a game-changer, which he really needs.

Obama has several good choices: Napolitano, Feinstein, McCaskill, possibly Sebelius, and even Hillary (particularly if Bill has a heart attack next week).

I can't predict the choices, but I predict the gender of at least one choice.

Posted by: Geof | July 29, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Obama - Joe Biden: For his: foreign policy experience; and his ability to play politics, leaving Obama "clean" from the slime.
McCain - Kay Bailey Hutchinson: She would do 2 things for McCain...1)solidify the conservatives behind him; and 2)be attractive to many of the disaffected female voters who are still very sore at Obama.

Posted by: John | July 29, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Obama: He will surprise many pundits and pick Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri. Senator McCaskill has largely been an effective and articulate surrogate for Obama and she hails from a red state. She also connects well with women and working class voters and is perceived as a moderate. The obvious liability is that she has even less national experience than Obama, having been elected to her 1st term in 2006. However, she does have political experience in Missouri as state auditor which dovetails nicely with "cleaning up" Washington. Most importantly, she and Obama have that elusive "chemistry."

McCain: He will select former budget director Rob Portman in an obvious effort to shore up his economic credentials with conservatives. Portman is from Ohio, a key battleground state, and may not turn off moderates. Portman will essentially become the point person for McCain's economic plan, allowing the Senator to focus on his biggest strength: national security.

Posted by: BillBolducinMaine | July 29, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

For Obama I believe that in a bid to demonstrate his commitment to "change" and a new era of bi-partisan politics, Obama will select US Senator Chuck Hagel from the opposition Republican Party to be his Vice Presidential running mate. So how did I come to this conclusion?
For starters, Hagel is a Vietnam War veteran, a lifelong Republican and a member of the Senate Foreign Relations committee who previously worked as political organizer for Ronald Reagan and then as his #2 political appointee at the Veterans Administration. So his selection would not only be an unprecedented bi-partisan gesture but would also bring the military and foreign policy credentials Obama lacks to the ticket.
Furthermore, Hagel left government service in 1982 and became a multi-millionaire business entrepreneur and CEO before he returned to government as a US Senator in 1996. Thus he also possesses the business experience and economic credentials that both Obama and his opponent John McCain lack. But unlike McCain, Hagel was also an early critic and vocal opponent of the Iraq War and his wife, Lilibet, was an early financial supporter of Obama.
While Chuck Hagel wouldn't be a popular choice for some Democrats, Obama would find huge support for this among independent and Republican voters, particularily in Midwestern states that usually lean or vote Republican.

For McCain the choice is a lot trickier and depends on whether or not he chooses a conventional course of action or elects to go a more unconventional route. I would argue unconventional would be better for him in a "change" election, but then again, this election isn't about John McCain. It is a referendum on Barack Obama and is thus Obama's to lose rather than McCain's to win. This is an argument for McCain to go the more conventional route. Conventional would be Mitt Romney who helps McCain win swing states like Michigan and New Hampshire, has the business experience and understanding of economics that McCain lacks and can help McCain try to offset the fundraising advantage Obama will have in the general election. But McCain will also have to overcome his personal animosity toward Romney, like JFK did with LBJ, if he goes this route. The unconventional pick would be Joe Lieberman, who re-inforces McCain's stance on the Iraq war and his track record of working for bi-partisan solutions on different issues. A choice like this doesn't so much help McCain win, but instead positions McCain to win if Obama falters, because McCain could be more readily accepted by those afraid to vote for Obama but who still want to see big changes in the way our government is run. This is also how McCain won the Republican nomination. He didn't win it per se, but rather positioned himself to win when his opponents flaws and weaknesses were exposed by events and circumstances beyond John McCain's control.

Posted by: charles laffiteau | July 29, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

The first rule for picking a VP is: "Do No Harm." For Mac, Romney and Ridge would turn off Catholics and Evangelicals and he needs them badly. Pawlenty would do but can voters see him as the next prez? Not at this moment.
Crist would not hurt nor harm. I like Huckabee but not sure of his negatives.

Ohio's Rob Portman is the best pick. The base will embrace him; he is an excellent speaker, knows the economy as a former U.S. BUdget director, knows trade as the former trade ambassador, a heck of a campaigner and speaker, good-looking and only 52(looks younger).

BO should pick Evan Bayh. Similar in many ways to Portman.

Bottom line, there is no VP candidate who will make the differnce in securing votes for either candidate; it is BO's election to lose. What they need is one who will not lose them votes and both Portman and Bayh fit that criteria.

Posted by: davidar333 | July 29, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

What if I told you that a prominent global political figure in recent months has proposed: abrogating key features of his government's contracts with energy companies; unilaterally renegotiating his country's international economic treaties; dramatically raising marginal tax rates on the "rich" to levels not seen in his country in three decades (which would make them among the highest in the world); and changing his country's social insurance system into explicit welfare by severing the link between taxes and benefits?


AP
The first name that came to mind would probably not be Barack Obama, possibly our nation's next president. Yet despite his obvious general intelligence, and uplifting and motivational eloquence, Sen. Obama reveals this startling economic illiteracy in his policy proposals and economic pronouncements. From the property rights and rule of (contract) law foundations of a successful market economy to the specifics of tax, spending, energy, regulatory and trade policy, if the proposals espoused by candidate Obama ever became law, the American economy would suffer a serious setback.

Posted by: recipe for poverty | July 29, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Obama/Biden: The most important decision a presumptive presidential candidate makes is who brings strength to the ticket. Joe Biden is head and shoulders above anyone else with a wealth of domestic and foreign policy experience. He's Roman Catholic, direct, and brings confidence to wavering independent voters. Bayh and Kaine in comparison do not measure up to Biden's stature. I urge Obama to choose Biden!

McCain/Romney: What's love got to do with it! These two really don't like each other too much. But neither did Reagan and Bush the Father yet the two still united the party and ran the country for eight years. Romney brings the economic chops and executive experience to the table during desperate economic times. Some evangelicals may not be happy, so what! It's a good ticket.

The above two tickets will bring an excellent choice for America to decide on in November. By choosing each of the above vice-president candidates it adds stength to each ticket and confidence to the American people. Let's just see how bright Obama and McCain really are!

Posted by: Gary Thomas | July 29, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

The Thrill Is Gone
July 29, 2008; Page A16
That was a brief fling, even by European romantic standards. One day after his speech before an adulating Berlin crowd last week, Barack Obama said more NATO troops would allow the U.S. to cut its presence in Afghanistan. The "billions of dollars" saved, he told CNN on Friday, could "finance lower taxes for middle-class families."

Ah, not so fast. On Sunday the Secretary General of the opposition German Free Democrats, Dieter Niebel, responded to Mr. Obama by telling the Bild am Sonntag that "Under no circumstances will the German taxpayer pay with more money and more troops for Afghanistan for tax cuts in the U.S."

Erwin Huber, chairman of the center-right Christian Social Union of Bavaria, called Mr. Obama's statement "a disappointment for Europe and Germany." Mr. Huber, who belongs to the sister party of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats, also said that "it is the opposite of solidarity and partnership when one side is to make more sacrifices and the other gains an advantage from it."

Welcome to President Bush's world, Senator Obama. The myth is that Mr. Bush's "unilateralism" has so antagonized America's allies that they will rush to share more of the war burden once the Texan is back in Crawford. But Europeans have long enjoyed the free ride of U.S. military protection while enjoying even more their freedom to criticize how that protection is provided. Mr. Obama's attempt to link European security commitments to American tax cuts was the kind of "unilateral" political faux pas that won't make European defense burden-sharing any more likely.

Posted by: WSJ today | July 29, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

I have been saying since February that it will be an Obama-Kaine ticket and not just because of the confusion that will ensue (Obama-Kaine vs. McCain-?). Obama has made breaking the Republican stranglehold on the south an essential part of his strategy, and Kaine helps him most with that. Speculation that Obama will pick a foreign policy type is ridicoulous since Obama doesn't see himself as having a problem in that area.
McCain is trickier. CW seems to be that Romney is a shoo in, however I don't think McCain will be able to bring himself to do that. It would be a disaster, creating parallel campaigns similar to the Kerry-Edwards debacle. Romney is not a team player, and hopefully McCain will see that.
Jindal and Ridge would draw a lot of attention and are probably the be st picks. But ultimately I think that McCain will go with Pawlenty since he is comfortable with him, and Pawlenty is a great advocate. He is very effective at bringing out McCain's heroism and will not distract from the candidate at the top of the ticket.
To recap:
Obama-Kaine Vs. McCain-Pawlenty

Posted by: myhojda | July 29, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Chris, if you can't/won't block an overtly racist commenter like Dianne72 you should at least be honest and remove your ludicrous "Post a Comment" text.

Posted by: FlownOver | July 29, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

He's rarely been mentioned, but my own dark horse candidate for Obama's veep is Bill Bradley. He has all the gravitas associated with insiders like Dodd and Biden. He also carries his own fascinating biography.

And then there's the X Factor. One of the things than Obama and Eric Holder has consistently bonded over (purportedly) is basketball. They're both big fans.

In the sense that part of picking a ticket would require Obama to develop a personal relationship with a ticket mate, I think he might be tempted to pick someone who shares his personal passion.

Besides, the campaign slogan writes itself:

Obama/Bradley: WE GO PLAY HOOP

I have no idea whether Dollar Bill would even be interested, but I think it would make a compelling ticket.

Posted by: scoob | July 29, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Didn't Joe Biden refer to Barry Hussein as "clean and articulate"?

Posted by: Nadeem Zakaria | July 29, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Um, I'm getting a deja vu feeling. Didn't we circle this track just a couple of days ago?

Okay, here goes:

GOP: GO WITH THE HUCKSTER


McCain should go with the Huckster. Mike Huckabee will solidify McCain's wavering base. He's something of a Libertarian on privacy and constitutional issues, thus having some appeal to independents and to lunch-bucket Dems who think Obama lacks the experience to be POTUS.

Huck brings in both the South and the West (as stated previously, he plays bass and probably knows some Bob Wills Texas Swing along with his cachce of '60s garageband rock).

Don't forget his executive experience as the governor of Arkansas. And he's likable, and is a proven commodity as a campaigner. He'll bring in disillusioned Obamanauts, something few of the others mentioned could do.


DEMS: CHRIS DODD AND THE NEED FOR SAGACITY

On the Dem side: Kaine is not able for Obama. He's not widely known; he's only been a governor for a short time; he has zero foreign policy chops. He's got the same problems as Obama in the resume department.

Kaine might help bring in Virginia, but Obama's primary victory shows that the candidate might be able to deliver the state if he chooses a veepee with a record of experience and accomplishment on the national scene (the very qualities that Obama lacks).

Obama will not choose a candidate with loose lips and a penchant for self-immolation. Nor will he pick someone who would be second-guessing his every move, someone who might prompt the hiring of a food taster. Barack won't go to the Hill.

Sebilius isn't nationally known and has no foreign policy chops. If Obama goes with a woman, he must go with Hillary, and he won't, for the reasons alluded to above.

That leaves the obvious perfect choice: Chris Dodd. Dodd is chairman of the Senate Banking Committee at a time of economic turmoil. He's a devoted adherent to civil liberties, an area in which Obama needs some shoring up with his disillusioned base. He's got foreign policy chops, and he's got the maturity and the gravitas to be a trusted adviser upon whom Obama can count for unvarnished, sage advice.

And Dodd knows the workings of Washington. It is naive to think that an Obama administration won't need someone at his side who knows how to pull the levers of power.

Of course, Dodd's Washington bona fides might be the reason why the hubris-heavy Obama might take a pass on Dodd. That would be a mistake. Obama needs a "wise man." And did I forget to mention that Dodd is a devout, reformist Catholic?

Now, a Dodd selection might cost Connecticut his Senate seat, since the governor there is a Republican. But that would have happened had Dodd's own presidential campaign succeeded. Obama badly needs someone like Dodd; it may be the only way he can win back the passionate support of those whom he has disappointed with his issue vacillations and flip-flops.

Of course, all this assumes that Hillary's probable convention putsch won't succeed. If more polls start to show McCain taking the lead (in a year when the Dem should be far ahead) I wouldn't be surprised if the Hillary Comeback Movement picks up real steam.

IS AN EXTRA-LEGAL, GOVERNMENT-SUPPORTED
"VIGILANTE JUSTICE" NETWORK PARTLY TO BLAME
FOR THE MORTGAGE AND CREDIT MELTDOWNS?


http://www.nowpublic.com/world/get-political-vic-livingston-opinion-expose-state-supported-vigilante-squads-doing-domestic-terrorism


Posted by: scrivener | July 29, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Its going to be Tim vs Tim. Two Tims, born two years apart to Roman Catholic families in battleground Minnesota are going to face-off in this year's 2008 presidential election as Vice Presidential competitors. Both men earned law degrees before entering politics. Both men ascended to their state's highest office, Pawlenty still in MN, while Kaine had moved on to Virginia. Both men have a reputation for being somewhat moderate - and have been elected to their jobs as members of the historically minority party in their respective states. Both are said to have close personal relationships with their parties' presidential nominees. Both states are said to be swing states in the 2008 election, where a 'favorite son' might help sway voters enough to deliver the state for their party.

Posted by: bsimon | July 29, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Re: Dianne72's remarks, I find it interesting that anti-Obama people find it relevant to inject their views, which generally appear inaccurate to put it mildly, into any forum they can find. Her comments have NOTHING to do with the VP choices.

Now that's said, I like Biden for Obama. He's got a lot of experience and his being white might comfort some. Although that shouldn't be important it is to some of the country's voters.

McCain will pick Romney, which will set him up to run in the next election and give McCain more economic depth. Besides, some will argue that geographicly he can influence Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Utah, and Michigan voters.

Posted by: allenwoodhaven | July 29, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

For Obama I'm betting Chuck Hagel.

They went together on the foriegn trip, Hagel Defended Obama against Mccain, they're friends, and Hagel is a republican.

Posted by: Megaduck | July 29, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

(with a tip of the hat to Jack Germond)

How the hell should I know?

Posted by: FlownOver | July 29, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Um, I'm getting a deja vu feeling. Didn't we circle this track just a couple of days ago?

Okay, here goes:

GOP: GO WITH THE HUCKSTER


McCain should go with the Huckster. Mike Huckabee will solidify McCain's wavering base. He's something of a Libertarian on privacy and constitutional issues, thus having some appeal to independents and to lunch-bucket Dems who think Obama lacks the experience to be POTUS.

Huck brings in both the South and the West (as stated previously, he plays bass and probably knows some Bob Wills Texas Swing along with his cachce of '60s garageband rock).

Don't forget his executive experience as the governor of Arkansas. And he's likable, and is a proven commodity as a campaigner. He'll bring in disillusioned Obamanauts, something few of the others mentioned could do.


DEMS: CHRIS DODD AND THE NEED FOR SAGACITY

On the Dem side: Kaine is not able for Obama. He's not widely known; he's only been a governor for a short time; he has zero foreign policy chops. He's got the same problems as Obama in the resume department.

Kaine might help bring in Virginia, but Obama's primary victory shows that the candidate might be able to deliver the state if he chooses a veepee with a record of experience and accomplishment on the national scene (the very qualities that Obama lacks).

Obama will not choose a candidate with loose lips and a penchant for self-immolation. Nor will he pick someone who would be second-guessing his every move, someone who would might prompt the hiring of a food taster. Barack won't go to the Hill.

Sebilius isn't nationally known and has no foriegn policy chops. If Obama goes with a woman, he must go with Hillary, and he won't, for the reasons alluded to above.

That leaves the obvious perfect choice: Chris Dodd. Dodd is chairman of the Senate Banking Committee at a time of economic turmoil. He's a devoted adherent to civil liberties, an area in which Obama needs some shoring up with his disillusioned base. He's got foreign policy chops, and he's got the maturity and the gravitas to be a trusted adviser upon whom Obama can count on for unvarnished, sage advice.

And Dodd knows the workings of Washington. It is naive to think that an Obama administration won't need someone who knows how to pull the levers of power.

Of course, Dodd's Washington bona fides might be the reason why the hubris-heavy Obama might take a pass on Dodd. That would be a mistake. Obama needs a "wise man." And did I forget to mention that Dodd is a devout, reformist Catholic?

Now, a Dodd selection might cost Connecticut his Senate seat, since the governor there is a Republican. But that would have happened had Dodd's own presidential campaign succeeded. Obama badly needs someone like Dodd; it may be the only way he can win back the passionate supporter of those whom he has disappointed with his issue vacillations and flip-flops.

Of course, all this assumes that Hillary's probable convention putsch won't succeed. If more polls start to show McCain taking the lead (in a year when the Dem should be far ahead) I wouldn't be surprised if the Hillary Comeback Movement picks up real steam.

IS AN EXTRA-LEGAL, GOVERNMENT-SUPPORTED
"VIGILANTE JUSTICE" NETWORK PARTLY TO BLAME
FOR THE MORTGAGE AND CREDIT MELTDOWNS?


http://www.nowpublic.com/world/get-political-vic-livingston-opinion-expose-state-supported-vigilante-squads-doing-domestic-terrorism


Posted by: scrivener | July 29, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

I think Obama will go (should go) with Bayh because: (1) he's popular and widely respected in Indiana, which seems to be in play this go-around; (2) he will help shore up Obama's perceived foreign policy weakness (odd that the one issue that Obama seems to be ahead of the curve on is perceived as his weakness); (3) he's a former governor on top of being a senator, so he's got experience both working outside and inside Washington; (4) he was an early supporter of Hillary Clinton, so he could be useful in shrinking the PUMA crowd even further; and (5) he is a discplined politician who would likely be gaffe-free.

McCain will go with Romney because: (1) money; (2) McCain has been tripping over himself to suck up to the Conservative-elite base because he's scared if that base starts to show cracks, it will have a snowballing effect, and that base wants him to pick Romney; (3) Romney willbe more than happy to go-along as the attack dog for McCain, so in the future Romney can be the one impugning Obama's patriotism as opposed to McCain, thereby helping McCain avoid as much of the blowback those kinds of attacks have on McCain's independent/maverick/above politics reputation; (4) it will likely ensure he wins AZ (probably not that much in doubt), and helps him in CO and NH; and (5) money.

Posted by: deekerj | July 29, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Didn't Joe Biden refer to Barry Hussein as "clean and articulate"?

Posted by: Nadeem Zakaria | July 29, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

To date all the evidence has shown that Obama has run one of the most disciplined campaigns in the past few decades, especially for a Democrat -- so expect a surprise pick that no one's been chattering about. My guess is Brian Schwitzer, reinforcing the generational change theme and helping out with the Western strategy. By the same measure, forget Kaine -- no way with this many leaks from his side that they'd now put him on the ticket. Of all the names currently believed to be on the short list, most likely is probably Sebelius (largely for the same reasons as Schwitzer).

For McCain, expect a desperation move to pick Romney, supposedly to back up McCain on economic issues. The pick will end up being disastrous, though. First, the two can't convincingly come off as being able even to stand one another, let alone project the mutual goodwill of genuine partners. Second, Romney will end up doing more harm than good with blue collar voters, his economic expertise being easily portrayed by the Dems as that of a guy who made his fortune laying people off and outsourcing their jobs, not of someone with a record of buoying American manufacturing and improving the lives of working folk. The better pick would be Huckabee to help shore up the evangelical vote, but it looks like Huck's smart enough not to accept a ride on McCain's southbound train. He's holding out for 2012.

Posted by: MCU | July 29, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Per Rasmussen - Obama's bounce has bounced away and polling returned to a statistical tie.
Per Gallup - only 35% view Obama's foreign trip as positive.

If Obama chooses Kaine, the VA Republican Lt. Gov will become governor.
If Obama chooses Mark Warner, what happens to the Dem Senate race?


Posted by: zazzle | July 29, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Over the course of US history nearly one in every three Vice Presidents became President. The first two Vice Presidents were powerful and popular figures in their own right finishing second for the Presidency (John Adams, Thomas Jefferson), this comment applies to the other VPs who became President. What separates the throw aways who finish out the term (Millard Filmore, John Tyler, Chester A. Arthur,Gerald Ford)or worse (Andrew Johnson, possibly Martin Van Buren or Calvin Coolidge) from the more effective picks (Theodore Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson, Harry Truman, possibly Richard Nixon)?

Theodore Roosevelt was a war hero (later awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor), state legislative leader, Governor of New York and holder of a variety of senior government jobs on the local and national level. LBJ was the Snate Majority Leader. Truman was a powerful Senator who successfully handled an investigation into government waste in WWII by turning up billions in savings without embarassing the war effort. Nixon's background was far shadier, reeking of using government investigations to advance his own career.

I don't know about vetting but a review of the resume for someone ready to take over makes a difference. No one in either party looks anywhere near as good as TR. What are the lead attributes of the lead characters? Sebellius has been very successful in recruiting high level Republicans to defect and run for and/or assume high office in Kansas. Tim Kaine has been less successful than Mark Warner in getting things done and has taken the Republican/conservative line in some issues. Rob Portman has been a back room wheeler dealer like Johnson at a lower, less public, level. Bayh has been Governor and Senator but other than raising a lot of money and getting re-elected has little to recommenf himself. Like the current President he spent much of his life being overshadowed by an accomplished political father. Forget him.
Mitt Romney has a decent resume but his term in office is characterized by disaster (the Big Dig) and disappointment. Much the same can be said of Tim ("Veto Aid to Repair Bridges") Pawlenty.

The best choices seem mostly to have been missed.

For Democrats, the obvious choices read Wesley Clark, Bob Graham and Ed Rendell. Clark's resume is impressive but his political skills may be uncertain. HGe will work as a tireless campaigner and attack dog. Graham is a former Governor, Senator, and Chairman of the Intelligence Committee who publicly identified tfailings in the Iraq go-to-war story before we went to war. He is the most popular politician in Florida history (but retired). Graham is what Sam Nunn is claimed to be : a defense expert, southern, vastly popular among key voters and right on Iraq (works with not against Obama). Rendell is a popular Democrat. A big city mayor and Governor used to working with Republicans and a tireless campaigner. He would bring support from the Clinton followers. The best choice here is Graham because he is most ready to be President.

Republicans want somebody a little younger than McCain with executive experience who has the ability to cross the aisle. The best pick is not flip-flop Mitt but Charlie Crist, the Florida Governor. The best name from the list is Portman.

Posted by: David Kowalski | July 29, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Obama=Biden
Because nobody else has the foreign policy gravitas, passion for the fight and the outright balls to shove every McSame talking point right back down their throats.

McCain=Pawlenty
Because Mac likes this young guy. He'll also need Paw-lenty of help when he falls and can't get up.

Posted by: Soonerthought.blogspot.com | July 29, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Obama wants to change the electoral map this fall. He may be worried about some traditional "blue" states like Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan, but believes that he can win Virginia, Colorado and New Mexico. Picking Tim Kaine is the right choice for Obama. Virginia, which was always within reach, would instantly tilt toward Obama/Kaine. Plus, Kaine (with his command of Spanish) can help considerably in the Southwest.

I believe that McCain, despite noise to the contrary, will wait until Obama picks to make his move. If Obama does go for Kaine, then I believe that McCain will select Tom Ridge because at that point McCain may view his only hope as ceding Virginia and winning all three of Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan. Selecting Ridge will anger the base, but McCain has very little choice but to make a play for the swing voters in soft blue states and Ridge's party apostasy on abortion is exactly what McCain needs to make those races close in the rust belt.

Posted by: Chris Mc | July 29, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

If the nominee faces questions about experience, having served about three and a half years in statewide office, Kaine has been governor for about two and a half years. It would be the most astonishingly inexperienced pair to hit Washington in modern history. Carter at least had Walter Mondale, who had been a senator for twelve years, and Clinton and Gore look like seasoned old pros by comparison.

We would probably hear about how Kaine's missionary work in Honduras as a younger man was some sort of useful foreign policy experience, much as Obama cites his living abroad from age six to age ten. But I doubt that many Americans look at Kaine and his experience and exclaim, "there's a man who's ready to be commander-in-chief." Kaine would reinforce all of the doubts about Obama, instead of dispelling them.


Posted by: jim g | July 29, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Obama: Obama will pick Wesley Clark. The only criticism that McCain seems to make of Obama that actually sticks in the media is criticism on the security front. Wesley Clark, four star general and Supreme Allied Commander during the Balkan war takes away this line of attack before he even opens his mouth. Aside from that, he's popular in the south, is well respected elsewhere for his service, and commanded a war without a single American casualty (an important distinction given the Iraq mess). He fits very nicely with Obama's description of what he wants in a VP. They fall in the same part of the political spectrum, Clark is not a Washington insider, and he's certainly not going to be afraid to tell Obama what he thinks. He compliments obama in that his area of expertise is one that Obama lacks a lot of experience in, and his advice would be essential seeing that Iraq and Afghanistan are delt with properly in over the next four years. He's also not afraid to be the attack dog the VP needs to be, and he was a Clinton supporter as well, which extends an olive branch to that faction of the party. He's a catholic, which was a group Obama had trouble winning over in the primaries. He's also 64, which will appeal to older voters, another group Obama has had trouble with. Quite simply, all the pieces fit.

McCain: I don't follow the Republicans as closely, but seeing as McCain has a very slim chance at winning this election, I think he's gotta go with Romney. Romney could put Michigan into play, without doing too much damage elsewhere and McCain needs Michigan and Ohio if he wants to win.

Posted by: Zach | July 29, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Chris, Why don't you do a little "investigative reserach" (quietly) and try to see if you can find out what's in McCain's medical records that no one seems to be worried about; instead of worrying about Obama playing basketball? I think if he was in better health, they wouldn't be so secretive about it. If that was Obama, the Republicans would be all over him about it. The Republicans are "stuck" with McCain and they are trying everything they can to keep the "spotlight" off of him, his age and his health. McCain is in the "first stages" of dementia and everybody knows it. MSM is afraid of being called "unpatriotic" and "disrespectful" if it's mentioned. That's why this country is in the shape we are in now. Because MSM was afraid to "challenge the status quo". Haven't you guys grown any "cajoles" in the last 5 or 6 years?

Posted by: Judy | July 29, 2008 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Obama: Brian Schweitzer, governor of MT.
Schweitzer's approval rating in MT is much higher than Kaine's in VA, he's more likeable and a better speaker than Kaine, he has two more years experience as a governor, he speaks Arabic, he's knowledgeable when it comes to energy policy, has private sector experience, and he has a proven track record of attracting Independents and Republicans. These two youtube clips are a good example of why Schweitzer will be picked. The first is a general discussion on how democrats can win in red states, the second a discussion on energy policy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUr48lg9Ocs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TxRxipXI_w

For McCain: Pawlenty. Like Obama, McCain will want someone outside the beltway to reinforce the message "I'm also an agent of change". Doesn't hurt that some polls show Minnesota competitive. Romney won't get picked because his Mormonism and flip-flops on abortion make the religious right nervous, because much of his private sector experience involved laying people off, and because--despite media reports of a rapprochement--McCain still doesn't like him.

Posted by: PDM | July 29, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Chris:
Romney's the shoo-in for McCain. He will get out the Mormons in Nevada (and possibly save it from going blue), give McCain a chance in Michigan and give the bumbling campaign an "appearance" of gravitas. I'd like to see Biden as Obama's pick - foreign policy, foreign policy, foreign policy - but I somehow think it's going to be someone else, not so well known, possibly Kaine (executive experience and Spanish-speaking).

Posted by: jayne | July 29, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Can't say that I remember Romney running a "pitch perfect' campaign. He was the early favorite and the most money in the bank but lost. The general consensus he came off as very disingenuine and shot himself in the foot on more than one occasion (See the Video at the Staples Store - Hilarious)

Posted by: swalker3 | July 29, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Obama will take Clinton. He needs to let some of the primary dust settle and make it appear to be his decision and not hers. She has energized the party and would likely increase turnout among her primary supporters. She also has good fundraising connections. There is a risk of a backlash, but its difficult to get people to come out to simply vote against someone. She can easily be spun to be a change candidate and its not like she's spent an eternity in Washington. Just four years more than Obama.

McCain will go with Jindal. He is behind and needs to make a huge splash. Going with a safe pick isn't going to cut it. McCain has a serious problem with evangelicals and Jindal's conservative credentials will help shore up that weakness. Despite Jindal's conservative views, he does not seem to be demonized by the left. And in a more long term sense, a Jindal pick could be an important step in rebranding the party and increasing the tent. The one negative is that Jindal would neutralize any kind of attack on Obama's experience, but McCain hasn't been taking that route anyways.

Posted by: DDAWD | July 29, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Obama will pick Kaine to reflect his promise to reach traditional red states. McCain will pick Portman. Portman has several things going for him. Portman is former budget director who can help cut the pork out of the budget. He is young compared to McCain but not that young to contrast the difference that a Pawlenty or Jindal would make. Finally to quote from the late Tim Russert, its going to be "Ohio, Ohio, Ohio".

Posted by: afam212 | July 29, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

While Biden would give Obama serious foreign policy/intelligence chops, I do think that choice would undercut the change/youthful vigor aspects of his campaign.

But I think he has a bigger opportunity -- not only should he announce his VP choice, but he should give us a glimpse of what his Cabinet would look like:

Edwards (who said no to VP) -- Attorney General
Hillary -- Secretary of Health
Bill -- UN Ambassador

and so forth...

Posted by: WDR | July 29, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse


Has anyone ever listened to Michelle Shaniqua Obama speak? She tries very hard to sound articulate but you can tell it's not natural. It's almost as if at any moment she will slip back into ghetto-speak. I bet that was the case when she gave her "whitey" speech at Trinity Church. I look forward to the release of that tape in October.

Posted by: Dianne72 | July 29, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

McCain: I think you have it right on this one, it will be Mitt Romney. Romney, while not ever generating a lot of excitement, managed to run a pitch perfect campaign that avoided all major mistakes. And before we go any further, let's all admit that is one of the biggest things you want in your running mate: distraction free. Someone who looks and sounds the part, and that we know can campaign without making mistakes will make him an important asset. The other parts of the Romney addition are obvious: fund raising, high Mormon turnout in Nevada and Colorado, ties to Michigan, and an obvious willingness to do whatever it takes to win (including being an attack dog).

Posted by: Scu | July 29, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Obama will go for Kathleen Sebelius:

As someone who has tried (but not always succeeded) to set his campaign in a "big picture" frame of reference, Obama will not be able to resist underlining the historic nature of this year's Democrat ticket. He will have the opportunity to try to sell the country its first black president and first female vice president. When this is combined with Sebelius' credentials as a change candidate and Obama's belief (see yesterday's Michelle Obama speech) that women will be the deciding demographic block this fall, there can surely be no other choice to a man of his thinking?

Posted by: a rossdeutsch | July 29, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

I've been making bets since FEBRUARY that if Obama wound up the nominee he'd pick Kaine for the VP based on nothing other than the fact that Obama likes Kaine. So I hope he picks Kaine -- I could use the money.

Posted by: jesyke | July 29, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

McCain - Romney - Gives him a shot to steal Michigan and New Hampshire and maybe save Colorado

Obama - Bayh - Gives him a good shot to steal Indiana.

Romney is the one that The COnservatiive establishment wants and McCain still needs to win them over.

The problem with Kaine is that he's not Warner and that's they guy camp Obama probably really wants. From all I've read Kaine isn't all that popular in Virginia at the monet and given the fact that Obama has opened a record number of offices and dispatched hundreds of campaign organizers, tells me that he is opting to lean on his organization to win Virginia

Posted by: swalker3 | July 29, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's weeklong trip abroad doesn't have a happy ending. The latest USA Today/Gallup poll gives GOP candidate John McCain a 4 point-edge over Obama among likely voters, 49 percent to 45 percent.

The poll was released Monday, a day after Obama returned to the United States from spending a week holding meetings and giving speeches in Iraq, Afghanistan, Germany and France.

Posted by: amanda | July 29, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse

If Obama would pick Sam Nunn, he'd have my vote right now. I think it would give people a comfort level with Obama that doesn't exist right now. It also puts Georgia well into the competitive category.

I think McCain and Pawlenty would make a nice tandem, although I am intrigued with Portman.

Posted by: Undecided | July 29, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse

I think there is an incentive for both candidates to in some sense both vet their top candidates and retain a measure of surprise. Although it seems Tim Kaine is the popular choice for Obama, and he does fit the mold of Beltway outsider, I think it's a headfake and Kathleen Sebelius is the ultimate pick. She's the outsider, she's a hard worker who doesn't self-promote extensively, and she lends an air of experienced statecraft, if not to the degree that a Senator Biden or Dodd might offer.

Posted by: RichardV | July 29, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Dear Chris,

What a wonderful challenge to not only guess about who will be chosen for Veep but more importantly for what reason(s)
Given, as you say, that those who know don't talk and those who talk don't know, a devoted Fixista can only offer a phenomenalistic impression. Ordinary calculations suggest that considerations of ideology, geography, age, experience, (even health!) and marginal help with some part(s) of the country narrow the choices down to, unsurprisingly, Kaine, Richardson of New Mexico, and Sam Nunn.
If the Novak thesis is correct, namely, that despite the history of Democratic victories without a supporting white majority, the Democrats do need help with white males, then Sam Nunn certainly would help as a known and acknowledged defense expert, a good ole boy with a southern accent, and perhaps some help in the South. Further, he is no flaming liberal even by today's tepid standards.
You have already characterized Gov. Kaine's pros and cons and I would simply add that now and in the future the Hispanic community won't forget Tom Tancredo's hostility toward Hispanics nor would they forget a fluent Spanish speaker on the Democratic side which qualifies both Kaine and Richardson. This would be a play not just for today but for the future as well. Sam Nunn, of course, has no long term benefits and is an extremely unlikely successor were O'Bama to win two terms as a candidate.
The same reasoning of the importance of a working class constiutuency, which after all is the Democratic party's raison d'etre, applies to Governor Richardson.
Richardson has the most advantages overall. He connnects to the Hispanic community, he has as good a resume as any Democrat in the country, and he is in a growing part of the country. He is relatively young, has energy to burn, and knows the international scene from his time at the United Nations.Further, he brings that so-called "executive experience" to the plate which will be important in helping insulate O'bama from the coming Republican attack on that issue. Ranking them in order I would put 1) Richardson, 2) Nunn, 3) Kaine. Charles Gorodess

Posted by: Chris Cilizza | July 29, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Like anyone really knows... But I'll go with this:

McCain - Romney, jut because he's on the top of the list and would seem to help with the economy

Obama - Biden, just because the campaign must come to their senses and not pick a neophyte like Kaine when experience and competency are such huge issues for voters.

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

Posted by: matt | July 29, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

In response to Brokaw's charge that he has been engaging in "verbal kung fu with reporters ... about the surge," Obama lamely attempted to dissociate the surge from the "Sunni Awakening" and other positive political developments that have occurred or flourished in Iraq as a direct result of the surge. He then robotically repeated the puerile Democratic talking point that but for our "distraction" in Iraq, "we would be further along" in "hunting down al-Qaida and the Taliban in Afghanistan."

It's one thing for liberal commentators to slavishly compartmentalize the war on terror to Afghanistan alone, but it's scary that would-be President Obama trumpets this nonsense. Why, Sen. Obama, must we relegate ourselves just to hunting down al-Qaida in Afghanistan when they have volunteered themselves as targets in Iraq? Or do you believe they're off-limits in Iraq because the Democratic position requires you still to deny they're there?

When asked how he would combat the public's overwhelming perception that Sen. McCain would make a better commander in chief, Obama further embarrassed himself with non sequiturs about his promise to deliver "change."

And when Brokaw pinned Obama down about his threat to go after al-Qaida in Pakistan with or without the blessing of that country, in view of the risk that it could cause a "conflagration" with Pakistan because about "50 percent" of Pakistanis "are sympathetic to the terrorists," Obama stuttered into the evasion that "the situation in Pakistan is complicated."

It's no wonder that Obama is studiously avoiding unscripted town hall meeting appearances with McCain. That's the only wisdom he's exhibited lately.

In response, McCain should relentlessly call him out. McCain's main election strategy should be to expose more of the real Obama to voters every chance he gets

Posted by: david L | July 29, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

McCain -- Pawlenty.

Obama -- Bayh.

Posted by: Carl | July 29, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

"How much of the frenzy of reporting on the veepstakes (The Fix very much included) really reflects the decision-making going on in the inner circles of the campaigns? Not all that much."

At least you're honest about it Chris. It's July in Washington, the infamous Silly Season.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | July 29, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Talk about Kaine all you want - Obama would find more support than politically expected in Hagel. Sure, it's been forever since talk was heavy in Senator's favor, but take a look at it from a bi/non-partisan prespective. We're looking at the biggest duel-party reach-around since Lincoln - who would really complain (something maybe in the Illinois water)? Americans are fed up with Iraq, tired of being angry at each other, feigning interest in party-wars and ready - I mean really ready - for some old-fashioned meat and potatoes. Nebraska style?

Posted by: Gainesville, FL | July 29, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Although most of the mainstream media are still swooning over Barack Obama, a few critics are calling the things he advocates "naive." But that assumes that he is trying to solve the country's problems. If he is trying to solve his own problem of getting elected, then he is telling the voters just what they want to hear. That is not naive but shrewd and cynical.

Posted by: sowell | July 29, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

What is amazing this year is how many people have bought the fundamentally childish notion that, if you don't like the way things are going, the answer is to write a blank check for generic "change," empowering someone chosen not on the basis of any track record but on the basis of his skill with words.

Posted by: sowell | July 29, 2008 11:57 AM | Report abuse

I'd love to see Joe Biden get in there. He is one totally unihibited politician. He would be refreshing, blunt, no nonsense. For President McCain, I like Ridge, Romney and Pawlenty in that order.

Posted by: djudge | July 29, 2008 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Pawlenty and Biden.

Posted by: Paleo | July 29, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

McCain: Pawlenty. Pawlenty adds some youth to the campaign and some all-important domestic abilities. The governor of a state shows that McCain cares about domestic issues and wants someone with executive experience on board.

Obama: Kaine. Sure, Biden and Bayh may have more experience, but there's no point in being outshone by your VP. Kaine is a governor (executive experience again) and, more important, a D.C. outsider. This allows Obama to argue that he is an agent of change. Moreover, Kaine has tried to work across party lines and be a "post-partisan" leader. This will further Obama's point about bringing about a change in the way politics is conducted. Obama will be able to argue that he and Kaine together represent the future -- the new way of engaging in politics with a focus on pragmatism and getting things done rather than on party labels.

Posted by: Ryan | July 29, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Chris,

I think you're right about the closely-held nature of the discussions. That said, I think you've forgotten one thing. Once the campaigns get serious about a candidate, they're likely talking to that candidate and his/her close circle. That at least doubles (and if there are two candidates triples, etc.) the number of people with reliable information. So even if the campaigns themselves are keeping mum, good intel could be being gleaned from prospective veeps.

Posted by: Steve | July 29, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

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