Sunday, January 06, 2008

Obama's Veepstakes

Note, see part 1 for the other dudes.

Here we go. Obama is going to need someone who will balance his shortcomings, so he'll need a white male with a lot of DC government experience. Which means old white senators only. Which rules out Edwards. Hillary is also out (wrong gender, no actual experience, and she will melt when exposed to water or sunlight). However Dodd or Biden would fit the bill.

I think Biden is a poor choice because he's a dingbat. With a loose tongue. He'll become a quick liability (but he could carry Delaware! Wooo!). Dodd would be a smart choice - old-school white-as-hell long-time-Senator. The biggest liability would be that Dodd's state (mine) has a Republican governor and if he wins then that will hurt the delicate Senate ratio. One solution would be for Dodd to make his allegiance early, say he's resigning from the Senate, and then allow for Democrat to run in CT in '08.

Outside of the current candidates (and Dodd's the only one viable), the next question is: does Obama care if the VP is someone who had already endorsed Hillary? Almost all of the old guard has done so already. Will those dudes mind (I think not, because they probably signed up with her because they feared what would be her iron grip on their gonads that would come with her Inevitable Victory... they cheered on the insect overlords and may not have their hearts into it; and Obama seems to have the talent of turning enemies into friends, so maybe they'll go along with that).

So, if Obama can accept people who have endorsed Hillary, then Bayh would be a good guy. Maybe Vilsack, if Hillary hasn't already eaten his heart with fava beans and a nice chianti. Bob Kerrey was always in the back of my mind as a tough customer (Medal of Honor Navy SEAL), but his recent Obama smear tarred him as (1) a schmuck, (2) unfriendly to Obama, and (3) a fruit-loop.

Casting a wider net, I had thought someone like Sam Nunn would be good. But Nunn has established that he wants to be in the weirdo Bloomburgian third-party (the Everyone Else is Partisan But Not Us Because We're Otherwise Out of A Job Party) and only as the Presidential slot. So up his.

Someone suggested Bob Graham - former Governor and Senator from Florida. That sounds ideal - swing state, old time white guy - except that he was born in 1936 (72 years old?!) and that's just too old.

But swing state former Senators is a good start. What about Chuck Robb? Even though I'd have liked to see, on purely poetic grounds, a Dodd-Robb ticket, Robb is a former governor and Senator from Virginia who lost to George Allen in 2000. He'd be a great choice.

If Obama wants all of the above issues (white, senator etc) and also more moderate support, then maybe people from the Democratic Leadership Council, or the New Democrat Coalition, or my beloved Blue Dogs. True, there's almost complete overlap in the three groups, but that's fine for this.

The DLC (which brought us Bill Cliton, Al Gore, and Joe Lieberman - all winners in their elections), had Vilsack, Bayh, Nunn, and Robb (above) as leaders. Another DLC and NDC leader is John Breaux - a popular former Senator from Louisiana. I like Robb better.

Before I decide on Robb (and then send that suggestion to the bloggers I read), I'll check this handy list of currently alive former Democratic senators, which is divided up by state and gives the ages, how nice. I will see who is under 70:
  • Whoa, Dale Bumpers is still alive! OK, not him, but kol ha-kavod to his doctors.
  • There's Max Cleland (D-GA), but I met him in person and I wasn't so impressed. And he had only one term, not so good for the 'DC experience'
  • Wyche Fowler (D-GA) - Rep. for 10 years, Senator for 1 term, then Clinton's ambassador to Saudi Arabia. Eh.
  • Carol Moseley Braun (D-IL). Just kidding.
  • Bill Bradley (D-NJ) - Now that's interesting. Born in '43. Hmm
  • David Boren (D-OK) - Oklahoma, another Governor-Senator deal. I just don't believe a Democrat can win over a deep-red state no matter who the running mate is. The best VP picks, I believe, will be popular swing state guys.
  • Lincoln Chafee (R-RI) - yeah, I know I said Democrats, but Chafee was pretty liberal, has recently changed his party affiliation to Independent, and that could really help a bipartisan push. And if Obama really wants to channel the Abraham Lincoln vibe, what a better way to remind people?
  • Tom Daschle (D-SD) - see Braun above.
  • Al Gore (D-TN) - ahem. Too bad. Did ya know, he's not even 60 yet?!
And that's it. Well, from my list above, the best choices would be:
  1. Chris Dodd (current Senator, CT)
  2. Evan Bayh (current Senator, IN)
  3. Chuck Robb (former Senator, VA)
  4. Bill Bradley (former Senator, NJ)
  5. Lincoln Chafee (former Senator, RI)
That's it for now. I will send my list to appropriate time-wasters.

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