Aug 14, 2008

The VP Choices for Barack Obama

A Season for Runners

Next week, Sen. Barack Obama will officially be the Democratic presidential nominee and he'll have a running mate. There's lots of speculation as to his VP pick, but most of the names mentioned are not good choices, like Sen. E. Bayh from Indiana. First principle is do no harm! Obama should choose a VP that will not distract or have "excessive baggage"--sorry, Hilary Clinton is therefore excluded by definition.

However, I don't want to see another Dan Quale, so lightweight that he'll just blow away in eight years--which brings me to my point: Obama should be the beginning of progressive change that will be continued by his VP in 2016! Therefore, this person should be able (age, ability) to continue the course after Obama leaves office.

Another requirement would be that the VP should not be a senator from a state that has a Republican governor. The governors appoint senators until the next election when there's a vacancy. There's a great effort & an opportunity this year to increase the Dem majority in the Senate. Obama should know that much of his success as president will depend on getting legislation through Congress-- this measn both chambers, or there's no deal! Often, this translates into having 60 votes in the Senate to prevent the conservatives from filibustering sensible legislation. The more Dems in the Senate the better the chances for president Obama to get things done, like universal health care.

The other requirement would be to pick someone who is progressive. Don't try to balance the ticket. I don't think this works. It worked with Kennedy-Johnson, but for the most part Americans vote for the president alone, not who's his running mate. Along the same line, I disagree with those pundits that advise Obama to "move to the center." What center?...
[The answer in the next post in a couple days.]


a Democrat said...

I admit I don't know enough about Bayh, but he seems a reasonable choice. Looks the part too!

Andros said...

He supported the war, repeatedly. No foreign policy credentials. He supported H. Clinton and was critical of BO during the primaries (not a deadly offense, I admit).

I just can't see him winning in 2016. He's a lightweight, and I'll leave it at that.

Anonymous said...

How about Sebelius? Would that be too much for a black & woman ticket?

I don't really care, I'd vote for them, but maybe Americans don't want so much change at once. Just wondering.

unknown said...

But, your requirements mean the VP will be an unknown.

Andros said...

Well, it's OK. Gravitas doesn't mean fame. The VP could be someone who can be up to the challenge, has the ability to continue the progressive course, as I believe this election can lead to a political re-alignment.

Eight years can be a great experience for the right person who can win the 2016 presidential election.

Clinton picked Gore, not a famous natinal figure, nor particularly charismatice. Gore was in his 40s, grew into a statesman, and was robbed in 2000.

As for age thingy, I could see a scenario with Biden as the VP. Biden or Dodd have the experience, can shore up the ticket, and serve for 4 years. Then in 2012, this VP can retire, especially if it's Biden, or turn into a Secretary of State!

Then the "new" VP could be seen as the successor to Obama in 4 years!


drew said...

Dodd??!! You forget that he comes from CT!


Andros said...

You're absolutely right! There's a Repub gov in CT, so Dodd isn't a good choice.

Thanks for the heads up.

anderson said...

I could see a scenario whereas Obama picks another Senator from a state with a repug gov if that VP has a good prospect of being elected prez in 2016. I'd sacrifice 1 seat in the senate right now.

Andros said...

Hmmm, I guess I could accept that if I thought there was such a great prospect, but I don't see any senator that fits the bill.

I estimate that the Dems will add several sens this year, some 5-6 by a reasonable estimate, without that scum Lieberman, so they'll be in the majority.

Andros said...

Gov. Tim Kaine (VA), Sen. Evan Bayh(IN), and Sen. Joe Biden(DE) are in the rumor mill. Obama will announce his choice this Wednesday, 8/20.

From these three, I'd pick Biden. Lots of foreign policy experience, he can be president, but he has a tendency to shoot off his mouth. Not the brightest, but he's grades above Shrub.

brett said...

Agree. Biden is good for VP. In 8 years, we'll find someone younger to run for prez.

Biden comes from Delaware that has a Dem gov. So, no loses in the Senate.

J said...

This from Kos deserves a read:

Biden voted for the Iraq war. But beyond that, even if we stipulate that he has foreign policy chops, how does that make him a good veep choice? It strikes me that any pick designed to cover up a "flaw" in Obama (i.e. "lack of foreign policy credentials") only accentuates those flaws. Make him secretary of state.

Sure, compared to Bayh and Kaine, Biden looks almost passable, but that's a low hurdle to pass. I'd rather not have to choose my poison. I'd rather have candy.

I'm already assuming disappointment on Obama's pick, so I won't belabor one bad choice or another. But I'd love to see him pick a fresh face in politics who reinforces Obama's message of change. Biden doesn't. Clinton doesn't. Bayh certainly doesn't. If holding out for Sebelius is too much to ask for, and if Obama is going to pick a guy that has been around for decades, then pick Kerry. Or even Daschle.

But the senator from MBNA? That choice would be exciting to perhaps two audiences -- the Broderites and the credit card industry.

I agree with this estimate.

Andros said...

Look, I said out of the 3, Biden is the preferred one. I also agree with KOS that we should have candy not bitter stuff.

I'm of the opinion that Obama's VP doesn't have to do anything. Not to balance the ticket, nothing like that!

People vote for the prez, not his VP. I'd take ..candy even if it's not well-known! I want someone smart with a future! Much like Obama. His/her job will be to support the prez and get ready for 2016! Young age isn't important; Clinton & Gore won, both in their 40s.

mlow said...

Biden just (Tue) that he is not the guy!

Maybe he'll be the next secretary of state.

Andros said...

OK, it's Biden. At 65, he won't be running in 2016, when we'll have another rare presidential election without an incumbent.