Thursday, June 19, 2008

Barack Obama's Vice President Choices

The perception is that Barack Obama lacks executive and foreign policy experience, so he would need to pick someone with both. However, he has shown good judgment on foreign policy issues, so he might want to lean slightly towards putting a governor on the ticket. Apparently, he has some problem with liberal white women who are upset that he beat Hillary Clinton in the primary. However, I assume most liberal white women are smart and would eventually back Obama and not McCain, who is anti-choice and your typical anti-woman Republican.

Obama has trouble with working class white people, but only from Appalachia, and he would be wise to ignore it because he won't win any of those states anyway. However, he does need to shore up his Latino vote. Generally I'm against dividing VP candidates into stupid groups like this, but I'm going to do that here. This is a list of who I want him to pick, as opposed to the list I made about John McCain, which was about who is most likely. But I'll put a likelihood factor next to each entry (L: 1-10, 10 is most likely).

1) Bill Richardson (NM) - He comes closer to filling all of Obama's needs than anyone else. He has foreign policy experience (congressman, diplomat), he has executive experience, he's been a member of a president's cabinet, he's Latino, and he's governor of a swing state. His only downside is he isn't the best campaigner and has a tendency to make a gaff. (L: 7)
2) Tim Kaine (Va) - A liberal governor from a southern swing state. Early backer of Obama. He fits the "change" theme, as he's relatively young, but he's a white male, so not "too changey." He is personally anti-death penalty (but still carries out the letter of the law) and won in Virginia- so major political points there. (L: 9)
3) Jennifer Granholm (Mi) - Unlike Lindsey Graham, she's a woman. She runs a Democratic-leaning state, but it would be nice to make sure Michigan is in blue. She could hep with women and Obama might have more trouble in the upper midwest than Gore or Kerry, so she would be a good choice. (L: 8)
4) Ed Rendell (Pen) - He is charismatic, was a Clinton supporter, and is head of a Democratic-leaning state. Obama could have trouble with Pennsylvania and, unlike Ohio or Florida, he must win it. However, Rendell is Jew. I am Jew. People don't like Jews. (L: 3)
5) Duval Patrick (Mas) - He's a capable young politician, who would solidify Obama's message. However, he adds nothing to the ticket. He's a young charismatic black guy. That describes someone else, doesn't it? I'd love to see him on the ticket because it would spit in the face of conventional politics and be a choice of conviction. (L: 1)
6) Ted Strickland (Oh) - He's an old white man. Obama should stay away from their ilk. It will look funny when he burns McCain for the same attributes that describe his VP choice. Strickland is in charge of Ohio, but Obama should forget about Ohio, Kentucky, and West Virginia. (L: 6)

1) Claire McCaskill (Mizz) - An early backer of Obama. A woman. Senator from a swing state. Likable. (L: 7)
2) Evan Bayh (Ind) - He was an early and ardent supporter of Clinton, so he would be a pick to "unify the party." He's experienced, but also a young looking white male, similar to Tim Kaine. (L: 9)
3) Tom Harkin (Ia) - He is an old white man, so that's not so good. But Iowa is a swing state and Obama will probably have to pick it off. Harkin might help with crucial surrounding states as well. (L: 4)
4) Jim Webb (Va) - He seems to be more likely than he should be. Obama doesn't have to choose a female vice president in order to attract female voters, but he does have to avoid choosing someone who offends them. Picking Webb would not uphold that principle. He's a bad choice. (L: 8)

Primary Opponents
1) Gov. Bill Richardson (NM) - See above. (L: 7)
2) Fmr Sen. John Edwards (NC) - He would be a great pick, except for 2004. He ran a very different (better) campaign in '08, but his '04 run raises questions about who is the real John Edwards. It doesn't make much sense to rehash old losses either. (L: 5)
3) Sen. Chris Dodd (Con) - The only reason he is #3 is because of the bottom two. He would be a bad choice. Bland, old, brings only foreign policy experience, which can be found in a more attractive candidate. Could be a good cabinet member. (L: 4)
4) Sen. Hillary Clinton (NY) - Behind Obama, she is the best politician and campaigner. But she brings so much baggage and undercuts Obama's "change" message. Choosing her would be an act of weakness or desperation by Obama. A very bad choice. A good one for Secretary of state though. (L: 8)
5) Sen. Joe Biden (Del) - I would consider not voting for Obama if he chooses Clinton. That's even more likely if Biden is on ticket. (YOU: You would vote for McCain then? ME: No idiot, I'd probably vote Green. YOU: But they have no chance to win. ME: You just don't get it and you never will. Kill yourself). Biden is a centrist. He enjoys making racially offensive statements. And he has a dangerously stupid plan for Iraq that would separate it into three semi-autonomous regions. (L: 5)

1) Wesley Clark - He's the only one who should even be under consideration because he actually ran a campaign before. In theory a military person is a good thought, but in practice will create headaches that Obama doesn't need. (L: 6)
2) Anthony Zinni, 3) Merrill McPeak, 4) James Jones, 5) Hugh Shelton. (all L: 4)

1) Rep. Nancy Pelosi (Cal) - I really like the Speaker of the House. In theory she would be a very good choice. But she doesn't want it and Fox News would have a field day painting Obama and Pelosi as the most liberal terrorist fist jabbers in the Congress. (L: 2)
2) Gov. Jennifer Granholm (Mi) - See above. (L:8)
3) Sen. Claire McCaskill (Mizz) - See above. (L: 7)
4) Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (Kan) - Gave the rebuttal to the State of the Union address and got good marks. But I was bored by it. (L: 6)
5) Sen. Diane Feinstein (Cal) - She's a good legislator. But she's a Jew. I'm a Jew. People don't like Jews. (L: 2)
6) Sen. Hillary Clinton (NY) - Ugh. See above. (L: 8)

1) Sen. Russ Feingold (Wi) - He's probably my favorite politician. He's the only one who didn't vote for the Patriot Act the first time around. But he is a Jew and the most liberal member of the senate. (L: -300)
2) Fmr VP Al Gore - He would obviously be a good choice. But what's in it for Al Gore? Not much. (L: 1)
3) Robert F. Kennedy Jr. - A Clinton supporter. A Kennedy. Intriguing? (L: 1)
4) Fmr Sen. Bill Bradley (NJ) - Go Knicks! (L: 2)
5) Sen. John Kerry (Mas) - If at first you don't succeed, you're probably not good enough, try again in a lesser role. (L: 2)
6) Pres. Robert Mugabe (Zim) - The authoritarian dictator of Zimbabwe would certainly fit Obama's "change" agenda. But he's too old. (L: -299)

1) Gov. Bill Richardson (NM) - Dave Chappelle once said that if he was ever the first black president, his vice president would be a Mexican "for a little insurance." As he said, "You can shoot me, but you're just going to open up the border." (L: 7)
2) Gov. Tim Kaine (Va) - A driving instructor once told me not to honk at anyone with a Virginia license plate because they carry guns in their cars and they have no reservations about shooting. Kaine is a liberal who won in Virginia! (L: 9)
3) Gov. Jennifer Granholm (Mi) - Hillary Clinton doesn't want a female on the ticket unless her name is "Hillary Clinton." As the girls at Wellesley would say, "Tough titties." (L: 8)
4) Sen. Claire McCaskill (Mizz) - I knew Geraldine Ferraro and you ma'am are no Geraldine Ferraro. You're not crazy. (L: 7)
5) Sen. Evan Bayh (Ind) - It is the dream of every little white boy from Indiana to one day grow up and become a black man's vice president. (L: 9)

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