New VP speculation open thread

Virginia Senator Jim Webb withdrew his name from consideration as a vice-presidential candidate. That’s a relief from my perspective.

According to Marc Ambinder,

A Democrat close to Webb confirms that a request for documents preceded his declaration to the Obama campaign. The Democrat said that Webb did not want to relive the vigors of a campaign so soon after his election to the Senate.

Like I’ve been saying, Webb does not like campaigning enough to be a good running mate.

Meanwhile, John Edwards will debate “Bush’s brain” Karl Rove on September 26. Some people have interpreted the scheduling of that event as a sign Edwards knows he will not be Obama’s running mate.

I still think Wes Clark would be an excellent choice for Obama, despite the recent dustup over comments he made about John McCain.

Some smart people think he will pick Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius, but I still think that it would be a mistake for Obama to choose a woman other than Hillary Clinton.

VP search teams for Obama and McCain have both begun vetting candidates. McCain is said to be considering Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

I tend to agree with Douglas Burns, who wrote that Alaska Governor Sarah Palin would be a good running mate for McCain.

If McCain is feeling pressure in Florida (a state he must win in order to get 270 electoral votes), he might consider selecting Florida Governor Charlie Crist. Rumors that Crist is gay could be a problem with that scenario. Crist was married to a woman in his early 20s and just got engaged to his current girlfriend.

Put your predictions or opinions about either candidate’s VP choice in the comment section.

  • High Risk/High Reward

    The thing with Sarah Palin is she’s a very “high risk/high reward” choice.

    The “reward” is the chance that the voters might fall in love with Ms. Palin, bringing in some key votes in some key demographics (women, sportsmen, independents). McCain would get to “co-opt” the “change” mantle. It would certainly force Obama to select a female veep, should McCain announce first, and take him weeks off message with “why not a woman” questions if he doesn’t.

    The “risk” is that “Barracuda Sarah” illustrates everything that McCain isn’t–they are near polar opposites. She’s young, he’s old. She’s attractive and physically fit, he’s aging and disabled. He’s experienced, she’s green. So on and so forth. It could serve to highlight everything that’s “wrong” with McCain–plus it instantly vaporizes the “Obama’s too inexperienced” argument if his number two is younger, with less public office experience.

    McCain’s “High Risk/High Reward” choices:

    Bobby Jindal, Mike Huckabee, Joe Lieberman, Michael Bloomberg, Rudy Giuliani, John Thune, Charlie Crist and Sarah Palin.

    McCain’s “Low Risk/Low Reward” choices–my guess is his VP choice comes from here:

    Mitt Romney, Tim Paulenty, Lindsey Graham, Rob Portman and Fred Thompson.

    My money’s on Mitt Romney.

    • Romney would help raise the most money

      I can’t see him choosing anyone on your high risk-high reward list besides possibly Jindal or Palin.

      Fred Thompson was an incredibly poor campaigner. I think that rules him out.

      I forgot Lindsey Graham. That makes a lot of sense, although I think McCain might want a governor on the ticket.

  • I'm pulling for Sebelius

    I think it would be interesting to see how women would react to her as a VP nominee.  I just can’t see how they could not be excited about her.  By most objective standards, she is more qualified for the job than Hillary. I know she didn’t get 17 million votes, but that’s besides the qualifications point. – But hey, what do I know.  I’m a man, and despite trying for many years, I haven’t even figured out the woman I share my life with.

    In many ways, choosing Richardson, Biden or Clark would highlight Obama’s perceived weakness.  Sebelius would  play to his strength and could make a more natural and honest choice that would not seem so politically calculating.

    • can't agree with you here

      I am not saying Sebelius is unqualified, but how does her experience compare with Hillary being very much involved in a presidential administration for eight years?

      She was not a typical first lady. She was very involved in policy matters.

      I find it amazing that so many people discount this experience. You think Hillary doesn’t know more about federal policies and how to run a White House staff than Sebelius?

      I know she didn’t get 17 million votes, but that’s besides the qualifications point.

      Picking Hillary would make most of those 17 million Democrats excited to vote for Obama, and would probably generate a lot of donations and volunteers. Picking Sebelius doesn’t give the Democrats who preferred Hillary any incentive to get involved beyond voting for Obama.

      • Hillary hype

        Talk about fairy tales and hype, I believe Hillary’s claims of 35 years of experience and pretty much everyone buying the stuff wholesale is one of the most remarkable things about this primary season.  If I was an experienced and accomplished woman, I would be po’d about Hillary’s claims about spousal osmosis as her primary qualifier for the job.  Especially when her one high-profile involvement in an issue during the Clinton presidency was an unquestionable disaster and did not reflect well on her abilities and leadership skills.  Sebelius has 20+ years experience in elected office and is a two-term governor.  I definitely stand by my view that she is more qualified than Hillary.

        Despite my view on this, I would not be disappointed if Obama picked Hillary as his running mate.  He could definitely do worse and there are strong political arguments for him to do so.  

        • it's not spousal osmosis

          She was very involved in policy matters during the Clinton presidency. I know someone who worked briefly on her staff.

          • "involved in policy matters"

            is a pretty vague statement.  There are probably hundreds, if not thousands, of D’s who could make the same claim for their efforts during the Clinton years.  For the most part she had no official role, executive power or accountability.  The few times she was pressed about her actual role, the responses were not very convincing.  And her known roles (healthcare debacle, mysteriously disappearing files) don’t reflect well on her.

            If she did have the kind of power she and her campaign tried to portray, I find it actually quite troubling.  No unelected, unaccountable person should have that kind of power.  Even if that person is married to the president.  

  • I'm biased but...

    I cannot overlook that the primary essentially ended in a tie.  Losing by a little is much harder than losing by a lot.  I’m still in mourning over Clinton’s loss, but am doing my best to be “fired up and ready to go.”

    I’m not alone.  

    There are 16,999,999 (at least) other people who feel the same way as I do:  that Clinton owns a big piece of the success of the primary season, and that she’d be an asset to President Obama.

    It’s not simply that she deserves it.. (it’s not the kind of decision you can make on a “deserve” basis), but they do work well together.  The chemistry between them at Unity was palpable.

    I marched in a parade over the holiday with a big ol’ Obama ’08 sticker on my chest and am slowly working on the others in the area who supported Clinton, but It would be vastly easier if he chose Senator Clinton as his running mate.  

    I think it would re-energize the other half of the Democratic party.

    • losing by a little is worse than losing by a lot

      Absolutely, I agree with you there. Even with all the strategic errors Clinton made, she only barely lost.

      As I’ve said, I would lean toward Wes Clark if I were Obama, because I think that would help unite the party while also helping him in other ways that Hillary doesn’t.

      But he could do much worse than picking Hillary. I am so relieved Webb ruled himself out. That would have been a disastrous mistake, in my view.

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